Presbyterians for Abolition

“What if abolition isn’t a shattering thing, not a crashing thing, not a wrecking ball event? What if abolition is something that sprouts out of the wet places in our eyes, the broken places in our skin, the waiting places in our palms, the tremble holding in my mouth when I turn to you? What if abolition is something that grows?

Alexis Pauline Gumbs

we are church folx organizing for abolition

We are committed to:

  • Abolish, not reform.
    • A fundamental belief of this group is that the prison industrial complex (policing, courts, jails and prisons, etc.) and its many tendrils in our society are beyond reform. They must be dismantled and we must seek to build new experiments in community safety and care.
  • Following the voices of people most directly impacted by the Prison Industrial Complex, including people currently and formerly incarcerated, Black queer femmes, and others who are at the intersection of multiple forms of oppression. They have the clearest vision of how to create a world where everyone has what they need to thrive.
  • “Nothing about us without us.”
    • We are committed to being accountable in our actions to organizers and leaders who have lived experience of incarceration and oppression at the hands of the prison industrial complex. 

Move Minds

We are committed to ongoing political education about abolition. That includes an examination of the complicity of our theology, spiritual practices, and institutional norms. We must deconstruct the structures and ideas that normalize a culture of dominance and punishment. We must also imagine and construct new ways of navigating harm and conflict together. This is imaginative work!

Join us for a six-week abolition study group to get started.

“I took this course in 2022 in an effort to better understand the prison abolition movement and become more comfortable using abolitionist language. It was as important as any self-education effort I have committed to in a very long time, and I look forward to being a part of the team that will share it with others.”

~ Rick Ufford-Chase

“Abolition is a lens on life. It can positively affect the way you see so much of the world around you–yes, how you view prisons and police, but also how you view bodily autonomy, parenting, interaction with the non-human world, and, especially, how you view Jesus’ witness here on earth. Reading about a guy who was killed by the state, whose friends were incarcerated for years as political prisoners and freedom fighters, and who lived to challenge systems and imagine ways out of structures is abolition. The Bible tells a truly abolitionist story, rooted in love for another and a deeply abundant God that says no to incarceration and punishment in all forms.”

~ Addie Domske

We will gather for six weeks using the the Abolition Journal Study Guide and the seminal book: “Are Prisons Obsolete?” by Angela Davis to guide us. One hundred percent of registration fees will go towards Voices of Jubilee (a PCUSA abolition ministry) and Critical Resistance (a long time org leading abolition movement led by BIPOC leaders).

Dates: April 20 – May 25, Thurs @ 3:30 PT/6:30 ET

Cost: is a sliding scale of $60-300

If $60 is too much please contact us. If you have an organization paying for your involvement, consider paying the highest prices (i.e. from con ed funds).

Unsure? Come to the April 13 Info Session at 3:30 PT / 6:30 ET to learn more

Move Money

We are committed to moving resources out of predominantly white institutions, like the PCUSA, and into the hands of BIPOC leaders of the abolition movement. In 2022 we raised our first $10,000 together!

Lauren Ramseur celebrates reaching our first fundraising goal!

Here are some of the groups we have given to:

Move People

We are committed to connecting Presbyterians to abolitionist organizing in their local contexts. Here’s a quick guide to get you started on some research in your region.

We are also committed to connecting to each other to build support and a culture of care across the movement for abolition inside church communities. You can connect with us online in our Facebook group. We look forward to seeing you there.