“The Reciprocal Politics of Bed Space Activism: From Confinement to Radical Care”

Date / Time

April 9, 2021

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm


“The Reciprocal Politics of Bed Space Activism: From Confinement to Radical Care”

2021 Mellon Humanities Without Walls Virtual Conversation Series, University of Illinois at Chicago

Friday, April 9th, 2021, 2-3:30pm CDT

To Register: https://uic.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_pPEcZBBrR_qHuHIID4oIMA

Beds have been the center of urgent political struggles—be they in prisons, detention centers, hospitals, or nursing homes. Our virtual conversation series centers “bed activism,” complex forms of resistance and visionary care that emerge from the intimate spaces of sick, disabled, detained, and imprisoned peoples. It connects a long-term vision of connecting communities and movements at the nexus of abolition feminism, migrant justice, and disability justice.

Our panelists:

Beth E. Richie, PhD; (she/her) is Professor of Black Studies and Head of the Department of Criminology, Law, and Justice at The University of Illinois at Chicago. The emphasis of her scholarly and activist work as a foremost scholar abolitionist has centered on the ways that race/ethnicity and social position affect women’s experience of violence and incarceration, focusing on the experiences of African American battered women and sexual assault survivors. Richie’s forthcoming work “Abolition. Feminism. Now.” (Haymarket Books, July 2021) with co-authors Angela Y. Davis, Gina Dent, and Erica Meiners amplifies abolitionist analysis and theories of change generated from vibrant community based organizing. Richie’s earlier book Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence and America’s Prison Nation (NYU Press, 2012) chronicles the evolution of the contemporary anti-violence movement during the time of mass incarceration in the United States and numerous articles concerning Black feminism and gender violence, race and criminal justice policy, and the social dynamics around issues of sexuality, prison abolition, and grassroots organizations in African American Communities. Beth Richie’s work has been supported by grants from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Ford Foundation, and The National Institute for Justice and The National Institute of Corrections. She has been awarded the Audre Lorde Legacy Award from the Union Institute, The Advocacy Award from the US Department of Health and Human Services, and The Visionary Award from the Violence Intervention Project and the UIC Woman of the Year Award. Dr. Richie is a board member of The Institute on Domestic Violence in the African Community, The National Network for Women in Prison, A Call To Men and a founding member of INCITE!: Women of Color Against Violence. In 2013 she was awarded an Honorary Degree from the City University of New York Law School and in 2014 she was appointed as a Sr. Advisor to the NFL to work on their domestic violence and sexual assault prevention program.

Lydia X. Z. Brown; (they/their) is an advocate, educator, and attorney addressing state and interpersonal violence targeting disabled people living at the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, faith, language, and nation. Lydia is Policy Counsel for Privacy & Data at the Center for Democracy & Technology, focused on algorithmic discrimination and disability, as well as Director of Policy, Advocacy, & External Affairs at the Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network. They are founding director of the Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, & Empowerment. Lydia is adjunct lecturer/core faculty in Georgetown University’s Disability Studies Program, and adjunct professorial lecturer in American Studies at American University’s Department of Critical Race, Gender, & Culture Studies. They serve as a commissioner on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Disability Rights, chairperson of the ABA Civil Rights & Social Justice Section’s Disability Rights Committee, board member of the Disability Rights Bar Association, and representative for the Disability Justice Committee to the National Lawyers Guild’s National Executive Committee. Lydia is currently creating their own tarot deck, Disability Justice Wisdom Tarot. They have received many awards and much acclaim, as well as many rejection letters and much hate mail. Often, their most important work has no title, job description, or funding, and probably never will.

Silky Shah; (she/her) is the Executive Director of Detention Watch Network (DWN), a national coalition building power to abolish immigration detention in the US. She has worked as an organizer on issues related to immigration detention, mass incarceration, and racial and migrant justice for over 15 years. In her time at DWN she has helped transform the organization into a national leader in the immigrant rights movement, leading campaigns to expose the system and building the capacity of grassroots members to take action. Prior to joining DWN in 2009, Silky worked at Grassroots Leadership in Texas fighting the expansion of immigrant jails on the US-Mexico border and at the independent news program, Democracy Now!, in New York.

This is a virtual webinar event free and open to the public. It will have live captioning. For additional access needs, please contact Lydia Hou at lhou3@uic.edu by April 2nd, 2021.

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