Empowerment Avenue

Empowerment Avenue is the vision of my friend Rahsaan “New York” Thomas, who you can read about here, for advocates and incarcerated writers, artists, musicians, and thinkers committed to the radical act of paying incarcerated people fairly for their labor.

We are working to build better frameworks to fulfill Rahsaan’s vision. I’m the program organizer of the Empowerment Avenue’s Writer’s Cohort, a one-on-one volunteer model in which outside editors and writers are paired with incarcerated writers to work together to workshop and publish the incarcerated writer’s work.

Between June 2020 and January 2022, Empowerment Avenue has supported publication of over 100 pieces of writing that has generated over $30,000 to incarcerated people. Our work was profiled by the Columbia Journalism Review in April 2021. In 2021 we collaborated with Scalawag Magazine on the Press in Prison guidebook, a practical and abolitionist tool to invite more journalists and editors into this work.

If you are interested in participating, supporting or collaborating with us, please reach out: empowermentave@gmail.com.