Tag Archives: prison abolition

Event: Dean Spade on “Critical Trans Politics, Violence and Law”

I am SUPER excited to announce that Dean Spade, founder of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, will be speaking next week on “Critical Trans Politics, Violence and Law”. Spade’s activist, academic, and community organizing work has been enormously influential in anti-racist, feminist, queer, trans, economic justice, and prison abolition social justice movements.

When: January 31, 5-6:30 pm

Where: Bodek Lounge in Houston Hall, Univ. of Pennsylvania

Cost: FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC–tell community members, friends, partners, family, activists, artists, and all those working for broad-scale grassroots radical social change


Is changing the law the best way to make things better for marginalized groups? Has anti-discrimination law effectively addressed racism, sexism, and ableism over the last decades? How do we account for stagnating wages, a growing wealth gap, drastic expansions of criminalization and immigration enforcement in the national story that we’ve all become equal under the law in recent decades? Dean uses critical race theory, women of color feminism, and other intellectual traditions to analyze the role of law reform in contemporary queer and trans politics. He examines the poverty, violence, criminalization and immigration enforcement facing trans populations, and questions the utility of anti-discrimination law and hate crimes laws for addressing these harms. He proposes that a critical trans politics is emerging that rejects law reform as a goal and engages tactically with legal work as it attempts to dismantle apparatuses of racialized-gendered violence like prisons and borders and build alternative structures that meaningfully address contemporary conditions of poverty and violence.

Dean Spade photo

Dean Spade is Associate Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law. Spade has taught classes on sexual orientation, gender identity, poverty and law at the City University of New York (CUNY), Seattle University, Columbia University, and Harvard University. In 2002 he founded the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, a collective that provides free legal services and works to build trans resistance rooted in racial and economic justice. Spade is the author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law (South End Press, 2011).

Spade--Normal Life

For more info, go here.


Event: Captive Genders: Teach-In on Abolitionist Imaginings & Transgender Activism

Captive Genders: Teach-In on Abolitionist Imaginings and Transgender Activism


Tuesday, February 5, 2013 – 1:30pm – 4:30pm

Penn Women’s Center, 3643 Locust Walk

Join us for an afternoon of documentary films profiling activists Kiyoshi Kuromyia and Marsha P. Johnson followed by a teach-in with activists Reina and Che Gossett about prison abolition and legacies of transgender activism.

NB: Films will be screened from 1:30-3:00 pm; teach-in/discussion 3-4:30 pm. 

Reina Gossett lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and believes creativity & imagination are vital in movements for self determination.  She is a trans activist & artist, working as membership director at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and blogging at thespiritwas.tumblr.com.  Reina’s work has been featured in Barnard College’s The Scholar & Feminist Online, as well as Captive Genders: Trans Embodiement & The Prison Industrial Complex, Post Post Script Press and Randy Magazine.

Che Gossett is a member of ACT UP Philadelphia, on the steering committee of the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance, a board member with the Sex Worker Outreach Project and has been involved in queer and/or trans and gender nonconforming decriminalization, decarceration and prison industrial complex abolitionist organizing. Che is currently working on a biography of queer AIDS activist Kiyoshi Kuromiya.