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Partners & Allies

Chi Chi’s Kitchen views criminal justice reform as inseparable from our work. We serve and are a part of countless organizations and programs working to support community reentry, pass legislation, and ensure a future where human rights are dignified. Below is a representation of our allies and catering partners.

Women & Justice Project (WJP) works in deep partnership to advance the leadership and build the power of cis and trans women who are currently and formerly incarcerated to transform the criminal legal system and create a just and loving world. WJP provides strategic consulting and transformative support for our partners who are leading efforts to transform the criminal legal system. WJP engages in advocacy and public education to support concrete criminal legal reforms that are in service of larger transformation. WJP develops educational materials that expose the devastating impact of mass incarceration on cis and trans women.
Founded in 1961 to advocate for alternatives to money bail in New York City, Vera is now a national organization that partners with impacted communities and government leaders for change. With offices in four major cities, and a team of hundreds of advocates, researchers, and policy experts, they work to transform the criminal legal and immigration system so that money doesn’t determine freedom; fewer people are incarcerated; and everyone behind bars is treated with dignity. Their mission is to end the overcriminalization and mass incarceration of people of color, immigrants, and people experiencing poverty.
New Hour was founded to provide meaningful support to current and formerly incarcerated women, their children and families. They build community to promote successful re-entry and lasting reintegration, and to reform unjust criminal justice system policies. New Hour provides successful support for mothers and children, recognizing the critical role mothers play—often as the primary caretakers for their children. New Hour provides  parenting skills, work skills, and wellness programs during and after incarceration, aiming to give women the tools needed to become powerful change agents for themselves, their community and their children.
The #HALTsolitary Campaign brings together advocates, formerly incarcerated persons, family members of currently incarcerated people, concerned community members, lawyers, and individuals in the human rights, health, and faith communities throughout the state to #HALTsolitary confinement in New York's prisons and jails.
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The Center for Justice is committed to ending mass incarceration and criminalization, and advancing alternative approaches to justice and safety through education, research, and policy change. Its mission is to help transform the approaches to justice from being driven by punishment and retribution to being centered on prevention and healing. The Center is interdisciplinary and works in partnership with schools, departments, centers and institutes across Columbia, other universities, government agencies, community organizations, advocates and those directly affected by the criminal justice system.
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The Beyond the Bars Conference is an annual student-driven interdisciplinary conference on mass incarceration held at Columbia University.  Each year the conference brings together students, faculty, activists, advocates, practitioners, those who have experienced and/or been impacted by incarceration, community members and more to connect, galvanize, and deepen the work of building justice and equity and ending mass incarceration.
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Founded in 1998, jill sigman/thinkdance is a dance company that leads people to think and feel about pressing social issues through live performance, workshops, art installations, and community gatherings. We believe that art helps us to re-find connections to each other and the earth and is thus a tool of healing and social change. In projects local to our NYC home and internationally in 13 countries, we have addressed climate change, waste management, incarceration, immigration, and other social justice issues, seeking to reveal the interconnectedness of these collective challenges and their solutions. 


We have founded the Body Politic artist-activist incubator, the Social Justice Movement Lab, and the Renewable platform, an artistic reflection on Renewable Rikers.  

Founded in 1967, The Fortune Society’s vision is to foster a world where those who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated will thrive as positive, contributing members of society. We do this through a holistic, one-stop model of service provision. The Fortune Society’s continuum of care is informed and implemented by professionals with cultural backgrounds and life experiences similar to those of their participants. They serve thousands of individuals annually via our expanding New York locations: their service centers in Long Island City, Queens and Morrisania, the Bronx, as well as several housing residences throughout the city. Their program models are recognized both nationally and internationally for their quality and innovation.

In Memoriam
Kathy Boudin

Chi Chi’s Kitchen honors the deep impact Kathy Boudin had on Keila's life through mentorship, sisterhood, and social justice partnership, specifically in criminal justice reform.  

Dr. Kathy Boudin was the Co-Director and Co-Founder of the Center for Justice at Columbia University. Her work focused on the causes and consequences of mass incarceration, and the development of strategies to both transform the current criminal justice system and to deal with the day-to-day damage that the system has caused. In prison, she focused on strengthening mother-child relationships across the separation of incarceration, bringing back college to Bedford Hills Correctional Facility after the termination of the Pell grants, and building a community response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.


Following her release from prison in 2003, Dr. Boudin founded the Coming Home Program at the Spencer Cox Center for Health, Mt. Sinai/St.Luke’s, which provides health care for people returning from incarceration. She also developed a restorative practice program inside prisons for long-termers, many of whom were sentenced as juveniles, and developed policy initiatives to release aging people from prison and to reform the parole system. Her work was based on participation and leadership from those who are most deeply affected by mass incarceration.

Dr. Boudin’s articles have been published in The Harvard Education Review, Journal of Corrections Education, Women and Therapy, Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, and Liman Report of Yale Law School. She was editor and co-author of the book, Breaking the Walls of Silence: AIDS and Women in a New York State Maximum Security Prison. Her research interests included the impact of higher education on incarcerated women, recidivism rates and life experience of people serving long sentences and parole policy, the experience of adolescents with incarcerated mothers, and the role of peer support. She earned her undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College, her master’s degree from Norwich University, and her doctorate from Columbia University Teachers College in 2007.


To learn more about the far reaching impacts of Kathy’s life and work, please visit:

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