150 people gathered for “Unlocked: An Open Mic Night” at Rosebud Coffee in Pasadena, California to celebrate and amplify the voices, performances, and visual art pieces of communities impacted by mass incarceration. The night included 20 artists who debuted their art publicly, some for the first time, in such transparent and vulnerable ways. Their willingness to share how mass incarceration has impacted them personally allowed the community to feel unified and empowered to seek change. Having this dialogue outside the church was necessary, given how mass incarceration is so stigmatized in the church. Yet, here, in the middle of a coffee shop in Pasadena, California, Jesus showed up and brought much needed healing, connectedness, and hope. Below are some videos from the night:
- Kelley Lucile – Spoken Word
- Micah Bournes – Spoken Word – “Heaven is…”
- Daniel Torres – Flintridge Center Testimony
- Angela Aguirre – Poetry – “Recovery”
- Jeanelle Austin – Spoken Word
Another amazing aspect of the night was the partnership from different vendors in the community. Places like Homeboy Industries, LA Voice, Flintridge Center and Rosebud Coffee sponsored and supported the event through provision of testimonies, space, food, coffee, and resources for next steps people could take after the event. The community and the vendors liked the event so much, they are hoping to make this a regular Locked in Solidarity event in Pasadena!
The beautiful Kingdom work that happened that night – through vulnerability, partnership, and art – reminded us and our community that what Jesus has to offer truly is Good News. It is Good News because Jesus cares about and will reconcile the prisoner, their families, and the systems that are keeping them bound. It is Good News because together we are locked in solidarity.