My name is Angeline Etienne. I’m twenty-one years old, pursuing a B.A. in Black Studies and French/Francophone Studies, and have been working on the Prison Radio team since May of 2020. Like many others last spring, all of my plans and expectations for what the rest of the year entailed was at a standstill. But what initially felt like a blindside turned into an opportunity to turn towards work that felt authentic. It turned into the freedom to search for a community that needed more people to step in and support those most impacted by the global pandemic. That community ended up being Prison Radio.
I joined the team only expecting to execute tasks in my comfort zone like outreach, transcribing, and research. Instead, I was tasked with growing into a more intentional community member that studied and theorized alongside my political elders. Quickly, our comrades on the inside became my teachers. I went on a journey of connecting my own experiences and imagination to our correspondents through studying commentaries, as well as writing pieces connecting their work current events taking place on the outside. In a world that encourages us to feel stifled and helpless in the face of violence, Prison Radio has given me the chance to work towards the creation of a world that centers those living in the belly of the beast.
I’ve learned more in the half of year working for Prison Radio about our political landscape and the path towards liberation than my higher education has ever taught me, and likely ever will teach me.
I would’ve never imagined a year like 2020 to happen in my lifetime. The sense of urgency to gather and protect each other from the violence we endure is extraordinary. But it’s not enough. For as long as there are those of us disappeared and isolated from their communities through incarceration, we must continue getting their voices heard. We must continue to meet the material needs of our incarcerated community members. We must out-organize the architects of the Prison Industrial Complex.
Prison Radio is not your conventional nonprofit organization in the slightest. We don’t allow our unapologetic abolitionist praxis to be compromised by the state or by philanthropy. In a radical political moment at odds with the nonprofit industrial complex, Prison Radio stands strong in its conviction that we are all of value, that we all deserve to heard, and that there is always, always, an opportunity to shift the focus to freeing our loved ones. We hope you can continue supporting, continue listening, and continue donating to keeping Prison Radio running.
When We Fight, We Win!
Prison Radio Staff