Beyond Prisons

Beyond Prisons

Beyond Prisons is a podcast on justice, mass incarceration, and prison abolition. Hosted by @phillyprof03 & @bsonenstein read less
NewsNews

Episodes

Certain Days
28-11-2023
Certain Days
Josh Davidson and Leslie James Pickering from the Certain Days collective join the show to talk about 2024’s Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar and the work of their collective. We previously spoke with Josh and other folks from the collective back in 2020 and we encourage you to go listen to that episode if you haven’t heard it yet.  Josh and Leslie spoke to us about the works included in the 2024 calendar, how they’ve navigated increasingly oppressive mail policies to distribute it, Josh’s upcoming book with political prisoner Eric King, the impact that focusing their work around solidarity with political prisoners has had on their political analysis and organizing, and a lot more.  The Certain Days Calendar is a joint fundraising and educational project between outside organizers in Montreal, New York, and Baltimore, and current and former political prisoners, including currently imprisoned Xinachtli (s/n Alvaro Luna Hernandez) in Texas. They welcomed founding members Herman Bell and Robert Seth Hayes (Rest in Power) home from prison in 2018, and David Gilbert in 2021, each of whom spent over forty years behind bars. All of the current members of the outside collective are grounded in day-to-day organizing work other than the calendar, on issues ranging from legal aid to community media, radical education to prisoner solidarity. And they work from an anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, feminist, queer- and trans-liberationist position. All proceeds from the calendar go to abolitionist organizations working for a better world. We highly encourage you to pick up a few copies of the calendar if you haven’t already.  Josh Davidson is an abolitionist who is involved in numerous projects, including the Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar collective and the Children’s Art Project with political prisoner Oso Blanco. Josh also works in communications with the Zinn Education Project, which promotes the teaching of radical people’s history in classrooms and provides free lessons and resources for educators. Along with political prisoner Eric King, Josh co-edited the anthology Rattling the Cages: Oral Histories of North American Political Prisoners (AK Press, 2023). He lives in Eugene, Oregon.  Leslie James Pickering is a member of the Certain Days collective. He is a co-owner of Burning Books and was spokesperson for the Earth Liberation Front Press Office Episode Resources & Notes Buy the Certain Days calendar: CertainDays.org (US) Burning Books (US) Left Wing Books (Canada) Credits Created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam Support Beyond Prisons Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well. Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information Twitter: @Beyond_Prison Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast Instagram:@beyondprisons
Beyond Abortion: Reproductive Justice & Abolitionist Struggle
18-09-2023
Beyond Abortion: Reproductive Justice & Abolitionist Struggle
This is the first episode of  our new series titled “Over the Wall: The Abolitionist Hour with Critical Resistance.” This will be a regular series on Beyond Prisons, hosted by members of Critical Resistance’s The Abolitionist Editorial Collective, in which they will discuss articles and key interventions made by Critical Resistance’s cross-wall, bilingual newspaper, The Abolitionist. The first episode of this series focuses on Issue 39 of The Abolitionist and is titled, “Beyond Abortion: Reproductive Justice and Abolitionist Struggle.”  This episode is hosted by Molly Porzig and Dylan Brown, and discusses why reproductive justice is an essential field of struggle for prison industrial complex (PIC) abolition. Together, they analyze the political conditions shaping the struggle for PIC abolition and reproductive justice in this moment, discuss core points made by various articles in the issue, and weave in follow-up interviews with contributors from the latest issue of the newspaper—including Ash Williams, Moonlight Pulido, Targol Mesbah, and imprisoned columnist for The Abolitionist, Stevie Wilson.  To learn more, make sure to check out Critical Resistance’s upcoming webinar this Thursday, September 21, “Our Bodies, Our Freedom: Abolishing the Prison Industrial Complex Post-Roe,” and register at bit.ly/OurBodies9-21   Dylan Brown is a 24 year old Black organizer and educator based in New York City, and has been a member of Critical Resistance since 2020. As a member of the New York City chapter of Critical Resistance, Dylan is organizing within the Abolish ICE New York/New Jersey Coalition on their current NY Dignity Not Detention campaign, which seeks to  build power to end immigrant detention throughout NY State. For the past three years, Dylan has been an editor for The Abolitionist Newspaper.  Molly Porzig is a Bay Area based organizer and educator in California with nearly 20 years of organizing experience with Critical Resistance (CR). Molly first became a member of CR in 2006 as a transitional-aged youth with experience in the juvenile system and systems-impacted youth-based, queer, and women-led anti-violence organizations. On behalf of CR, Molly has organized in Stop the Injunctions Coalition against the use of gang injunctions, Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition against solitary confinement, No New SF Jail coalition to close a county jail in downtown San Francisco, Plan for a Safer Oakland in partnership with All of Us or None, the CR 10th Anniversary Conference organizing committee, the StoryTelling and Organizing Project with Creative Interventions, and more. In 2020, Molly joined CR’s national staff as CR’s National Media & Communications Manager, as well as the organization’s project manager of its cross-wall bilingual newspaper, The Abolitionist. Follow Critical Resistance on Twitter at @C_Resistance Music Credits Taste of Freedom by Steven Beddall I Wish - drum loop by Artlist Original Special thanks to Freedom Archives for the clip of Assata Shakur Support Beyond Prisons Beyond Prisons is created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well. Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information Twitter: @Beyond_Prison Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast Instagram:@beyondprisons
Prison Librarians
19-06-2023
Prison Librarians
For this episode, Kim sat down with Jeanie Austin, a Bay Area librarian and academic who focuses on library services for incarcerated people, and Sarah ball, a New York City public librarian working inside jails and prisons providing access to books and information for criminalized and incarcerated people and their families. We explore the multifaceted role of prison libraries, and the challenges faced by prison librarians in providing access to information and literature within the confines of the correctional system. We delve into the delicate balance between offering valuable services to incarcerated individuals while navigating the authority and constraints imposed by prison officials. Join us as we investigate how prison librarians promote access to information, address potential challenges rooted in the philosophy of rehabilitation, and challenge the dynamic shaped by whiteness, information, and power within prison library systems. We also delve into the ways in which prison censorship specifically targets LGBTQIA plus individuals and discuss strategies for dismantling biases and inequities. Additionally, we examine the historical and political contexts that have influenced the evolution of prison libraries, the impact of political ideologies and policies and the role of education and rehabilitation within prisons. For enlightening discussions, we uncover the transformative potential prison library programs, identify the challenges they face, and explore innovative approaches and best practices to enhance their effectiveness. Lastly, we explore future perspectives on prison libraries, emerging trends, the influence of technology, and the importance of raising public awareness and support for these vital programs. This episode also incorporates insights from Dr. Austin's book, "Library Services and Incarceration: Recognizing Barriers, Strengthening Access," which offers a comprehensive exploration of the topic. We examine key chapters, including the historical context, the role of information in incarceration, models of direct service, reentry support and programming, and strategies for building institutional support. Furthermore, we discussed several thought provoking articles that shed light on the impact of prison censorship, content-based bands in the denial of access to books, as well as the crucial role of community organizations and library and information science professionals in addressing these issues and fostering a more equitable information environment within prisons. Get ready to expand your understanding of prison libraries, their significance within the criminal punishment system, and their potential to empower and transform lives. Jeanie Austin (they/them) is a Bay Area librarian and academic who focuses on library services for incarcerated people. More about Jeanie is available at https://jeanieaustin.com/about/. Sarah Ball (she/her) is a NYC public librarian working inside jails and prisons, providing access to books and information for criminalized and incarcerated people and their families, with a priority on patron privacy and autonomy. Credits Created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam Support Beyond Prisons Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well. Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information Twitter: @Beyond_Prison Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast Instagram:@beyondprisons
