What Would a Future Without Prisons Look Like?

Please note: This transcript has been automatically generated.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: Hey, y’all it’s Brittany. So a lot happened this past week, but before I get into it, let me take you back for a little history lesson. On December 25th, 1868, President Andrew Johnson, granted every single person who had fought for the Confederacy, “full pardons and amnesty”. This was of course for the offense of committing treason against the United States, full pardons with all the privileges and immunities a seditious could ever want. Now, among those pardoned was one Jefferson Finis Davis, the former president of the Confederate States of America. He never stood trial for his treason, and therefore could never be convicted of ripping a fragile country in two for the sake of protecting white supremacy. In fact, Davis’s supporters said it would be best to avoid a salacious trial because they wanted to give the country and I quote “time to heal”. Sound familiar? Well y’all know that living in loving harmony thing, it never actually happened.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: Instead, the system of enslavement just continued. It evolved into sharecropping and mass incarceration. Davis and his Confederate buddies all got schools named after them. Their flag re-emerged in the 1940s because apparently, racism needed retro branding or something. Kids my age got wrongly taught that the Civil War was just about states’ rights. Uh, yeah. States wanting to have the right to enslave Black people. Anyway, this is precisely the history I am afraid we are doomed to repeat. After Stacey Plaskett tried her best to save us while wearing a literal cape, a gang of Republicans, pretty expectedly, acquitted Trump of the incitement we all saw him commit. If he got off it ain’t no way his seditious friends in Congress are going to be held accountable. So we are going to have to be the ones to fight for a future very different from the 1860s and the present. We are going to have to keep telling the truth of what happened and remember that truth when we head to the ballot box in 2022. If Congress won’t keep America honest, we will. We are UNDISTRACTED. On the show today what might a future without prisons look like? I’ll be talking to my dear friend and organizer, Kayla Reed, about the movement for prison abolition and why the criminal legal system we have is just not working.

Kayla Reed: So when we think about abolition, we’re saying cages actually don’t keep us safe. They create more harm. So we have to think about the things that our communities need to actually be safe.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: That’s coming up. But first, it’s your “UNtrending News.” America’s oldest and longest-serving juvenile offender has finally been released from a Philadelphia area prison after 68 years. Joe Ligon is a black man. Unfortunately, no surprise about that. He was just 15 years old, back in 1953 when he received a life sentence for his involvement in a series of robberies and assaults that left two people dead. Joe admitted to taking part in the robberies, but he's always maintained he did not kill anyone. Thankfully, a 2012 Supreme Court decision ruled that automatic life terms for children are cruel and unusual because they are. So that put Joe finally on a path to freedom.

News Clip: Over 2000 people could potentially be impacted by this decision and for those people, it will ultimately mean the difference between freedom or dying in prison.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: Last week at the age of 83, Joe Ligon finally got to walk free. There are 2300 other people across this country, still serving life sentences for crimes they were convicted of as minors. Now Mr. Ligon had a chance to accept parole a few years ago and he refused. He wanted his full freedom. I’m glad he finally got it. It took way too long. Over in India, thousands of farmers have been protesting for months against agricultural reforms.

News Clip: Hundreds of thousands of farmers marched into Delhi on Tuesday from neighboring states.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: One of the world’s largest protests in history. Swedish climate activists, Greta Thunberg recently tweeted a toolkit for how to support the workers. Greta meant well, but the 22-year-old Indian activist who helped create the how to help document has now been arrested. Disha Ravi is facing charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy for allegedly editing and sharing a protest toolkit. Her arrest is being condemned by several Indian politicians and activists. Here’s what one of Disha’s friends Vineeth Vincent has to say.

Vineeth Vincent: She’s a soft target right now. She’s one of nicest and kindest people that you can ever meet. The fact that something like this has happened to her means it can happen to any one of us.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: It is easy to forget how swiftly and how deeply the voices of people who would dare stand up against the status quo are suppressed around the entire world. We can get caught up in our own thing here in America and in the West, but all across the world, people require our solidarity, including Disha and the farmers she’s supporting.

Najah Aqeel: [foreign language 00:06:42].

