Anti-Prison Industrial Complex Work
Since 2016, EdLib has partnered with Critical Resistance to bring together prison abolitionists and critical educators in dialogue to learn from each other. EdLib believes that educators have much to learn from the radical and historical viable stance abolitionists hold and that prison abolitionists would be served to better understand the everyday ways in which our schooling system feeds the logic of the carceral system.
EdLib Anti-PIC History
After forming a working group with Critical Resistance members, EdLib co-hosted an event called “Without Walls: Abolition & Rethinking Education” in April 2017 in Oakland, CA where we helped bring together abolitionists and educators. We had over 75 people out on a Friday night and the audience was a mixture of local anti-prison folks and a lot of educators. The event was created and organized by Critical Resistance- Oakland, People’s Education Movement (Bay Area), Education for Liberation Network, Teachers 4 Social Justice, Center for Political Education, Underground Scholars Initiative, and Ethnic Studies Summit. As a result of this work, we created the resource “(At Least) 10 Things Educators Can Do to End the Prison Industrial Complex.” This resource appeared in our Planning to Change the World teacher plan book.
We co-hosted a second Without Walls conversation in November 2017 in Chicago as a part of a larger convening called Chicago for Abolition: A Summit on Organizing and Strategy in Chicago that was organized by Critical Resistance. Our third convening took place at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit in June 2018 where we sponsored a public conversation between adrienne maree brown and Mariam Kaba called “Education for Abolition.” About 150 people attended the event, making it by far our biggest education and abolition event to date.
With the support of grant from the Alcibie Alliance we were able to partner with Critical Resistance to host an Abolition and Education Convening in Oakland in September 2018. The weekend started with a youth-centered event on Friday night called “Youth Lit for Freedom” at Alena Museum in Oakland. On Saturday and Sunday, more than 30 educators and prison abolitionists gathered at MetWest High School to start work on a toolkit for educators and youth workers utilizing prison abolitionist values and frameworks. Originally conceived of as a reader, the participants steered the vision for the toolkit to be more accessible including multiple forms of media. The coordinating committee for this event included members of Ed for Lib, Critical Resistance, and H.O.L.L.A. (How are Lives Link Altogether).
We continue our anti-Prison Industrial Complex efforts by working with Critical Resistance to convene a national group of organizers and educators to develop practical, accessible multimedia resources for preK-12 educators committed to prison abolition.