Faith-Based Grassroots Education and Action

OCincLOGOCheryl’s client, the United Church of Christ’s media justice and communications rights ministry, OC Inc.,  started work in coalition with other groups to end predatory prison phone rates.  Cheryl was able to combine her policy skills with grassroots education tools to bring the issue home to people in the pews and persuading the FCC to act.  Cheryl’s work included:

  • Prepared fact sheets and explanations tying the policy question to broader social justice concerns in language familiar and understandable to a faith audience.  Prison Phone Costs: A Moral Issue.
  • Using Father’s Day as a hook, Cheryl created an action alert, Kids Can’t Call Dads, used by the UCC and other allies to triple Federal Communications Commission’s typical daily call volume, registering the community’s distaste with predatory rates.
  • Wrote a package of practical advice and guidelines for families of inmates and detainees–creating materials that will make the policy victory into something that can be used by its intended beneficiaries.
  • Building on a major motion picture that highlighted separation among families during incarceration, prepared a discussion guide for churches to use after seeing the movie Middle of Nowhere.Cheryl Prison Phone Rally Photo Nov 2012 vertical
  • Developed the content, recruited participants, and moderated a panel at Rainbow/PUSH’s annual telecommunications symposium.
  • Supported the President and General Minister of the United Church of Christ in his prayer and participation in the Strong Families, Safe Communities rally outside the FCC.
  • Cheryl drafted and obtained signatures for a successful national faith sign-on letter to the FCC asking it to end predatory prison phone rates.
  • Spoke out in a Christian forum on criminal justice, securing support for reform from leaders of a variety of denominations.
  • Cheryl  facilitated a letter written by UCC members in a key legislative district, whose member of Congress was well-positioned to pressure the FCC into action.
  • Supported the UCC’s criminal justice minister in her participation in a Rainbow/PUSH session highlighting the issue.
  • Cheryl updates the UCC’s supporters regularly in blog posts and tweets.