Spring 2021 - University of Houston
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About the Series

In fall 2020, we began an exploration of abolition as a critical framework for change. Through a series of virtual events with Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Derecka Purnell, and the upEND Movement, we hosted community conversations about challenging systems and reimagining ways to achieve justice and liberation while exploring abolition as a vision, abolition as practice, and abolition as a critical framework to bring about change. 

This spring 2021, the conversation continues. Join us for a series of virtual events and community conversations about challenging systems and reimagining ways to achieve justice and liberation. We invite you to attend these events and to view the previous recordings of this series to gain deeper insight and understanding into a subject many had not heard of or knew very little about, until abolition became very much part of our public discourse during the uprisings of Summer 2020.

As the renowned activist and scholar Ruth Wilson Gilmore describes, abolition is "a way of seeing."  She said abolition makes you ask, when you look, "what are you seeing and what would you rather see?"


Dominique Morgan | Activist |Change Maker |Revolutionary (She/Her),
is an award-winning artist, TEDx speaker, and Executive Director of Black and Pink, the largest prison abolitionist organization in the United States.

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MARCH 9 | Black Like Us 

Join us for our annual Black History Month* event dedicated to conversations about the LGBTQ Experience in the Black Community. This year’s discussion will be led by Dominique Morgan, CEO of Black and Pink, a national prison abolitionist organization dedicated to abolishing the criminal punishment system and liberating LGBTQIA2S+ people and people living with HIV/AIDS who are affected by that system through advocacy, support, and organizing.

*This event, originally scheduled in February, was postponed due to the Winter Storm.

Feminista Jones | Intersectionality Expert | Author, is a Philadelphia-based feminist writer, public speaker, retired social worker, and community activist. She is an award-winning blogger and the author of four books, including the critically acclaimed 2019 release, Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists Are Changing the World From the Tweets to the Streets.

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MARCH 31 | Amplify Your Voice

For Social Work month, we will explore social work’s history of collaboration and cooperation with carceral systems including policing and foster care with Feminista Jones, retired social worker, feminist writer, public speaker, and community activist. We will discuss how social work’s history aligns with our values and professional mandate to fight against systems that perpetuate injustice and oppression. How do social workers reconcile our history? How do we move forward?


Reginald Dwayne Betts is an award winning author, poet, lawyer, and outspoken advocate for criminal justice reform. Betts transformed himself from a sixteen-year old kid sentenced to nine-years in prison to a critically acclaimed writer and graduate of the Yale Law School. His latest collection of poetry, Felon, interrogates and challenges our notions of justice. Longtime New York Times critic, Michiko Kukatani calls Betts’ work both “haunting and harrowing.”

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APRIL 27 | Speaking of Social Justice

We will explore Felon: Poems, by Reginald Dwayne Betts, the 2020 selection for the Dean’s Summer Social Justice Reading Series. Betts, an award-winning author, poet, lawyer, and advocate for criminal justice reform will join us to present an excerpt of the solo show he is developing based on Felon. The work engages with the contemporary moment, mass incarceration, and the challenges of having a complicated conversation about crime, punishment, and sorrow in America.