The fifth session of the Political Education Series installed by Kentuckians For The Commonwealth dug into abolition history, shared contemporary perspectives, and pledged to continue the pursuit of social justice via the abolition movement.
Despite having a small turnout, robust engagement by participants accomplished the goal, which was to navigate the definition of abolition.
Kentuckians For The Commonwealth has a mission to capture strength and unity statewide through organizing. They said they’re committed to non-violent change and equality. Their hope for a just society and fair balance continues to center their strategies going forward.
The organization is based in London, Kentucky, and has field offices throughout the state.
A Democracy Now! interview clip served as the session introduction. It featured Angela Davis, author, scholar, and activist.
“Shifting public funds to new services and new institutions,” is how Davis defined abolition. She said abolition is rooted in feminist activism and abolitionists are calling for a process of decriminalization.
Davis added Neoliberalism ideologies often fail to recognize the institutional barriers impeding non-white ethnicity’s progress and equity.
She said the logic draws from the “individual” and individualism, thereby omitting and negating identity contingencies, stereotype threats, white supremacy complex, and institutional and industrial complexes.
The next portion of the Zoom webinar Thursday prompted participants to reference personal or observed scenarios involving wellness checks and or non-emergency service calls that involved police interaction.
A participant shared that when they called the police for a non-emergency call, the response time was 23 minutes. A participant responded by detailing that during the Louisville budget hearings this year, EMS said the average response time was less than 10 minutes.
Corey Dutton is a chapter organizer and was the host of the Abolition 101 Session 5 webinar. She presented slides that explained abolition history and what it looks like today. Dutton noted the resistance by enslaved Africans has historically been met with violent opposition.
She said abolitionists of the 1800s were a multiracial movement that had great success in reforming racist and prejudice institutions.
The group concluded with a short reading of Davis’ work, “Are Prisons Obsolete?”
The hosts announced a scheduled in-person session in November and encouraged the participants to continue to engage with the series and other KFTC activities.