ACTIVISTS: Candace is the founder of Project Blackbird and a human rights activist who works to inspire collective healing, wellness, and the liberation of women, queer, non-binary, and trans communities.

CONTEXT: Oklahoma has one of the highest rates of incarceration for women and people of color in the USA, many of whom are serving disproportionately long sentences. In particular, Oklahoma’s ‘failure to protect’ law often results in women being penalized for child abuse carried out by their male partners. When criminal justice reforms were enacted in 2019, Project Blackbird seized the opportunity to put the spotlight on the case of Tondaloa Hall, who was serving 15 years behind bars under these exact circumstances.

IMPACT: Ten days after receiving a grant from Urgent Action Fund, Project Blackbird succeeded in its campaign for Tondaloa’s release. As a result of a legal challenge and Candice’s advocacy, Oklahoma’s governor commuted Tondaloa’s 30-year sentence. This victory sent a clear signal that the time is now to bring justice to the countless other women still behind bars for their abuser’s crimes.