On July 8th AEA Gathered with members of the community to dedicate the Memorial to Loss in a Carceral State. The program was the culmination of planning between AEA and Philadelphia Assembled (PHLA). The event featured the walking of the labyrinth, designed by Jared Wood and inspired by traditional African design. The labyrinth can represent the difficult path individuals from our communities are forced to travel as an effect of mass incarceration and the war on drugs. When walked together it gave the opportunity for community members and attendees to not only meditate on these effects but also support each other through a collective experience of healing.
The event began with a speaking program featuring Jared Wood (Artist/Educator), William Goldsby (AEA Chair), Mike Lee (Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity) and Mona Washington (Playwright/PHLA). Conversation topics included the impact of incarceration and criminal records on the community and allowed for open discussion amongst attendees.
Storyteller, Denise Valentine then led attendees in a group procession through the labyrinth where individuals carried pots filled with seed pods which were placed at the labyrinths center. The Seed pods were created from the pulped down criminal records and documents of individuals who attended the AEA expungement clinic two weeks prior.
We would like to thank everyone for coming out and ask you to learn more about this event and upcoming work with Philadelphia Assembled at PHLAssembled.net