Six Years of Beyond Prisons
22-04-2023
Six Years of Beyond Prisons
April marks 6 years of Beyond Prisons! Thank you so much to everyone who has listened to the show and supported us over the years. In this episode, Kim and Brian reflect on their work and their lives over the past several years. They discuss everything from their favorite episodes to how they work together, how doing the podcast influenced their lives, and what has brought them joy outside of the show. Episode Resources & Notes Check out Kim’s art at her website: https://www.kimwilsonart.net/ You can see Victoria’s bakery at https://siblings.me/ and on Instagram Our recent audiobook recommendations: Kim When Life Gives You Mangos by Kereen Getten Furia by Yamile Saied Mendez High Spirits by Camille Gomera-Tavarez Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi Wild Seed by Octavia Butler Brian Palo Alto by Malcolm Harris The Many-Headed Hydra by Peter Linebaugh Dancing in the Streets by Barbara Ehrenreich The Dawning of the Apocalypse by Gerald Horne Credits Created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam Support Beyond Prisons Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well. Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information Twitter: @Beyond_Prison Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast Instagram:@beyondprisons
CI Toolkit: Perspectives On Interventions feat. Mimi Kim & Shira Hassan
12-10-2022
CI Toolkit: Perspectives On Interventions feat. Mimi Kim & Shira Hassan
This is the third episode in our Creative Interventions series, where we explore this fantastic and practical toolkit for stopping interpersonal violence and speak with some of the people whose organizing efforts directly informed it. We speak with Mimi Kim and Shira Hassan once again, this time with reflections, observations, and other notes for people who are considering interventions. If you’ve got the toolkit at home, which you can purchase from AK press or access for free at creative-interventions.org, we’re touching on some of the topics in Section 2.3, which is entitled, “Violence Intervention: Some Important Lessons” and begins on page 93 of the toolkit. There’s a lot more in this section than what we get to in the episode, so we highly suggest checking it out. In this conversation, Shira and Mimi answer some broad questions about common challenges with interventions. What can happen when people are asked to take accountability? What are the pro’s and con’s of an intervention involving people you know or may be close to? How long should an intervention last, or should it be ongoing? And a lot more. The release of this episode coincides with the publication of a new workbook companion for the CI Toolkit which features useful and practical worksheets and tools. The CI workbook was just released through AK Press. A google doc version of the workbook which you can use to adapt to your own situation of harm is available for free at creative-interventions.org. You can find links to further resources in the episode notes, including Shira’s amazing new anthology, Saving Our Own Lives: A Liberatory Practice of Harm Reduction, which is now available from Haymarket Books. We highly recommend you check that out and support Shira's work however you can.   Shira Hassan has trained and spoken nationally on the sex trade, harm reduction, self-injury, healing justice and transformative justice. Currently working as a fellow at Interrupting Criminalization, Shira runs The Help Desk . The Help Desk offers supportive thought partnership to individuals and groups working to interrupt crises and violence without using the police. Along with Mariame Kaba, she is the co-author of Fumbling Towards Repair: A Workbook for Community Accountability Facilitators and the author of Saving Our Own Lives: A Liberatory Practice of Harm Reduction. Mimi Kim is the founder of Creative Interventions and a co-founder of INCITE! She has been a long-time activist, advocate and researcher challenging gender-based violence at its intersection with state violence and creating community accountability, transformative justice and other community-based alternatives to criminalization. As a second generation Korean American, she locates her political work in global solidarity with feminist anti-imperialist struggles, seeking not only the end of oppression but of the creation of liberation here and now. Her recent publications include 2020’s “The Carceral Creep” and 2018’s “From Carceral Feminism to Transformative Justice”. She is currently working on The CHAT Project, a non-law enforcement restorative justice project addressing domestic and sexual violence in Contra Costa County, California. Mimi and Shira are also partnering on a re-boot of the StoryTelling & Organizing Project or STOP featuring stories of everyday people creatively and collectively ending violence. Stay tuned. Alright, that’s it for now. You can find links to the CI website and toolkit as well as other resources in the episode notes. Thanks for listening and here’s our conversation. Episode Resources & Notes Shira Hassan:  Saving Our Own Lives: A Liberatory Practice of Harm Reduction. Interrupting Criminalization - The Help Desk Fumbling Towards Repair: A Workbook for Community Accountability Facilitators   Mimi Kim: Creative Interventions Website Creative Interventions Toolkit (Physical copy) Creative Interventions Toolkit (Free PDF) Creative Interventions Toolkit in Spanish (Free PDF) Creative Interventions Workbook (Physical copy) Creative Interventions Workbook (Google Doc) The CHAT Project StoryTelling & Organizing Project (STOP) Follow CI on Facebook Follow CI on IG Follow CI on Twitter Credits Created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Nam-Sonenstein Edited by Brian Nam-Sonenstein Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam Theme music by Jared Ware Support Beyond Prisons Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well. Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information Twitter: @Beyond_Prison Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast Instagram:@beyondprisons
Close California Prisons feat. Brian Kaneda & Woods Ervin
30-09-2022
Close California Prisons feat. Brian Kaneda & Woods Ervin
Brian Kaneda and Woods Ervin join the show to tell us about the Close California Prisons Campaign. This campaign is led by the statewide coalition known as Californians United For A Responsible Budget (CURB), pressuring Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Correction to close prisons across the state.  Last year, CURB released The People’s Plan for Prison Closures, which they describe as “a visionary report that outlines the failures of California’s bloated carceral system, and offers bold, community-centered solutions for our jail problem.” After setting the stage and explaining a bit about the current state of incarceration in California, Brian and Woods tell us about the campaign's goal to close 10 prisons by 2025 and release 50,000 people or 50% of the population—demands which they say represent the floor. We discuss the criteria the campaign developed for selecting which 10 prisons to close first, the work of their partners in the coalition, the lack of a plan put forth by state authorities, the plan’s reliance on a Just Transition framework, and a lot more. This episode was recorded before news broke in early September that a judge ruled against the town of Susanville in a lawsuit attempting to stop the closure of the California Correctional Center or CCC. According to a press release [PDF] published by CURB, the judge’s ruling marked “the end of the town’s year-long fight to keep CCC––a six-decade-old facility requiring $503 million in repairs––open indefinitely.” Brian Kaneda is the Deputy Director for Californians United For A Responsible Budget (CURB). He is a founding chapter member of California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP) Los Angeles and has spent the past decade monitoring and challenging the incarceration crisis and advocating for the rights of incarcerated people.  