Barred Business is a national membership-based organization that works to organize, include, empower, activate, resource, mobilize, educate and train both incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals. We believe that by creating equitable lives for justice-impacted and other marginalized people, we can build a world where all people have an opportunity to thrive and build power. We know that mass incarceration is a tool that has crippled black and brown communities, and we must strive to organize and change social institutions for our communities to heal from this harm. We encourage community building, civic engagement, financial literacy, entrepreneurship alternatives, cooperatives, investing in the community, home ownership, and knowing the value of our spending power.
Our short term goal is to support our people in living great lives full of abundance and hope and safety - all of the things that the carceral system tries to take away from people.
Our long term goal is to transform the conditions in society that make our work necessary so that we are no longer needed.
We are a community whose purpose is to help each other and work together to build a sustainable future where we are all free.
Abolition: Our purpose is freedom.
Stabilization: We stabilize through housing, education, training and mentorship.
Mutual Aid: We help each other so we can help each other.
Collaboration: We work better together.
Sustainability: We build for the future.
Community: We are a part of something larger than ourselves.
Equity: We fight for the most marginalize to bring change for the masses.
Most of us can't vote, earn livable wages, find housing, secure loans, or adopt (and that's just the tip of the iceberg). We are a group of people that never get to truly be redeemed; therefore, we are left to be outliers, with low success rates.
Barred Business is here to make sure that we get our seat at the table or create a new table.