Study and Struggle organizes against criminalization and incarceration in Mississippi through mutual aid, political education, and community building. We provide a bilingual Spanish and English curriculum with discussion questions and reading materials, as well as financial support, to over 100 participants in radical study groups inside and outside prisons in Mississippi. These groups correspond with groups from across the country through our pen pal program. We regularly come together for online conversations hosted by Haymarket Books. The curriculum, built by a combination of currently- and formerly-incarcerated people, scholars, and community organizers, centers around the interrelationship between prison abolition and immigrant justice, with a particular attention to freedom struggles in Mississippi and the U.S. South.
For our Fall 2021 four month curriculum, we have borrowed and augmented Ruth Wilson Gilmore's argument that “abolition is about presence, not absence. It has to be green, and in order to be green, it has to be red (anti-capitalist), and in order to be red, it has to be international," having added “intersectional” as a fourth analytical category that we hope moves us beyond “single-issue” organizing. Study and Struggle provides a bilingual curriculum to all our imprisoned comrades in Mississippi with the support of our friends at 1977 Books and makes it fully available online for other study groups to use as they see fit.
Our third webinar theme is "Red" and will be a conversation about what it means for abolition to be anti-capitalist, centering questions of labor, time, and unfreedom.
While all of our events are freely available, we ask that those who are able make a solidarity donation in support of commissary and mutual aid for our incarcerated participants.
Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences and Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Co-founder of many grassroots organizations including the California Prison Moratorium Project, Critical Resistance, and the Central California Environmental Justice Network, Gilmore is author of the prize-winning Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (UC Press) and the forthcoming book Change Everything (Haymarket) . Recent honors include the SUNY-Purchase College Eugene V. Grant Distinguished Scholar Prize for Social and Environmental Justice (2015-16); the American Studies Association Richard A Yarborough Mentorship Award (2017); The Association of American Geographers Lifetime Achievement Award (2020); and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2021).
Stephen Wilson is a currently incarcerated, Black, queer writer, activist and student. He is a founding member of Dreaming Freedom Practicing Abolition, a network of self-organized prisoner study groups building abolitionist community behind and across prison walls. Follow him on Twitter @agitateorganize.