Highlights and Takeaways from Beyond the Bars 2022: Movement Building in a World on Fire
The 12th Annual Beyond the Bars conference explored the intersections between the movements around decarceration, climate justice, and abolition.
April 19, 2022
On April 9, 2022, the Columba Center for Justice's Beyond the Bars conference resumed with an in-person gathering at Riverside Church that brought together the movements for decarceration, abolition, and climate and environmental justice. During three panels held over the course of one day, attendees explored not only how to confront the dire, intersecting realities of climate catastrophe, mass punishment, criminalization and incarceration, but also how activists are working towards good relations between movements and communities, and are working towards building a more just and equitable future for the Earth and for humanity.
Connecting the Struggles: Decarceration, Abolition, Environmental and Climate Justice
The day's first plenary panel featured Ruth Wilson Gilmore (The Graduate Center), Tamisha Walker (Safe Return Project), Kelly Hayes (Lifted Voices Collective), Alleen Brown (The Intercept), and Alice Kim (Pozen Family Center for Human Rights/PNAP).
Movement Building in a World on Fire: Organizing at the Intersections
The day's second plenary panel featured Asha Ransby-Sporn (The Dissenters), recorded remarks from Monica Trinidad (Just Seeds Collective), Sumaya Awad (Adalah Justice Project), Darren Mack (Freedom Agenda), and Nadia Ben-Youssef (Center for Constitutional Rights).
The final plenary panel featured Patricia Rubio (Another Gulf is Possible), Richard Cruz (Ahimsa Collective), Sonal Jessel (WE ACT for Environmental Justice), Laura Whitehorn (Release Aging People in Prison Campaign), and Andrea James (The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls). There was also a closing performance by Batala NYC.
"We started organizing in prison because while the conversation about mass incarceration was happening, we heard nothing about women. And we still unapologetically bring a gender analysis to the issue." –Andrea James @thecouncilus