Our Mission

Sisters Unchained is a prison abolitionist non-profit organization dedicated to supporting young women and girls with incarcerated or formerly incarcerated parents. We are a refuge space where young women can focus on loving and improving themselves and their communities in the way they see fit.


Our abolitionist dream is to break the isolation of daughters with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated parents to realize transformative social change, heal, and reclaim our power in solidarity with all women and girls most impacted by incarceration. Community based alternatives to incarceration will lead us to a more liberated future. We will have transmuted our pain and generational trauma to heal ourselves and communities.

About Us

Sisters Unchained launched our first summer program in 2015 after a pilot project called Coding for Justice, created by formerly incarcerated mothers, had a powerful impact on participating girls. As the program evolved, a group of visionary young women affected by incarceration took leadership of the pilot project, created their own curriculum, and built a six-week summer program for young women and girls in Boston. Our first summer cohort consisted of three daughters with incarcerated parents. At the end of this founding summer, we renamed ourselves Sisters Unchained.  

Sisters Unchained addresses parental incarceration and the violence of family separation by breaking the isolation between young women with incarcerated parents. We build community and power by focusing on radical education, alternative forms of healing, organizing, and art. In doing so, we create a community of radical love and sisterhood to support each other along our paths towards healing and justice.

Our Team

Vanessa Ly

Founder/Executive Director

Janasia Williams

Director of Programs

Ahmari Ly-Johnson

Digital Imaging Technician

Board Members

Ayana Aubourg

Founder/Board Chair

Dara Kwayera Imani Bayer

Co-Director, Cambridge HEART

Dey Hernández

Project Director, AgitArte Cultural Works

"So inspiring!!"


"I miss the vibessss 🥺"


"Awwwww!!! Yessss! Loved sharing space and energy with y’all... thank you for welcoming me!!!"


Sisters Unchained
PO Box 300902
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
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