Lecture 3 - Ruth Wilson Gilmore

Ruth Wilson Gilmore In Conversation: Making Abolition Geographies

February 25, 2021, 4:30-5:30pm (PST) / 7:30-8:30pm (EST)

Register here.

Ruth Wilson Gilmore’s work has led the way in showing that abolition is a practical program for urgent change based in the needs, talents, and dreams of vulnerable people.  Scholars and community organizers join her for a conversation about decarceration and community-based approaches to generating well-being and addressing harm.

Roundtable discussants will include Angélica Cházaro (School of Law, University of Washington), Shaun Glaze (Research Co-Lead, Black Brilliance Project), and Megan Ybarra (Geography, UW). Introduced by Gillian Harkins (English, UW); moderated by Chandan Reddy (Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies, UW).

Ruth Wilson Gilmore is the author of Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (2007). She is Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the City University of New York Graduate Center where she is Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences. A co-founder of many grassroots organizations including California Prison Moratorium Project, Critical Resistance, and the Central California Environmental Justice Network, Gilmore is working on several book projects. She has lectured in Africa, Asia, Europe, and across North America. Recent honors include the Association of American Geographers Lifetime Achievement Award (2020). Novelist Rachel Kushner profiled Gilmore in a New York Times Magazine feature on abolition in April 2019. Photo credit ©DonUsner.


Angélica Cházaro is Assistant Professor in the Law School at the University of Washington, Seattle. She teaches courses on critical race theory, poverty law and immigration law. The author of “The End of Deportation,” in press with UCLA Law Review, she is a core organizer with Decriminalize Seattle, which does coalitional work to replace punitive policing with community-based public safety programs.

Shaun Glaze is a research co-lead for the Black Brilliance Project, the largest Black community-led participatory action research project in the United States. In summer 2020, they helped spearhead the “2020 Blueprint for Police Divestment/Community Reinvestment” that served as a guiding document in Seattle City Council’s efforts to rebalance the budget by divesting from policing and reallocating funding towards Black-led solutions that create true community safety, health, and thriving.

Gillian Harkins is Professor of English and Adjunct Professor of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle.  She is the author of Virtual Pedophilia: Sex Offender Profiling and U.S. Security Culture (2019) and co-editor of the special issues “Genres of Neoliberalism,” Social Text (Summer 2013), with Jane Elliott, and “Teaching Inside Carceral Institutions,” Radical Teacher (Winter 2012), with Jane Drabinski.

Chandan Reddy is Associate Professor in the Departments of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies and the Comparative History of Ideas at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is co-editor of the special issue "Economies of Dispossession: Indigeneity, Race, Capitalism," Social Text (Spring 2018) and the author of Freedom with Violence: Race, Sexuality and the U.S. State (2011) which won the Alan Bray Memorial Book Award for queer studies. He is a core organizer with Decriminalize UW to end armed campus policing.

Megan Ybarra is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Washington, Seattle. She teaches courses on environmental justice, abolition geographies, and transnational Latinx migrations. She is co-editor of the special issues “Abolition Ecologies,” Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography (2021) and “Latinx Geographies,” Society & Space (2019). She is a core organizer with Decriminalize UW, a call to defund campus police and invest in intellectual communities of color and community health resources.