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Toward Abolitionist Horizons: 25 Years of Critical Resistance

May 5, 2023

A large poster for CR’s event on May 5. The background is a gradient dark red that fades to plum. The top third of the poster contains a collage of illustrations showing Critical Resistance organizing over the past 25 years. Each illustrations shows that CR is a multi-racial, multi-geographic and multi-generational organization, as members are of different races, ages, genders and locations. Illustrations include press conferences, marches, rallies, protests and direct actions against prisons, jails, and policing, as well as the organizing CR has done to build strong communities, offering trainings, hosting block parties, building community gardens and more. On white narrow rectangles, handwriting-styled font details CR’s theory of change with the words “dismantle,” “change,” “build,” and “abolition now” written in black on each slip overlaying the collage. The title of the event follows: “Toward Abolitionist Horizons” in gold handwriting-style font above block letters with shadow of “25 Years of Critical Resistance” in light blue and white—all in large letters across the poster. CR’s logo—an illustration of a critical eye—is next to the edge of “Resistance” on the right of the poster. The overall event description follows in write text: “A night of performances & discussion to inspire strategy & freedom, benefitting Critical Resistance, a national grassroots organization working to abolish the prison industrial complex since 1998.” Gold lines border the next section of text that details of the event program: “Featuring Angela Davis, Andrea Ritchie, Ny Nourn, Dancing Through Prison Walls & more.” In a light blue circle, the date of event (“Friday May 5”) is in large burgundy font. Two silhouette illustrations of Dancing Through Prison Walls dancers frame the date and the description of the event on the left. At the bottom of the poster, more information of the time of the event, tickets and location is all included: “Doors at 6pm. Program at 7pm. Buy Tickets Now bit.ly/CriticalResistance25. Location McKenna Theater, SF State, 1600 Holloway Ave. criticalresistance.org. Face Masks Required.” Overall, the poster emotes a vibrant, dynamic, empowered, collective, liberatory, “in motion,” vibe, alluding to CR’s long legacy of organizing against the prison industrial complex.

Para información en español sobre el evento, haz clic aquí


This year marks 25 years since Critical Resistance’s inaugural conference “Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex” in 1998, where thousands of people came together to challenge what we now call the “prison industrial complex” or PIC.

Looking back at the past 25 years of struggle, what gains have been made against the PIC? How has the PIC shifted? What will the next two decades require given our current landscape of converging crises between late stage capitalism, climate catastrophe, and the strengthening of the far-right?


Join CR May 5, 2023 in-person in the Bay Area at SF State University McKenna Theatre or online via livestream for a benefit to Critical Resistance and 25 years of organizing to build an international movement for PIC abolition.


Through a conversation between Angela Davis, Andrea Ritchie, and Ny Nourn moderated by CR’s Kamau Walton, we will take stock of the gains we have made building a movement to abolish the PIC over the past 25 years, assess our current conditions of struggle, and envision the next two decades of PIC abolitionist organizing.

Colorful silhouette illustrations of performers, organizers and featured speakers of CR's May 5 event huddled together. Each illustration is based on an action-shot photo of each speaker previously organizing. The huddle of speakers shows a multi-generational, multi-racial group of different genders of people. On the left, is a dancer from Dancing Through Prison Walls (a Black woman with long breads, a red shirt, black pants and white shoes, with both of her elbows up and her feet crossing in front of one another). Next is a photo of Stevie Wilson (an imprisoned organizer and columnist of CR's The Abolitionist newspaper. He is Black queer man with a grey beard, wearing a light brown prisoner’s uniform). Then comes Mohamed Shehk (A Palestinian man and CR's Campaign Director, wearing a red beanie, black jacket and a Close CA Prisons shirt, speaking at a Close CA Prisons rally with Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) in Sacramento, CA) in front of a podium with a colorful sunrising or setting in front of it. Underneath Mohamed is Kamau Walton (A Black queer person with long black braids in a white tank-top on a megaphone mic at a Stop Urban Shield rally), who is moderating the panel discussion and a long-time CR member. Finally, Angela Davis (a now older queer Black woman who is a former political prisoner and longtime revolutionary intellectual, scholar, activist, and CR co-founder) with a vibrant smile sits down in the middle, with one of her hands stretched out and the other holding a microphone. Then Ny Nourn near the right edge of the huddle (a Southeast Asian woman wearing a black “Drop LWOP” shirt with white letters, referring to Life Without the Possibility of Parole, who is a former prisoner and now director of Asian Prisoner Support Committee) giving a passionate speech at an action with one arm and fist raised and the other holding a microphone. Underneath Ny’s arm is a side-profile of Andrea Ritchie (a Black woman wearing a Black shirt) holding a microphone being interviewed by Afropunk. Overall, the huddle of speakers emotes a powerful, leader-full, and collective vibe, with all organizers of color at the center.

