A Year for Unity and Change: A Note from Dr. Jocelynne Rainey

Dear GOSO Community,

When I took on the role of President & CEO at GOSO in January, I couldn’t have predicted what a challenging year 2020 would be for all of us. Together, we’ve learned to navigate a global pandemic, raised our voices to remind people in power that Black Lives Matter, and encouraged voter participation in one of the most consequential elections of our lifetime. GOSO has remained strong throughout this year, letting our community know that we are still here.

The issues we address at GOSO — including systemic racism, mass incarceration, and police brutality — have been in the spotlight. But, as you know, these issues are not new.

Black Americans are incarcerated at five times the rate of white Americans; they face harsher sentences for the same crimes committed by their white counterparts; and one in three Black boys can expect to go to prison in his lifetime. Our prison system is committed to punishment, rather than healing, and destroys communities by removing people from their homes and families.

This does not have to be our reality. Our work has proven that when people have the resources and support needed for personal growth and professional development, they thrive. That is why less than 15% of our participants return to jail or prison post-release, compared to a national average of 67%.

We have big plans to expand this work in 2021 — opening a new building, expanding our job training, education, and mental health services across NYC, and hiring more justice-impacted people for our programs.

When you support GOSO, you join a network of people committed to Justice Transformation — people who want to end the cycle of mass incarceration and help build stronger and vibrant communities in NYC.

Please give today to make a more equitable 2021 possible.

Thank you,

Dr. Jocelynne Rainey
President & CEO, GOSO