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Beyond Pipelines and Prisons: Infrastructures of Abolition

Date
October 26, 2020
Time
6:30 PM EDT - 8:00 PM EDT
Location
Online Platform: Zoom

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Event Description:

This event will feature two extraordinary feminist, anti-colonial thinkers in dialogue about how to build the infrastructures that can take us beyond planetary social and ecological collapse. Professor Ruth Wilson Gilmore and Anishinaabe leader Winona LaDuke are both decorated authors who are also deeply invested and active in on-the-ground social transformation. They have both built vital infrastructures for survival and flourishing in their respective communities and are active in struggles against the expansion of toxic and colonial infrastructures like pipelines and prisons. Despite the deep connections in their work and their wide renown as community and movement leaders, Ruth Wilson Gilmore and Winona LaDuke have never appeared together before. This special event will draw on their lived experiences in urban communities and on remote Indigenous reservations respectively, to explore what a decolonized, ecologically and socially just future might look like, rooted in the revolutionary but also profoundly practical work of infrastructure.

Co-presented with the University of Toronto Department of Geography & Planning.

Speakers:

Winona LaDuke

Winona LaDuke is a rural development economist working on issues of economic, food, and energy sovereignty. She lives and works on the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota, and leads several organizations including Honor the Earth, Anishinaabe Agriculture Institute, Akiing, and Winona’s Hemp.  These organizations develop and model cultural-based sustainable development strategies utilizing renewable energy and sustainable food systems.  LaDuke is an international thought leader in the areas of climate justice, renewable energy, and environmental justice.  She is also a leader in the work of protecting Indigenous plants and heritage foods from patenting and genetic engineering. She has authored six books including; Recovering the Sacred, All our Relations, Last Standing Woman, and her newest work The Winona LaDuke Chronicles. 

LaDuke is the recipient of numerous awards including the Thomas Merton Award (1996), Ms.Woman of the Year (with the Indigo Girls) (l997), and the Reebok Human Rights Award. She founded the White Earth Land Recovery Project which has won many awards- including the prestigious 2003 International Slow Food Award for Biodiversity, recognizing the organization’s work to protect wild rice from patenting and genetic engineering. LaDuke was a co-founder, and Board Co-Chair of the Indigenous Women’s Network for fifteen years.  She maintains a significant role in international advocacy for Indigenous people, including numerous presentations at United Nations forums, and involvement in opposition to mega projects impacting Indigenous Communities.  

Ruth Wilson Gilmore

Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences and Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Co-founder of many grassroots organizations including the California Prison Moratorium Project, Critical Resistance, and the Central California Environmental Justice Network, Gilmore is author of the award-winning Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California. 

Recent publications include “Beyond Bratton” (Policing the Planet); “Abolition Geography and the Problem of Innocence” (Futures of Black Radicalism); and a foreword to Cedric J. Robinson on Racial Capitalism, Black Internationalism, and Cultures of Resistance. Forthcoming projects include Change Everything: Racial Capitalism and the Case for Abolition; and Stuart Hall: Selected Writings on Race and Difference (co-edited with Paul Gilroy). Gilmore has lectured in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the American Studies Association Angela Y. Davis Award for Public Scholarship (2012); the SUNY-Purchase College Eugene V. Grant Distinguished Scholar Prize for Social and Environmental Justice (2015-16); The Association of American Geographers Lifetime Achievement Award (2020).

Moderator:

Shiri Pasternak 

Shiri Pasternak is Research Director at the Yellowhead Institute, a First-Nation led think tank rooted in community networks and committed to Indigenous self-determination.  

She is the author of the award-winning book Grounded Authority: the Algonquins of Barriere Lake Against the State. Shiri teaches courses in the Indigenous Justice stream. Her current research involves studying the risk of Indigenous rights in the natural resource extraction economy as well as interdisciplinary approaches to Indigenous jurisdiction, resource economies, and Crown-First Nations’ relations. She publishes in the fields of legal and historical geography, settler colonial studies, political economy, and critical legal studies. She is a Principal Investigator with scholars at York University and Carleton University, as well as community partners MiningWatch and the Indigenous Network in Economies and Trade, in a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant called, “Reconciling Sovereignties: New Techniques for ‘Authorizing’ Extraction on Indigenous Territories.” She is Assistant Professor in Criminology at Ryerson University in Toronto.