Abolitionist Educators Support Campaign

SPRING 2015:

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!  As we enter into the closing stretches of the school year and begin planning for next school year, we wanted to reach out to you about ways that you can build with CR and bring the practical lessons and strategic dreams of PIC abolition to your school and your community.

1. Would you be willing to throw a launch event for an issue of The Abolitionist this year?

The next issue— “Education and the PIC”— is due out this month, and is a perfect opportunity to host an event that amplifies visionary, critical politics! Abolitionist launches can be casual parties or a more formal panel on the theme of the issue, can raise great resources for CR, and are easy for 1 or 2 people to host together. We can provide you with promotional materials and a checklist for organizing.  Want to host a launch event and get The Abolitionist out in your community? (Erica Meiners will be hosting one in Chicago for the upcoming issue!)

2. Invite CR members and staff to speak in your class or to host a workshop.

CR members and staff are skilled at presentations and workshops that combine practical applications of abolition with theoretical understanding about the PIC. In 2014 CR members gave over 120 public presentations to a wide range of audiences. CR could travel to your class in person or even Skype in (we give a Skype presentation each year to a class at University of Ottawa, for example)!

Presentations and workshops include but are not limited to: “Abolish Solitary Confinement: Intro to solitary confinement and the movement to ends its use;”
 “Alternatives to Policing” or “The Abolition of Policing;” “Intro to the Prison Industrial Complex” and “Intro to Abolition;” “Stop the injunctions!: What is a gang injunction and how Oakland fought back;” and more.

3. Every few weeks, CR sends out messages that amplify abolitionist politics, analyze a current moment or a historical anniversary, and connects it to our work. Would you like to write one of these?

Are you doing organizing or scholarship to envision or build a world without prisons and police that builds self-determination and well-being? We’d like to work with you. We are happy to brainstorm topics or pick a calendar date that works for you.
Do you have another way that you want to engage with CR and make abolitionist lessons part of your classroom? Don’t hesistate 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.
Yours, in struggle,
Erica Meiners
Jenna Loyd
Priya Kandaswamy

 

ABOUT:

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.

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.