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: To continue the theme of young women fighting back a 14-year-old girl who was told she couldn’t play volleyball because of her hijab has gotten a national rule changed. Najah Aqeel is a high school freshman in Nashville and back in September, a referee told her she couldn’t compete in junior varsity volleyball because she was wearing a hijab. The referee cited a national association rule that requires student-athletes wearing “hair devices” that are more than three inches wide to get prior approval. Imagine asking permission just to be who you are. Najah was rightfully crushed, but she soon got to work on changing the rule and now it’s official. Thanks to Najah’s activism, volleyball players across the country will be able to wear religious headwear while competing, without getting prior approval.

Najah Aqeel: It’s made me see the world in a different light and it just makes me believe in my religion a whole lot more now. I just don’t want other people to go through it.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: Najah was just a freshman when this happened and she’s the latest example of powerful young people who are taking their rights into their own hands. No one should need permission to wear hijabs or turbans or kippahs while playing the sport they love. So good job Najah. Keep up the amazing work. Coming up I’ll be talking to my dear friend and organizer, Kayla Reed about the recent prison uprisings in our hometown of St. Louis and the toll the pandemic is having on incarcerated people across this country. That’s happening right after this short break.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: We’re back. So due to COVID outbreaks in prisons and last year’s wave of racial justice protests calls for transformation to the criminal legal system and abolition have grown ever more forceful. How many times does it have to be stated that Black, Brown, and LatinX people are disproportionately incarcerated? It makes you think that maybe the system isn’t broken at all, perhaps it’s operating exactly as designed. It can be hard for any of us to imagine a different way or a prison-free future altogether but my guest today has the creativity and the fortitude to want to build it. Kayla Reed is the executive director of the racial justice organization Action St. Louis and the co-executive director of the Electoral Justice Project with the Movement for Black Lives.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: She has been working tirelessly on building Black power everywhere it should exist, including in those jails and prisons that frankly shouldn’t exist anymore. Kayla and so many others have been working tirelessly on non-punitive solutions to actually make our communities safer. I met Kayla in the streets of Ferguson and she’s been one of my closest friends ever since. She’s an incredible organizer and I just knew she’d be the perfect person to speak to this important issue. The Kayla Reed, how are you, friend?

Kayla Reed: I’m really good. How are you doing?

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: I’m fine. So you live and you work in our shared hometown of St. Louis. I really want to start with what’s going on there. So on February the sixth, 117 incarcerated people at the St. Louis Justice Center took over part of the facility in protest. What were they taking issue with? Can you just tell us more about what happened?

Kayla Reed: Yeah, sure. So the protests on February the sixth were the third and fourth protests that had happened at CJC since the New Year. Since COVID has began, we’ve heard folks inside saying, “Hey, these conditions are terrible. They’re not taking necessary precaution. We’re not getting the adequate amount of PPE.” When they’re making complaints inside the facility, nothing is happening. So we see this uprising as really what MLK talks about the language of the unheard that they created an event where folks had to pay attention. They had to look and we know that protest brings attention and it can be an intervening tactic and that’s what they did.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: Like you said, it’s the third protest in the last six weeks at the jail-

Kayla Reed: That we know about.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: …that we know about that’s right. It comes in a long history of uprisings and protests by people who are incarcerated in St. Louis.

Kayla Reed: Yes and that protests in St. Louis what we know and what people have seen is that protest works and the city has attempted to silence these voices, de-legitimize their concerns, really create this propaganda narrative that these folks are criminal and that they’re violent. We know that folks are being held pre-trial, they’ve not been convicted of a crime. They are being held and held with high bails or no bails at all because we have a broken system. Then on top of that, we’re putting their lives at risk and so someone because of COVID could be arrested and die inside of our facility without ever having their day in court.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: So I actually want to zoom out a bit because what is happening at home is a microcosm of what is happening all over the country. Incarcerated people in this country are being affected dramatically by the coronavirus and I want to get more of a general understanding. What toll is it taking?