Woods Ervin (they/them) is a Black nonbinary trans person from the South who has been deeply immersed in movements for racial and gender justice for over a decade. Woods has been a member of Critical Resistance since 2010, and from 2014 to 2018 was part of rebuilding Transgender, Gender-variant, Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP). Through both organizations, Woods organized as part of multiple campaigns to halt jail construction and policing. Woods is a current Co-Director at Critical Resistance focusing on Communications.  Episode Resources & Notes Follow CURB on Twitter (@curbprisons) and instagram (@curbprisons) CURB’s Prison Closure Campaign The People’s Plan for Prison Closures (PDF) Release: Judge Rules Prison Closure Must Move Forward (PDF) Petition: Demand Governor Newsom Close at least 8 More Prisons by 2025! CA Organizations: Join the coalition Donate to CURB Credits Created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein Edited by Ellis Maxwell Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam Theme music by Jared Ware Support Beyond Prisons Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well. Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information Twitter: @Beyond_Prison Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast Instagram:@beyondprisons
CI Toolkit: What Does Interpersonal Violence Look Like? feat. Mimi Kim & Shira Hassan
27-09-2022
CI Toolkit: What Does Interpersonal Violence Look Like? feat. Mimi Kim & Shira Hassan
This is the second episode in our Creative Interventions series, where we explore this fantastic and practical toolkit for stopping interpersonal violence and speak with some of the people whose organizing efforts directly informed it. We speak with Mimi and Shira Hassan about the basics of interpersonal violence as outlined in the Creative Interventions Toolkit. If you’ve got the toolkit at home, which you can purchase from AK press or access for free at creative-interventions.org, we’re touching on some of the topics in Section 2: Some Basics Everyone Should Know. There’s a lot more in this section than what we get to in the episode, so we highly suggest checking it out. After Shira tells us a bit about her work including a follow-up workbook she and Mariame Kaba created to build upon the Creative Interventions Toolkit, she and Mimi share what the term "interpersonal violence" means to them, and what it can look like. They explain why it’s important to assess power dynamics when determining if an intervention should be attempted, and how we can recognize how interpersonal violence impacts people other than those most involved.  The release of this episode coincides with the publication of a new workbook companion for the CI Toolkit which features useful and practical worksheets and tools. The CI workbook was just released through AK Press. A google doc version of the workbook which you can use to adapt to your own situation of harm is available for free at creative-interventions.org, You can find links to further resources in the episode notes, including Shira’s amazing new anthology, Saving Our Own Lives: A Liberatory Practice of Harm Reduction, which is available for pre-order now and comes out on October 4 from Haymarket Books. We highly recommend you check that out and support Shira's work however you can.  Shira Hassan has trained and spoken nationally on the sex trade, harm reduction, self-injury, healing justice and transformative justice. Currently working as a fellow at Interrupting Criminalization, Shira runs The Help Desk . The Help Desk offers supportive thought partnership to individuals and groups working to interrupt crises and violence without using the police. Along with Mariame Kaba, she is the co-author of Fumbling Towards Repair: A Workbook for Community Accountability Facilitators and the author of Saving Our Own Lives: A Liberatory Practice of Harm Reduction. Mimi Kim is the founder of Creative Interventions and a co-founder of INCITE! She has been a long-time activist, advocate and researcher challenging gender-based violence at its intersection with state violence and creating community accountability, transformative justice and other community-based alternatives to criminalization. As a second generation Korean American, she locates her political work in global solidarity with feminist anti-imperialist struggles, seeking not only the end of oppression but of the creation of liberation here and now. Her recent publications include 2020’s “The Carceral Creep” and 2018’s “From Carceral Feminism to Transformative Justice”. She is currently working on The CHAT Project, a non-law enforcement restorative justice project addressing domestic and sexual violence in Contra Costa County, California. Mimi and Shira are also partnering on a re-boot of the StoryTelling & Organizing Project or STOP featuring stories of everyday people creatively and collectively ending violence. Stay tuned. Alright, that’s it for now. You can find links to the CI website and toolkit as well as other resources in the episode notes. Thanks for listening and here’s our conversation. Episode Resources & Notes Shira Hassan:  Saving Our Own Lives: A Liberatory Practice of Harm Reduction. Interrupting Criminalization - The Help Desk Fumbling Towards Repair: A Workbook for Community Accountability Facilitators Mimi Kim: Creative Interventions Website Creative Interventions Toolkit (Physical copy) Creative Interventions Toolkit (Free PDF) Creative Interventions Toolkit in Spanish (Free PDF) Creative Interventions Workbook (Physical copy) Creative Interventions Workbook (Google Doc) The CHAT Project StoryTelling & Organizing Project (STOP) Follow CI on Facebook Follow CI on IG Follow CI on Twitter Credits Created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Nam-Sonenstein Edited by Brian Nam-Sonenstein Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam Theme music by Jared Ware Support Beyond Prisons Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well. Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information Twitter: @Beyond_Prison Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast Instagram:@beyondprisons
How We Work Matters: Reflections From A Burned Out Organizer
20-09-2022
How We Work Matters: Reflections From A Burned Out Organizer
The following talk was delivered by Dr. Kim Wilson at the DecARcerate Arkansas 2022 conference in Little Rock. The conference was an opportunity for abolitionist and other organizers to come together to listen as speakers from around the state and the country talked about their work. Kim interviewed organizers about their experience with boundary setting in movement spaces, and what they said illuminates a deeper problem that we seldom hear addressed, but that is nonetheless, important for liberation movements. As the mother of two sons currently sentenced to LWOP; as an organizer that provides education, direct support, and mobilizes resources for people in and out of prison; and as a Black disabled woman that is struggling with multiple health issues, she is emotionally, physically, and financially exhausted. The talk was a collaborative effort that included the voices of women and femmes in the movement who felt that these things need to be said, and Kim had the opportunity to use her platform to say them. We invite you to listen and to act upon what she shares, and to use this talk as an entry point to engage people in your community and movement spaces about what all of the women and femmes said. You can support Kim directly via Venmo (@Kim-Wilson-16) and CashApp ($BeyondPrisons) Transcript To borrow a phrase from the inimitable Fannie Lou Hamer, “I’ve been tired so long, now I am sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I want a change.” Y’all I’m tired. I’m tired of arguing, of fighting, of feeling like we’re constantly having to remind people of our humanity. I’m tired of the suffering, of the trauma, and of watching people die. I’m tired of oppressive systems, of prisons, of poverty, homelessness, and hyper-individualism. I’m tired of watching my friends suffer. I’m tired of people treating incarcerated people as if they don’t matter. I’m tired of ableism. I’m tired of living in a white supremacist capitalist patriarchal society. I’m tired!!!! I’m tired of crisis management. I’m tired of sacrificing my physical and emotional well-being. I’m tired of people’s discomfort being the standard by which we decide on really important things. I’m tired of cynicism. I’m tired of the thinking that says that women, and particularly Black Women, femmes and other folks should be willing to do this work without question or limits. I’m tired of fighting for people that expect me to have their backs, when I know that they don’t have mine. Not really, really! I’m tired