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A painting by Yashua Klos called Diagram of How She Hold it All Together.


Abolition for the People with Kaepernick Publishing

Abolition for the People:
A Conversation with Kaepernick Publishing

The Department of African American Studies invites you to join us for a conversation about police abolition at Noon PST on March 29. This event, part of a series on abolition democracy, features editors and contributors to Kaepernick Publishing’s groundbreaking online publication, “Abolition for the People,” a project produced by Kaepernick Publishing in partnership with LEVEL. In conversation with Nikki Jones and Gabriel Regalado, Berkeley alumni Ameer Loggins, Christopher Petrella, and Connie Wun, and prominent abolitionist Mariame Kaba (author of We Do This ‘Til We Free Us), will discuss how Black Studies encourages us to embrace abolition – not reform – as a response to police violence and what abolition means as a political project and practice.


Mariame Kaba is an organizer, educator & curator who is active in movements for racial, gender, and transformative justice. She is the founder and director of Project NIA, a grassroots organization with a vision to end youth incarceration. She has co-founded multiple organizations and projects over the years. Her work has been recognized with several honors and awards. 
Christopher Petrella is a historian of 19th & 20th century racialization in the United States and serves as a writer and researcher for Know Your Rights Camp + Ra Vision Media + Kaepernick Publishing. Christopher’s writing and scholarship examines intellectual histories of race and resistance in the U.S. and has been featured in The New York Times and on NPR and CNN. He is a regular contributor to The Washington Post and is currently writing his first book with Haymarket, provisionally titled, Real White: Histories of White Supremacy in New England. Real White challenges New England’s self-presentation as an imagined community of racial piety and antiracist myth-making over and against the U.S. South.

Connie Wun, PhD is a co-founder of AAPI Women Lead. She also leads national research projects on race, gender and violence. Connie is a 2020 Soros Justice Fellow and has received numerous awards including  National Science Foundation fellowship. Her research has been published in academic journals, anthologies and online platforms.  She is also a former high school teacher, college educator, and sexual assault counselor. 

Ameer Hasan Loggins, Ph.D., is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley’s African American Studies doctoral program, and is currently a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University. Ameer developed the political education curriculum for Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp and served as the camp’s lead speaker. His work has been featured in The Guardian, Washington Post, ESPN, and New York Magazine. Most recently, Ameer co-edited and contributed to the Abolition for the People project.

Gabriel Regalado is a Ph.D. candidate in African Diaspora Studies at UC Berkeley with a designated emphasis in Critical Theory. His research focuses on the Black radical tradition, Marxist theory, and Third World revolution. He is also a Los Angeles-based community organizer with the Social Justice Learning Institute.

Nikki Jones is Professor of African American Studies at UC Berkeley. Her work focuses on the experiences of Black women, men, and youth with the criminal legal system, policing, and violence. Professor Jones is the author of two books: Between Good and Ghetto: African American Girls and Inner-City Violence (2010) and The Chosen Ones: Black Men and the Politics of Redemption (2018). Her current research includes the analysis of interviews with police officers and video recordings of routine police encounters with the public, with a focus on encounters that involve the police and Black youth in high-surveillance neighborhoods.


MONDAY, APRIL 5: Black Feminist Geographies of Emancipation
Speakers: Savannah Shange, Brandi Thompson Summers
Moderators: Tianna Paschel, reelaviolette botts-ward

Part of a larger project to amplify the interdisciplinary, political and world-building work of Black Studies, Critical Conversations aims to create generative exchange about the legacies and futures of Black Studies within this pivotal moment. Our Spring 2021 series is organized around two themes. Firstly, we will be celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Barbara T. Christian, an architect of Black feminist criticism, a founding member of our Department and a gifted writer and teacher. We will also be exploring the concept of “abolition democracy,” thinking creatively and collaboratively about the practice of abolition as necessary to building life-affirming institutions and robust democratic structures. Through both themes, we ask: what are the lessons of the Black Feminist, Black Radical, and Black intellectual traditions for our moment and what is the role of Black Studies in building more just futures? 

Critical Conversations Spring 2021 launches two new department initiatives: the Abolition Democracy Initiative, funded by UC Berkeley’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, and the Black Studies Collaboratory, funded by an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Just Futures Grant. 

Diagram of How She Hold it All Together
53” x 52”
Paper construction of woodblock prints and
graphite on archival Japanese rice paper
Courtesy of Yashua Klos