Mission & Work

MissionHeader

Our Mission

is to enhance the lives of those students who have been impacted by the pain of the prison system—those with incarcerated loved ones and those who have been incarcerated themselves. We establish and sustain high-school clubs that offer students community and emotional support as well as opportunities to publish the writings and artwork they create through the club.

Vision

No one shall have to struggle alone or bear the shame, stigma and sorrow too often connected to those who endure the pain of the prison system.

Who We Are

Our first club began in February 2013 at Venice High School. Since that time we have expanded to create clubs at Los Angeles High School of the Arts (LAHSA), Lawndale High School, LA High in Los Angeles County, and also at Conley-Caraballo High School in Hayward, California and Lumberjack High School in Bimidji, Minnesota. We are working with schools across southern California and other parts of the country, including Washington State and Ohio. POPStheclub.com, Inc., the California public benefit corporation, publishes all POPStheclub.com, Inc.’s students work on a website and in annual anthologies and trains all POPS sponsors and volunteers, providing ongoing support to POPS clubs everywhere and establishing alliances with like-minded organizations.

The Board of Directors of POPStheclub.com, Inc. provides support and mission-based leadership and strategic governance. Day-to-day operations are led by Amy Friedman, Executive Director and an ever-expanding volunteer base.

What We Do

We sit together, eat lunch together, write, read and tell each other our stories. We listen to guest speakers, we address each other’s fears, questions and concerns. We write and perform and publish our stories (on this website, in annual anthologies, on The Good Men Project). We connect with others whose sorrows and struggles resonate with our own, and as a result we build resilience and a sense of belonging.

Research has found connections between parental incarceration and childhood health problems, behavior problems, and grade retention. It has also been linked to poor mental and physical health in adulthood. A recent study by Child Trends makes evident the importance of POPS to all those young people whose lives have been impacted by deportation and incarceration.