Kayla Reed: Yeah. Well, since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve heard that jails and prisons are a hotspot for COVID because of the inhumane conditions, the lack of health care that’s provided to folks inside that is really a breeding ground for a virus like COVID and it’s been devastating. So we have known that in places like Missouri and other states that we’ve seen a disproportionate amount of COVID cases actually be located inside of prisons. These are inhumane cages that have gotten worse because of COVID.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: Yeah. According to the UCLA’s COVID-19 Behind Bars Data Project, there have been more than 370,000 coronavirus cases among people incarcerated in prisons and jails, along with at least 2200 deaths. These are just the reported numbers, right? Infection rates are three times higher than the general public.

Kayla Reed: Yeah. It’s a devastating reality because we know that there’s already so much wrong with the criminal legal system. Black people are already disproportionately impacted by both COVID on its own and the criminal legal system. So when those two things intersect, what we are watching are kind of devastating numbers come out and really not a clear pathway to make sure folks have access to the resources that they need to be safe. I am an abolitionist. I strive to be one and I think that this moment really highlights how awful folks are treated inside.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: Despite making up about 5% of the global population. America is home to nearly 25% of the people who are incarcerated around the world and of course we know Black and Brown people are disproportionately incarcerated, as well as other marginalized groups. We know sexual abuse is rampant. Labor is exploited, as you said. These are unsanitary and inhumane conditions and these are people inside, people that we have decided to throw away. So, I mean, when it comes to really addressing the many, many problems of the prison industrial complex as our hero, Angela Davis calls it, what are your biggest priorities now?

Kayla Reed: Yeah. So one of the things, when you were saying that, that I thought about and wanted to mention, we have over 25 states that are Republican trifectas, where there’s a Republican governor in both houses of their state legislature, are Republican-controlled. In those places about 60% of Black people, that’s where 60% of Black people live in this country. In those same states where there have been uprisings, where there are large populations of Black people, we’re seeing the expansion of the criminal code to criminalize protests, which has a direct impact on our safety and our ability to resist against state-sanctioned violence. But then also what it does if people are convicted under these laws, is this is a voter suppression tactic. So part of this way that we have to think about the prison industrial complex is to really expand it into the things that are being built to expand the prison industrial complex, combat those, and then really go into the work of trying to decrease the number of cages, decrease the amount of resources that are available to arrest and incarcerate our folks.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: So these are things that are often happening at the local and state level. The kinds of laws you’re talking about, but also there are actions that are always perpetuated at the federal level and we know that some of Joe Biden’s campaign commitments like eliminating mandatory minimums, eliminating cash bail, and the death penalty at the federal level that will require additional legislation. Just how challenging do you think it’s going to be to get those measures passed? Why are they so important?

Kayla Reed: I mean, they’re important because if we don’t repeal things like the 94 Crime Bill, if we don’t stop things like the death penalty, then we know more Black people will die. That’s what’s at stake. Black lives are on the line and there’s a popular chant that says, “What do we do when Black lives are under attack? We stand up and we fight back.” So folks need to call their elected officials. They need to get plugged into this. Part of the reason in 2020, a lot of folks were saying, this election it doesn’t feel resonant to me. I kept saying, this is about conditions, not candidates. We have the conditions to push through legislation that can mitigate harm against our communities and that’s the work that we need to focus on at this time.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: I actually want to talk a little bit more about you and how you got into this work. I tell people all the time, you are both my friend and my hero.

Kayla Reed: Oh my goodness.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: You know that though, but we’ve talked about this, your journey into this work, I think is a testament to how anyone with a clear heart and the desire to learn and to fight and be committed, can get into activism. When we first met, you were a pharmacy technician. Organizing was not your career then like it is now, was there a moment when you knew you wanted to commit yourself to this work?

Kayla Reed: Yeah. I was a pharmacy technician and I had a second job at the furniture store. I was at that furniture store the day that Mike Brown was killed in 2014. Mike Brown [inaudible 00:17:32] child life, the people who responded to Mike Brown’s killing changed my life. But the day that I think about that, I knew I wasn’t going to turn back was actually October 8th when Vonderrit Myers was killed in South City of St. Louis. The single father and just very quickly what happened was I actually know the mother. She is too a pharmacy technician who trained me when I started working at my last job at the time. It was just one of those moments where you realize how close and personal this is. I remember when she came in after her grandson was born. I remember when she came in and told us stories about Vonderrit’s achievements and how much love she had for her only child, how much love she had for her grandson, and to watch the pain in her. It just made me commit that I don’t ever want another mother to go through this and that this is personal. It has to feel personal and so with that, I made a personal commitment that I would live my life in service of Black people. I would commit to fighting for justice and liberation every single day.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: It’s so, so beautiful to see because when things take root like this, it can take years for you to actually see the victory. But there’s victory all along the path because people are recognizing their own power, becoming a part of the work, and being willing to contemplate and imagine freedom that they couldn’t see before. I think in more recent times, this really decades-old idea of prison abolition has gained more traction in even more mainstream spaces. Of course, our abolitionists argue that it’s not just enough to reform our current criminal legal system, that it has to be completely dismantled. I know, as you already said, you support that idea. Can you help someone who may be new to this term, understand what it’s all about?

