13th: Take Action

Films on Purpose’s presentation of 13th was one of the highlights of the past fifteen months of screening documentaries in our community. For the first time our venue was Holy Innocents Church and we played to a crowd of 75, our second largest audience ever. Ava Duvernay’s film is powerful in its own right, but what made the night particularly memorable was the panel.

Cory Greene, one of the subjects interviewed in 13th, brought a group from How Our Lives Link Altogether! (H.O.L.L.A.!) an organization he co-founded while incarcerated. He, Victor Alvarez and Keron “Ron” Bennett brought their powerful and very personal perspective to the evening.

Alice Fontier, Director of Criminal Defense at the The Bronx Defenders, shared her knowledge and passion of years of hard work on behalf of the underserved community in the Bronx.

And Pleasantville’s own John Nonna gave us the long view with his insight from his many years fighting for social justice.

We wish to thank the panel and Father Burns and Tom Conaty from Holy Innocents for their gracious hosting of our event.


Here are some actions you can take:

  • Read Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.
  • Find a local chapter of Black Lives Matter (blacklivesmatter.com) and show your support by attending an event or making a donation.
  • Learn about Showing Up For Racial Justice (showingupforracialjustice.org), which works to “Organize white people for racial justice.
  • Get involved in #Cut50, (cut50.org) an initiative working to “popularize the idea that we can smartly and safely reduce the number of people in prisons and jails by 50% by pursuing transformative legislation.
  • Show your support for the Equal Justice Initiative (eji.org) which is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, challenging racial and economic injustice, and protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
  • Learn about social privilege. Reflect upon the privileges you may or may not have. A tool to get started is Peggy McIntosh’s Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. (nationalseedproject.org)
  • View the film The House I Live In (theHouseILiveIn.org) on the toll of the war on drugs on individuals.

Go to www.aclu.org/issues/mass-incarceration#act for additional suggestions