We can and must collectively build a world without policing, prisons, surveillance, punishment, and capitalism––a world in which all are equipped with the tools to prevent and transform harm, one in which everyone has what they need to thrive in community with others.

This is the through line of Mariame Kaba’s powerful new book, an expansive and instructive collection of essays and interviews drawn from Kaba’s decades of work building toward abolition — work that has focused particularly on the experiences of Black women and girls and criminalized survivors of sexual violence.

We Do This ‘Til We Free Us: Abolitionist…

We must stop legitimizing incarceration for one group while advocating against it for another.

Covid-19 has presented a crisis — one that’s especially visible in prisons, jails, and detention centers, where an inability to social distance, daily regimes of brutality, and persistently unsanitary conditions make incarcerated people particularly vulnerable.

Many have identified that the risk of coronavirus spreading through punishment facilities does not just threaten those on the inside (though even if this were the case, it should be reason enough to take action). …

First published at Christians For Abolition

“Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself.”

From the book of Hebrews, this reminder to remember has been largely forgotten by Christians — as have those in prison themselves. In fact, far from advocating for those in prison, American Christians have historically been vocal supporters of imprisonment, and even the death penalty.

There are certainly exceptions to the rule of Christian ambivalence toward those in prison. Prison chaplains have worked in prisons for centuries, acting as spiritual advisors, counselors, and listening ears. …

This week, I attended “Making and Unmaking Mass Incarceration: The History of Mass Incarceration and the Future of Prison Abolition,” a conference held at the University of Mississippi.

As conference organizer Garrett Felber announced at the start, the conference would be “unapologetically abolitionist.” And unapologetically abolitionist it was, bringing the imaginative power of the abolitionist project into the unlikely space of slaver-named Ole Miss.

In reflecting on the past couple days, I want to highlight some key takeaways from my time at MUMI.

Abolition is about building. Not everyone is on the same page, and that’s okay. We spar it out as we build.

“It’s important to spar, and to work out our differences.” This line came from Ruth Wilson Gilmore…

July 2019

Can you love the sinner and hate the sin? Several years ago, I wrote a letter answering that question with an emphatic no. Nearly three years and countless conversations later, I’ve changed my mind, and am writing again today with a new answer: Maybe you can. But even if you could, it wouldn’t matter, and I wouldn’t care. We need to look beyond intentions and assess outcomes, and the outcomes of a non-affirming theology are fundamentally harmful.

Some background: I came out the summer before entering college. Buzzing with a gap year’s worth of practicing vulnerability, I sheepishly…

Note: I originally posted this letter as a Google doc in October 2016, during my sophomore year of college. I’m re-posting it here as I attempt to gather the things that I write in one place, and as I continue to write about similar topics.

October 2016

When talking to most of my friends at Princeton about my experiences around some Christians, they’re shocked to find out that there are still people whom I personally interact with who think homosexuality is a sin or “condition,” that same-gender relationships are inherently sinful, and that marriage is and can only be between…

Micah Herskind

abolitionist. tweeting @micahherskind.

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