By Ken Epstein
All of us or None, a unique civil rights organization composed of prisoners and former prisoners, recently held a Community Freedom Fighters Night to honor two activists who have close family members with life threatening illnesses.
The honorees, Dorsey Nunn and Linda Evans, are active members and among the co-founders of the organization. Prominent Oakland businessman Geoffrey Pete donated his club, Geoffrey’s Inner Circle, for the Aug. 21 event, which raised more than $10,000.
All of Us or None, a project of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, is committed to eliminating discrimination that exists against the formerly incarcerated in many area of life, including housing, college admissions and employment. It is a national organization formed in 2003.
Rather than speaking about the individual health challenges facing their families, both Nunn and Evans emphasized the cause to which they have dedicated their lives.
Nunn, who has for 17 years served as co-director of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, says that what is unique about All of Us or None is that it expresses the voices of the formerly incarcerated. Before the group existed, he said, “there was a struggle, but I didn’t see us in it in a real way.”
“(But now) it’s remarkable to see people talking about what they need for themselves.”
Evans emphasized that the group is a civil rights organization. Members in chapters around California recently held a day of voter education at jails and prisons, distributing voter information and registration forms.
“We should win back our rights after getting out of prison,” Evans said. “We should not have to pay all our lives.”