Empowerment Avenue

Incarcerated artist collective

Empowerment Avenue is a collective committed to the radical act of fairly paying incarcerated writers and artists for their work. That means capacity building for publications, galleries, museums and other organizations committed to this work, while prioritizing support networks for incarcerated creatives to get their work outside prison walls, be fairly compensated for it, and contribute creatively to the abolition movement and liberation of incarcerated people.

Empowerment Avenue (EA) was created by writer, filmmaker, and social justice advocate Rahsaan Thomas to meet the pre-entry needs of incarcerated writers and artists to help get their voices into mainstream spaces for competitive wages. Thomas is most known for co-hosting and co-producing the Pulitzer Prize finalist and 2020 Dupont Award-winning podcast, Ear Hustle, as well as appearances in United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell, and the documentary 26.2 to Life. The organization Initiate Justice credits him with instigating the successful restoration of voting rights for people on parole in California. Thomas also practices restorative justice and counsels youth.