Are Prisons Obsolete? The Work of Angela Davis

“The most difficult and urgent challenge of today is that of creatively exploring new terrains of justice, where the prison no longer serves as our major anchor.” –Angela Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete?

Angela Davis, upcoming speaker at St. Catherine University
Are Prisons Obsolete?

February 25, 7 p.m. | Virtual Event

Angela Davis — activist, author, scholar, public intellectual — has made innumerable contributions to the struggles for race, class, and gender justice. Known widely for her critique of the prison industrial complex, Davis urges us to consider a 21st century abolitionist movement and the future possibility of a world without prisons.

Related Events

Legacies of Angela Davis: An Interdisciplinary Discussion

Tuesday, February 16, 7 p.m. | Virtual Event

An Integrated Learning and One Read for Racial Justice Event

Speakers: Nancy Heitzeg (Sociology), Taiyon J Coleman (English), Sharon Doherty (Women's Studies), Suzanne Lehmann (Nursing), and Vince Skemp (Theology)

Webinar registration

Angela Davis and the Black Radical Tradition

Friday, February 12, 12–1:30 p.m. | Abigail Quigley McCarthy Center for Women Virtual Bag Lunch

Nancy A. Heitzeg, Endowed Professor in the Sciences and Professor of Sociology and Critical Studies of Race and Ethnicity

To receive a link to this online discussion, RSVP by 4 p.m. Thursday, February 11, to

About Angela Davis

Angela Davis is the author of ten books and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. In recent years a persistent theme of her work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. She draws upon her own experiences in the early seventies as a person who spent eighteen months in jail and on trial, after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.” She also has conducted extensive research on numerous issues related to race, gender and imprisonment.

Her recent books include Abolition Democracy and Are Prisons Obsolete? about the abolition of the prison industrial complex, a new edition of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and a collection of essays entitled The Meaning of Freedom. Her most recent book of essays, called Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement, was published in February 2016.

Angela Davis is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to the dismantling of the prison industrial complex. Internationally, she is affiliated with Sisters Inside, an abolitionist organization based in Queensland, Australia that works in solidarity with women in prison.