Gillian Reinhard ’20
Throughout their inaugural year on campus, the Trinity College chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) have fundraised for the Connecticut Bail Fund. This effort raised a total of $1,000 for the organization. Students obtained these impressive results from donations, baked good sales proceeds, and profits from on-campus thrift store The Coop, according to a press release from the Trinity Young Democratic Socialists.
As TrinYDSA explained to the Tripod, CT Bail Fund co-director Brett Davidson spoke in November at a public talk organized by TrinYDSA on how the existence of cash bail criminalizes poverty and disproportionately affects the most vulnerable Connecticut residents. YDSA co-president, and organizer of the talk, Brooke Williams ’19 said, “even people who self-identified as being very politically involved and progressive were surprised by what we learned that day.”
According to the YDSA press release, the club members regularly volunteered to bake and sell dozens of batches of baked goods in places such as Mather. Members of the group even took the time to knock on the doors of professor’s offices in order to maximize fundraising. At the same time, the YDSA was able to educate members of the Trinity community on these important issues of inequality facing working-class communities of color in Hartford.
“When I was tabling, I learned that most people are really willing to help out and donate once they put faces to issues like mandatory sentencing and excessive bail,” said YDSA member Tiara Desire-Brisard ’19.
The YDSA reported a successful debut of political action on Trinity’s campus, and pointed towards experienced Connecticut community organizers as helpful in implementing exhaustive fundraising projects. YDSA co-president Tessa Reading ’19 said, “I learned a lot about how capitalism intersects with the criminal justice system, and I also perfected a recipe for chocolate chip muffins.”