Kayla Reed: Yeah. So when I think about abolition, I think about imagination and choice. That our folks have never actually gotten to choose the institutions that keep us safe, that they have been built in response to our freedom and our pursuit of freedom. Policing prisons, jails, surveillance has been used and weaponized against our body since each of these institutions came to be in this country. So when we talk about reforming the system, we usually talk about correcting it. Well, it’s operating as it was intended, which is why it’s not an accident that every part of the system that we talk about, there’s always this statement disproportionately impacts Black people. Well, at some point that can’t just continue to be a coincidence or an accident that has to be the motive behind the ways in which the carceral system has exploded in this country over the last half- century.

Kayla Reed: So when we think about abolition, we’re saying, “Cages actually, don’t keep us safe. They create more harm and that punishment and harm do not equal justice and accountability.” So we have to think about the things that our communities need to actually be safe. Sometimes when we think about, using the story of Ferguson for me. Being a protester it was something I never knew was possible. It was terrifying, but I believed deeply in what our folks deserved and that is in my opinion, a microcosm of what it means to be an abolitionist. That is scary to think about a world without policing. It’s scary to think about a world without prisons, but we have to step into that because it’s what our people deserve because what is, is not working. So what we need to build needs to center folks and actually give us the room and the space and the resources to imagine something where we’re not creating that disproportionately impacts Black people outcome. Where folks have everything that they need to be safe and to thrive and in order to do that, we have to uproot these bad systems. I remember in 2014 that folks, every time that there was a police shooting, which felt like every day-

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: Yeah, it did.

Kayla Reed: …people would say, Oh, this is a bad apple. This is a bad apple. This is a bad apple. Well, if a tree is bearing so many bad apples, you have to start to question the tree. You have to start to question the roots. You have to dig those out and plant new seeds that hopefully bear fruit that actually nourish our community. That's what I think about when I think about abolition.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: The tree is always my favorite analogy and of course, abolition is not a new concept. There is a
precedent for abolition in this country because this word, of course, hearkens back to the movement to abolish enslavement.

Kayla Reed: Yeah. So we have to think about when people are connecting policing and prisons to enslavement, we have to think about abolition is just a continuation of when enslavement was abolished because we saw systems recalibrate to still capture Black bodies, exploit our labor. We have to challenge the vehicles that actually produce those outcomes, policing and jails produce mass incarceration. If we want the outcomes to be different then our input has to be different, which is why abolition makes such a strong case. If folks are really interested and this is my driving point. If you’re really interested in the concept of Black Lives Matter, if you’re really interested in the conversation about safety and justice, then you have to really start to engage in readings. There are so many prolific writers, Derecka Purnell who’s from St. Louis, Angela Davis. There are so many options and entry points into this conversation where if you believe that folks should have the right to thrive, that you should consider abolition as a framework and as a guiding principle. It’s the North Star. It is both something we’re organizing for now and something we’re fighting for in the future.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: Angela Davis’s Are Prisons Obsolete? I think is such a clear entry point to this conversation and like you said, if we’re willing to imagine it, there’s so many things that we experience now in multiple systems that don’t have to be the way that they are if we really get focused on prison abolition. But like you said, it is scary for a lot of people. I think it is hard for people to imagine a future free of prisons and jails and incarceration. So we’ve talked about what it won’t look like, but what does a world without prisons actually look like on the positive end?

