Stories About Our Work
Planting Justice is celebrating our 10 year anniversary! Hear the impact of these past 10 years from our staff who has made this work possible!
In just 10 years, we have built over 500 permaculture gardens across the Bay Area, provided 44 living wage jobs with benefits for formerly incarcerated people, built a 2-acre nursery with the largest collection of certified organic fruit trees in North America, rematriated our nursery site to the Ohlone people through the indigenous women-led land trust Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, built the most diverse organic urban farm in the country with over 1,000 varieties of tree crops, offered workshops to over 10,000 low-income youth in Oakland, and we are an organization led by frontline black, indigenous and latinx communities! Will you join us in celebrating, dreaming, and embodying a just world into being?!
Video by AYŞE GÜRSÖZ (http://www.aysegursoz.com/)
Stories from the Planting Justice Community
The Freedom Chronicles
My name is Bilal Coleman. When I was 17 years old, I was sent to prison. That was 20 years ago. I was released on parole on November 16th, 2015. I started working at Planting Justice the next day, and am blessed to have this great organization supporting me during this transition.
The Freedom Chronicles is my way of documenting my journey back into society. Hopefully, sharing my story with all of you can bring attention to the trials and tribulations that one may face during the re-entry process. More than pointing out the faults of the system, I want to highlight the positive moments of freedom, growth, and community. I hope that by seeing my journey, people will realize the importance of re-entry programs like Planting Justice, and will work with us to motivate those who are in power to fund more programming like this.
I am the 18th person that Planting Justice has hired from San Quentin. My 17 predecessors have all successfully made the transition and stayed out of prison. I plan to follow in their footsteps, with the help of Planting Justice and all of our supporters. I hope that sharing my story will show the world what Planting Justice is capable of. The State and others with resources should be supporting and funding this work so that we can help hundreds and thousands of people just like me stay out of prison for good. Talk is cheap, but actions aren’t. Follow my story and see how we’re moving and shaking at Planting Justice.
I hope that sharing my story will change people’s minds about so-called “violent criminals” like me. I am human. I am gentle. I do not deserve to be thrown away. I have a light to shine.
I’ll be posting here every week during my first year out.
Thank you for your support,
So don’t look at my blog as a one sided view to what’s really happening all around. Just know you’re receiving my interpretation of how my life is going. And sure, I’m not super human, I have problems like anyone else. It’s not about difficulty functioning in society or walking around angry and anti-social like everybody expects. The big problem with me is trying to create more time in the day so I can dine with my lady friend….
That’s 200 days.
Let’s get free from mass incarceration: fundraise.plantingjustice.org
Bilal can continue to do his work because of supporters like you.
Donate 1 ($17.50) or 2 ($35) hours of parolee payroll & support our cause today.