Cell Blocks and Border Stops: A Conference at Union Theological Seminary

ippimageIn October 2013, Union Theological Seminary’s Center for Race, Religion and Economic Democracy and the Alliance for a Just Society’s Institute for Pragmatic Practice brought together organizers, religious scholars, academics, policy leaders, journalists, and grassroots activists for Cellblocks and Border Stops: Transformative Activism in an Age of Dehumanization.  Together, national and local collaborators examined the intersection of immigration control and mass incarceration, and considered the future of activism and organizing in these areas.

The Center for Race Religion and Economic Democracy‘s youtube channel features interviews with participants, videos of conference panels, and clips of the testimonies from incarcerated people read aloud throughout the conference, including:

Panel on Capitalism, Neoliberalism, & Control
• Moderator: Daniel HoSang
• Panelists: Pramila Jayapal, Vincent Warren, Joy James

Interview with Vince Warren, Executive Director, Center for Constitutional Rights

Interview with Monami Maulik, Executive Director, D.R.U.M.

And More…

You can also find a report of the October 17-19, 2013 events online.

Religion, Abolition, Mass Incarceration: A Conference at Cornell University

MattedIn October 2013, a diverse selection of scholars, free and incarcerated prisoner advocates, and religious workers gathered in Ithaca, New York to probe the undisclosed means and ends of contemporary mass incarceration. Religion was central to their inquiry:

Since the advent of the penitentiary, imprisonment in the United States and much of the world has been underwritten by religion. Simultaneously, as paradigmatically demonstrated by the nineteenth century abolitionists, religious ideas and practices offer untapped resources for re-imagining justice.

While the conference date has since passed, the website offers a wealth of information for scholars and activists interested in the intersection of religion and incarceration.

In advance of the conference, contributions were solicited from a number of men incarcerated in New York and Pennsylvania. These have been uploaded as image files in the section, Correspondence from Afar.

You will also find detailed Abstracts from the conference’s panel presentations on topics including Activating Religious Potentialities; Secularized Religious Ethics and Prisoner Solidarity; Methods, Poetics, & Utopias of Abolition; Religious Workers on Decarceration and Prisoner Solidarity Movements; Theologies & Counter-theologies of Mass Incarceration; and States of Captivity & Religious Justice in Latin America.