Appolition co-founders Kortney Ziegler and Tiffany Mikell. Image: Appolition
February 13 is Black Love Day, an alternative to Valentine’s Day founded in 1993 for Black people to love and celebrate one another. This year it also marks the beginning of a month-long effort by the National Bail Out collective, a network of Black organizers—including Black Lives Matter and the Dream Defenders—who are working to end cash bail and pretrial detention, with the help of Appolition, an app released in November.
Black people are disproportionately impacted by the bail system because they are more likely to have low incomes before they are detained. The Prison Policy Institute found that the typical Black man, Black woman, and Hispanic woman in jail live below the poverty line before landing in jail. This can wreak havoc on entire communities: when people aren’t able to post bail and spend days in jail, they stand to lose their jobs, homes, and even custody of their children.
Part of the funds for the bail out, which will take place in Memphis, Los Angeles, and a few cities