Civil rights activist Catrina Wallace, who received national acclaim for her central role in organizing protests around the Jena Six case, was convicted today of three counts of distribution of a controlled substance. She was taken from the courtroom straight to jail after the verdict was read, and given a one million dollar bail. Her sentencing is expected to come next month.
Wallace, who is 30, became an activist after her teenage brother, Robert Bailey, was arrested and charged with attempted murder after a fight in Jena High School. Bailey and five others later became known as the Jena Six, and their cause became a civil rights rallying cry that was called the first struggle of a 21st-century Civil Rights Movement. Their case eventually brought 50,000 people on a march through the town of Jena, and as a result of the public pressure the young men were eventually freed. The six are all now in college or — in the case of the youngest — on their way. Wallace and her mother, Caseptla Bailey, stayed in Jena and founded Organizing in the Trenches, a community organization dedicated to working with youth.