01 Feb Meet the Team: Thomas Kearney, PREA Outreach Director
Thomas Kearney (he/him/his)
Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Outreach Director
Thomas Kearney is an activist, advocate, abolitionist, and community organizer from Catskill, NY. He’s a formerly incarcerated individual who has since become a trauma-informed Substance Abuse Recovery Coach, co-founded an organization addressing food insecurity and mass incarceration in the Capital Region, and helped create a program that promises to get individuals into the workforce after they are released from custody.
Thomas began his work in advocacy in 2011 with Family of Woodstock, which hosts the longest running crisis hotline in the country. Since then, he has supported and contributed to many campaigns, including Clean Slate NY, Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), Housing Justice, Parole Justice NY, Second Chance Initiative, and Communities Not Cages.
Thomas has worked on many grassroots, statewide campaigns in coalition that have changed how marginalized populations are treated in New York State, and he says he is looking forward to doing the work of ensuring that Survivors inside DOCCS have equitable access to the same crisis services as those on the outside: “I’m really looking forward to making connections with our members and partners who deliver direct services to folx inside. There are always lessons to be learned from those who interact daily with those we serve.”
Thomas lists his main objective in this new role as: “To make our work and this coalition stronger. So many times we find ourselves working in silos on issues when it’s not necessary. I’ve done coalition work before, and it’s tricky. Identifying the needs of our partners is priority number one. If any of us feel like we’re not getting what we should from our collective relationship, the work suffers, and that includes the work of Survivor healing.”