We are excited that you want to learn more about abolition! This certificate is an introduction to abolition and is designed for participants at all levels. The Abolition as Social Change certificate program issued by Abolitionist Sanctuary trains individuals to apply a critical and intersectional lens to understand abolition as a moral directive to repair harms, restore relationships, and rebuild more just and equitable systems. We provide one approach to abolition and recognize there are several ways to do abolition in the world. Our methodology is rooted in evidence-based research, lived experiences, and the embodied knowledge of Black women. This program is intended to help participants to gain understanding and tools to advance a national coalition committed to ending systems of oppression and creating communities of care for human flourishing. Together, we can build abolitionist sanctuaries!
How will we learn together?
Adult learners apply our PACTS pedagogy developed by Abolitionist Sanctuary. Each lesson begins with grounding the learning experience with Principles to reivew key terminology. Students continue with engaging critical Analysis to explore the lesson topic and related issues. Each participant applies their learning to connect to communities and build Coalition. Students generate responses, strategies, and interventions aimed at Transformation. Participants demonstrate proficiency to become Sanctuary by showcasing their work and soliciting community accountability through public presentation and a feedback process.
Each five interactive, self-paced, on-demand course is designed to standalone, but the courses are best taken together to arrive at a comprehensive understanding. The first three courses are three courses are designed to give a theoretical foundation and the last two courses are oriented toward practical connections and applications to real-life contexts and implications.
- In AS101, students learn historical contexts that engender and reinforce punishment throughout American slavery, lynching, segregation and the birth of prisons.
- In AS102, students learn an abolition ethic along with the 5C abolitionist virtues that oppose five carceral vices. Students will apply this ethical system to real-life situations and learn how to use the principles of abolition in moral decision-making and as a way of life.
- In AS 103, students explore an intersectional approach to abolition that centers poor Black mothers’ survival strategies and experiences with the U.S. legal and criminal systems.
- In AS104, students will learn about the public policy process and design to influence political decision and challenge degenerative policies using an abolitionist and transformative justice lens
- In AS 105, students will apply their learning to put abolition in action. In this course, participants take a practical approach and learn from social movements and community organizers how to create call-to-actions and campaigns to actualize social change.
Finally, participants will complete a capstone project and a Sanctuary Showcase that presents their learning across the five courses and interventions that demonstrate a sustained commitment to abolition as social change. This certificate program is a prerequisite for all other certificate requirements and is intended to function as an introduction to key topics, but not exhaustive. We hope for students to synthesize this material with the living texts of justice-impacted people who lead this work with the solidarity of coalitions. We are so glad you are here. Please share your learning and invite others to join. In the spirit of abolition, welcome!
The certificate program is an 18-hour experience for non-credit students and consists of five on-demand courses. By the end of the courses, learners will be able to:
- Comprehend the historical and contemporary contexts of punitive systems and abolition in the United States;
- Explore ethical principles that contribute to abolitionist virtues and carceral vices;
- Identify intersectional issues related to race, gender/sexuality, and class, with a focus on Black women and mothers’ experience with criminalization and incarceration;
- Analyze the implications of laws and public policies to organize resistance strategies to change the system; and
- Apply abolitionist principles to actions that can advance and build abolitionist sanctuaries.
Students who complete the certificate program will also be able to
- Create a strategic plan to implement abolitionist principles and actions to advance and build abolitionist sanctuaries; and
- Demonstrate interventions and outcomes in the community to receive feedback and accountability.
Each course is designed to stand on its own, but the courses are most effective when completed together for certification.