of toxic masculinity. I’m tired of men acting like they’re doing women a favor when they are asked to do the absolute least necessary for us to survive. I’m tired of having to fear violence, anger, and passive aggression from men in general, but especially from men in movement spaces. I’m tired of the unspoken expectations that are placed on women in movement spaces that shift the burden onto women and femmes to do most of the work of organizing. While we’re ALL suffering under these oppressive systems, women, femmes, trans, non-binary, gender non-confirming folks, and disabled people are disproportionately affected by these systems and we are still showing up and doing all of the things. This is not sustainable! To be clear, this is NOT a call out or a call in. This is our reality. I’m not the only one that’s tired. Many of us are exhausted, physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially. I am bringing this forward so that we can set about the task of collectively changing things. There is no healing in isolation. Part of the liberatory project is to heal our collective trauma, and HOW we work together is part of that work. This work has to happen alongside the tearing down and building up. It’s not work that can be deferred until some magical date in the future when we have the time, OR conditions are perfect. When folks make that argument recognize that they are gaslighting and attempting to derail the conversation to escape accountability. Audre Lorde wrote, “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” The conditions in which we organize are not separate issue buckets, but the literal material conditions through which we have to survive and help others. Women, femmes, trans, non-binary, gender non conforming and disabled people are treated as disposable. We live in a society that doesn’t care about us, but how are we demonstrating that we care for each other? We are still in the middle of a global pandemic that has killed 6.52 MILLION people worldwide, and 11,961 people in Arkansas alone, yet there are still people arguing that wearing a piece of cloth on their face infringes on their freedom. Imani Barbarin, a Black disabled woman, and one of the baddest communications strategists and disability rights advocates around, has rightly called Covid “a mass disabling event.” This refers to the fact that many able bodied folks will find themselves disabled as a result of catching Covid. These newly disabled folks are now finding that they have to fight for things that we shouldn’t have to fight for. Now that They’re affected they’re outraged and want change. Here’s my thing, You don’t have to learn the things the hard way. You could just trust what people are saying about their experience. Full stop. We’ve been saying for a long time that ableism is NOT the flex that people think it is. Let’s consider how these things intersect, Black disabled women experience higher rates of houselessness and incarceration. There hasn’t been a federal minimum wage increase since 2009, and raising the federal minimum wage would have a positive impact on Women’s lives. We live in a country with no real social safety net, where people that work full time in minimum wage jobs cannot afford a two bedroom apartment in any state in the country. An honest accounting of the houseless problem in this country has to include policies that criminalize houselessness. For example, we know that Black people are disproportionately impacted by homelessness and incarceration. A 2021 study by the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness found that “Most people with a history of incarceration and homelessness were homeless before going to prison. Suggesting that the criminalization of homelessness is a driver of incarceration.” (Prison Policy.Org) But the problem doesn’t end there, we also know that domestic violence is the leading cause of houselessness for women. We also know that trans people and gender non-conforming people experience houselessness at higher rates than their cis gender peers, and seventy percent of trans people using shelters report discrimination or violence by shelter staff. Prison abolition isn’t just about working on prison issues. We need to consider what other institutions and systems are implicated. The many tentacles of the PIC means that our daily lives are lived being aware of its looming presence and power to destroy us. The PIC derives its power in part, from being simultaneously hyper-visible AND obscure because it is embedded into so many things. Many of us recognize the hyper-visible expressions of the carceral state in their physical form such as prison buildings, police, etc., and in their more abstracted forms such as policies and practices. But there’s a cognitive dissonance that makes it difficult for some people to see that transphobia, ableism, sexism, toxic masculinity, and patriarchy are part and parcel of the same dehumanizing structure that includes prisons and policing. All of these things are rooted in white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy, which is the logic that underpins the carceral state. To get rid of prisons, to get rid of ALL systems of oppression, the liberatory project has to address these problems. That is our work. But the work is NOT evenly distributed. The more women, femmes, trans, and other people that I talk with the more I hear that many of us are tired of doing this work. We do this work because if we don’t we suffer. There are so many ways that we suffer that I won’t even try to list them. Suffice it to say that we suffer when we take on too much, when we do or are expected to do more than any one person reasonably can or should. We suffer and shorten our lives because we’re unable to rest without repercussions. Prentis Hemphill wrote, “Boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously.” “Boundaries give us the space to do the work of loving ourselves. They might be, actually, the first and fundamental expression of self-love.” I interviewed a handful of women organizers from around the country and here’s what they said in response to being asked to reflect on setting boundaries as women in movement spaces. JULIE Boundaries are really important especially in organizing-and especially in a kind of organizing that problematically glorifies when women ‘give their all’ to the movement, despite how they are affected or how it affects their relationships with their loved ones. We have a tendency in social justice movements to romanticize the ‘woman’ organizer. This mythic creature is fearless, boundless in energy, absolute in her devotion to the movement. She educates, she nurtures, she resources, she leads from the shadows. She never suffers, not from indecision or fatigue or loneliness or oppression. Rosa Parks, Ella Baker, Safiya Bukhari, Kathy Boudin. Women we asked everything of, took all we could from, and what did we leave them with? What if instead of glorifying their sacrifices we shared the work? And not just the sexy parts of organizing, but the monotony too. MICHELLE I would just say two things: One is that I often find that women in organizing spaces are just quicker / more likely to take on the labor of figuring out logistics, even when doing so is burdensome or requires navigating complex systems, whereas men will give up or just not even try to figure something out if it isn’t immediately clear. Often, I find that men need to be explicitly asked to do smaller logistical tasks, and are sometimes resistant to doing them, whereas women take on that work automatically. Often, when there are unsexy tasks like phone banking, it is women who show up much more so than men. ANGIE While men in the movement are often quick to make big statements and big decisions about how things SHOULD be done, it’s women and trans people and nonbinary folks who are OVERWHELMINGLY doing the actual work of keeping people alive. And that’s what the most fundamental work is in this movement: keeping people alive. It’s the mutual aid work, the financial support (including commissary, phones, housing support for people getting out), the emotional support, the caregiving for kids who’ve been left behind... It’s the person bringing over groceries when someone’s confined to their home on electronic monitoring. It’s the person coming to visit week after week so someone inside doesn’t lose hope, doesn’t lose their will to live. On a personal level — when my niece was incarcerated, I was so frustrated by the fact that her boyfriends, even her fiancé, would not do ANY of this work/support. Instead they complained that she wasn’t out here to be there for THEM. What does this mean for boundary-setting? For me, it has often meant that setting boundaries is way harder than it should be because some people (i.e. most men) are not pulling any weight, when it comes to this low-profile, behind-the-scenes, hard every day work of supporting our loved ones’ survival. So as we try (sometimes in vain) to help keep people alive, we end up letting our boundaries slip again and again... JOYA In every movement formation that I’ve been in, especially the abolitionist ones that have a spectrum of gender represented, it's 99 percent the femmes that start the google.doc, even that kind of infrastructural work is relegated to invisible care work. I don’t want to call it soft violence, because I don’t think it’s soft. It's part of the quiet, but violent extraction that happens when people don’t recognize people’s labor and people’s gendered labor. Regardless of what their gender is. In terms of boundaries, we tend to think about boundaries as I’m not going to work on a Saturday or I’m not going to meet after ten o’clock at night, but people don’t think of a boundary as demanding that we all take turns doing the same amount of work. But I also feel like we are living in a time where there aren't a lot of other ways that people are allowed to take up space in movement work without violating those boundaries or without being affirmed for doing that work. By affirmed I don’t mean respected–it’s like thank you sis for doing this or like the snacks were provided by these people, how nice. That’s not respected as much as the people who are chaining themselves to the prison. It’s not lost on me either that the venn diagram of movement space is often run by a certain masculanized organizer model, and for as much as people pretend they’re not for the Alinsky Model, they sure are. The venn diagram between certain organizing styles and the way that they devalue the google doc making, snacks bringing and setting up chairs work, and the type of abuser that emerges in movement spaces, and the kind of permission that’s given to a lot of –especially masculine rock star organizers who are also systematically abusive. The venn diagram shows no respect for labor and boundaries and no respect for sharing work. Why is it that we think that so many of the letter writing spaces and the letter writing organizations and the relationship building organizations are run by femmes. Even when we’re doing coalitional relational work in abolition, relationship building, the nurturing, the crisis intervention work, the people who are fielding calls from jail, the people who are making sure that the commissary goes through are often feminized people. And the people who get to hold the megaphone are not often those people. And the people who are there to be on the front line of receiving the frustration of incarcerated people are the same people who are there to write the letters, to receive the phone calls, and who are there to make sure the commissary goes through on time are often the same people who bear the brunt of somebody’s frustration, who are there to pick up the pieces of the trauma that prison causes other people, the people who have to organize and mobilize and like themselves get traumatized by traumatized people because that emotional lash out is often reserved for the people on the front lines which are femmes and women, and those are the same people who show up with the snacks. ANNE Ok. So. Boundary setting. I think one of my biggest struggles in organizing spaces is the difference between people’s expressed values of self-determination, consent, muddling through, and care for one another, ON THE ONE HAND, and the way that people's struggle practices do not align with these values, ON THE OTHER. The work of having to point this out and make space for the inevitable conflicts it brings is exhausting. And it is not seen as work—it is seen as complaining, being trouble, or not getting it. There is no boundary that can be set ahead of time that will prevent the need for people to work through conflict together. So we need many of us to skill up and grow our capacities for conflict. But the work is often put on those seen as the ones who are supposed to nurture and take care of the feelings. I’ll leave you with a few suggestions for how to proceed. This is NOT an exhaustive list, but a place to start. AND please note that there is no one size fits all for how to address these problems, but we need to address them. One of the people that I interviewed suggested that, Men need to talk to their friends. That is, men have to get better at checking other men on their problematic behavior. Second, Political Education: engage in a political education process where you study and discuss materials that address these issues. Read the work of women, femmes, trans, disabled people, etc. Third, Do the work: actually begin doing the work. Abolition work is not constrained as a future project. It’s how we move today. It’s how we care for each other TODAY. It’s how we act in the world, and the communities and power we build TODAY!!! It’s a blueprint for today as much as it is a future society. Finally, focus on relationship building beyond performative and surface level solidarity. Ruth Wilson Gilmore said that abolition is presence. I agree!!! Engage in letter writing with incarcerated people. Visit people if you are able to gain access to prisons, go see folks inside on a regular basis. I’m in prison visiting rooms all the time and women are the majority of visitors. I don’t have a pithy closing to offer you because I was too exhausted to write one. I’ll just say this, We are all working with limited capacity and resources, and those of us that are showing up in all the ways and doing all the things even when our bodies are signaling that they need a break are giving more than there fair share. We don’t want to be mythologized for our sacrifices; instead we not only want, but need change. How we work together matters just as much as the work itself. Thank you!
What Is The Creative Interventions Toolkit? feat. Mimi Kim & Rachel Herzing
13-04-2022
What Is The Creative Interventions Toolkit? feat. Mimi Kim & Rachel Herzing
This is the first episode of our Creative Interventions series.  In this series, we will explore the Creative Interventions Toolkit, which provides tools, resources, and a model for community interventions in interpersonal violence. We’ll go section-by-section and talk to some of the folks whose work served as the source material for this project. You can find digital versions of the Creative Interventions Toolkit or purchase a physical copy by visiting www.creative-interventions.org. According to their website, “Creative Interventions provides vision, tools and resources to help anyone and everyone create community-based, collective responses to domestic, family, and sexual violence. The community-based approach centers those closest to and most impacted by harm, honors their expertise, and builds collective knowledge and power as the solution to violence.” The CI Toolkit has been around for a while now but AK Press released it in print for the first time last December. So, while we’ve talked about it in previous episodes, we wanted to use this occasion to spend more time with it in the hopes of spreading some of the tools, frameworks, skills, strategies, and roles in ending interpersonal violence that come out of this movement.  We’re starting this series off with a conversation with Mimi Kim and Rachel Herzing, setting the stage by talking about where the CI Toolkit came from, how it’s structured, and how it proposes intervening in violence and, importantly, how its community-centered approach differs from others. Mimi Kim is the founder of Creative Interventions and a co-founder of INCITE! She has been a long-time activist, advocate and researcher challenging gender-based violence at its intersection with state violence and creating community accountability, transformative justice and other community-based alternatives to criminalization. As a second generation Korean American, she locates her political work in global solidarity with feminist anti-imperialist struggles, seeking not only the end of oppression but of the creation of liberation here and now. Mimi is also an Associate Professor of social work at California State University, Long Beach and Co-Editor-in Chief of Affilia. Her recent publications include “The Carceral Creep: Gender-Based Violence, Race, and the Expansion of the Punitive State, 1973-1983” (2020) and “From Carceral Feminism to Transformative Justice: Women of Color Feminism and Alternatives to Incarceration” (2018). She is currently working on a restorative justice pilot project addressing domestic and sexual violence in Contra Costa County, California. Rachel Herzing has been an organizer, activist, and advocate fighting the violence of surveillance, policing and imprisonment since the 1990s. Rachel was the director of research and training at Creative Interventions.  Rachel was also the executive director of Center for Political Education, a resource for political organizations on the left, progressive social movements, the working class and people of color, and a co-director of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to abolishing the prison industrial complex. Episode Resources & Notes Creative Interventions Website Buy the Creative Interventions Toolkit from AK Press Creative Interventions Toolkit (Free PDF) Creative Interventions Toolkit in Spanish (Free PDF) Creative Interventions Workbook (Google Doc) Follow CI on Facebook Follow CI on IG Follow CI on Twitter Credits Created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein Edited by Ellis Maxwell Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam Theme music by Jared Ware Support Beyond Prisons Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well. Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information Twitter: @Beyond_Prison Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast Instagram:@beyondprisons
