Hear great music, support queer folks in ICE detention

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John Francis: Socially Conscious Songwriter of the Year

John Francis was named the ‘Socially Conscious Songwriter of the Year’  and he’s playing a benefit concert Sunday to raise awareness and support for  LGBTQ immigrants held in immigration detention centers in Arizona.

Singer songwriters John Francis and local and community favorite Namoli Brennet will headline a benefit concert Sunday, Jan 29, at 4 pm at St. Andrew’s Episcopal church in the neighborhood (545 S. 5th Ave.)Suggested donation is $10 to $25.Proceeds will go to support LGBT detainees in Florence and Eloy, Arizona, through visits, letters, and support for their bond funds.

The concert is sponsored by the Restoration Project at Casa Mariposa (that’s us), the Rainbow Defense Fund, and St. A’s 

The Fabulous and Witty Namoli Brennet

Due to the high rate of systemic abuse and discrimination towards LGBTQ detainees, support and solidarity are critical to ending the plight LGBTQ detainees face in immigration detention. Last month, The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of a 28-year-old transgender woman who was intimidated, harassed, and sexually assaulted by a Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) guard while she was in immigration custody at the CCA-owned and operated Eloy Detention Center. CCA is the largest operator of immigration detention centers in the country and detains almost half of the 33,000 people in federal custody on any given day.

The Restoration Project is a ministry of solidarity and support with men and women in immigration detention. We work in partnership with groups like the ACLU, the University of Arizona Law School, and the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project to identify LGBTQ detainees and others who will most benefit from outside community support through letters and visits while they await their immigration hearings. The Rainbow Defense Fund seeks to raise funds for the bond release of refugee and migrant prisoners at immigration detention centers in Florence and Eloy, Arizona.

Last year Francis, of Nashville, received two national songwriting awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. One for “Lyricist of the Year,” and the other for the “Socially Conscious Songwriter of the Year.” Both awards are for songs on his newly released “The Better Angels.”

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