Kayla Reed: Yeah. I will say to those who are like, yo, it’s scary which I understand it’s scary. But everyday policing, prisons, and jails are scary to Black people. Every day families fear their children leaving the house. So for some, there’s a fear of the possibility, but some of us have a reality where we are fearful. So we have to think about that at all times. What point of privilege are we coming from when we’re engaging in these conversations? Then when I think about abolition, again, I think about creativity. I think about choice. I think about options. I think about communities that don’t have different life expectancies by zip code. I think about access to education, free education. I think about access to healthcare, free healthcare. I think about resources.

Kayla Reed: When you need, when something is happening and someone is unsafe, that things come to solve the problem not perpetuate more harm on top of it. So, we often talk about defunding the police, divesting from the crossroad state, and investing into communities. Everyone knows what a community that’s invested in feels like children are at parks, families are fed, there’s no hunger, that there’s room to breathe, to exhale, to relax, and to create. That’s what I think about. It’s a very beautiful picture in my mind. It’s a freedom dream for me where we’re able to really think about more opportunities, more for our folks.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: Yeah. More for folks. I think where some people get stuck that I’m hoping you can speak to is what about people who are incarcerated because of violent actions. So, the conversation always seems to get stuck for people as the question of what, about people who committed rape or sexual assault? How do you respond?

Kayla Reed: I challenged folks to ask the question if violence is the outcome, what was the input? Often what we are seeing is that folks who are engaged in these levels of harm are actually victims themselves and have been harmed themselves and come out of communities that don’t have resources in the same ways that other communities do. I think that we have to have a holistic approach to that, what does restoration look like in these moments? What does accountability look like? That's not about throwing an entire life away. I think about this in what people call the most dangerous city in America. I think about that a lot because as we seek to close jails in pretrial detention, that is what we’re met with. Hey, there’s so much gun violence in St. Louis. Why are you focused on that?

Kayla Reed: I know that the same communities that are experiencing gun violence are often experiencing over-policing, are often experiencing over-incarceration and there’s a finite amount of resources. So when we talk about investing into the community, when folks are not having to choose between violence or starving, or violence and not being able to take care of their families, when we give more options, when we give more choice, we will see less violence. I truly believe that and so for me, what it has looked like as someone who has lost a loved one to violence. I knew in that moment after my cousin was killed a couple of years ago that I didn’t want the person that killed him to go to prison, because what would that solve? Except that, that person’s children wouldn’t have a father, that their life would be exploited, that their labor would be exploited, and that their family was suffering. We have to question why the only option after something traumatic and painful is more suffering, more pain. I just don’t believe that that has to be the only option.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: I mean, I think about this often as somebody who believes in abolition and who is also a sexual assault survivor. Mariame Kaba who was also a really prolific and powerful in her own right abolitionist has pointed out that the current approach hasn’t actually ended the problem. In fact, most people accused of rape, never see the inside of a courtroom, and police officers themselves commit sexual assault alarmingly often. Do you think about prison abolition as a feminist issue as a womanist issue as well?

Kayla Reed: Yeah. Yeah, I think so. I identify as a Black feminist and we organized through a Black queer feminist lens. We have to understand how the system weaponizes things like gender, race, ability, class. That poor people are targeted and over police that our solution to these differences is a punitive and a carceral response. That has always been inadequate, that has always been insufficient and it’s cost us more lives than it’s saved.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: And it’s costing us $80 billion a year. Like billion with a B.

Kayla Reed: Pools of money. So much money, like so much. Where the money resides? Over there with the police and the prison and we need to bring that back.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: That could fund so many of the things that we’re talking about.

Kayla Reed: Yeah. When we talk about defunding the police, and when we talk about divesting, we’re not setting that money on fire, we’re putting it back into communities. We know that communities that have resources, where folks make a living wage, can take care of their families, have access to the services they need, that those communities are safer. If the goal is safety, if that is the goal, what we have been doing is not working. So we should take those resources and invest them into people, directly into people, not caging people, but freeing people from the shackles of poverty, from the shackles of inequality. That is what we should be doing with our resources.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: If that is not what people are willing to do with the resources, then we have to call into question whether or not safety was actually the goal in the first place.

Kayla Reed: Exactly. Yeah, and it wasn’t. That’s the answer to the question, but you should call it into question on your own journey to find it.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: Right. Right.

