Mimi E. Kim, Cameron Rasmussen, and Durrell M. Washington present "Abolition and Social Work: Possibilities, Paradoxes, and the Practice of Community Care" in conversation w/Erin Cloud

Mimi E. Kim, Cameron Rasmussen, and Durrell M. Washington present "Abolition and Social Work: Possibilities, Paradoxes, and the Practice of Community Care" in conversation w/Erin Cloud

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Wednesday, May 15th 2024
7:00 pm
Red Emma's
A critical anthology exploring the debates, conundrums, and promising practices around abolition and social work in academia and within impacted communities.

Within social work—a profession that has been intimately tied to and often complicit in the building and sustaining of the carceral state—abolitionist thinking, movement-building, and radical praxis are shifting the field. Critical scholarship and organizing have helped to name and examine the realities of carceral social work as a form of “soft policing.” For radical social work, abolition moves beyond critique to the politics of possibility.

Featuring a foreword by Mariame Kaba, Abolition and Social Work offers an orientation to abolitionist theory for social workers and explores the tensions and paradoxes in realizing abolitionist practice in social work—a necessary intervention in contemporary discourse regarding carceral social work, and a compass for recentering this work through the lens of abolition, transformative justice, and collective care.

Mimi Kim is the founder of Creative Interventions and co-founder of INCITE! She has been a long-time activist, advocate and researcher challenging gender-based violence at its intersection with state violence and creating community accountability, transformative justice and other community-based alternatives to criminalization. As a second generation Korean American, she locates her political work in global solidarity with feminist anti-imperialist struggles, seeking not only the end of oppression but of the creation of liberation here and now. Mimi is also an Associate Professor of social work at California State University, Long Beach. Her recent publications include “The Carceral Creep: Gender-Based Violence, Race, and the Expansion of the Punitive State, 1973-1983” (2019) and “From Carceral Feminism to Transformative Justice: Women of Color Feminism and Alternatives to Incarceration” (2018). She is currently co-Editor-in-Chief of Affilia, a critical feminist social work journal.

Cameron Rasmussen is an educator, researcher, social worker, and facilitator. Cameron is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Social Intervention Group at Columbia School of Social Work, having recently completed his PhD in the Social Welfare program at the CUNY Graduate Center. His research is focused on issues of accountability, restorative and transformative justice, and the intersections of social work and abolition. He is an Associate Director at the Center for Justice at Columbia University where his work is focused on ending the punishment paradigm and advancing approaches to justice rooted in prevention, healing, and accountability. Cameron is also a Senior Lecturer at Columbia School of Social Work.

A Native New Yorker from the Bronx, Durrell Malik Washington Sr. is an Abolitionist Social Worker and PhD Candidate at the University of Chicago Crown School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. Durrell is an interdisciplinary scholar whose research draws from social work, sociological, criminological, developmental and legal theories and perspectives. His research interest lies at the intersections between P.I.C. Abolition, Incarcerated Black Boys, Black families, Reentry and Health. His current dissertation is a Narrative study that investigates how a period of juvenile incarceration shapes Black family life in the United States through the perspective of siblings of formerly incarcerated young people. Durrell is a 2022 American Society of Criminology Ruth D Peterson Fellowship Award Recipient.

Erin Cloud is a Senior Attorney with Civil Rights Corps, where she focuses on litigation and advocacy challenging family separation by carceral systems such as the family regulation and the criminal legal systems.  Erin comes to CRC, after founding Movement for Family Power, an organization that works to end the policing and punishment of families by the family regulation system. Prior to starting that organization she was a public defender in the Bronx, and a teacher in Baltimore. She has over a decade of experience fighting carceral systems, and has taught a holistic defense clinic at Columbia University and Critical Race Theory at CUNY School of Law. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Dance from Emory University and a law degree from Fordham University School of Law. Her writing can be found in the CUNY Law Review, The Abolitionist Newspaper by Critical Resistance, and Barnard Center for Research on Women. She also is a mother of two amazing children.

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