WE, cis and transgender women and girls and GNC people who are formerly and currently incarcerated, systems-involved and sexually exploited, declare to the United States and the world:
- that the prison, policing and family separation systems are rooted in histories of the colonization of indigenous people, slavery, Jim Crow laws and continue to reflect racial apartheid in the United States;
- that these and other public systems are designed to maintain this systemic inequality and that poverty is a key driver of incarceration, family separation and recidivism;
- that cis and transgender women and girls and GNC people experience gender-based and sexual violence not only by individuals but by these and other systems that are rooted in histories of slavery, colonization, patriarchy, homophobia and transphobia;
- that we are punished for the ways we survive the abuse, violence and exploitation we experience and the historical trauma and oppression of our families and communities;
- that family separation is a continuation not a healing of these histories;
- that our families and communities have been denied our humanity, basic human and civil rights and healing;
- that only a society based on equity, transformative justice, the recognition of full human rights, the protection of and access to basic needs for all – without discrimination based on race, gender, sexuality, class, immigration status, ability or age and that seeks to reverse intergenerational poverty and historic trauma – can call itself truly democratic and free, and realize liberty and justice for all.
And therefore we, cis and transgender women and girls and GNC people who are formerly and currently incarcerated, systems-involved and sexually exploited and our loved ones, families, communities and allies adopt this Freedom Charter.
Those most impacted by incarceration and systems of criminalization and family separation are the rightful leaders of the movement to realize its goals.
We pledge to strive together until the decriminalization and decarceration of all cis and transgender women and girls and GNC people and our loved ones and communities is achieved and our families – as we define them – are (re)united.