Campaign Spotlight: Renewable Rikers

October 6, 2021

Criminal Justice, Environmental Justice, Renewable Rikers

A mural panel depicting Rikers Island in yellow tones. Text reads: Visions for a Just NYC. October 2021. 87 River Street, Brooklyn NYC 11249.

Our latest pop-up art exhibit, Visions for a Just NYC, features five community-driven campaigns for justice that tackle some of the most urgent issues of our time. New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) works as a proud partner on each.

This week, we want to tell you more about a crucial campaign that stands at the intersection of Environmental and Criminal Justice: Renewable Rikers.

Rikers Island is a notorious penal colony built on a decomposing landfill that is infamous for its inhumane conditions of confinement and excessive violence. The Island — nicknamed Torture Island — is a symbol of the most broken aspects of our racist criminal legal justice system, where most detainees are men of color who come from lower income communities around the City.

The Renewable Rikers coalition envisions transforming this 413-acre island with a legacy of trauma, torture, and injustice into a place that represents hope, sustainability, and reparative justice.

NYLPI has co-led the work of the Renewable Rikers coalition from its inception in 2019 alongside partners Freedom Agenda — whose membership comprises people and communities directly impacted by incarceration and legal justice systems. Other key partners include: NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, the Independent Commission for NYC Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, and the Natural Resources Defense Council

 

We invite you to join us in taking action! 

Learn more on NYLPI’s website and by watching the video outlining our vision for Renewable Rikers on YouTube.

Learn more about Renewable Rikers and four more community-driven campaigns by visiting Visions for a Just NYC. With the backdrop of art and action, we invite you to come to River Street Park in Williamsburg throughout the month of October. Free and open to the public.

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