Abolitionist Educators Support Campaign

Join the Abolitionist Educators Support Campaign!

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 12 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.

 

What you can do as an educator

1) Join the campaign and help build the network. It is easier to collectivize power when we know who we’re joining forces with. This is all the more true in a profession that prizes individualism and atomized work. In 2012, campaign supporters held gatherings and distributed information at four national conferences and numerous smaller gatherings. In the 2013-2014 school year, we plan to build on these efforts with discussions about how we can work together in our academic disciplines, across these disciplines as a network, and across K-12 and universities.

2) Bring in a CR speaker and use CR resources in your classes or public gatherings. Sharing institutional resources is an important wealth redistribution tactic. Alongside our individual giving, we are looking for pledges to direct institutional money to CR. This could mean organizing a CR member to come to campus and share a talk or workshop or using CR’s books in your courses. It could also mean donating part or all of an honorarium from a talk you’ve already scheduled.  In 2013 CR members spoke in over 20 university classrooms and contributed a chapter to Life During Wartime, a new collection about resisting counterinsurgency and the anti-gang-injunction campaign.  We also hosted two Abolitionist Educator book events that brought together political organizers and intellectuals.  CR is excited to share political analysis in ways that deepen intellectual engagement and build common sense for our movement to abolish the PIC.

3) Donate today: CR relies increasingly on individual giving to support our work. We know that our ability to give varies dramatically from senior faculty to grad students to K-12 educators and in many other ways. If you have not already, please consider becoming a monthly sustainer for $35/month, or give what you are able. Every gain against the PIC creates better conditions to win back public investment in education. Donations can be made through the Critical Resistance website. Indicate that you would like your contribution directed to the Abolitionist Educators Campaign: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/criticalresistance

4) Pass it on: Forward this letter to colleagues and comrades (Abolitionist Educators Pamphlet). Can you pledge to raise $500 from educators and academics you work with? Can you post information about the campaign on your blog? Can you share on Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr?

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:

  • Solidifying the reversal of gang injunction policies and continue organizing against the violence of policing;
  • Preventing jail and prison construction and expansion projects in 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.

Join us and let’s keep the momentum going!

For more information, contact Jenna Loyd at jennamloyd-at-gmail.com.