UW Abolition Institute - September 2020

Submitted by Ellen Palms on

The University of Washington will offer its first ever Abolition Institute from Sept. 8-11, 2020! The Abolition Institute comes out of the dreams and struggles of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) faculty and students at UW and is inspired by the current uprisings to foster spaces for decriminalization and decolonization on campus and beyond. The primary goal of the Institute is to use readings, resources, and the collective knowledge of faculty facilitators (Including AES Assistant Professor LaShawnDa Pittman) and students to ground ourselves in the long histories of Indigenous and Black struggle and abolitionist efforts in the area in order to develop and sustain undergraduate driven organizing efforts and research projects. 

Faculty involved in creating the Abolitionist Institute are excited to create this very needed space with students. We want to acknowledge the pain many of us are in right now given the daily tragedies hitting so close to home. We understand this institute as a space to come together and create community as part of our continued activism and engagement. We also see the Institute as our engagement with the #ScholarStrike scheduled for September 8th and 9th. We’re very excited to halt our other obligations and learn with you!


The Institute will consist of a daily Zoom session from 10:30 am-12:30 pm, featuring speakers, presentations, and discussion. It will also involve additional small group and asynchronous activities throughout the week, including readings and written/artistic responses. Students who participate in all four days of the Institute will receive either a stipend of $500 or can choose to receive 1-3 units of independent study credit in the departments of American Ethnic Studies (AES), American Indian Studies (AIS), or Comparative History of Ideas (CHID).


The Abolition Institute is grateful to the Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies (CAIIS), the Banks Center for Educational Justice, and the Departments of American Ethnic Studies (AES), American Indian Studies, Comparative History of Ideas (CHID), English and Geography for their support.