Guest: K Agbebiyi, MSW
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW
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Transcription services provided by FIU’s Disability Resource Center
In this episode, I talk with K Agbebiyi, who is a prison abolitionist in Washington Heights, New York. K explains that prison abolition is a dual process of creating the world we want to live in, which includes new ways of addressing harm, and working to close prisons now. K connects mass incarceration and policing to the history of chattel slavery, all rooted in anti-Blackness, and discusses how defunding the police is one part of the overall goal of prison abolition. They talk about how to get involved in prison abolition on a local level, tracking government budgets to see how much spending is going to policing and the construction of new jails, and connecting with others who want to do something about it. K explains how they got into this work, which started with organizing for racial justice, LGBTQ justice, and reproductive justice before focusing on prison abolition. They share about being a survivor and organizing with other survivors who do not want incarceration to be done in their name. We discuss accountability and safety, as well as links to child welfare and social work. K shares recommended readings for people who want to learn more. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.