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Building the World We Want - Prison Abolition and Gender, Racial & Economic Justice

Starts 15 June 2018 - 18:00
Finishes 15 June 2018 - 21:00
Venue CLO B01, Clore Management Centre, Torrington Square, Bloomsbury, WC1E 7JL
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Free entry; booking required
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This event is part of the School of Law, Birkbeck's annual Law on Trial series. Find out more here. The hashtag for the series is #LawOnTrial.

Law on Trial 2018: Building the World We Want: Prison Abolition and Gender, Racial & Economic Justice

Join us for the public launch event of Abolitionist Futures: Building Social Justice Not Criminal Justice, the 2018 International Conference on Penal Abolition. We are excited to host Beth Richie, Ruth Wilson Gilmore and Deborah Coles, three leading organisers/thinkers/strategists in the global movement for prison abolition. Reflecting on movement building over the past the two decades, Beth, Ruthie and Deb will discuss key lessons learned, as well as successes and challenges of current struggles. How can we grow and strengthen our movements from grassroots to global? How can we connect our struggles and build solidarity across feminist anti-violence organising, environmental justice, anti-poverty and racial justice? What will it take to dismantle the prison industrial complex and build safe and sustainable communities? Be part of the discussion and debate on how we build the world we want.

The event will run from 6.00-8.00pm followed by a non-alcoholic drinks reception from 8.00-9.00pm.

This event will be live-streamed via Panopto here.

About the Speakers:

Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Professor of Geography and Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the City University of New York Graduate Center. A co-founder of many grassroots organizations including California Prison Moratorium Project, and Critical Resistance, she works on racial capitalism, organized violence, organized abandonment, changing state structure, criminalization, and labor and social movements. A second edition of her prize-winning book Golden Gulag will appear early next year. Recent works include “Beyond Bratton” (Policing the Planet, Camp and Heatherton, eds.), and “Abolition Geography and the Problem of Innocence” (Futures of Black Radicalism, Lubin and Johnson, eds.). Gilmore has lectured in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.

Beth E. Richie is Head of the Department of Criminology, Law and Justice and Professor of African American Studies at The University of Illinois at Chicago. The emphasis of her scholarly and activist work has been on the ways that race/ethnicity and social position affect women's experience of violence and incarceration, focusing on the experiences of African American battered women and sexual assault survivors. Dr. Richie is the author of Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence and America’s Prison Nation (NYU Press, 2012) which chronicles the evolution of the contemporary anti-violence movement during the time of mass incarceration in the United States and numerous articles concerning Black feminism and gender violence, race and criminal justice policy, and the social dynamics around issues of sexuality, prison abolition, and grassroots organizations in African American Communities. She is also author of Compelled to Crime: the Gender Entrapment of Black Battered Women. Dr. Richie is a board member of The Institute on Domestic Violence in the African Community, The National Network for Women in Prison, A Call To Men and a founding member of INCITE!: Women of Color Against Violence.

Deborah Coles is the executive director of INQUEST, and has worked for the charity since 1989. She leads INQUEST's strategic policy, legal and parliamentary work and has considerable expertise in working to prevent death and ill treatment in all forms of detention and for more effective accountable learning. She has been an independent expert adviser to numerous government committees and inquiries, is a regular media commentator, delivers conference papers nationally and internationally and is author of numerous articles and publications. She is also on the board of trustees of Clean Break and a special adviser to Women in Prison.

Access: The event is wheelchair accessible. If you face other accessibility barriers, please contact us so we can support your attendance. For further information about the event, contact Sarah Lamble:

For more information about Abolitionist Futures, please see the conference webpage.

This event is free however booking is required via this page.

Latecomers to the events are not guaranteed entry. Please be advised that photographs may be taken at the events. Please note that this booking is through the 3rd party service Eventbrite and by making this booking you are a customer of Eventbrite.

Please contact us if you have any access requirements. More details of accessibility at Birkbeck venues can be found here.

This event is part of the School of Law's 25th Anniversary celebrations. The School of Law, Birkbeck was founded in 1992 as a Department of Law with three members of academic staff. Over the last twenty-five years it has become a School comprising the Departments of Law and Criminology as well as the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, four research Centres, 40 members of staff and an overall student body of over 1,000. The School is proud of being a pioneer in establishing and developing a hub for the field of critical legal studies. While our national and international reputation has been forged through critical legal research, more recently we have gained recognition for critical criminological and activist research, socio-legal scholarship and policy-engaged empirical research. In recognition of this the last Research Excellence Framework exercise ranked us as being in the top 10 law schools in the UK and in the top 3 in London, while our research environment was judged conducive to producing research of the highest quality.

In this our 25th Anniversary year we will be holding a series of events reflecting on our history and successes as well as looking forward to the opportunities and challenges facing critical legal and criminological teaching and scholarship in the 21st century. Find out more about the 25th Anniversary celebrations here.


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