A Benefit for Critical Resistance


Amy Kisch * Angela Hennessy * Black Joy Parade * Bryant Terry * Calvin Williams * Cara Levine * Dana King * Deanna Van Buren * Elena Gross * Emory Douglas * Erin Christovale * Favianna Rodriguez * For Freedoms*  Fred Moten * Indya Moore * Janet Mock * Julia Chinyere Oparah * KQED Arts * Lateefah Simon * Leigh Raiford * Michael Orange * Minnesota Street Project * Patrisse Khan-Cullors * Pt. 2 Gallery * Ruthie Wilson Gilmore * See Black Womxn * She Bends * Soraya Rios * Steven Canals * This is Not a Gun  * Vielmetter Los Angeles


Organizational Sponsors

Artist As First Responder * Bayview Opera House * Black & Pink * California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP) * Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) * Dream Defenders * Essie Justice Group * EverGold [Projects] * Forward Together * H.O.L.L.A! * Law 4 Black Lives * The Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF) * Survived and Punished NY * TGI Justice Project * The Culture Ref * Wide Awakes * Women’s Center for Creative Work (WCCW)

The Auction has closed and it was a beautiful success! Full reportback coming soon. 

Stay engaged…

The exhibition is still live on! 

Please enjoy viewing the art and reading about the Artists. 


The Curatorial Committee is also excited to offer an Exhibition Catalogue, which is now viewable online. The Catalogue features poetry by Fred Moten, letters from CR and the Curator, artwork, bio’s and more. Fill out this form to order a limited edition print copy of the Catalogue.

Check out Nisha K Sethi’s new “JOY!” print, custom-made  for Imagine Freedom (pictured, right)! You can buy a print here; all proceeds go to CR. Nisha is a printmaker and member of Trust Your Struggle collective. (You can also run a DIY art sale and donate proceeds.)

Have you seen the bags and hoodies? You can purchase Imagine Freedom: Art Works for Abolition special gear from Critical Resistance here. Limited supply– order your’s today.


Past events

Check out the Imagine Freedom: Art Works for Abolition playlist on Youtube to watch footage from past events.

TUESDAY October 13, 2020

Virtual Closing Event and Live Auction

Accessibility: ASL provided.

Virtual Closing Event and Live Auction

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM PDT


*Raffles * Guest appearances * and more*

MC’d by

Brian Kaneda of CURB (Californians United for a Responsible Budget) and Jack Mizrahi, International Icon and Writer for POSE on FX

Dr. Leigh Raiford, Host Committee

Poetry from Fred Moten, Host Committee

“In the Studio” with Meryl Pataky, Featured Artist

Live auction of artwork by Lava Thomas, Kenturah Davis, Shawn Theodore, Theaster Gates, Wangari Mathenge, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Hank Willis Thomas.

Important LIVE AUCTION Bidding information here (ex. you must register by 5:45pm PST- and more; please read).

Accessibility: ASL provided.


Virtual Opening Cocktail Hour Celebration

Tue, September 29, 2020

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM PDT

co-hosted by the Bayview Opera House and Critical Resistance

with Amy Kisch and Steven Canals, Host Committee members  

Dana King (MC), Host Committee member and Featured Artist

Film Screening: “Oklahoma is Black” by Melinda James

Music by Amanda Joy, Atlanta-based, soul and funk singer.

Lead vocalist for The VIBErance.

Cocktails + recipes with acclaimed chef and Host Committee member Bryant Terry

*and more*

Accessibility: ASL + closed captions provided. RSVP here


plus, 9/29 Opening Afterparty on KQED Arts and CR IG Live

with Pendarvis Harshaw and Traci Bartlow

Artist Talk on CR Facebook Live

Sat, Sept 19 @ 4pm PST – Rodney Ewing with Demetri Broxton, Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD) 

Link to CR Facebook

Mon, Sept 21 @ 4pm PST – Melinda James with Elena Gross (MOAD) 

Link to CR Facebook

KQED Forum 

Tues, Sept 22

10-11am PDT

Featuring CR cofounder and auction Host Committee member Ruthie Wilson Gilmore. KQED Forum is a live morning show broadcast on radio or streamed at


Making Abolition Irresistible, a webinar on Abolitionist Organizing and Arts Praxis, hosted by Critical Resistance

Tues, Sept 22

4pm PST-5:30pm PDT/ 7-8:30pm EDT

Accessibility: ASL provided. Event details and RSVP here

Spread the word on Facebook.



KQED Arts with Pendarvis Harshaw

Wed, Sept 23rd

8-9pm PDT

Featuring artists Leslie “Dime” Lopez and Sam Vernon, Host Committee member Deanna Van Buren, and curator Ashara Ekundayo. Learn more here.

Spread the word on Facebook.


Artist Talks on CR Facebook Live

Thurs, Sept 24 @ 4pm PST – Ed Ntiri with Demetri Broxton (MOAD) 

Link to CR Facebook

Thurs, Oct 1 @ 4pm PST – Christine Wang with Mieke Marple 

Link to CR Facebook


A Portal for Liberatory Practice: A/R, Afrofuturism and Abolition

Friday, October 2, 2020

12-1pm PST/ 3-4pm EST

Link to Event Facebook page- watch here

Join the Wakanda Dream Lab for a conversation exploring how Afrofuturism is a portal for Black Liberatory Practice. This interactive panel will utilize augmented reality (A/R) and feature Black Speculative Artists as they read from Black Freedom Beyond Borders: Memories of Abolition Day and explore their role of culture keepers as worldbuilders in this time of resistance, renewal and reimagination.

