Live Free

Live Free is working to end the scourges of gun violence, mass incarceration, and the criminalization of Black and Brown bodies that tears at the soul of our society.

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POWER is independently financed.  We operate with dues from member congregations, grants from charitable and faith-based foundations, grassroots fund raising and contributions from people like you who care about our city and want to see change.  As a matter of principle, POWER takes no financial support from government entities.

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  • Helping create and manage our growing mailing list through data entry work
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Interested in learning more about how to build leadership within your congregation, amplify your prophetic voice, strengthen community and address the issues impacting your people?

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We welcome a conversation with you about pressures impacting your congregation and community and how faith-based community organizing can help you respond. We welcome a conversation about how POWER is equipping congregations across the city to play a more powerful role in shaping policies that effect families, neighborhoods, and our city.

Give us a call at 215-232-7697 or email us at info@powerphiladelphia.org and we’ll set up a time to talk.

We are looking forward to the conversation.

Live Free: Ending Police Violence

Vision and Approach:

POWER’s work to end police violence and mass incarceration is organized as a local chapter of the national Live Free Campaign of Faith in Action, a national network of faith-based community organizations working to create innovative solutions to problems facing urban, suburban and rural communities.

As Live Free Campaign notes:

With over 118 million people attending weekly services in over 350,000 congregations across the U.S., we believe that a social justice revival within our faith institutions would transform our nation’s hearts and minds, and ultimately, the policies and practices that perpetuate these evils. With hundreds of congregations as well as countless leaders and movement partners throughout the country, the LIVE FREE Campaign, both here in Philadelphia and nationally, is working to end the scourges of gun violence, mass incarceration, and the criminalization of Black and Brown bodies that tears at the soul of our society.

The Situation:

As people of faith, we know that our country’s legacy of racism, violence, and economic exploitation runs counter to what is prescribed in our most sacred texts. Sadly, the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world is also one of the most violent and punitive. With almost 12,000 gun murders a year (more than the annual death toll of U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War) and the highest incarceration rate in the world, we find ourselves in a moral crisis—a crisis which disproportionately impacts the poor and communities of color.

Milestones and Victories:

POWER’s Live Free efforts in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania have made progress in a number of areas:

    • Successfully advocating for a Governor Wolf veto of the 2016 state Police Anonymity bill, which would have made it a felony to release the name of a police officer involved in a civilian killing;
    • Marching on the Fraternal Order of Police to protest their implementation of policies that harm local communities. 
    • Pushing the implementation of progressive policies in the 2017 District Attorney’s race, as a part of a larger effort to vet all the candidates and raise awareness about our Live Free efforts.
    • Successfully seeking a 2018 City Council resolution to limit the state’s reliance on cash bail and calling on the District Attorney’s office, state legislature, and the state Supreme Court to overhaul bail practices in Philadelphia and across the Commonwealth.

Campaign Goals and Strategies:

The road to ending police violence and mass incarceration runs directly through cities like Philadelphia. While Live Free attempts to influence federal and state policies whenever possible, its primary focus is on ensuring that prosecutors, police chiefs, mayors, city council members, and other elected officials are held accountable as allies, and not obstacles, to criminal justice reform.

Specifically, here in Philadelphia, our Live Free chapter is currently working to:

  • End cash bail. In Philadelphia, where almost a quarter of all people live in poverty, nearly two-thirds of those in jail are there simply because they can’t post cash bail. Because of this practice, too many people risk losing their jobs, housing, and custody of their children without even being convicted of a crime.
  • Eliminate “stop and frisk” police practices in Philadelphia that unfairly target people of color and pose an unlawful threat to their Constitutional rights and dignity;
  • Create greater police accountability by addressing racist and dangerous police practices and seeking police contracts that hold officers involved in shootings to account
  • Dramatically reduce mass incarceration practices that have placed unacceptably high numbers of people of color behind bars in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, often for low -level offenses and nonviolent crimes.