Welcome to Freedom Project East!
We are excited to be in and with community in Eastern Washington and the Spokane area.
Freedom Project East is a new grassroots project that supports Black, Indigenous and People of Color. This work is done by the community we intend to serve, from the community we intend to serve, to solve the problems of the community. This grass roots project centers those most marginalized (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) and one of the most glaring manifestations of racial inequity – mass incarceration. We work to offer support that addresses the systemic causes and impacts of incarceration and the ways that incarceration decimates communities of color.
Black people are disproportionately arrested in Spokane: while they make up 2.5% of the population, they are arrested over 7.5 times more than people who identify as white. A white person in Spokane has a 1 in 30 chance of being arrested, but if you are Black, your chances are 1 in 5 of being arrested. According to a Spokesman-Review analysis of recently released data, “Of those who were arrested in the last five years, Black people were also about twice as likely to experience police use of force. These findings come from arrest data and use-of-force records released by the Spokane Police Department and 2019 census estimates.”
These disproportionate rates of arrest have their roots in systemic racism and impact families, children, and entire communities. Freedom Project East seeks to address these systemic impacts while also providing support to families and the community dealing with the trauma of racism and incarceration. We are pursuing funding to address the systemic causes and impacts of incarceration by providing support that is centered in the community we serve.
Our project is led by Jermaine Williams of Spokane. Jermaine has been a peer mentor for two decades. As a person impacted by incarceration, his aim is to build bridges that will empower other impacted individuals. Jermaine knows first hand what kind of support is needed when someone is released and how to build community to provide that support. This journey is one of healing. Jermaine believes when our thoughts, words, and deeds are in concert only then will our lives have harmony. Jermaine provides direct service support, community organizing and outreach, trauma-informed care, systems navigation, and co-facilitates anti-oppression trainings.
Learn more about Jermaine in the February 2021 Issue of The Black Lens Spokane (Page 17), or watch the video below. Thank you for visiting our website!
Freedom Project East Family