Southerners on New Ground raised funds for the National Black Mama’s Bail Out Action on Give Out Day held in April 2017.

SONG raises funds for national initiative

ATLANTA, Ga. — Southerners on New Ground (SONG) raised over $32,000 in less than 24 hours to help support the work of the National Black Mama’s Bail Out Action on Give Out Day last month.

Over 750 donors contributing, SONG topped the leaderboard for its fundraising effort. That added an additional $10,000 to the coffers. The effort is far from over, the organization said. In fact, they are trying to get as many black mamas and caregivers out as they can for Mother’s Day week.

Black Mama’s is an initiative whose goal is to bail out as many incarcerated mothers as possible from jails across the U.S. so that they can spend Mother’s Day with family instead of in a cell because they are unable to make bail. Community building is at the core of the work which highlights the impact of inhumane and destructive bail practices in local communities.

“We will bail out mama’s in all of our varieties — queer, trans, young, elder, and immigrant,” Black Mama’s organizers shared on their website. The slogan for the event is “Money kept them in, black love got them out.”

Of those jailed, black and transgender women are overwhelming vulnerable. And, one in five transgender women have spent time in prison or jail and one in three of them reported being sexually assaulted while there, the organization added.

“The National Black Mama’s Bail Out Day is rooted in the tradition of our enslaved ancestors who went to every length, including harnessing their collective resources, to purchase each other’s freedom and keep their families together. This year, we are taking a stand against a money bail system that tears our families and friends apart and punishes our communities for being poor,” SONG said.

For more information, visit the national action’s website at Contributions are being accepted nationally at SONG’s bail fund website is located at

In other news, SONG co-founder Joan Garner has died.

“Joan was a brilliant Black femme lesbian … Her work is ever present here in the South and she never stopped working to advance our shared vision in all the roles she played from her tenure at the Southern Partners Fund to her role as a Fulton County Commissioner. … The SONG political family is honored to be among the many beneficiaries of her legacy and fruits of her loving labor.”


Methodists rule on bishop’s consecration

NEWARK, N.J. — The trial of out Bishop Karen Oliveto was held by the United Methodist Church and the Judicial Council found that her consecration violated church law by a 6-3 decision, the United Methodist News Service reported.

Karen Oliveto

“However, the bishop ‘remains in good standing,’ the Judicial Council said in Decision 1341, until an administrative or judicial process is completed. ‘Under the long-standing principle of legality, no individual member or entity may violate, ignore or negate church law,’ said the decision, made public April 28,” the news service added.

It added, “It is not lawful for the college of bishops of any jurisdictional or central conference to consecrate a self-avowed practicing homosexual bishop.”

On July 16, 2016, the U.S. Western Jurisdiction consecrated Oliveto who serves the Denver, Colo. area.

Currently, a solution to the situation has been taken up by the church.

Oliveto is married to Robin Ridenour.


Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.