Panel: Why Physical Mail In Prison Matters
29-03-2022
Panel: Why Physical Mail In Prison Matters
This is the audio version of a panel discussion hosted on March 24 that explores the importance of physical mail in prison and how the prison industrial complex works to undermine imprisoned people's ability to meaningfully communicate with their loved ones. You can watch video of the panel here: https://www.beyond-prisons.com/home/video-why-physical-mail-matters Physical mail is a layered issue, and policies that eliminate physical mail are violent and cruel. They seek to destroy the loving and caring connections that people have. They “pile on” more separation than that which already exists and makes it even harder for people to remain in relationship and community with their support systems. They disproportionately affect poor people. They add another cost onto the already long list of things that prisoners and their loved ones pay for. They expand the surveillance mechanisms of the carceral state in ways that I’m not sure we have begun to grapple with. Letter writing has always been an important form of communication between prisoners and their loved ones. Eliminating physical mail reveals the inhumanity of this system and illustrates that incarceration has NOTHING to do with rehabilitation or preparing people to return to their communities, and EVERYTHING to do with using incarcerated people and their loved ones as revenue streams.   Letters exchanged between prisoners and loved ones offer a counter to the dehumanization that we experience. Letters, cards, drawings, and ephemera serve as proof of life in a system that seeks our erasure and death. These documents are how we build or rebuild relationships, how we share news (good, bad, and mundane), how we learn about the conditions inside, how prisoners are able to stay connected to the children and families that are outside, and how we prevent more harm.  Hosted by the Beyond Prisons Podcast, NYU Prison Education Program and Study and Struggle.  Introduction by Kim Wilson. Kim Wilson is an educator, self-taught artist, and cohost and producer of the Beyond Prisons podcast. Moderated by Charlotte Rosen. Charlotte Rosen is a PhD Candidate in History at Northwestern University and a member of Study and Struggle, which organizes against criminalization and incarceration in Mississippi through mutual aid, political education, and community building. Panelists: Monica Cosby. Monica describes herself as a “gramma trying to do liberatory stuff,” subscribing to an abolition feminist mode of thinking, being and moving in the world. Her life and work have been shaped and informed by  the communities to which she belongs, including the community of artists, scholars, moms with whom she was incarcerated, and whose survival was/is an act of resistance against a system that would dispose of them. As an advocate and activist, she has collaborated, organized, and worked with Westside Justice Center, Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration, Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network, Unitarian Universalist Prison Ministry of Illinois, Women’s Justice Institute, Uptown People’s Law Center, and others. Monica is a scholar, thinker, and writer, having essays published or reprinted in TruthOut and In the Long Term (published by Haymarket Books). She also wrote Solitary Confinement is Used to Break People; On Leaving Prison: A Reflection on Entering and Exiting Communities; And, Restorative Revelations by Monica Cosby and Analise Buth–published in the St. Thomas Law Journal.   Lawrence Posey (He/Him). Lawrence is 44 years old and originally from Camden, New Jersey. He currently lives in the Bronx. He is a father of two children who are 18 and 15. He was previously incarcerated. Since his  release, he works as a manager at a company called Reserve Inc which is a covid-19 coalition. He is also a student at New York University studying at The Gallatin School of Individualized Study, majoring in Film and Business. He recently started his own publishing and production company called Legacy Works Enterprises. In addition to publishing, Legacy Works Enterprises focuses on youth educational programs and social justice. Lawrence is part of a social justice cohort At the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO Works) where he organizes with the Participant Advocacy Council (PAC for short). The PAC cohort has lobbied with Communities Not Cages (CCA) which has fought to eliminate mandatory minimum sentencing,  and advocated for Second Look Act, the Earn Good Time Act, and the Clean Slate Act. Finally, PAC also is in association with Treatment Not Jail (TNJ), lobbying for mental health programs instead of prison.  Mychal Pagan. Mychal Pagan (BA '24) is a student at NYU, and  is curious about the relationships between perception, memory, and narration. He is fascinated by the process of merging poetry with filmmaking, and the art of social photography with data-driven storytelling. His writing and photography have been featured in NYU publications including The Gallatin Review, Confluence, Fire in the Lake, and Missives. And his short documentary series Afternotes can be viewed at the NYU’s Prison Education Program website. Sergio Hyland (He/Him). Sergio recently returned to society after serving nearly 21 years straight. He is an abolitionist, and Editor-in-Chief of THE MOVEMENT Magazine, the official magazine of the Human Rights Coalition in Pennsylvania. He also works for the Abolitionist Law Center. Andre Pierce. Andre is a Black man that spent the last 25 years caged in Connecticut State prisons. He earned a Bachelor's Degree with a concentration in Philosophy. He writes,  “my strenuous efforts took place alongside my fight to maintain my sanity in a soul-crushing carceral institution.” He asserts that his extraordinary growth and development cannot be understood as rehabilitation but instead as Black Liberation. Dre, uses his intimate experience of suffering in prison to fuel his passion for prison abolition. Ellis Maxwell. Ellis Maxwell is an educator and community member in Fort Worth, Texas. They believe in making organic political education available to people of all ages, and seek to work with anyone willing to look at their conditioning and try to move differently. Ellis is the editor of the Beyond Prisons podcast. Maya Schenwar (She/Her). Maya is the editor-in-chief of Truthout. She is the co-author (with Victoria Law) of Prison by Any Other Name: The Harmful Consequences of Popular Reforms and author of Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn’t Work and How We Can Do Better. She is also the co-editor (with Joe Macaré and Alana Yu-Lan Price) of Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? Police Violence and Resistance in the United States. Maya is a co-founder of the Chicago Community Bond Fund, and she organizes with the abolitionist collective Love & Protect.  Episode Resources & Notes Watch video of the panel: https://www.beyond-prisons.com/home/video-why-physical-mail-matters Learn more about this issue and campaign: https://www.beyond-prisons.com/home/say-no-to-eliminating-physical-mail-in-delaware-prisons Credits Created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein Edited by Ellis Maxwell Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam Theme music by Jared Ware Support Beyond Prisons Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well. Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information Twitter: @Beyond_Prison Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast Instagram:@beyondprisons
Delaware's Draconian Mail Policy feat. Monica Cosby
16-03-2022
Delaware's Draconian Mail Policy feat. Monica Cosby
