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Mother’s Day events demand freedom for incarcerated and detained moms and children

Across the country, communities join the call to #FreeThemAll from prisons, jails, and detention centers

Photo: Ester Jove Soligue

PHILADELPHIA (April, 2021) – Between May Day (May 1) and Mothers Day (May 9), protests and events are taking place across the country to demand that people be released from prisons, jails, and immigration and juvenile detention centers. The events will highlight the strength and resilience of mothers and caregivers forced to parent their children across walls–mothers in immigration detention who are separated from their children, mothers whose loved ones are in jail, and the incredible labor of all the mothers and caregivers who are leaders in the struggle for a more just world. Learn more and see complete event listings:

“If incarceration stopped violence, the U.S. would be the safest country in the world,” said Lewis Webb, Coordinator of the American Friends Service Committee’s (AFSC) Healing Justice work. “Instead, we have 2.3 million people in cages. Mothers and caregivers across the country are separated this Mother’s Day while our communities lack access to quality health care, education, employment, addiction and mental health services. We need policies that keep families together and address the root causes of violence.”

Vigils, car caravans, and the delivery of giant Mother’s Day cards are taking place across the country, including in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington. There will also be a national online teach in featuring panelists with incarcerated mothers and mothers whose children are incarcerated. See a complete listing of events here.

“Thousands of mothers, caregivers, and children will be in immigration detention this Mother’s Day,” said Kristin Kumpf, AFSC’s Director of Human Migration and Mobility. “The Biden Administration is incarcerating people who recently came to the U.S. seeking asylum and those who have lived here with their families for years. We are calling on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to immediately release everyone in their custody.”

These actions were initiated by the American Friends Service Committee – a Quaker organization that has for decades advocated that the punitive criminal legal system and immigrant detention system be dismantled. 


The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.

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