On Friday 21 August, an HMP Stocken client will perform 8460 body-weight exercises to raise money for a black history education programme to be delivered to other men and staff.
The number of exercises is in remembrance of the length of time it took for George Floyd to die at the hands of police earlier this year. The tragic passing of his life in the public domain represents the injustice many Black people have endured for generations.
The man has enlisted the help of community empowerment group Black Conscious Coventry (BCC) and has received support from HMP Stocken for this initiative.
BCC will be providing all clients, but particularly, Black clients a comprehensive reading list of Black literature. These books are carefully selected to educate, empower and develop the thinking of the men. Topics will include black civilization, race and racism, self development, class and politics.
HMP Stocken Governor, Neil Thomas said: “We are keen to support the rehabilitation of our men and challenge public perceptions of prisons through our charity work. Having all been deeply affected at Stocken by the recent events in the USA we felt it important to recognise and allow the men and staff to show unity and solidarity.
“It also creates a platform to have conversations about these issues and expresses our desire for positive change. This event will allow us all to come together as one community, irrespective of race, religion of any other characteristics. The men have only recently raised £1600 for local care homes and to immediately refocus and start raising money for another worthy cause is just fantastic. It’s a major feat and I am very proud of all involved.”
BCC have been working with the community for many years. Jerome Prescod, Co-Founder and Director of BCC said: “We have focused primarily on group esteem within our community as we believe knowledge of self is the key to greater togetherness, activism and change.
“Whether in or out of prison, a person’s mind needs to be freed from colonial and mental bondage and it is our mission to achieve this through black history and political education.”
Nathaniel Prescod, also Co-Founder and Director of BBC said: “We are passionate about creating an anti-racist society. In the words of Angela Davis: ‘In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist you must be anti-racist.'”
He continued: “We were thrilled by HMP Stocken’s support for the fundraiser for an education programme for their clients.
“These men will one day be back in society and it is important we support their development so they can make a positive impact on society when they are released.
“With the community support, by donating to this cause we feel we can make a positive change.”
For more information, and to donate to this cause, please visit https://uk.gofundme.com/f/hmp-stocken-and-black-conscious-coventry