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JLUSA leader Candice Bailey set to deliver monologue on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2024

January 12, 2024

“For activist, advocate and all-around badass Candice Bailey [Leading with Conviction™ 2023], delivering a monologue is her way of paying homage to and following in the footsteps of the fearless leaders who came before her.

“‘Something that I’ve been hearing a lot lately is ‘I am not my ancestors,’ by the latest generation,’ Bailey said. ‘And that’s very difficult for me to hear because I absolutely am my ancestors. I want people to recognize that the work of the Civil Rights Era didn’t just end when Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X were assassinated. These are the batons that were handed to us, and that through action, we can all be the change that we hope to see.’

“Bailey’s monologue will take audiences through an intimate and harrowing recollection of her 13 years of entanglement in the American judiciary and carceral systems.

We can all be the change
that we hope to see.

“After being convicted of an assault charge as a young woman, Bailey was initially put on five years of probation, which turned into two years in the Colorado Department of Corrections, which ultimately turned into a three-year sentence. While serving in the Denver Woman’s Correctional Facility, Bailey was raped by a correctional officer.

“Nearing the end of her sentence, Bailey said she found support and kindness from an unlikely friend named Mr. Godspeed (‘Yes, that was actually his name,’ Bailey said, laughing) who helped her and supported her during her transition out of the carceral system.

“‘My monologue really centers around this human story that talks about how we can support people in our communities that have these experiences, in spite of whatever systemic inequities are happening,’ Bailey said.

“Bailey has dedicated her life to fighting systemic oppression and to improving laws surrounding law enforcement and community engagement. She is the founder of the Colorado Police Oversight Commission, CEO of a human rights nonprofit and was a leading advocate for Elijah McClain — the 23-year-old massage therapist and Black man from Aurora who died Aug. 30, 2019, after being forcibly detained by police officers while walking home from a convenience store.

“But even in the wake of her success, Bailey recognizes that the stigma of incarceration or convictions can follow people well after their court-mandated sentences have been served. In delivering her monologue, she hopes to prompt audiences to reexamine their bias and set aside prejudice against formerly — or currently — incarcerated people.

“‘Often, we’re really shamed about the worst day of our life,’ Bailey said. ‘But the worst decision that you make does not define the rest of your life. I think that is something important that we need to consider as we hear about restorative justice practices — where are you using those practices in your day-to-day life? Or are you just canceling humans for simply being human?’ …

“‘Dr. King Jr. & the Radical Roots at the Heart of Justice’ will take place from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Monday [January 15, 2024] at the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder [Colorado]. The performance is free of charge, and is suitable for children over the age of 10 years old. Guests are highly encouraged to reserve a seat at motustheater.org.”

Read the full story at DailyCamera.com.

(Photo above courtesy of Motus Theater)

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