Abolitionist Educators Workgroup

CR’s Abolitionist Educators Workgroup is a group within CR’s national network of abolitionists who are based in K-12, community-orientated and higher-education institutions. CR’s Abolitionist Educators Workgroup seeks to advance abolition in educational institutions and mobilize support for the organization. 

Through this workgroup, Critical Resistance members and supporters work with other educators’ groups to support K-12, higher-ed and community educators in developing tools, frameworks, as well as organizing and political education resources to be used with different learning communities, from working with young children to teenagers and adults. 
The workgroup was launched in 2012 to bring together educators working toward abolition in  K-12 and higher education institutions. CR has long been committed to a movement culture that centers 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. 

Coming Soon–Summer 2021: 

Lessons in Liberation: An Abolitionist Educators’ Toolkit Published with AK Press!

Since 2018 The Abolitionist Educators Workgroup has partnered with Education for Liberation Network on creating an “UnReader” toolkit for K-12 and community educators, highlighting key conversations, strategies, tools, resources and sample curricula that educators, teachers, youth, counselors, parents and students can use in learning more about and working to advance prison industrial complex abolition. Published by AK Press, the Toolkit will be released the Summer of 2021. Stay tuned for information to pre-order your copy! 

2020 Webinars

The Abolitionist Educators’ Workgroup and Education for Liberation Network have organized a series of webinars featuring some of the work for abolition educators are doing in cities and schools across the US. Watch the webinar below:

Repurposing Our Pedagogies: Abolitionist Teaching in a Global Pandemic




Community, Not Cops!: Abolitionist Organizing Against Police in Schools & Beyond




Young People Are Healers Too: How Can Youth Lead Abolitionist Change to Heal Our Communities?

How to Get Involved: 6 Ways to Support

  1. 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 of the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC). Each year CR members give over 175 public presentations to a wide range of audiences. CR can travel to your class in person or visit remotely.
    • 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

      • Our Communities, Our Solutions: Community Accountability Models and Strategies

      • Know Your Rights & How to Interact with Cops (for Youth)
      • and more!

  2. Center Critical Resistance materials, abolitionist thought and practice in your research, curricula, programming, planning and evaluations.

  3. 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.
  4. Organize abolitionist study groups and political education programs on- and off-campus. Point students to CR educational resources.

  5. Subscribe to The Abolitionist newspaper for your class, Department or institution. Host a casual launch event.

    • Every order sponsors 3x as many imprisoned readers, and we invite readers on the outside to support this vital political education with 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.
    • Every issue of The Abolitionist newspaper is a perfect opportunity to host an event that amplifies visionary, critical politics. 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. SIGN UP FOR AN INDIVIDUAL OR ORGANIZATIONAL SUBSCRIPTION HERE.
  6. 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.”
    • Do you sometimes receive a speaking honoraria? Consider dedicating some or all of it to Critical Resistance.
    • Share your contacts, introduce people to CR and recommend that fellow teachers and students subscribe to CR’s newsletters.
    • Offer your venue, your meeting space, your school for events and organizing.
    • Share institutional resources with current abolitionist organizing efforts, organizations, and activists.
For more information, contact jess@criticalresistance.org