In this episode, Kim sits down with Monica Cosby to talk about the draconian policy in the Delaware Department of Corrections to end all physical mail sent to prisoners.  Join us to take action on Friday, March 18, 2022, and on Monday through Wednesday, March 21-23, 2022. Details at: https://www.beyond-prisons.com/home/say-no-to-eliminating-physical-mail-in-delaware-prisons Kim and Monica discuss the cruelty of this policy, which would prevent prisoners from receiving sympathy cards, birthday cards, and even hand-drawn items sent by their children or other loved ones. They also get into the painful isolation that this policy will lead to for many prisoners, whose main way of connecting with loved ones on the outside is through the mail, because of the cost of phone calls and the hassle of traveling long distances for in-person visits. Finally, they touch on the Delaware DOC's flimsy claim that this policy is designed to reduce contraband--and the much clearer profit motive behind digital mail.  Monica Cosby is a mother, grandmother, activist, organizer, restorative justice and peace circle keeper, poet, person of the theater, and a lover of books, music, cats, dogs, and the earth. Her life and work have been shaped and informed by the communities she has belonged to, including the community of artists, scholars and mothers with whom she was incarcerated for twenty years and whose survival was and is an act of resistance against a system that would dispose of them. She is the lead organizer of Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration and is a wonderful and valuable spirit in the Chicago movement community. Episode Resources & Notes Say NO To Eliminating Physical Mail In Delaware Prisons Coverage of DEDOC mail policy Petition in opposition to the mail policy Credits Created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein Edited by Ellis Maxwell Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam Theme music by Jared Ware Support Beyond Prisons Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well. Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information Twitter: @Beyond_Prison Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast Instagram:@beyondprisons
How We Stay Free feat. Christopher R. Rogers & YahNé Ndgo
19-02-2022
How We Stay Free feat. Christopher R. Rogers & YahNé Ndgo
Christopher R. Rogers and YahNé Ndgo join us for a wide ranging conversation grounded in the book “How We Stay Free: Notes On A Black Uprising.” This anthology, which was published by Common Notions and edited by our guest Christopher as well as Fajr Muhammad, and the Paul Robeson House & Museum, brings together essays, timelines, poetry, photography, illustration, and other artwork to reflect on the George Floyd Uprisings of 2020 in Philadelphia.  Kim and Brian ask Chris and YahNé about the Paul Robeson House and the place of art and localized knowledge in Black liberation movements. We discuss how some of the testimonies featured in How We Stay Free explore the shifting terrain of “what’s possible,” the complexity of formulating, aligning on, and ultimately making demands, and a whole lot more.  Christopher R. Rogers is an educator and cultural worker from Chester, PA. He serves as Public Programs Director for the Paul Robeson House & Museum, where he has volunteered since 2015. Additionally, he is currently a doctoral student within the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education where he studies neighborhood storytelling practices in West Philadelphia. He serves on the National Steering Committee for Black Lives Matter at School, supporting movements for racial justice in K-16 education. YahNé Ndgo is a member of Ubuntu⇔Freedom, which publicly launched on April 24, 2021 with the development and sharing of the Principles of Freedom. She is also a strategist with the #LoveNotPhear Campaign to bring Mumia home, a Steering Committee member of the Free Kamau Sadiki Now Campaign, and a member of the Black Alliance for Peace. A mother, singer and writer, she received her MFA in Writing and Literature from Bennington College in Vermont. She is the lead caretaker of the Revolutionary Care Space. Episode Resources & Notes Chris Rogers on Twitter: @justmaybechris  Paul Robeson House and Museum YahNé Ndgo’s website How We Stay Free Project The Black Philadelphia Radical Collective/ Our 13 Demands The Philly Black Student Alliance 215 People’s Alliance 2022 Marvel Cooke Journalism Fellowship Credits Created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein Edited by Ellis Maxwell Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam Theme music by Jared Ware Support Beyond Prisons Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well. Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information Twitter: @Beyond_Prison Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast Instagram:@beyondprisons
Community Is The Antidote To Policing feat. Geo Maher
15-01-2022
Community Is The Antidote To Policing feat. Geo Maher
This is a companion episode to our interview with Geo Maher. If you haven’t listened to that yet, you may want to put this on hold and check that conversation out first. Kim Wilson and Geo Maher dive deep into Chapter 5 of his book, A World Without Police: How Strong Communities Make Cops Obsolete. The chapter is entitled, “Building Communities Without Police,” and this discussion was originally prepared for one of Kim’s courses. Geo Maher is a Philadelphia-based writer and organizer, and currently Visiting Associate Professor of Global Political Thought at Vassar College. He is author of four books, including A World Without Police, and his next book Anticolonial Eruptions appears in March.  Episode Resources & Notes A World Without Police Credits Created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein Edited by Ellis Maxwell Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam Theme music by Jared Ware Support Beyond Prisons Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well. Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information Twitter: @Beyond_Prison Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast Instagram:@beyondprisons
A World Without Police feat. Geo Maher
15-01-2022
A World Without Police feat. Geo Maher
Geo Maher joins us to discuss his new book, "A World Without Police: How Strong Communities Make Cops Obsolete."  We touch on a number of subjects, including the context in which the book was written, cops and labor unions, and how Geo’s experiences in Venezuela influenced his work. We also touch on Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s comment likening abolition to a suburb and rhetorical strategies with the mainstream, as well as examples of bottom-up abolitionist organizing around the world. Geo explains what he means by “strong community," the project of abolishing police and the border as being one in the same, and a whole lot more. In addition to this interview, we have published a companion episode featuring an in-depth conversation between Kim and Geo about chapter 5 of his book, “Building Communities Without Police.” Geo Maher is a Philadelphia-based writer and organizer, and currently Visiting Associate Professor of Global Political Thought at Vassar College. He is author of four books, including A World Without Police, and his next book Anticolonial Eruptions appears in March.  Episode Resources & Notes A World Without Police Credits Created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein Edited by Ellis Maxwell Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam Theme music by Jared Ware Support Beyond Prisons Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well. Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information Twitter: @Beyond_Prison Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast Instagram:@beyondprisons
Holding Change feat. adrienne maree brown
12-11-2021
Holding Change feat. adrienne maree brown
In this episode, adrienne maree brown discusses her recent book: Holding Change: The Way of Emergent Strategy Facilitation and Mediation. We talk about the structure of the book, Black feminist wisdom, breathwork as a facilitation practice, the importance of setting boundaries, the need to remain open to new ideas, and moving with grief. adrienne maree brown is the author of Grievers (the first in her novella series with the Black Dawn imprint), Holding Change: The Way of Emergent Strategy Facilitation and Meditation, We Will Not Cancel Us and Other Dreams of Transformative Justice, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds and the co-editor of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements. She is the co-host of the How to Survive the End of the World and Octavia’s Parables podcasts. adrienne is rooted in Durham. Episode Resources & Notes Holding Change: The Way of Emergent Strategy Facilitation and Mediation Grievers Adrienne maree brown on IG Credits adrienne maree brown photo by anjali pinto Created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein Edited by Ellis Maxwell Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam Theme music by Jared Ware Support Beyond Prisons Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well. Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information Twitter: @Beyond_Prison Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast Instagram:@beyondprisons
