Resist DOC suppression of the Cultural Collective
The Cultural Collective at Stafford Creek is a grassroots organization comprised of leaders from various independent cultural groups that include the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Awareness Group, Black Prisoners Caucus, Nuestro Grupo Cultural (formerly Hispanic Cultural Group), and the Native American Circle.
While prison has widely been regarded as a place that thrives on violence, isolation, and division, the Cultural Collective transcends negative stereotypes by working in solidarity to uplift the voices of those most marginalized, and empowering those directly impacted by an unjust system.
The cultural awareness groups that make up the Cultural Collective have a long legacy of resistance, tradition, and love. They provide prisoners with a platform for true growth and liberation through cultural preservation - while building community and creating safe spaces for healing.
As of March 2023, there is currently a complete shutdown of all culture groups across the state pending revision of DOC culture group policy.
Administration to work with cultural groups to resume all group activities, meetings, and functions, especially peer-led education and cultural enrichment. This involves allowing sponsors and community organizations and stakeholders access to facilities. Officially acknowledge sponsored cultural groups, including the NGC.
2.) Inclusion and Accountability
Consider our suggestions for the new cultural policy. Include cultural groups leaders and community stakeholders in meetings. Give our community and families access and more transparency in this policymaking process that directly impacts the lives of incarcerated individuals.
Protections against group suspensions and/or termination for perceived conflicting political views, advocacy work, and outside community engagement and interest. Administration should not just be empowered to shut us down arbitrarily. Do not punish us for organizing around our unique cultural identity in a way that has such a positive impact and provides a platform for growth.
Call to Action
These are the officials in charge from three different offices.
Please contact all officials to help us fight for accountability.
Let them know about the suspension of cultural groups, our demands, and why they should be reinstated.
Washington Department of Corrections
DOC Deputy Secretary
Director of Correctional Services
Director of Person-Centered Services
Equity Diversity Inclusion and Respect Director
Family Services Manager
Governor Inslee's Office
Send the office an e-message through this form.
Chief of Staff
Senior Policy Advisor, Civil Rights & Racial Justice
Senior Policy Advisor, Human Services
Senior Policy Advisor, Public Safety
Washington Office of Equity
Incarcerated community leaders have read your policy.
It is not being implemented.
Contact their office using this form.
Collective Cultural Convictions Zine
Cultural Collective Convictions
On April 1st, 2023, community members and organizers joined in conversation with currently and formerly incarcerated members of the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Awareness Group, Black Prisoners Caucus, Nuestro Grupo Cultural, Formerly Incarcerated Group Healing Together, and several other groups at the Asian Counseling and Referral Service center in Seattle, WA. This event featured voices from across the state to share information and a call to action around the negative impacts that WA Department of Corrections has placed upon the cultural awareness groups inside the state's prisons.