Who we are

The Sister Warriors Action Fund is led by systems-impacted and formerly or currently incarcerated women and trans people of all genders. Our work centers shifting power through organizing, advocacy, and policy and electoral work.

SWAF uplifts the leadership of those who have experienced and continue to experience the devastating and intergenerational effects of incarceration, poverty, and gender-based violence in our work to end the criminalization of our communities. This means that we are committed to ending the violence of the criminal legal system, as well as undoing the harms of foster care, welfare, and other institutions that participate in criminalizing and controlling us. Our mission is to build a transformative movement that secures justice, opportunity, and self-determination for all.

Finding the power in our lived experiences is key to the Sister Warriors framework. It’s also the basis for the Freedom Charter, a visionary document created by 500+ members that serves as the North Star for our work.  In a political moment where the safety, freedom and dignity of our communities are increasingly at risk, it is a necessity — not a luxury — that we ground our transformative work in the experiences of women, trans people of all genders, and people of color. SWAF is invested in building movement leadership spaces that sees the liberation of all of our people as deeply interwoven and inseparable from one another. 

We’re inviting all those who believe in this vision to become members and join us, working hand in hand to realize the possibility of the Freedom Charter in all the spaces that we collectively hold.

Our Freedom 2030 Campaign

Freedom 2030 is a ten-year campaign to end the incarceration and criminalization of our people — women, trans people of all genders, and our families and communities — while creating new ways of meeting our need for safe, healthy, thriving communities.  The campaign combines advocacy, policy, organizing, and electoral strategy to fulfill the vision of our Freedom Charter.

Campaign Goals

Deep economic and leadership investments in communities most impacted by the carceral system

Poverty is a key driver of incarceration and participation in the underground street economy. One study found that 49% of people with multiple arrests in one year had incomes below $10,000, while another saw that even temporary financial support with needs such as housing reduced the chance of recidivism by 83%. In prioritizing deep economic investments into systems-impacted communities, Freedom 2030 provides a vision for breaking cycles of exploitation and incarceration. That vision includes leadership development programs that pay people living wages while building on their transferable skills, access to well-compensated and stable jobs, universal basic income programs, and more. We must secure the resources needed not just for basic needs, but also for transformation and self-determination.

Ending family separation and promoting reunification

The state currently pours billions into regulating families and removing children from their homes in the name of “welfare.” Imagine instead if these families — largely low-income families of color — could receive the resources they need to care for their children without the trauma of being torn apart, which has historically triggered homelessness and intergenerational systems entanglement. Freedom 2030 reimagines a new support structure that uplifts the well-being of the whole family while keeping communities together.


Ending the profiting off of incarceration

In order to move money out of the prison system and create new models that support our communities to flourish, we must dismantle the mechanisms that allow people to profit off of incarceration — whether that’s in the form of stolen wages or gouging incarcerated folks and families with high fees. As long as someone stands to make a profit from incarceration, no matter if it’s a corporation or the government, they will always have a vested interest in further entangling and trapping people in the system.

Ending mandatory minimums and enhancements

Many existing mandatory minimum sentencing laws and enhancements were created decades ago during the prison boom and the War on Drugs, which we know has utterly failed to make communities healthier or safer. Instead, these draconion laws are rooted in racism and discrimination, serving only to criminalize and further impoverish Black, Indigenous and other communities of color. They also prevent courts from considering individual circumstances, even though at least 80% of incarcerated women are victims of physical abuse. Rather than punish people for their survival, including handing down extreme sentences, we work to increase access to resources for recovery and transformation.

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