Take a Simple Powerful Action Today for Mumia
Deadline Aug. 30th
Dear Friends and Supporters,
I write on behalf of Prison Radio to encourage you to do something very simple but tremendously momentous, which is to nominate Mumia Abu-Jamal for the 2013 Puffin Prize for Creative Citizenship. The Puffin Prize is a prestigious award given jointly by the Nation Institute and the Puffin Foundation. Typically it honors an artist, activist, academic, journalist, or writer for "socially responsible work", "challenges to authority" and to "encourage the recipients to continue their work, and to inspire others to challenge the prevailing orthodoxies they face in their careers." Some previous recipients have been Dolores Huerta (2002), Jonathan Kozol (2005), Amy Goodman (2006), and Benjamin Todd Jealous (2012).
Here is a note from a previous winner
"This is my strong note of support for the nomination of Mumia Abu-Jamal as a possible recipient of the Puffin Prize. He's a brave and gifted man who underwent the worst kind of Hell for nearly 30 years until his death sentence was overturned, but drew from that experience extraordinary fortitude of spirit and has written prodigiously and wisely about societal injustice. I admire him tremendously.
-- Jonathan Kozol"
Considering the scope of his globally relevant broadcast work, the incredible productivity he manages to maintain (under nearly unfathomable and grim circumstances), and his incredible commitment to chronicling and challenging inequality, I hope you agree that Mumia Abu-Jamal would be a worthy recipient for this prize which carries with it an award of $100,000. For those of us who feel stymied by the legal morass of his status, or challenged by the financial imperatives of lending support, nominating Mumia for the Puffin Prize provides an ideal outlet to stand in solidarity with the aims and goals of one of the hardest working and most courageous journalists in America.
Best of all the nomination process is simple and quick, but it must be done soon! The deadline for submission is August 30th. Simply email a paragraph outlining why Mumia is a worthy candidate and send it to this address:
For your consideration and to serve as an example I am including my own nomination letter:
I would like to nominate author, activist and broadcast journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal for the 2013 Puffin Prize for Creative Citizenship. Abu-Jamal embodies the ethos of the Puffin Prize due to his unyielding commitment to chronicle the inequities of the human condition, particularly in the broadcast work he has done in conjunction with Prison Radio. Since 2002 he has recorded over 3,000 essays ( available for listening at www.prisonradio.com) the content of which span a broad spectrum of culturally and politically relevant topics. Intriguingly, some of his latest essays have been recorded in Spanish! In order to better communicate with his supporters and listeners around the world Abu-Jamal has learned German, French, and now Spanish. In addition to his globally accessible work with Prison Radio, Abu-Jamal has also published seven critically acclaimed books, provided chapters for anthologies, lectured in numerous college classes, served as news commentator, and been an invited commencement speaker at a number of educational institutions including Antioch College. The fact that he has accomplished so much, worked so hard, and continues to achieve professional milestones and goals is, of course, all the more outstanding because he has been incarcerated since 1981. From his sentencing in 1982 until the overturning of the death sentence in 2011 Abu-Jamal lived on Pennsylvania's Death Row but still managed to write, produce, publish and interact with networks of activists, artists, and writers. Throughout the years he has maintained his compassion, intellect, remarkable skills of analysis, his relevancy and even a sense of humor. His scholarly contributions are varied, and his work contributes to an array of fields and disciplines including penal studies, American history, political philosophy, Black Studies, Comparative Studies, pop culture, death penalty abolition efforts, religious studies and law. His methodological approaches are vast and include the use of personal experience, historical research, case studies, literary theory, and philosophical method combined with measured analysis. This approach allows him to be a witness, a documenter and an agent of change. Mumia has accomplished extraordinary feats of productivity from what he refers to as "deaths abode", "a bright shining hell" and what he calls "America 's fastest growing public housing tract", his prison cell. His growing body of work challenges racial, social, economic, and cultural inequality on a global scale. He has the ability to build theoretical bridges, to link people across the globe who might otherwise be divided by culture, religion or language. And finally, he has demonstrated remarkable courage, creativity, resilience, and fortitude with his pioneering work with prison radio. For all these reasons, I heartily nominate Mumia Abu-Jamal for the 2013 Puffin Prize for Creative Citizenship.
Sincerely, Dr. Jennifer Black
Please take the time to send a supportive nomination letter. Honoring Mumia for his professional accomplishments, his unswerving commitment, and his ability to deal with the viciousness of state terror in such a creative, bold, and innovative way is the least we can do. Thank you for your time.
In love, solidarity, and struggle, Jennifer Black
Prison Radio has begun a new initiative to raise awareness. If you know of any awards or prizes or honors that you would like Mumia Abu-Jamal to be nominated for please forward us your ideas to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com Luchando por la justicia y la libertad, Noelle Hanrahan, Director, Prison Radio