Chicago for Abolition Summit Schedule, November 8 – 12th, 2017

October 8, 2017 Leave a Comment

Chicago for Abolition: A Summit on Organizing and Strategy

A weekend of events to strengthen the movement against the prison industrial complex. Nov. 8-12, 2017.

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In this period of astonishing energy and public discussion about abolition, Critical Resistance (CR) is excited to build with organizations and communities in Chicago that are fighting to address and eliminate the harms of the interlocking systems of policing, imprisonment, and surveillance—what we call the prison industrial complex (PIC).  As we approach 20 years since the first Critical Resistance conference and our early campaigns, CR is committed to building a stronger abolitionist movement nationally. We are humbled and glad to work with communities in Chicago as part of this effort. Through a weekend of events, workshops and political dialogue, we seek to build a stronger organizational relationships and a stronger shared understanding of PIC abolition and how we practice and advance this cause, locally and nationally.

Wednesday, November 8 - No Easy Victories: Fighting for Abolition
Location: University Church, 5655 South University Avenue Chicago, IL 60637
Time: 5pm Dinner; 7pm Event Program 5 – 6:30pm: Free Community Dinner, catered by Sanctuary Café; 6:30pm: Coffee and Reception; 7 – 9pm: Event Program
Description: A Conversation with Angela Y. Davis and Ruthie Wilson Gilmore, moderated by Beth Richie.
All seats for this event are full! If you RSVP’d but will not be using your seats after all, please let us know ASAP as there is a waitlist for this event. Email

Thursday, November 9 – Without Walls: Abolition and Rethinking Education
Location: First Defense Legal Aid, 601 S. California Ave, Chicago, IL 61612
Time: 6:30-8:30 PM
Description: Are you organizing to get police out of your school? Working on responses to harm in the classroom and staffroom that do not involve criminalization? Want a curriculum that creates possibilities to imagine and build a world without prisons and borders? Building to protect students and families from immigration enforcement (ICE)?

Come to this panel discussion with K-12 educators, youth advocates and abolitionist organizers that will deepen learning between and across these constituencies and identify needed tools and resources.

Featuring: Ayanna Banks Harris - Chicago Math Teacher and Dean of Instruction, Love & Protect; Beatriz Beckford – MomsRising; Cyriac Mathew - Uplift Community High School; Muhammad Sankari - Arab American Action Network; Moderator: Charity Tolliver, Black on Both Sides/BYP 100

Friday, November 10 - Beyond One Chicago: Resisting the Divisions of the Prison Industrial Complex 
Location: UIC Student Services Building, 1200 W Harrison St., Chicago, IL 60607. Conf. Rooms B & C 
Time: Doors open at 6pm, Start at 6:30
Description: An event on resisting criminalization, gang databases, and policing. We will feature the launch of a critical new report on the use of gang databases in Chicago. Community organizers will discuss past efforts to fight policing and criminalization. Together we will build abolitionist visions of expansive sanctuary in Chicago. Featuring BYP 100, Critical Resistance, Organized Communities Against Deportation (OCAD), and Mijente.

Saturday, November 11 - Fight to Win: Shrinking Prisons & Jails / Strengthening Communities

Location: Trinity United Church of Christ, 400 95th St, Chicago, IL 60628
Time: 12pm - 2pm
Description: Fight to Win: Shrinking Prisons and Jails / Strengthening Our Communities will be a workshop-style event build sharpen our knowledge of organizing against imprisonment and strengthen strategies to fight for a world without cages. We will explore and discuss successful campaigns around stopping jail construction, ending money bail, advocating for prison closure, and for supporting prisoner-led struggles. This event is hosted by Chicago Community Bond Fund, Critical Resistance, Free Write Arts & Literacy, Nehemiah Trinity Rising, and The Next Movement.

Sunday, November 12 – Organizers’ Roundtable Discussion
Location: Chicago Freedom School (CFS), 719 S. State St., 4th Floor, Chicago, IL 60605
Time: 12pm - 2:30pm; We’ll provide some coffee and light brunch food.
Description: Critical Resistance invites members and staff of organizations who are attending the Chicago for Abolition Summit to an informal roundtable discussion. We are interested in hearing about local work fighting the harms of imprisonment, policing, surveillance, courts, and their attendant ills. We hope to talk about what Critical Resistance is up to, hear feedback on the weekend, and think through connections to strengthen our broad movement for abolition. Please bring materials, propaganda, swag, anything you want to share or show off. RSVP’s appreciated: Please RSVP to
Info about venue: We will be meeting in the in the "Open Space" which is the large central room in the center of CFS, on the 4th floor. CFS is just south of State and Balbo next door to Pauly's Pizza. There are stairs only from the entrance off of State Street. We have an elevator in the back which can be accessed from the alley, right next to the parking lot. Ring the buzzer that says "Chicago Freedom/ICAH" and someone will buzz you in.

Thank you to the Chicago for Abolition partner organizations: Black on Both Sides, BYP100, Chicago Community Bond Fund, Chicago Freedom School, Education for Liberation, FIST - Formerly Incarcerated Students Together, Free Write Arts and Literacy, Love & Protect, Mijente, Nehemiah Trinity Rising, Organized Communities Against Deportation (OCAD), People's Education Movement, Teachers for Social Justice, and Trinity United Church of Christ.

Thank you to the Chicago for Abolition sponsoring organizations! Broadway Youth Center, Chicago National Lawyers Guild (NLG), Chicago Torture Justice Memorials, Decarcerate Marion County/No New Jail Coalition, Familia Trans Queer Liberation, For the People Artists Collective, Illinois Deaths in Custody Project, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Jewish Voice for Peace, John Marshall Law School- National Lawyers Guild, Lifted Voices, Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration (MUAVI), National Black Food & Justice Alliance, PASO- West Suburban Action Project, People's Response Team, Project NIA, The Next Movement, Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois, and Village Leadership Academy.

Donate or Sponsor: The generous support of you and your organization helps us host this summit and build a stronger national abolitionist movement. Gifts of $100- $500 or whatever you can offer are greatly appreciated. Contribute here:

Website: Email: Office: 510-444-0484 Cell: 201-310-2345 (Nov 7th – 12th)


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