Abolitionist Organizing in Higher Education


Date(s) - 04/05/2022
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Photo of protestors/organizers kneeling with text that reads: "Abolitionist Organizing in Higher Education, 5 April 2022, 6:00pm Eastern"

This panel conversation will bring together organizers, educators, and students engaged in abolitionist organizing and education, in and around colleges and universities. While organizing on campuses has long challenged prisons, punishment, and police, there have been important organizing efforts that have emerged over the past several years. Education efforts for people in prison and those coming home have also played an important role in advancing possibilities for abolition and decarceration. This conversation looks at how these various efforts emerged, the work they are engaged in, what they have learned in their organizing and education efforts, and to share about building abolitionist organizing and education campuses more generally.

RSVP for the panel by registering via Zoom! If you have any accessibility needs for this event, please email us at publicslab@gc.cuny.edu.

The PublicsLab thanks Jeremiah Perez-Torres for his work in organizing this event.


Headshot for Timmy ChâuTimmy Châu (he/him) is a Viet organizer, lawyer, and facilitator based in Zhigaagoong, also known as Chicago. He started organizing with an effort called We Charge Genocide doing cop-watch and know-your-rights trainings across the City. He is the Managing Director at the Prison + Neighborhood Arts / Education Project (PNAP) where he works on building inside/outside networks of mutual support and advocacy between incarcerated and freeworld activists, scholars, thinkers, and artists. He’s also co-founder of Dissenters, a new youth-led anti-war organization, where he currently sits on the Advisory Committee.


Headshot for Victoria CopelandVictoria Copeland is currently a fourth year doctoral candidate at UCLA in the Department of Social Welfare, and a senior policy analyst. Her research focuses on understanding and countering anti-Black surveillance within the Family Policing system. Victoria is also a member of the Cops off Campus Coalition, Let’s Get Free LA Coalition, and Defund MPD Coalition.


Headshot for Jada ShannonJada Shannon is a third-year student attending Hunter College, where she pursues a double major in Gender Studies with a concentration in Labor, Migration and Globalization, and Media Studies with a concentration in Journalism. She is one of the co-founders of CUNY for Abolition and Safety and currently serves as Opinion Editor for Hunter College’s The Envoy. She grew up in Brooklyn, New York.

Headshot for Azedeh ZohrabiAzadeh Zohrabi is a natural leader who has experienced the intergenerational impacts of imprisonment and has a deep conviction to advocate for the underdog. With extensive experience in public policy, leadership development, community organizing, and management, she is devoted to ending incarceration and supporting formerly incarcerated leaders into new lives within their communities. She is currently the Director of the Underground Scholars at UC Berkeley—a program that provides recruitment, retention, and advocacy support to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students.



Headshot for Cameron RasmussenCameron Rasmussen is a social worker, educator and facilitator, and the Program Director at the Center for Justice at Columbia University  At the Center for Justice, his work is focused on ending the punishment paradigm and advancing approaches to justice rooted in prevention, healing, and accountability. Cameron is currently a PhD student in the Social Welfare program and a senior lecturer at Columbia School of Social Work. Cameron is also a Collaborator with the Network to Advance Abolitionist Social Work (NAASW).  The NAASW engages in political education, research and advocacy efforts to dismantle carceral social work while transforming our field to see abolition as a central framework for just social work practice.