by Mariame Kaba, Edited by Tamara K. Nopper
"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."
"Mariame Kaba's We Do This 'Til We Free Us is a treasure trove of essays and interviews which shares her knowledge, insights, and wisdom developed over decades of organizing against the prison industrial complex and supporting survivors of violence. In this book, Kaba recounts scores of campaigns, projects, collaborations, and activists that brought us to historic moments in 2020 and beyond, and provides concrete steps people can take on the path to abolition. A brilliant organizer, educator, political theorist, and preeminent abolitionist of the 21st century, Kaba succinctly breaks down the anti-Black foundations of the U.S. criminal legal system and makes the case for abolition and transformative justice. This book is a must read for anyone striving for more peace and justice in this world." -- Joey Mogul, co-author, Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States
"Mariame Kaba is one of the foremost grassroots intellectuals of our time. She is a strategic, brilliant and practical genius whose intellectual and on-the-ground-work is foundational to the past twenty years of transformative justice and abolitionist theory and practice. She's someone whose work I urge anyone to read who is curious about exactly why and how we are going to dismantle prisons and build the different future we need. I am so happy to have this book in the world, collecting so many of my favorite pieces, to give to new and old comrades alike."-- Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, author, Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice
"Beautiful and timely, We Do This 'Til We Free Us is more than a book. It is a gathering: a conversation, a coming together, a call to be not only our best selves, but together in struggle. It is a how-to gift for all who believe in freedom from violence. In a wide ranging series of essays, interviews, and speeches, inveterate organizer Mariame Kaba shares strategic wisdom from the abolitionist frontlines. Read it, pass it on, and get to work!"-- Dan Berger, author, Rethinking the American Prison Movement
About the Contributors:
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 serves on the advisory boards of the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials, Critical Resistance and the Chicago Community Bond Fund. 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.