Saturday, May 19th


Week 3 at Bring Down The Walls considers the radial impact of social violence and how vulnerable communities are impacted by the injustice system. We will unpack the ways in which the effects of the prison industrial complex extend into our everyday lives, targeting and bringing pervasive harm in particular to women, people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and people living with mental health challenges.

Bring Down The Walls is an organically evolving communal space. Times may shift and programs added throughout the run of the project. Check back regularly for the most up-to-date schedule. List of speakers for this week coming soon.

School Is In Session

2:15 – 2:30 PM / Big Room


Welcome to Bring Down The Walls! Join us as we introduce the framework and themes for the day’s conversations, exchanges, and debates.


The Deep State: Social Media and Surveillance

2:30 – 4:00 PM / Big Room
Jarrell Daniels, Jarvis Idowu


From police body cameras to fake Facebook profiles, surveillance practices are getting broader and more high tech. This panel looks at law enforcement practices and policies around monitoring the activities of people of color, youth and immigrants, and offers strategies to protect your liberties and privacy.


Jarrell Daniels was incarcerated for 4 years after a Operation Crew Cut sweep – a recent NYPD measure that aims to round up suspected gang members via social media surveillance.


This Brutal House: Mental Health and Incarceration

2:30 – 3:30 PM / Small Room
Five Mualimm-ak, Christina Dawkins


How far have we come from the insane asylums of the 19th Century? Mass incarceration has become a large-scale space of systemic neglect for mental illness, with jails and prisons housing 10 times more people suffering from poor mental health than psychiatric facilities. This talk elaborates on the devastating ramifications that incarceration and solitary confinement have on mental health.


Five Mualimm-ak is a human rights and mental health advocate, and founder of Incarcerated Nation Corp., a collective of previously incarcerated people. He spent five years in solitary confinement.


Christina Dawkins is the founder of A4Abolitionist, a social justice consultancy specializing in projects that employ art and education to effect change. Currently she serves as Director of Civic Engagement and Social Justice at Eugene Lang College, The New School in New York. She is also the founder of the Justice-in-Education Initiative Scholars Program at Columbia University, providing educational opportunities to formerly incarcerated persons.


Legal Action Center

3:00 – 6:00 PM


Legal Action Center will be providing help with a variety of issues, such as: how to apply for Certificates of Relief or Good Conduct, whether to obtain a copy of your NYS RAP Sheet and how to do so, information about one’s rights when seeking a job or license with a criminal record; information about NYC’s Fair Chance Act – the “ban the box” law, initial screenings for sealing eligibility, and other reentry services. More information here.


Walking Tour with Jay Holder

3:30 – 4:00 PM / Leaves from Lafayette Street & White Street


Bring Down The Walls is situated amongst the institutional pillars of the prison industrial complex, including the Manhattan Detention Complex and New York City’s courthouses. Map the journey to prison and back on a walk through Lower Manhattan’s maze of courts, facilities, and administrative buildings hiding in plain sight amidst the day-to-day of New Yorkers.


Behind the Music

4:15 – 5:45 PM / Big Room
Phil Collins & Collaborators


Hear the classic house covers from the Bring Down The Walls benefit album, and the story behind the project from the artist and his collaborators.


Send Your Love

4:15 – 5:45 PM / Small Room
Members of Black & Pink


Some of the deepest harm caused by incarceration stems from the experience of prolonged isolation. Join an organization that facilitates pen pal relationships with transgender and gender non-conforming incarcerated people and learn how to show support to these communities while they are behind bars.


Black & Pink is an open family of LGBTQ prisoners and “free world” allies who support each other and work toward the abolition of the prison industrial complex.


Incarcerating Women and Girls

6:00 – 7:30 PM / Big Room
Mariame Kaba, Donna Hylton


While men are incarcerated at higher rates than women, adolescent girls make up the fastest growing prison population. This discussion will be about the types of oppression that cause women and girls more vulnerable to incarceration and how to address them.


Mariame Kaba is the Founder and Director of Project NIA, a grassroots organization with the long-term goal of ending youth incarceration.


Donna Hylton, one of the speakers at the 2017 Women’s March on Washington, is a Jamaican-American women’s rights activist and criminal justice reform advocate who served 27-years for second degree murder and two counts of first-degree kidnapping. In her work she draws a correlation between gender-based violence and sexual abuse as a direct link to the choices, circumstances, and actions which result in incarceration.


Campaign Step Up with Justice Committee

6:00 – 6:30 PM / Small Room


Take action! There are a number of campaigns challenging the prison industrial complex and supporting those affected by the system. This weekly series will introduce you to various local campaigns and provide opportunities to join their work.


Justice Committee is a grassroots organization dedicated to building a movement against police violence and systemic racism in New York City.


Survived and Punished

7:45 – 8:45 PM / Small Room


Join members of Survived and Punished for a discussion on their national organizing coalition, working to end the criminalization of survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and abolish gender violence, policing, imprisonment, and deportations.


Seize Bellevue

7:45 – 8:45 PM / Big Room


Radical youth collective Brujas will host a conversation around their latest initiative, Seize Bellevue, which calls for a compassionate and radical reconception of one of our more insidious carceral institutions – the pharmaceutical industry and mental health crisis system.


Brujas is an urban, free-form, creative, and autonomous organization of born-and-bred New Yorkers seeking to build radical political coalition through youth culture, and expressing community through skateboarding, art, and political organizing.