Grantee Cohort Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020
“We represent an invisible population of children and young adults impacted by parental incarceration. There are over 10M of us nationwide. We endure the collateral consequences of mass incarceration in the United States. Our stories are often unknown and untold; our traumas are misdiagnosed and overlooked; our futures are often misrepresented, and our experiences are unheard. We will no longer be silenced by our pain.” – Ebony Underwood, Founder & CEO of WE GOT US NOW
We Got Us Now, founded in 2017, is the first national nonprofit organization built by, led by and about children and young adults with incarcerated parents.
Ebony Underwood, the daughter of an incarcerated parent, launched We Got Us Now to identify, mobilize and empower others with similar personal experiences through action and advocacy. Through creative advocacy campaigns, digital narratives, safe and inclusive spaces and a signature leadership program that promotes healing and reduces the stigma from having parents who are incarcerated. We Got Us Now works to keep families connected as they navigate the realities of being physically separated and remains committed to its mission to encourage bold and relevant dialogue about mass incarceration. The organization uses partnerships with media, entertainment, and the arts to raise the voices of children of incarcerated people and build community among them.
We Got Us Now’s mission to transform the justice system and its impact on children with parents behind bars takes on new importance during the COVID-19 pandemic when many of these parents should be safely released is supported with its Art for Justice grant. We Got Us Now leads the charge to protect parents behind bars and release those most vulnerable to the virus in prisons. With its grant, We Got Us Now will educate, train and develop young leaders around the nation to lead and inform state-based advocacy efforts that work to end mass incarceration.