To contribute to the Abolitionist Educators campaign in any of the ways detailed below, please email jess-at-criticalresistance.org
Hello, dear Abolitionist Educators,
Thank you all so much for your ongoing support of Critical Resistance (CR)! We encourage you to build with CR, cultivate abolitionist education in your classrooms, and bring the practical lessons and strategic dreams of prison industrial complex abolition to your school and your community.
- Invite CR members and staff to speak in your class or to host a workshop on campus.
CR members and staff are skilled at presentations and workshops that combine practical applications of abolition with theoretical understanding about the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC). Each year CR members give over 175 public presentations to a wide range of audiences. CR could travel to your class in person or even Skype in (we give Skype presentations to classes in Canada, for example)!
Presentations and workshops include but are not limited to:
“Alternatives to Policing” or “The Abolition of Policing;” “Intro to the Prison Industrial Complex” and “Intro to Abolition;” “Healthcare and the Prison Industrial Complex: Abolitionist Strategies for Resistance,” “Stop the injunctions!: What is a gang injunction and how Oakland fought back;” and more.
- Subscribe to The Abolitionist newspaper for your class, Department or institution. Host a casual launch event.
Every issue of The Abolitionist newspaper a perfect opportunity to host an event that amplifies visionary, critical politics. Every order sponsors 3x as many imprisoned readers, and we invite readers on the outside to support this vital political education eith our comrades inside. You can order papers for your classroom or sign up for an organizational subscription to receive 20+ copies (or organize your library or Department to sign up), which we can send to you via print or PDF.
Want to host a launch event and get The Abolitionist out in your community? Abolitionist launches can look like a panel on the theme of the issue or a casual party in a coffee shop, student group space or Department lounge. You would donate for a stack of newspaper at-cost, and then encourage guests to donate $3-10 for a copy of the paper/to support the cause. We can provide you with promotional materials (like a flyer template) and a checklist for event planning. This is a great and simple way for students and faculty alike to support abolition and build community on campus.
- Donate resources: cash, contacts, in-kind all accepted.
- Money donations can be made online or by sending a check to “Critical Resistance, attn.: Jess, 1904 Franklin St #504, Oakland, CA 94612.”
- Have you received any speaking or presentation honoraria? Consider dedicating a portion to Critical Resistance. Donations can be made as described above.
- Share your contacts and introduce people to us.
- Offer your venue, your meeting space, your school for events and organizing.
- Center Critical Resistance materials, abolitionist thought and practice in your research, curricula, programming, planning and evaluations.
- Utilize short videos from the Breaking Down the Prison Industrial Complex Video Project in your classes, peer-to-peer education, presentations and other efforts. This series features dozens of organizers sharing great talking points and analysis on the prison industrial complex, how criminalization works and the theory and practice of abolition. These are great for class, homework, discussion, sending to friends, and posting online. Most videos are 3-5 minutes long, with some as short as 1 minute.
- Incorporate Critical Resistance materials, articles featuring our organizing, campaigns and coalitions into your courses. You can browse our RESOURCES section for hundreds of CR resources. Not finding what you need? Ask us for current articles relevant to topics you teach.
- Organize and/or join abolitionist study groups and political education programs on- and off-campus.
- Share institutional resources with current abolitionist organizing efforts, organizations, and activists.
- Document and critique current abolitionist organizing, organizations, and activists.
- Produce abolitionist theory.
The Abolitionist Educators support campaign was launched in 2012 to mobilize individual, institutional, financial, analytical, and labor resources in support of Critical Resistance (CR). Critical Resistance is a grassroots organization that for over 20 years has played a unique and essential role in the political struggles of our times: working to abolish the prison industrial complex (PIC). CR is at the forefront of forging strong campaign strategies advanced through local chapters and honing our understanding of the PIC.
CR has a clear organizational commitment to movements that center a culture of political and intellectual engagement. As educators and scholars– based in colleges, universities, and the K-12 system – our work is key to advancing the movement to abolish the PIC. As educators and researchers, we have a special stake in CR’s future. From furloughs to shrinking numbers of tenure-track hires, skyrocketing tuition rates and increased class sizes, it is essential that we head off any further investment in imprisonment and policing.
As budget cuts and privatization threaten every kind of education, we must become even more intentional about the connections between accessible high quality education and PIC abolition.
We must also protect and advance the analysis CR generates through its campaign and coalition-based work. If we want to understand PIC abolition, let alone achieve it, we must invest in CR.
Our efforts have already paid off. We’ve reached scores of educators and students and raised over $10,000 to build abolitionist understandings and power. And over this time, CR has been working on:
- Halting racist policing policies and programs such as gang injunctions, SWAT trainings and police militarization and continue organizing against the violence of policing;
- Preventing jail and prison construction and expansion projects in New York, California and Louisiana;
- Supporting prisoner hunger strikes and all prisoner organizing;
- Organizing the dialogues, trainings, mini-conferences, panels, and actions big and small that enable all of us to sharpen our thinking about how to end the reliance on imprisonment, policing, and surveillance that dominates our world today.
Are you doing organizing or scholarship to envision or build a world without prisons and police that builds self-determination and well-being? Do you have another way that you want to engage with CR and make abolitionist lessons part of your classroom? We’d like to work with you. Don’t hesitate to reach out. Our work is changing the common sense on the role of the police, prisons, and surveillance, and we know that this is the time to continue investing in concrete examples of visions of freedom and safety.
Join us and let’s keep the momentum going!
Yours, in struggle,