Book Talk & Discussion with Maya Schenwar—Sun., Nov. 22 in Evanston

Meet author Maya Schenwar, a good friend of Chicago Books to Women in Prison, and join the discussion.

Locked Down, Locked Out looks at how prison tears families and communities apart, creating a ripple effect that touches every corner of our society. Through the stories of prisoners and their families, as well as her own family’s experience of her sister’s incarceration, Schenwar shows how the institution that locks up 2.3 million Americans—and decimates poor communities of color—is shredding the ties that, if nurtured, could foster real collective safety.

Plan now to attend this free book talk and discussion.

Sunday, November 22, 12:30 p.m.
Unitarian Church of Evanston
1330 Ridge Avenue (map)
(parking lot and entrance on Greenwood)

For more information, call 847-864-1330 or visit

New Volunteers: Next Orientation is Sunday, October 25


Jess in Ohio made us smile with her recent order. And you can brighten the lives of the women who receive the thousands of books and blank journals we send each year. Join us for our next new volunteer orientation—led by one of our experienced volunteers—Sunday, October 25, 1–2 p.m., right before our regular 2–5 p.m. work session. Get the details here.

This Sunday already booked? Plan now to join us for the Sunday, November 29 orientation. Or learn how you can get involved in other ways. You know where to find us!

Support the Prison Yoga Project

pyp-logoWe receive many requests for yoga books from the women we serve, and one of the best we’ve seen is Yoga: A Path for Healing and Recovery, published by the Prison Yoga Project. We’re grateful for the free books they’ve sent us.

The Prison Yoga Project also conducts classes and instructor training in prisons across the country. One incarcerated person said, “With the barrage of negativity in prisons, they are unyielding breeding grounds for intense suffering, chaos, noise, overcrowding, violence, ineffective medical care and poor food. But occasionally, every so often, friendship, kindness, compassion and programs of meaningful substance come along. The Yoga program is a life-sustaining and meaningful one that I nurture and value because it is not only positive, it supports my growth and success.”

Help the Prison Yoga Project continue and do even more. They have 20 days remaining in their ambitious Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. The Indiegogo campaign is over, but you can still help. Please support them as you are able.

The Fourth & Sycamore Interview


We’re pleased to share a recent interview with David Nilsen, editor and book critic for Fourth & Sycamore, an Ohio library’s literary journal. We made a point of featuring what we hear from the women we serve—something we make a priority.

And if you’re looking for something good to read, or to recommend to friends and family who wonder why you care about helping people in prison, see the list of books we like at the end.

New Volunteers: Next Orientation is Sunday, September 27

Kylie in Indiana heard about us from a friend and sent us this wonderful note along with her first order for books:

Thank You drawing

Come help make a difference with us—one package of books at a time. Join us for our next new volunteer orientation, led by one of our experienced volunteers, Sunday, September 27, 1–2 p.m., right before our regular 2–5 p.m. work session. Get the details here.

Can’t make it this Sunday? Plan now to join us for the Sunday, October 25 orientation. Or learn how you can get involved in other ways. See you soon!

Video: Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers

Tuesday, September 15 we’ll welcome friends from CLAIM (Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers) to Change in Action: People & Prisons.

Check out these videos created by the talented students in Laurie Little’s Documenting Social Injustice class at Columbia College Chicago.


CLAIM Mother’s Day Rally 2013

This fall Chicago Books to Women in Prison will be collaborating with DocSocIn students. Stay tuned for more!

Change in Action: People & Prisons—Tues., September 15 at After-Words Books

You’re invited!

Hear two formerly incarcerated women speak on the importance of books during their time in prison.

− Learn how Chicago organizations are responding to prison issues
− Engage in discussion with community leaders and the formerly incarcerated
− Discover the wide range of ways you can become involved

Change in Action: People & Prisons

Tuesday, September 15, 6:30 p.m.
After-Words New and Used Books
23 E. Illinois St., Chicago

One block south of the Grand (Red Line) station
Parking can be found one block east at 430 N. Rush St.

Food and drinks will be served

In collaboration with our friends

− Black and Pink
− CLAIM (Chicago Legal Advocacy to Incarcerated Mothers) with Visible Voices
− Community Renewal Society with F.O.R.C.E
− Liberation Library

Let us know you’re coming on the Facebook event page.

Download the event flyer.

New Volunteers: Next Orientation is Sunday, August 30


Recently we heard from Padrica H. in Florida, who sent us a couple of the holiday decorations she makes for members of the armed services. She included this note:

Again thank you for your kindness. I love giving these out to put a little cheer in your space. Please accept them in the spirit of goodwill, peace and love.

See why what we do means a lot to the women we serve. Join us for our next new volunteer orientation, led by one of our experienced volunteers, Sunday, August 30, 1–2 p.m., right before our regular 2–5 p.m. work session. Get the details here.

If you can’t make it this time, plan now to join us for the Sunday, September 27 orientation. Or check out the other ways you can get involved and help women in prisons around the country enjoy the self-empowerment, education, and entertainment that reading provides.

New Volunteers: Next Orientation is Sunday, July 26


You can help make this kind of difference to the thousands of incarcerated women we reach every year.

Join us for our next orientation session, led by one of our experienced volunteers, Sunday, July 26, 1–2 p.m., right before our regular 2–5 p.m. work session. Get the details here.

If you can’t make it this week, plan now to join us for the August 30 orientation or whenever you can. Rarely available on Sundays? There are lots of other ways to get involved and help get books in the hands of women in prison. We’d love to hear from you.

Thank You, Crossroads Fund


We are delighted to announce that Crossroads Fund has awarded us a grant of $4,000 in this year’s Seed Fund program.

This generous funding will be dedicated to general operating costs—enabling us to get many more books in the hands of the women we serve—as well as to special projects to create awareness and inspire action around issues related to our work.

It’s an honor to be one of the many groups that Crossroads Fund supports in working for racial, social and economic justice across a wide range of issues and communities.

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