Special performances by Dancing Through Prison Walls, as well as light food, music and merchandise. 


In addition to live-streaming there will be the following accommodations for this event:
  • Simultaneous Spanish translation and ASL interpretation for in-person attendees
  • Closed Captioning for both in-person attendees and virtual attendees watching the live-stream
  • Free childcare

If you have other access needs you would like Critical Resistance to accommodate, please email us at: cr25accessibility@criticalresistance.org.


The week of the event (May 1-5), we are sending a covid survey to all our in-person guests who have registered thus far, to maintain the collective health of all our guests as best as possible. For guests who do not pre-register, but will be there in-person, we will do onsite covid surveys as well. Please note our covid protocols and other accessibility information here.


Buy Tickets Now!

A benefit for CR, all proceeds from Toward Abolitionist Horizons: 25 Years of Critical Resistance directly go to sustaining CR’s work and the movement to abolish the PIC. We ask that people who want to attend the event in-person and people who will be joining remotely via livestream to purchase tickets as a donation to CR. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. 


Para información en español sobre el evento, haz clic aquí

Hacia horizontes abolicionistas: 25 años de Resistencia Crítica


Spread the Word & Invite Your People!

Support the event by sharing the event on our website download & post the graphics below, sign your organization up to sponsor, or simply invite everyone you know!

Flyer 1 for CR's event on May 5: “Toward Abolitionist Horizons” in gold handwriting-style font above block letters with shadow of “25 Years of Critical Resistance” in light blue and white. The background is a gradient dark red that fades to plum, with tints of bright sunrise shades in the top left corner behind silhouette illustrations of CR's organizing and campaigns are across the top of the flyer. Illustrations start with a rally & banner that says “No Cops No Cages” in front of dozens of red balloons as Critical Resistance and coalition members celebrate a campaign victory with No New San Francisco Jails. The next image is of a CR Los Angeles member, a Latino man with a beard, holding up a copy of CR’s inside-outside newspaper The Abolitionist, followed by an illustration of CR members rallying with Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) in Sacramento to Close CA prisons, and a person at a CR New York event holding up a sign that says “Dignity Not Detention.” The rest of the flyer contains text of the May 5 event information in gold, blue, and mostly white text in the body (all event info is also detailed in the caption). Silhouette images of Dancing Through Prison Walls dancers border the event info on each side. The date of the event (Friday May 5) is in a blue circle with larger burgundy font than the rest of the flyer text. The flyer also explains that the event will be in-person at McKenna Theater at San Francisco State University (1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco CA) and will be livestreamed online. Closed captioning will be provided for the livestream, and in-person ASL interpretation as well as live Spanish translation will be provided for in-person attendees. Buy tickets at: bit.ly/CriticalResistance25. Overall, the flyer emotes a dynamic, empowered, collective, liberatory, “in motion,” or “striving for the horizon” vibe. Flyer 2 for CR's event on May 5: The background continues with a gradient dark red that fades to plum, with tints of bright sunrise shades in the bottom left corner. The significance of 2023 being 25 years since Critical Resistance’s first conference in 1998 is written in white, gold and blue font at the top, next to an illustration of a CR organizer (who is Black woman with two breads wearing a red CR South shirt), speaking at a press conference for the Critical Resistance South conference in the early 2000s. A green banner is behind her that says: “Why are so many of our loved ones behind bars?” Light red and plum arrows in the background are behind the speaker and the banner, with CR’s logo (a drawing of a critical eye) on the left edge of the graphic. Questions that will be discussed at CR’s May 5 event follow underneath, and then the event title “Toward Abolitionist Horizons” appears in handwriting-styled gold font in the middle of this flyer. Under the title text explains that this event: “explores these questions and more through a conversation between Angela Davis, Andrea Ritchie, and Ny Nourn, paving the way forward through tough terrain in the next 25 years of struggle.” In the bottom left corner in front of the shades of sunrise, illustrations of the event speakers are huddled together. Each illustration is based on an action-shot photo of each speaker previously organizing, including speakers on mics at rallies or sitting down for interviews. The group of speakers is multi-generational, multi-racial, and different genders. The rest of the flyer contains the remaining info for the program and accommodations offered at the event, with little white icons indicating each one including: a break-dancer next to “Performances by Dancing Through Prison Walls”; followed by two children playing and two caregivers with them next to “free childcare during in-person event”; then an outline of a kabob indicating food next to “light food, music, activities, networking, (re)connecting”; and finally two hands communicating in sign language next to “ASL interpretation & Spanish translation provided for in-person event and closed-captioning for livestream” last. At the very bottom is an icon for a donation box with a heart going into it and the words “All ticket sales benefit CR!” in bold all-caps white text. Overall, the flyer emotes an analytical, collective, celebratory, “in the struggle” vibe.




May 5, 2023
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Critical Resistance


McKenna Theatre
1600 Holloway Ave
San Francisco, 94132 United States
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