The 2015 National Gathering of EAD is meeting in Washington, DC, April 17-20, for a conference entitled, “Breaking the Chains: Mass Incarceration and Systems of Exploitation.”
From their website:
“Join over 1,000 Christian advocates in building a movement to shake the foundations of systems of human exploitation (Acts 16:16-40), including a prison-industrial system that incarcerates millions of people in the U.S. and abroad. A world that incarcerates so many and allows some to profit from the exploitation of slave, trafficked and forced labor remains far from the “beloved community” which we are all called to seek.
The U.S. makes up only five percent of the world’s population yet holds nearly a quarter of the world’s prisoners. Still, “imprisonment” is a worldwide problem and takes various forms, as everywhere people around the world remain trapped in detention centers, prisons, factories and drug wars that bind and dehumanize individuals for political or economic profit.
Lamentations asks, “When all the prisoners of the land are crushed under foot, when human rights are perverted in the presence of the Most High, when one’s case is subverted – does the Lord not see it?” (Lam. 3:34-36) Do we?
As people of faith, we denounce the elements in our world that justify such systems of exploitation and mass incarceration. At EAD, we will confess our personal and corporate failure to break the chains of poverty, racism, and greed institutionalized in our laws, economy, and social behaviors that collude to perpetuate such human exploitation and strip civil and human rights.
As people of Hope, we are reminded that Jesus’ radical message was one of liberation for all and restoration of right relationships. Through prayer, worship, advocacy training, networking and mobilization with other Christians, we will face the reality of mass incarceration and corporate exploitation, and call for national policies that bring liberation both to the prisoner and to a world in need of restoration – all culminating with EAD’s Congressional Lobby Day on Capitol Hill.”