100 Abolition as Social Change Certificate Program

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!

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 lived experiences, evidence-based research, and the embodied knowledge of Black women. This program is intended to help participants gain understanding and tools to advance a national coalition committed to ending systems of domination and creating communities of care for human flourishing. Together, we can build abolitionist sanctuaries!

How will we learn together?

Learn our PACTS pedagogy developed by Abolitionist Sanctuary. Each lesson presents

  • Principles to review key terminology,
  • Analysis to engage topics and social issues,
  • Coalition-building to connect to communities and accountability,
  • Transformation strategies to apply learning for social impact, and
  • Sanctuary to showcase responses, actions, and solutions to repair harms, restore relationships, and rebuild more just and equitable world.

Each of the five courses are interactive, self-paced, and on-demand. They are designed to standalone. However, the courses are best taken together for comprehensive instruction and understanding. The first three courses provide a theoretical framework and the last two courses are oriented toward practical connections and implications and applications for real-life contexts. 

  • 101 Introduction to Abolition presents the history of punishment and abolition in the United States with an emphasis on slavery, lynching, segregation, and the birth of prisons.
  • 102 Ethics of Abolition introduces 5C communal virtues and contrasting carceral vices that society uses to punish people who transgress dominant social norms.
  • 103 Intersectionality and Abolition engages intersectional approaches with an emphasis on poor Black mothers’ experiences with survival and carceral systems.
  • 104 Law, Public Policy and Abolition explores public policy paradoxes that target deviant populations, causal stories and policy narratives that influence agenda-setting, and how to challenge degenerative policies with a social constructionist public policy design process.
  • 105 Abolition in Action uses case studies to investigate real-life social problems and apply abolitionist principles to identify actions aimed at social change.

For the final capstone project, participants complete a Sanctuary Showcase presenting their findings across the five courses and a community service project that demonstrates a sustained commitment to abolition. We are so glad you are here. Please share and invite others to join!

In the spirit of abolition,

Rev. Nikia Smith Robert, Ph.D.
Founder and Executive Director, Abolitionist Sanctuary

Learning Objectives

By the end of the courses, you will be able to:

  • Understand historical contexts of abolition movements in the United States;
  • Learn abolition ethics and the 5C communal virtue system in contrast to carceral vices that perpetuate individual blame amd punitive responses;
  • Explore intersectional issues related to race, gender/sexuality, and class, with a focus on Black women and mothers’ experience with criminalization and incarceration;
  • Identify public policy processes to influence political decision-making; and
  • Imagine and implement call-to-actions to create abolitionist outcomes for sanctuary and social change.

Students who complete the certificate program will also be able to:

  • Create a community service project identifying interventions to a social problem and a sustained commitment to abolition as social change;
  • Present service project for community feedback and accountability.

Each course is designed to stand on its own, but the courses are most effective when completed together for certification.

Contributors

Rev. Nikia Smith Robert, Ph.D.

Founder & Executive Director

Abolitionist Sanctuary


Adriana Rivera

STAAR Curriculum Intern, Abolitionist Sanctuary

Minister of Youth and Households, Edgewater Congregations Together (ELCA)


Jazzmin Duncan

Student Abolition Ambassador

Intern


Vaughn Brown

Policy Intern, Student

Pomona College


Bithiah Negusu

Student Abolition Ambassador

Abolitionist Sanctuary


+19 enrolled
Not Enrolled

Course Includes

  • 10 Lessons
  • 20 Topics
18-hour certificate program

Beginner, College, Graduate, Continuing Education, Professional Development

Options for Learning

Option 1: Complete only the “Introduction to Abolition” (AS 101) course. By the end of this 2-hour asynchronous learning experience, you will have a strong foundation in the key terms, history, and concepts of abolition AND you will qualify to join an Abolition as Social Change social alumni network at AbolitionistSantuary.org.

Option 2: After completing the first part of the course, continue on to complete the rest of the asynchronous coursework (four additional modules) and a capstone course required to earn a Certificate In Abolition As Social Change. These additional modules entail approximately 9-12 hours of additional study. A learner who has completed all lessons of this course and the capstone project earns a Certificate in Abolition as Social Change. Email questions about how to earn your certificate to support@abolitionistsanctuary.org.

Certifying Organization

Abolitionist Sanctuary is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that trains faith communities, educational institutions, and civic organizations to unite against the moral crisis of mass incarceration and the criminalization of impoverished Black motherhood. Our research-based expertise and community organizing experience in connection to a national coalition grounds the learning material in this certification program.

Standards

Civic Education for the Common Good.

We apply the U.S. Department of Education’s Consensus Statements about Constitutional Approaches for Teaching about Religion:

▸ Our approach to religion is academic, not devotional;
▸ We strive for student awareness of religions, but do not press for student acceptance of any religion;
▸ We sponsor the study about religion, not the practice of religion;
▸ We expose students to a diversity of religious views, but do not impose any particular view;
▸ We educate about all religions, we do not promote or denigrate any religion;
▸ We inform students about religious beliefs and practices, it does not seek to conform students to any particular belief or practice.

We apply the American Academy of Religion’s “Religious Literacy Guidelines”

▸ “Religious Literacy Guidelines for College Students.” American Academy of Religion, 2019.

▸ “Teaching About Religion: AAR Guidelines for K-12 Public Schools.” American Academy of Religion, April 2010.

Special Thanks

A special thanks to the founding members of Abolitionist Sanctuary’s Board of Directors and STAAR Intern, Adriana Rivera, M.DIV. The leadership of Rev. Dr. Nathan C. Walker and the onboarding and technical support provided by his team at 1791 Delegates. The continuation of this work depends on contributions from generous supporters like you. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Abolitionist Sanctuary, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (EIN 86-2003530). With you support, we can create additional courses and certification programs to train the next generation of abolitionists.