The Abolitionist Newspaper feat. Woods Ervin & Rory Elliott
17-08-2021
The Abolitionist Newspaper feat. Woods Ervin & Rory Elliott
Rory Elliott and Woods Ervin from Critical Resistance’s newspaper, The Abolitionist, join the show for a wide-ranging conversation on abolitionist media. According to their website, The Abolitionist, sometimes lovingly referred to as The Abbey, “launched in the spring of 2005 as a bilingual publication dedicated to the strategy and practice of prison industrial complex (PIC) abolition. It is distributed absolutely free of charge to thousands of people in prisons, jails, and detention centers throughout the US, who in turn share the paper with many more of their fellow prisoners.“ “From analyses of racial capitalism and imperialism, to housing, education, land struggles, mental health, confronting gender violence, fights to build life-affirming infrastructure for community self-determination and more, each issue is packed with fresh analytical articles, reflections, poetry, visual art, and organizing resources and tools for resistance inside and outside of prisons.”   This wide ranging conversation touches not just on the history of this publication, but the role of history and historicizing in the journalism they produce. We talk about how the ethics of abolitionist journalism differ from that of traditional US journalistic norms. We also discuss some of the pieces that have been published in the Abbey recently and the intentions behind their editorial decisions.  Rory Elliott (she/her) has been a chapter member with Critical Resistance Portland since 2019. She is a core member of the mutual aid project The Imprisoned Firefighter Fundraiser that raised $61,000 for prisoners fighting wildfires across the state of Oregon, and worked closely with other organizers to get stimulus check information to everyone locked in the Oregon prison system. She is the Distribution Coordinator & an Editorial Collective member with The Abolitionist Newspaper. She's a t-girl against assimilation, for queer liberation and prison industrial complex abolition.   Woods Ervin (they/them) is a Black nonbinary trans person from the South who has been deeply immersed in movements for racial and gender justice for over a decade. Woods has been a member of Critical Resistance since 2010, and from 2014 to 2018 was part of rebuilding Transgender, Gender-variant, Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP). Through both organizations, Woods organized as part of multiple campaigns to halt jail construction and policing. Woods is the current Communications Director at Critical Resistance.  Episode Resources & Notes Subscribe to The Abolitionist Newspaper: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/abolitionistnewspaper Subscribe a loved one inside to The Abolitionist Newspaper: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfmTjPTWrqBphW2FKOupc2w5ycr0AlvRi_rmn3_K9frV0fK7w/viewform Issue 34 Sneak Peek: Finding Our Way Forward – Past Neoliberalism, Austerity, Fascism, and the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) - by Woods Ervin https://abolitionistpaper.wordpress.com/2021/04/01/issue-34-sneak-peek-finding-our-way-forward/ Read past issues here: https://abolitionistpaper.wordpress.com/category/abolitionist/ Credits Created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Nam-Sonenstein Edited by Ellis Maxwell Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam Theme music by Jared Ware Support Beyond Prisons Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well. Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information Twitter: @Beyond_Prison Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast Instagram:@beyondprisons
Beyond Solitary #2: Kwame Shakur on Revolution and Reactionary Reformism
11-06-2021
Beyond Solitary #2: Kwame Shakur on Revolution and Reactionary Reformism
In the second episode of our series, Beyond Solitary, Kwame Shakur joins the show to talk about the need to develop inside-out revolutionary strategy, and the work already being done with that goal in mind by organizations like I.D.O.C. Watch, Prison Lives Matter, and the New Afrikan Liberation Collective. This is the second of two episodes with members of I.D.O.C. Watch, an organization of prisoners in Indiana and outside supporters dedicated to exposing abuses by authorities in the Department of Corrections. In our first episode, we spoke with longtime political prison Shaka Shakur about the history of the prison movement in Indiana. In this episode, Kwame shares his assessment of current struggles against police brutality, and the disconnect between the prison movement and the larger movement on the streets. Kwame also touches on the effects solitary has on prisoners’ mental health, and how restrictions implemented in the time of COVID have only exacerbated these harms.  Kwame Shakur is a New Afrikan political prisoner, currently held captive in solitary confinement, in the SHU, at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. He is the co-founder and chairman of the New Afrikan Liberation Collective, as well as the national director for the Prison Lives Matter movement. Kwame’s essays have appeared in numerous publications, including San Francisco Bay View.  Episode Resources & Notes Prison Legal Support NetworkIDOC Watch PatreonNew Afrikan Liberation Collective Prison Lives Matter Revolution vs. Reactionary Reformism Kwame Shakur on COVID-19, Conditions & Repression in the SHU Lawsuit Won by Aaron Isby-Israel against Indiana D.O.C. Write to Shaka Shakur or Kwame Shakur:  Shaka Shakur:  Shaka Shakur #1996207Buckingham Correctional CenterP.O. Box 430Dillwyn, VA 23936 Kwame Shakur:  Michael Joyner (Kwame) #149677Wabash Valley Correctional FacilityP.O. Box 1111Carlisle, IN, 47838 Credits Created by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein Hosted by anonymous, and edited by Ellis Maxwell Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam Theme music by Jared Ware Additional music by Alicia Lopez-Torres, Remy Erkel, and Ellis Maxwell Support Beyond Prisons Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well. Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information Twitter: @Beyond_Prison Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast Instagram:@beyondprisons
Beyond Solitary: 25 Years In The Indiana Prison Movement feat. Shaka Shakur
08-04-2021
Beyond Solitary: 25 Years In The Indiana Prison Movement feat. Shaka Shakur
Beyond Solitary series | Episode 1 In the first episode of our new series, "Beyond Solitary," Shaka Shakur talks about the history of the prison movement in Indiana, and how the movement has evolved and responded to consistent repression from the carceral state. This is the first of two episodes featuring members of I.D.O.C. Watch, an organization of prisoners in Indiana and outside supporters, dedicated to exposing abuses by authorities in the Department of Corrections. Shaka begins with a comprehensive account of the prison movement in Indiana in the 1980s and 1990s, including the organizing of a lengthy hunger strike in 1991. Shaka then details the ways the prison system seeks to undermine revolutionary organizing, using tactics such as long-term solitary confinement, “diesel therapy,” and domestic exile. We talk about the importance of political education and coordination inside and outside of prisons. And finally, Shaka describes I.D.O.C. Watch’s vision of and commitment to build dual power.  Shaka Shakur is a New Afrikan political prisoner, and longtime revolutionary organizer within the Indiana and Virginia prison systems. Shaka was first imprisoned in Indiana, but was transferred to Virginia in 2019, via the Interstate Corrections Compact, a tool often used by the state to attempt to weaken the support networks and movement building surrounding political and politicized prisoners. Shaka is a member of numerous political organizations, including I.D.O.C. Watch, the New Afrikan Liberation Collective, and Prison Lives Matter. Shaka has written numerous essays and reports on prison conditions, including an article published in February of 2020 on the struggle against organized white supremacists in the Indiana Department of Corrections.  Episode Resources & Notes Prison Legal Support NetworkIDOC Watch PatreonNew Afrikan Liberation Collective Prison Lives Matter Shaka Shakur on the Struggle Against Organized White Supremacists in the IDOC Down: Reflections on Prison Resistance in Indiana Credits "Beyond Solitary" series theme music by Alicia Lopez-Torres, Remy Erkel, and Ellis Maxwell Hosted and edited by Ellis Maxwell Beyond Prisons Podcast is created by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam Theme music by Jared Ware Support Beyond Prisons Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well. Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information Twitter: @Beyond_Prison Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast Instagram:@beyondprisons