The Study and Struggle program is the first phase of an ongoing project to organize against incarceration and criminalization in Mississippi through four months of political education and community building. Our Critical Conversations webinar series, hosted by Haymarket Books, will cover the themes for the upcoming month. Haymarket Books is an independent, radical, non-profit publisher.
The first webinar theme is Abolition as Study and Deconstructing Racial Capitalism and is a conversation exploring the longstanding relationship between political study and the practice of abolition. Speakers will also discuss racial capitalism and its connection to the Prison Industrial Complex both historically and in current organizing contexts.
Rachel Herzing is 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. Rachel has played roles as an organizer, activist, and advocate fighting the violence of policing and imprisonment.
Rukia Lumumba is the Executive Director of the People’s Advocacy Institute, co-lead of the Electoral Justice Project of the Movement for Black Lives, and a steering committee member and co-chair of legal committee of the Mississippi Prison Reform Coalition.
Derecka Purnell is a human rights lawyer, writer, and organizer. Since graduating from Harvard Law School, she has worked to end police and prison violence nationwide by providing legal assistance, research, and trainings to community based organizations through an abolitionist framework. Derecka is currently a columnist at The Guardian and Deputy Director of Spirit of Justice Center.
Stephen Wilson is a currently incarcerated, Black, queer writer, activist and student. For over two decades, he was active in the ballroom community and worked as an HIV-prevention specialist and community organizer. His work and practice inherit teachings from prison abolition, transformative, and racial justice, Black feminist theory, and gender and queer liberation. Specifically, he works to end cycles of poverty and incarceration that have plagued his community. He works to expose and dismantle the prison industrial complex and to build a world in which we deal with harm without caging or exiling other people.
Study and Struggle website: https://www.studyandstruggle.com