I always said I wasn’t qualified enough to do my own prison abolition syllabus, but here I am. I’ve been getting a ton of questions about prison abolition and ending criminalization and I can only answer so many questions effectively in one minute TikToks. I am, unfortunately, not that concise when I’m explaining these concepts. Here are the writers and organizers that I’ve learned from, please feel free to keep asking me questions, but hopefully the readings, videos, toolkits, and podcast episodes will help.
Abolition: The Starting Point
First of all, I just want to take a second to be thankful and hopeful. I am entering my fifth long year at UT Austin and have seen so many political ups and downs as an organizer. I never in my wildest dreams thought that a mainstream student leadership entity like Senate of College Councils would be so supportive of a teach-in about abolition, but they are, and they were immensely helpful at getting this teach-in off the ground in a handful of days. With my luminous friend Jordan Walters, I was able to teach a webinar about abolition and…
“A woman’s job is to produce children.”
That’s what I learned sitting on the tiled floor of my suburban Catholic church’s religious education building in Allen, Texas. Gathered around a white middle-aged woman, we were told that a good Woman of God’s mission was having a family and having children. Women were for nurturing children, they were for raising families, they were for having as many children as possible. Birth control was wrong, because it inhibited the role of a woman. Abortion was godless murder, etc., you get the gist.
Once we were safely ensconced in my mother’s van in…
abolitionist. azadi! malayalee-texan telling people to major in ethnic studies.