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Sac Activist School Book Crew: Becoming Ms. Burton

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Sol Collective

2574 21st Street

Sacramento, CA 95818

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Join the Sac Activist School Book Crew. This month we are reading "Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women" written by Susan Burton & Cari Lynn with a forewood by Michelle Alexander.

We will gather on the evening of August 30th and have a community discussion on the book reading. Please read the book on your own.

One woman's remarkable odyssey from tragedy to prison to recovery - and recognition as a leading figure in the national justice reform movement.

Susan Burton's world changed in an instant when her five-year-old son was killed by a van driving down their street. Consumed by grief and without access to professional help, Susan self-medicated, becomingaddicted first to cocaine then to crack. As a resident of South Los Angeles, a black community under siege in the War on Drugs, it was but a matter of time before Susan was arrested. She cycled in and out of prison for over 15 years; never was she offered therapy or treatment for addiction. On her own, she eventually found a private drug rehabilitation facility.

Once clean, Susan dedicated her life to supporting women facing similar struggles. Her organization, A New Way of Life, operates five safe homes in Los Angeles that supply a lifeline to hundreds of formerly incarcerated women and their children - setting them on the track to education and employment rather than returning to prison.

Becoming Ms. Burton not only humanizes the deleterious impact of mass incarceration, it also points the way to the kind of structural and policy changes that will offer formerly incarcerated people the possibility of lives of meaning and dignity.

Susan Burton is the founder and executive director of A New Way Of Life, a nonprofit that provides sober housing and other support to formerly incarcerated women. She is nationally known as an advocate for restoring basic civil and human rights to those who have served time. She has been a Starbucks "Upstander,"a CNN Top 10 Hero, and fellow of the Open Society Foundation, the Women's Policy Institute, and the California Wellness Foundation Leadership Award. She lives in Los Angeles.

Cari Lynn is a journalist and the author of a historical novel and several books of non fiction, including The Whistleblowers:Sex Trafficking, Military Contractors, and One Woman's Fight for Justice, with Kathryn Bolkovac, and Leg the Spread: A Woman's Adventures Inside the Trillion-Dollar Boys' Club of Commodities Trading. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Sol Collective

2574 21st Street

Sacramento, CA 95818

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