This year's conference will take place virtually. The theme is Towards Freedom: Violence, Safety, and Abolition 2021.
*In solidarity with graduate workers currently on strike, this year's Beyond the Bars has been postponed until the strike is resolved.*
This year marks the 11th annual Beyond the Bars Conference, coming one year after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in which multiple crises have unfolded, and the growth of social movements struggling for a more just and safe world have increased significantly. Given this, we hope to create deep and thoughtful conversations about the many forms of violence that our society has experienced; to surface and examine the ways in which movements are pushing for community and public safety in ways that do not reenforce the carceral state; and to explore why abolition has become so prevalent in the conversations, strategies and demands in the work of transforming approaches to justice and safety. In addition, we will take time to honor and celebrate the leadership of women impacted by incarceration, and the leadership of Black women, and all that we have and can learn from their work. And we will spend time building and amplifying the work of grassroots organizing.
This year's conference will be virtual and we are delighted to partner with Haymarket Books to bring the conference to you in this virtual world.