  • Amir Khadar
  • Damien McDuffie
  • Joshua Mays
  • Moderated By: Calvin Williams & Ashara Ekundayo 


Artist Talks on CR Facebook Live

Mon, Oct 5 @ 4pm PST – Hank Willis Thomas with Black Joy Parade 

Link to CR Facebook

Sat, Oct 10 @ 4pm PST – Sadie Barnette with Essence Harden 

Link to CR Facebook

Critical Resistance and the Imagine Freedom: Art Works for Abolition Host Committee are enthusiastic to invite you to engage with Imagine Freedom: Art Works for Abolition, an online exhibition and benefit art auction presented by Critical Resistance + from September 29 – October 13, 2020.

We are excited to have confirmed participation from a myriad of intergenerational, interdisciplinary visual artists including Domineco Villeda, Lava Thomas, Leslie “Dime” Lopez, Emory Douglas, Sadie Barnette, and Theaster Gates, to name a few. Please see full list below!

Through Imagine Freedom: Art Works for Abolition¸ Critical Resistance and these bold artists will uplift the freedom dreams that communities have nurtured for generations and are unapologetically demanding be recognized and enacted in 2020.

During the current, political, and economic uprisings and throughout the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Critical Resistance has worked tirelessly to craft information, analysis, and references for understanding and imagining abolitionist responses to guide us toward the future we want and need.  The success of this year’s art auction is crucial to our work and our ability to continue to be timely and responsive. The majority of CR’s resources continue to come from grassroots supporters who give money, time, and skills to keep our organization stable and ready to carry out campaigns, projects, political education and movement building efforts. Every gift will help CR continue to chip away at the prison industrial complex and put abolition into practice.

In tandem with the 2-week online auction, we will also be hosting some programming featuring artists, our amazing Host Committee cast, and more. We look forward to Imagining Freedom with you!


More ways to support Imagine Freedom: Art Works for Abolition this year!

See our DONATION MENU to learn more about where your contributions go!

  • Check out Nisha K Sethi’s new “JOY!” print, custom-made  for Imagine Freedom (pictured, right)! You can buy a print here; all proceeds go to CR. Nisha is a printmaker and member of Trust Your Struggle collective. (You can also run a DIY art sale and donate proceeds.)
  • Purchase Imagine Freedom: Art Works for Abolition special limited-edition gear from Critical Resistance here
  • Become a Sponsor! Check sponsorship options here.
  • Make a fully tax-deductible gift to Critical Resistance.
    • Donate here
    • Checks and donor-advised funds also accepted! Email for details. Send checks (payable to “Critical Resistance”) to Critical Resistance, attn.: Development; 1904 Franklin St. #504, Oakland, CA 94612. Please write “Imagine Freedom: Art Works for Abolition” in the memo.
  • Enjoy the artwork in exhibition on September 29 through October 13 and bid if you are inspired.
  • Spread the word and invite your community to the Closing Party! 

Featured Artists

Adia Millett
Ainsley Burrows
Ali LeRoi
Alyse Emdur
Andrew Wilson
Angela Hennessy
Ariane Vielmetter
Ashley Hunt
Awol Erizku
Bob Williams
Brandon Andrew
Brett Cook
Cara Levine
Carmen Argote
Chanell Stone
Chris Johnson
Christine Wang
Courtney Desiree Morris
Crystal Paris
Dana King
David Antonio Cruz
Demetri Broxton
Domenico Villeda
Ed Ntiri
EJ Hill
Emanuel Tegene
Emory Douglas
Erica Deeman
Favianna Rodriguez
Gavin Benjamin
Githinji Mbire
Glen Wilson
gloria galvez
Hank Willis Thomas
Hermon Futrell
Jean-Marcel St. Jacques
Jesus Barraza
Jimena Sarno
Joel Daniel Phillips
José Figueroa
Joshua Mays
Joshua Whitaker
Kate DeCiccio
Kenturah Davis
Kwame Brathwaite
Kyle Lypka and Tyler Cross
Lava Thomas
Leila Weefur
Lena Gustafson
Leslie “Dime” Lopez
Lewis Watts
Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo
Maria Paz
Mario Ayala
Melanie Cervantes
Melinda James
Meryl Pataky
Michele Pred
Mieke Marple
Miguel Arzabe
Paul Mpagi Sepuya
rafa esparza
Ricky Weaver
Rodney Ewing
Ruben Ochoa
Sadie Barnette
Saif Azzuz
Sam Vernon
Shadi Yousefian
Shanna Strauss
Shaun Leonardo
Shawn Theodore
Sydney Cain
Theaster Gates
Traci Bartlow
Travis Somerville 
Umar Rashid
Wangari Mathenge
Zahyr Lauren



Ashara Ekundayo (Curator) * Hans Kuzmich * Jess Heaney * Maya Futrell * Mieke Marple *Shirley Leslie * T Rasheed * William Ramirez
Share this tile on social media, tag us, and invite people to visit to learn more! 

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