In August 2019, the Detroit Justice Center invited the People’s Paper Co-op to Detroit to do two days of workshops focused on uplifting community members with criminal records. Participants were able to shred their criminal records and make new paper from them as well as creating posters advocating for justice-involved people to be free of the stigma around having a record. A number of our comrades who we’ve been working with to expand Clean Slate legislation joined us and shared their visions for a world where having a record is no longer an obstacle to accessing basic rights.

We want to thank everyone who attended the workshops for sharing their freedom dreams with us. While we have been working together on Clean Slate, we know that the truths people spoke to in this video extend far beyond the fight for better legislation. When we talk about building truly just cities for everyone, it includes a future where people are not perpetually punished for their worst mistakes.

We hope you enjoy the video and the posters that came out of the workshops below. If you want to learn more about the current fight for Clean Slate in Michigan, read our shared statement with Just Leadership USA. In it, we call upon the state Senate to expand automatic expungement to include any number of misdemeanors and to maintain the House bills’ stance on restitution. If you are a Michigander looking to get involved with this issue, contact your state senator before the bills go up for a vote in the Senate this December.