Kayla Reed: Skip ahead, like read the chapters but at the end, in conclusion, it was never about safety.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: So how would you define what it's been about the whole time?

Kayla Reed: It’s been about preserving white power. It’s been about control. It’s been about labor. It’s been about money. It’s been a way to legalize enslavement. It’s been a way to dominate populations of people to decimate our political voice. It has been a vehicle of power, which is why in the immediate aftermath of the 2020 uprisings when 26 million people took to the streets. We saw these cities where there were uprising actually create the clear pathway to the White House that now we are seeing more laws to lock more people up to suppress the vote.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: Last week I think, you know, I spoke to Opal Tometi. We really talked about how this broad and vast movement full of millions of people across the globe for Black lives it has been over time seen as radical and scary. I mean, you remember our early days in 2014, all the names that we were being called. Now they’re like, “Oh, well let’s nominate the movement for a Nobel Peace Prize.” This is different.

Kayla Reed: Is the podcast long enough to talk about it? But yes. Yes. What an evolution in public thought, but there’s a history of that too. During the Civil Rights movement, it was not popular and now every Black History Month, that's what we learn about.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: So in that evolution, how do you see these concepts that are currently radical, thought of as radical, like defunding the police, like abolishing jails and prisons, do you think one day, not only will they be mainstream, but that they’ll actually be reality?

Kayla Reed: I believe in the power of organizing. So I think about things that we’re watching that have happened before it’s like $15 minimum wage. I think it’s very possible and that has only come to pass because people have committed to organizing. When we connect ideas to power that’s when we change. That’s when transformation is possible, we can’t worry about the naysayers. We can’t
worry about, people say, “Oh, defund the police isn’t polling well.” Neither was the idea of having a Black woman as vice-president. Neither was Obama for that matter. But when we organize, when we make our demands, when we make our vision irresistible, they will come to pass. My partner and I were reading, Octavia Bruce this weekend about organizers believe in science fiction that we are bringing to pass what has not been imagined. We grew up in church so we know that that’s also faith that it’s the substance of things hoped for not yet seen.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: The evidence of things not seen.

Kayla Reed: But we know that with faith on the other side of faith is something so beautiful. If you are Christian it’s salvation. If you are a movement it’s liberation. So I keep faith, even in the face of opposition, even when it seems like our ideas are unpopular because I believe in the labor and the sacrifice and the vision and the passion of the people who are fighting for justice every day. So, it may not be popular today, but it will be a reality tomorrow.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: Kayla, I love you so much and I thank you so much for how you love all of us.

Kayla Reed: I love you so so much. Thank you so much.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: Kayla Reed is the executive director of Action St. Louis and the co-executive director of the Electoral Justice Project from the Movement for Black Lives. It may not be popular today, but it will be reality tomorrow. Every time I talk to Kayla, my spirit is stirred up in the best way. Her fire it just reminds me not to get bogged down in how rough it is, but to look to the light of what we can create together. She’s so right when we connect our ideas to power, transformation is possible. We can get there when we dig deep to the roots of that metaphorical tree when we uproot what’s rotten and we grow, what makes us well. The fruit of that tree can heal us if we are brave enough to imagine if abolition is our North Star. I believe it must be. Imagine all that we can free ourselves from along the way, not just prisons and jails, but all the harmful systems and deadly institutions that continue to capture us. Faith it is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen. Faith is precisely what I have and our collective ability to get free.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham: That’s it for today, but never for tomorrow. Keep imagining that future y’all.

is a production of The Meteor and Pineapple Street Studios. Our lead producer is Rachel Matlow. Our associate producer is Taylor Hosking. Thanks also to Treasure Brooks, Grace Chen, and Hannis Brown, and Yvette Manners for that fantastic Civil War aftermath research. Our executive producers at the media are Cindy Levy and myself and our executive producers at pineapple are Jenna Weiss Berman and Max Linsky. You can follow me @mspackyetti on all social media and our team @themeteor.

Subscribe to UNDISTRACTED and rate us on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you check out your favorite podcasts. Thanks for listening. Thanks for being. Thanks for doing. I’m Brittany Packnett Cunningham let’s go get free.