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Practicing New Worlds: Abolition and Emergent Strategies

Regular price $ 22.00

by Andrea Ritchie

AK Press

10/24/2023, paperback

SKU: 9781849355117


An exploration of how emergent strategies can help us meet this moment, survive what is to come, and shape safer and more just futures.

Practicing New Worlds explores how principles of emergence, adaptation, iteration, resilience, transformation, interdependence, decentralization and fractalization can shape organizing toward a world without the violence of surveillance, police, prisons, jails, or cages of any kind, in which we collectively have everything we need to survive and thrive.

Drawing on decades of experience as an abolitionist organizer, policy advocate, and litigator in movements for racial, gender, economic, and environmental justice and the principles articulated by adrienne maree brown in Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds, Ritchie invites us to think beyond traditional legislative and policy change to create more possibilities for survival and resistance in the midst of the ongoing catastrophes of racial capitalism--and the cataclysms to come. Rooted in analysis of current abolitionist practices and interviews with on-the-ground organizers resisting state violence, building networks to support people in need of abortion care, and nurturing organizations and convergences that can grow transformative cities and movements, Practicing New Worlds takes readers on a journey of learning, unlearning, experimentation, and imagination to dream the worlds we long for into being.

With forewords by Alexis Pauline Gumbs and adrienne maree brown.


Practicing New Worlds is right on time. As organizers look for different ways to navigate multiple crises, Andrea Ritchie offers generative ideas at the intersection of emergent strategy and PIC abolition. She suggests this is the time for creativity, experimentation, and imagination, and calls on us to be braver. Let this book be a life raft for you as you swim a little farther from shore. By the end of the book, I promise that you’ll be inspired to try the deep end of the organizing ocean. Andrea’s invitation is to come on in, the water will hold you.” — Mariame Kaba, author of We Do This ’Til We Free Us

“While words and phrases related to abolition and emergent strategy circulate widely these days, their meanings have become elusive. Andrea firmly grounds Practicing New Worlds in the collaborative practices that people are engaging in right now to dismantle state violence, showing us why making our work local, decentralized, interdependent, nimble, responsive, relational, and adaptive is the way forward for survival and liberation.” — Dean Spade, author of Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (And The Next)

About the Author:

Andrea J. Ritchie is a Black lesbian immigrant survivor who has been documenting, organizing, advocating, litigating, and agitating around policing and criminalization of Black women, girls, trans, and gender nonconforming people for the past four decades. She is cofounder of Interrupting Criminalization and the In Our Names Network, a network of over 20 organizations working to end police violence against Black women, girls, trans and gender nonconforming people. In these capacities and through the Community Resource Hub, she works with dozens of groups across the country organizing to divest from policing and invest in strategies that will create safer communities. She is a nationally recognized researcher, policy analyst, and expert on policing and criminalization. Ritchie lives in Detroit, Michigan.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a poet, independent scholar, and activist. She is the author of Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals and Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity. She is the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship and the recipient of the Whiting Foundation Winner in Nonfiction in 2022.

adrienne maree brown is the author of Emergent Strategy, the New York Times best-selling Pleasure Activism, We Will Not Cancel Us, Holding Change, and Grievers. brown grows transformative ideas in public through her writing and art; she is a poet changing the world. She is the writer-in-residence at Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute.