In an effort to support LGBTQ prisoners in Wisconsin, the Milwaukee chapter of Black and Pink will hold an event at Cactus Club on Feb. 23, featuring a packed lineup of local musicians, poets and formerly incarcerated speakers gathering for a night of fundraising, book collection and community building.
Proceeds will benefit LGBT Books to Prisoners, which works to provide LGBTQ-identified prisoners access to reading material that meets their wants and needs. Based in Madison, LGBT Books to Prisoners sends books to inmates across the country.
"Incarcerated people have limited access to reading material, and LGBTQ people face disparate harm behind bars, including isolation and violence," said Colleen Monahan, one of the event organizers. "We believe providing them with reading material of their choosing is important for affirming their dignity and worth."
The fundraiser is being put together by the newly formed local Black and Pink group, the national organization’s only Wisconsin chapter, which is dedicated to working toward prison abolition and advocating for the LGBTQ population of incarcerated people throughout the state.
Boswell Book Company will be selling books at the event to send directly to LGBTQ prisoners. The books that will be available come from special requests from LGBTQ prisoners. There will also be embroidery, patches, buttons and other artwork available for purchase, with proceeds benefiting LGBT Books to Prisoners.
SunShine Ramel, a local poet, artist and activist, will MC the evening, and the music lineup will feature Andrew the Red, Chvrch ov Misandry, Victims of Symmetry and Rocket Paloma. In addition to Ramel, spoken word artists and poets will include Alan Schultz, Anja, Franklin Cline and Tiffany Miller.
All are welcome to attend the event at Cactus Club, 2496 S Wentworth Ave., in Bay View. Doors open Thursday at 8:30 p.m., with music starting at 9. The cover charge is pay-what-you-can, with a suggested donation of $6-12. No one will be turned away. Find more information and RSVP here.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.