Women on the Rise launched in 2013 as a project of the Racial Justice Action Center for formerly-incarcerated women of color and women targeted and/or impacted by the criminal legal system. Since our founding in 2013, Women on the Rise has won several victories, along with our partners, the Racial Justice Action Center and Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative, including: Launching #CloseTheJailATL #CommunitiesOverCages Campaign and passing legislation to close and repurpose the city’s extra jail through a community-led Design Taskforce process; Repealing 40 archaic “quality of life” municipal offenses in Atlanta, including reclassifying marijuana to a non-arrestable offense; Developing the Atlanta/ Fulton County Pre-Arrest Diversion Initiative through a community-led design process; “Banning the box” from 6 jurisdictions in Georgia, at the county and state-level, and removing barriers to employment for formerly-incarcerated individuals, as well as collaborating with national partners to carry 30,000 signatures to Washington, D.C. and conducting meetings resulting in an Executive Order to ban the box on federal employment applications; Growing our base and uplifting the leadership of over 400 formerly-incarcerated Women on the Rise members.
Women on the Rise is a membership-based organization led by a diverse sisterhood of Black women who are impacted by the legal system. Through community organizing and supportive services, we are building a powerful base of women with the skills and experience necessary to wage and win campaigns. We are striving to end mass incarceration and achieve collective liberation, while transforming ourselves and our communities.
Women on the Rise envisions a world where women, families, and communities truly thrive, not just survive. Together, we will educate, heal, and empower ourselves, one another, and our communities as we demand justice and dignity.
CHALANA “CHAY” McFARLAND