Dear friends and fellow travelers,
In 2021 Critical Resistance (CR) and our coalition partners forged ahead with campaigns to close prisons in California, to chip away at systems of immigrant criminalization and imprisonment in New York and New Jersey, to shift resources out of the Oakland Police Department, and to build organizing connections with imprisoned people in Oregon. It was an ambitious year!
From these campaigns to a virtual all-membership National Retreat, the organization and our membership were busy at work across the board. Though Covid-19 had us mostly physically separated, we drew on our organizing history, our networks, our pre-Covid practices and our since- Covid learnings to stay active and purposeful. In addition to the campaigns mentioned above, we released three bilingual issues of The Abolitionist newspaper to over 5,000 people inside prisons, jails, detention centers, and re-entry, and developed a new training for our phone line volunteers and Prisoner Solidarity organizing. We also internally passed our first full national Strategic Plan for External Organizing.
As 2022 takes off, we want to share a report-out of political education resources, materials and more from 2021. We know that time moves fast these days, yet we made these materials for a reason, and we are still referring to them and sharing them. We offer this Annual Report as a compelling recap and strategic trove. We hope you will use these tools, refer to the lessons, and share them with your networks.
As of March 2022 our Development Director, Jess Heaney, has transitioned off staff and back into a general supporter role for CR. We are so thankful for her years of service in growing our fundraising base, our budgets, and a strong rainy day fund to help CR weather the storms. You can read her exit reflection and our transition plans here.
This year we aim to continue the strategic campaigns and project work we have begun. Together we hope to stay focused and sharp in our efforts to shift power away from the prison industrial complex. Your involvement is essential. Please continue to support CR so we can keep advancing abolition as a practical and irresistible strategy. Thank you so much for your gifts, actions and commitment.
Jess Heaney, Mohamed Shehk and Woods Ervin, CR National Co-Directors;
Shirley Leslie, Development Coordinator;
Nick DeRenzi, Development Assistant;
and CR National Fundraisers