'Orange Is the New Black' Launches Real-Life Poussey Washington Fund
Coinciding with the final season of "Orange Is the New Black," show creators launched a real-life Poussey Washington Fund inspired by its fictional version on the show.
The fund aims to extend the show's efforts at encouraging reforms in the American justice system. The Poussey Washington Fund is the newest fund-raising organization on the GoFundMe block.
According to recent reports, producers of Netflix original “Orange is the New Black” which popularized the character inspired by the fund launched the initiative to help in efforts to reform the American justice system.
IT BEGAN WITH THE FICTIONAL FUND
The fund was launched coinciding with the show’s final season which also introduces a fictional Poussey Washington Fund created by Danielle Brooks’ character, Taystee.
The fund is in honor of her murdered best friend played by Samira Wiley and is devoted to providing microloans to formerly incarcerated women.
The radical show didn’t only give viewers an insight into the realities of prison life but it also shed light on important social issues such as racial inequality, mental health, the plight of the LGBTQ community, prison reform, and immigration
IT'S NOW A REAL LIFE FUND
As an extension of the show after its end, the real Poussey Washington Fund was created though with a different goal.
According to its GoFundMe-run page, it aims to support eight non-profit organizations which focus their efforts on “social issues surrounding criminal justice and policy reform, immigrants’ rights and helping those affected by mass incarceration.”
It adds, “The Orange Is The New Black creative team created the fund to support organizations in their effort to rethink, revise and reform justice in America.”
HOW THE SHOW TRANSCENDED THE BOUNDARIES OF TV
“Orange is the New Black” took viewers through seven seasons documenting Taylor Schilling’s character, Piper Chapman’s 18-month stay in prison.
She was serving time for assisting her ex-girlfriend, Alex (played by Laura Prepon) in smuggling drugs.
The radical show didn’t only give viewers an insight into the realities of prison life but it also shed light on important social issues such as racial inequality, mental health, the plight of the LGBTQ community, prison reform, and immigration. Thus, creating a fund to help in addressing these issues was a natural progression for the show.
OINTB consultant and writer, Piper Kerman, whose life inspired the series bid goodbye to the show via a cameo during the finale and a parting message on Twitter. She wrote,
"So, as we say goodbye to @OITNB, let us say goodbye to a criminal justice system that has unfairly and unnecessarily destroyed too many lives."
With the launch of the Poussey Washington Fund, it is our hope that show's efforts in encouraging change won't go to waste. We salute the people behind the initiative.
It speaks volumes of what television can do beyond the boundaries of the small screen. “Orange is the New Black” proves there’s more to storytelling and a lot more we can do to make the world a better place.