The Impact of Mass Incarceration is the first of “The Impact” series hosted by Busboys and Poets Books.  Our weeklong program delves into the impact of mass incarceration and will address the inequities of the criminal legal system. The series will explore The Impact on victims, their communities, their families, and the lack of resources and commitment to reintegration.   

More than 10 million arrests are made each year in the United States with an arrest made every three seconds. Within this statistic, fewer than 5 percent of these are for serious violent crimes

(Vera Institute, 2019

Busboys and Poets strives to inform the public of why criminal legal reform is necessary and provide resources for those with a criminal record and allies in this fight to end mass incarceration.   All are welcome, including those returning to their communities after incarceration.   All events are free and open to all unless otherwise noted. 

Schedule of Events

Sunday, August 6, 2023

5PM @ Shirlington | A.C.T.O.R. (A Continuing Talk on Race) and The Impact Series Presents a screening & discussion of 13th.  In this thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African-Americans and the U.S. Prison boom. Facilitated by Pamela Pinnock more info

Hot Mic with Black Chakra

6PM @ Columbia | THE IMPACT SERIES: Speak Out Open Mic hosted by Black Chakra Participants are encouraged to share poetry and art that centers around liberation, the prison-industrial complex, and the fight for justice!  $5 Admission

Monday, August 7, 2023
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6PM @ 450K | Busboys and Poets Books welcomes Kristin Henning and John Bunn to discuss The Rage of Innocence. Drawing upon twenty-five years of experience representing young people in Washington, D.C.’s juvenile courts, Kristin Henning confronts America’s irrational and manufactured fears of Black youth and makes a compelling case that the nation’s obsession with policing and incarcerating Black America begins with Black children.  more info

Tuesday, August 8, 2023
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6PM @ Brookland | The Impact presents Ingrid Archie and Shakyra Diaz. Ingrid Archie and Shakyra Diaz are joining us on the Busboys stage to share the impact mass incarceration has had on their lives and on their work with TimeDone – a program of Alliance for Safety and Justice. more info

Wednesday, August 9, 2023
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6PM @ 14th & V | Busboys and Poets welcomes Mike Africa Jr. and Tony Lewis Jr.  Mike Africa Jr. and Tony Lewis Jr. worked diligently to free their fathers from extreme prison sentences and they did it! They will be joining us on the Busboys stage to share their amazing stories of perseverance and living tales of survival. Mike Africa, Jr. is an activist, writer, speaker, stage performer and hip hop artist. His story is featured in the HBO Max documentary 40 Years A Prisoner. Tony Lewis Jr is an author, activist, criminal justice reformer, and reentry expert that has spent his adult life working tirelessly at the intersection of poverty, violence, mass incarceration, and trauma.  more info

Thursday, August 10, 2023
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6PM @ 14th & V | The Impact presents Look 2 Justice with Christopher Blackwell, Dr. Chelsea Moore, Wayne (Weezy) Dubois, Cassandra DuBois, Devon Adams, Jessica Schulberg, Rep. David Hackney and Udi Ofer. LOOK 2 JUSTICE is a grassroots organization led by criminal legal system-impacted people that works to transform the legal system by providing civic education and empowerment programs for incarcerated people and their loved ones. The panelists will be joining us on the Busboys stage to share their experience transforming the lives of the deliberately silenced through their activism to change the state of Washington’s criminal justice system. more info

Friday, August 11, 2023

6PM @ Takoma | Creativity is My Freedom: Opening Reception, Art Showcase and Discussion with the Justice Arts Coalition (JAC). Busboys and Poets, in collaboration with Justice Arts Coalition (JAC), is organizing an exhibition featuring the depth of creative vision, explored across mediums, of formerly and currently incarcerated artists. Creativity is my Freedom aims to demonstrate the numerous ways that creative practice allows us to transcend environment, thought, and mundanity to instead enter realms of imaginative freedom. more info

Saturday, August 12, 2023
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11 AM @ Anacostia | Busboys and Poets Books welcomes Momolou S.K. Stewart for this Brunch & Book Event

Creativity is My Freedom: Exhibiting Artists

Arts @ Busboys and Poets presents “Creativity is My Freedom” , an exhibit curated in collaboration with The Impact of Mass Incarceration This exhibition will be displayed at Busboys and Poets, Takoma from Thursday, July 27, 2023 thru January 9, 2024. The opening reception will be August 11th, 2023 from 6:00-8:00pm.


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For Langston Hughes on His 123 Birthday

Speech given on February 1, 2024 in Havana, Cuba In 1927 Langston Hughes walked into a Cuba amid an emerging community of artists, intellectuals, and radicals.  He saw a “sunrise in a new land [– a day – in his words]sic – full of brownskin surprises, and hitherto unknown contacts in a world of color.”  … Continued

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Palestine Week 2024

January 18, 2024 – January 25, 2024 In keeping with our ongoing mission of uplifting racial and cultural connections, Busboys and Poets is hosting Palestine Week (January 18 through January 25, 2024). This week-long series of events will offer a diverse range of programming featuring Palestinian food, music, dance, poetry, discussions, and other enriching events. … Continued

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The Nepal Chronicles #6

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Busboys in En Route Traveler

“Part of the reason why I founded this place was that I wanted a space that feels like home away from home, a space that represents the multi-cultural, multi ethnic, multi-racial, and multi-age aspects of the city, a space that represents the city that I live in – Washington, DC.” – Andy Shallal

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Dine After Dark

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