Los Angeles Poverty Department host Profiles of Abolition


On Saturday, February 20, Critical Resistance and Los Angeles Poverty Department will host Profiles of Abolition: Abolition and the Radical Imagination, a public conversation with powerful firebrands Dr. Angela Y. Davis, renowned poet Fred Moten, and political printmaker Melanie Cervantes of Dignidad Rebelde, moderated by acclaimed historian Robin D.G. Kelley. The event will also feature musical performances by musician Georgia Anne Muldrow and the intrepid Los Angeles Poverty Department.

As four of the most prominent U.S. radical figures of our time, Davis, Moten, Cervantes, and Kelley will draw from decades of activism, scholarship, and art to explore the importance of radical imagination and art to the growing fight against systems of imprisonment and criminalization.

“Our ability to imagine the type of society we desire to live in is a central and necessary element of the radical transformation of our realities,” says Cervantes, who is a co-founder of the graphic arts collaboration Dignidad Rebelde. “Profiles of Abolition will provide the opportunity to exchange ideas about how to create space in social movements to re-imagine the world together.” Critical Resistance has used Cervantes’s art to increase public engagement and opposition against construction of a new women’s jail in Los Angeles County.

In this moment when Los Angeles County is proposing to expand its jail system despite heightened public opposition, the event marks a historic collaboration between Critical Resistance and Los Angeles Poverty Department, two organizations at the forefront of fighting the violence of policing and imprisonment.

“In Los Angeles Poverty Department’s 30 years, we’ve participated in and chronicled the Skid Row community’s brilliant resistance against encroachment, criminalization and displacement,” says John Malpede of the LA Poverty Department. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Critical Resistance to bring four of the most dedicated and creative people of our time into dialogue with the lived wisdom of Skid Row residents. We hope this event will uplift and enhance our will to envision alternatives to imprisonment and policing, and inspire confidence amongst Angelenos to dismantle these forms of state violence.”

The event is the kick-off for Critical Resistance’s  Profiles of Abolition, a national series intended to reinvigorate a critical understanding of prison industrial complex abolition, and also marks the celebration of Los Angeles Poverty Department’s 30th anniversary. The evening is a fundraiser for both organizations, and will be held at 5pmat Agape International Spiritual Center, 5700 Buckingham Parkway, Culver City, CA 90230.

Individual tickets for the event are $25.00. There are also opportunities to sponsor the event and donate community tickets, which underwrites free admission for formerly imprisoned people, young people, and people from low-income communities. Tickets are now on sale at www.criticalresistance.org/Abolition.