We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable — but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings.”
Ursula Le Guin
Saudia Durrant was born, raised, and educated in West Philadelphia. She has a background in workplace and community organizing and radio broadcasting, and has been an organizer on the Philadelphia Student Union‘s Alternatives to the School to Prison Pipeline (now Police Free Schools) campaign, at the Abolitionist Law Center, and at the Gender Justice Fund. Currently, she is a senior campaign strategist at Advancement Project, working to build liberatory education through campaigns that seek to end the school to prison pipeline, and remove police from schools.
Geo Maher, Coordinator
Geo Maher, Ph.D., is a writer, organizer, and popular educator who has taught in colleges and universities, in prisons, and in the barrios of Caracas, Venezuela—learning an immense amount from his students in the process. Growing up poor in the Maine woods, he was taught at an early age to despise oppression, and found early inspiration in local and global struggles against capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, and white supremacy—and in the revolutionary internationalist vision for a new world that those who fight continue to carry in their hearts. He is the author of five books, including A World Without Police and Anticolonial Eruptions.
Malkia Okech is a Philadelphia-based researcher, cultural producer, and community archaeologist. They are interested in the cross sections of multimodal archaeology, art, technology, cultural heritage, anticapitalism, and liberation. Their goal is to contribute to a pedagogy of interdisciplinary Memory Work by and for the people. They have done community archive and education projects with the Paul Robeson House & Museum and Scribe Video Center‘s Precious Places Community History projects. From 2021 -2022 they conducted Philadelphia Abolitionist research as an Activist-Curator Fellow with Chronicling Resistance. Currently, they are the Associate Producer for Black Spatial Relics and Digital Specialist for African Digital Heritage, based in Nairobi, Kenya. Their praxis is formed by the past, present, and future continuum of freedom dreaming, rooted in international solidarity.
Christopher R. Rogers
Christopher R. Rogers, Ph.D., is an educator and cultural worker from Chester, PA. He serves on the National Steering Committee for Black Lives Matter at School, supporting movements for racial justice in K-16 education. He’s Co-Coordinator of the Friends of the Tanner House, working on rehabilitating the National Historic Landmark Henry Ossawa Tanner House for public re-use. He has previously served as the Public Programs Director for the Paul Robeson House & Museum between 2017 and 2023. He loves Hakim’s Bookstore, the Black Radical Tradition, and most veteran Philly DJs.
Anthony Smith is a West Philly based organizer and educator. He worked as Social Studies teacher, having had the honor of working with and teaching Philadelphia youth for 7 years. Anthony has been organizing primarily around addressing police violence and building independent political power for black and brown community members. He has worked with and contributed to organizations such as Philly for REAL Justice, the Black Philly Radical Collective, Friends and Family of Mumia Abu-Jamal, and Food Not Bombs Solidarity.
Kali Akuno is co-founder and co-director of Cooperation Jackson, a network of worker cooperatives and community-led programs that seeks to grow a democratic, just, and sustainable economy in Jackson, MS. He was Director of Special Projects and External Funding in the Mayoral Administration of the late Chokwe Lumumba; Co-Director of the US Human Rights Network; Executive Director of the Peoples’ Hurricane Relief Fund (PHRF) in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina; and co-founder of the School of Social Justice and Community Development (SSJCD), a public school serving low-income African American and Latino communities in Oakland. Since 2021, Kali has been Racial and Environmental Justice Coordinator at the Institute for Social Ecology, which provides community-based popular educational programs and organizing assistance to social and political movements, informed by a community-centered vision of positive, ecologically-oriented social change. He is co-editor of Jackson Rising Redux: Lessons on Building the Future in the Present.
Ismael Jimenez is a dedicated educator, who for the last seventeen years has worked with students in Philadelphia from preschool age to high school. For over a decade, Ismael has led professional development sessions for social studies instructors across the city of Philadelphia and the nation. He has facilitated professional development sessions at institutions like the University of Pennsylvania, Penn State University and Princeton University on issues ranging from structural racism to bridging the knowledge/skill gap between high school and postsecondary institutions. Currently, Ismael is the Director of Social Studies curriculum for the School District of Philadelphia and an adjunct professor for the University of Pennsylvania’s Urban Teacher Apprentice Program (UTAP). His teaching and activism is rooted in the theoretical educational framework developed by Paulo Freire which emphasizes the interconnected nature of education with participating in the transformation of the world.
Hiram Rivera is the Executive Director of the Community Resource Hub for Safety & Accountability, a national organization dedicated exclusively to the issue of policing and providing capacity support to organizations on the ground. He is an organizer by trade, having spent 16 years working on issues of Juvenile & Education Justice, housing, and police reform throughout the state of Connecticut, New York City, and Philadelphia.
Kim Wilson, Ph.D., is an educator, self-taught artist, and cohost and producer of the Beyond Prisons podcast. Her two sons are currently sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole (LWOP) in Delaware. Kim speaks candidly about her story and the impact that incarceration has had on her and her family. She uses art as a tool for healing from carceral trauma, and teaches others how to cultivate their own creative practice. As a freelance consultant and facilitator, