103 Intersectionality and Abolition

103 Intersectional and Abolition highlights the experiences of Black mothers with punishment, policing, and prisons. Students will engage statistical data and stories that uncover the interlocking systems of oppression that limit and foreclose Black mothers’ human dignity and survival. Using an intersectional approach to abolition and a case study, this lesson centers the experiences of poor Black mothers to imagine freedom futures and flourishing.

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.

Learning Objectives

By successfully completing this course, you will:

  1. Identify key terms related to Black motherhood and abolition;
  2. Explore statistical data and stories that highlight the social condition and status of Black womanhood;
  3. Uncover Black mothers’ experience with survival in carceral contexts;
  4. Examine social issues, such as reproductive justice, that target Black women; and
  5. Apply intersectional approaches to abolition.

In this course, we take an intersectional approach to uncover Black women’s experience with carceral contexts. Students will learn key terms, social issues, and approaches to confront the moral crisis of mass incarceration and the criminalization of impoverished Black motherhood. This course centers people closest to the problems by highlighting statistical data, stories, and voices of Black women, femmes, and mothers who are punished for merely trying to make a way out of no way.


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


Vaughn Brown

Policy Intern, Student

Pomona College

Bithiah Negusu

Student Abolition Ambassador

Abolitionist Sanctuary

Not Enrolled

Course Includes

  • 6 Lessons
3-hour course

Beginner, College, Graduate, Continuing Education, Professional Development


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.