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The Foundry Theatre
140-142 2nd Ave, Suite 405
New York, NY 10003
(212) 777 - 1444

Devising Freedom


December 24, 2014 — January 23, 2015


The Ukrainian Hall, 140 2nd Ave, New York City
Four events look at our criminal legal system, building towards new and authentic safety for us all. Dr. Viviane Saleh-Hanna and Ashanti Alston (Providence), Kai Lumumba Barrow (Durham), Rachel Herzing (Oakland), and Mariame Kaba (Chicago) are just a few of the dynamic practitioners and analysts who joined local organizers to discuss the “new Jim Crow” of mass incarceration, the policing of gender, transformative justice practice and how social justice movements get built. A rare gathering of people who walk the talk of radical imagining.

Connected Ideas

“The nature of the criminal justice system has changed. It is no longer primarily concerned with the prevention and punishment of crime, but rather with the management and control of the dispossessed.”
– Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow

Still Shackled, Still Surviving

A Visual Journey through 500 Years of Boxes

Our first dialogue with Dr. Viviane Saleh-Hanna & Ashanti Alston, a visual journey through the technology of confinement – starting in slave dungeons inside West African soil and ending inside America’s prisons. Dr. Viviane Saleh-Hanna of UMass Dartmouth’s Department of Crime & Justice Studies and Ashanti Alston, a former member of the Black Panther Party who spent over a decade in prison, highlight the continuity of physical structures used to construct and maintain white supremacy, as well as the resilience of black freedom struggle recorded in song and in the lives of political prisoners.

Policing Gender

What’s gender got to do with it?

In our second dialogue with Kai Lumumba Barrow, Victoria Law & Andrea Ritchie we turn our attention to focus on how women and LGBTQ people are being targeted and impacted by policing and imprisonment. Did you know that the number of women in prison is increasing at nearly double the rate for men? From profiling and surveillance to popular culture, how is gender constructed, reinforced and articulated through the prison industrial complex? We’re joined by a remarkable group of thinkers and organizers to help us unpack these questions and more.


Kai Lumumba Barrow, visiting from Durham, NC, Kai is a longtime organizer who recently worked as a Senior Strategist for Southerners On New Ground (SONG), a queer liberation organization working throughout the South. Kai is also a painter and installation artist.

Victoria Law is a writer, photographer, mother and the author of “Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women”.

Andrea Ritchie is a police misconduct attorney and organizer in New York City. She co-coordinates Streetwise And Safe (SAS) and is co-author of “Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States”.

Building Movement

In our third dialogue with Rachel Herzing, Joo-Hyun Kang & gabriel sayegh moderated by Michael Premo we discuss some keys questions about social movements. How do social movements get built? What is happening right now to end the violence of imprisonment and policing in NYC and throughout the US? We’re bringing three groundbreaking organizers into dialogue on how movements are built that successfully win concrete changes and push us towards an entirely different way of addressing violence and safety in our society.


Rachel Herzing is Campaign Director of Critical Resistance, a national grassroots organization building an international movement to abolish the prison industrial complex (PIC).

Joo-Hyun Kang is Director of Communities united for Police Reform (CPR), an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those most unfairly targeted by the NYPD.

gabriel sayegh is the New York state director of the Drug Policy Alliance. He lives in Brooklyn.

Moderated by

Michael Premo, an artist, journalist and documentary storyteller. Amongst other projects, he is a co-creator and Executive Producer of Sandy Storyline.

Transforming Justice

What other forms of justice do people imagine or, better yet, already practice? Join us for a conversation with three remarkable visionaries who are leading the way toward greater safety, accountability and freedom as they discuss their experiences with community-based approaches to violence, and their challenges and lessons learned along the way.