"Organizing is both science and art. It is thinking through a vision, a strategy, and then figuring out who your targets are, always being concerned about power, always being concerned about how you're going to actually build power in order to be able to push your issues, in order to be able to get the target to actually move in the way that you want to."
What if social transformation and liberation isn't about waiting for someone else to come along and save us? What if ordinary people have the power to collectively free ourselves? In this timely collection of essays and interviews, Mariame Kaba reflects on the deep work of abolition and transformative political struggle.
With a foreword by Naomi Murakawa and chapters on seeking justice beyond the punishment system, transforming how we deal with harm and accountability, and finding hope in collective struggle for abolition, Kaba's work is deeply rooted in the relentless belief that we can fundamentally change the world. As Kaba writes, "Nothing that we do that is worthwhile is done alone."
About the Author
Mariame Kaba is an organizer, educator and curator who is active in movements for racial, gender, and transformative justice. She is the founder and director of Project NIA, a grassroots organization with a vision to end youth incarceration. Mariame is currently a researcher at Interrupting Criminalization: Research in Action at the Barnard Center for Research on Women, a project she co-founded with Andrea Ritchie in 2018. Mariame has co-founded multiple other organizations and projects over the years including We Charge Genocide, the Chicago Freedom School, the Chicago Taskforce on Violence against Girls and Young Women, Love & Protect, the Just Practice Collaborative and Survived & Punished. Mariame serves on the advisory boards of the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials, Critical Resistance and the Chicago Community Bond Fund. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, The Nation Magazine, The Guardian, The Washington Post, In These Times, Teen Vogue, The New Inquiry and more. She co-authored the guidebook Lifting As They Climbed and published a children's book titled Missing Daddy about the impacts of incarceration on children and families. Kaba is the recipient of the Cultural Freedom Prize from Lannan Foundation.Tamara K. Nopper is a sociologist, writer, editor, and data artist whose research focuses on the racial and gender wealth gap, financialization, criminalization, punishment, and the social impact of technology, with a particular emphasis on alternative data and credit scoring. A Fellow at Data for Progress and an Affiliate of The Center for Critical Race and Digital Studies, Nopper's scholarship and writing have appeared in numerous academic publications as well as in The New Inquiry, Jacobin, Truthout, and Verso Books Blog. She researched and wrote several data stories for Colin Kaepernick's Abolition for the People series.