Incarcerate US Podcast Host Dant’e Cottingham Interviews Jerome Dillard from behind Prison walls. Dant’e is America’s 1st and Only Incarcerated Podcast Host.
EXPO (EX-Prisoners Organizing)
Mr. Jerome Dillard has been hired to be the statewide lead organizer for EXPO (EX-Prisoners Organizing). Click here for an excellent article he wrote.
Jerome Dillard has more than 20 years of experience working with formerly-incarcerated people, and with people in prison. He is a founder of Voices Beyond Bars in Madison (and Voices Beyond Bars is a founding member of MOSES). Jerome has worked for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, and has most recently been the director of re-entry programs for Dane County.
Jerome takes inspiration from this quote from Nelson Mandela, who also spent time behind bars: “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”.
Who is EXPO?
EXPO (EX-Prisoners Organizing) works to end mass incarceration, eliminate all forms of structural discrimination against formerly incarcerated people, and restore formerly incarcerated people to full participation in the life of our communities.
EXPO emerged in 2014 when formerly incarcerated people from around Wisconsin began to gather to discuss what it would look like to have our own statewide organization. Previously imprisoned women and men lead EXPO. Our members provide support to each other and organize to change Wisconsin’s unjust penal system. We receive support from family members of currently and formerly incarcerated people and allies who have not experienced incarceration. EXPO has active chapters in Milwaukee, Madison, and Eau Claire and we are developing chapters in Racine, Kenosha, Beloit, Green Bay, the Fox Cities, and Wausau. EXPO is a project of WISDOM, a statewide organization that links faith communities to work for justice.
EXPO members have helped lead campaigns that prompted policymakers to:
• ban the box for federal jobs;
• ban the box for jobs in the City of Madison, City of Milwaukee and City of Racine;
• expand funding for Wisconsin’s Treatment Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) Program;
• reduce the use of solitary confinement in Wisconsin prisons; and
• expand funding for Wisconsin’s transitional jobs program.
EXPO Leaders have participated in 2-day (Friday evening and all day Saturday) leadership training events. 18 EXPO Leaders participated in a first ever “Week-long Leadership Training” in Milwaukee in June, 2015: Dozens of EXPO leaders have completed this specialized training since then. Many have completed a Fellowship Program designed to sharpen organizing skills and build the network. This is the first training of its kind held anywhere in the U.S., with the exclusive goal of empowering formerly-incarcerated people to build a powerful organization that can have a voice in the future of the criminal justice system.
You can get involved:
• join a local EXPO chapter;
• participate in an EXPO leadership development program;
• join a ROC Wisconsin policy workgroup;
• join a local ROC Wisconsin Task Force;
• ask an EXPO leader to give a presentation to your organization, congregation, or class;
• make a tax-deductible contribution to WISDOM to support the work of EXPO.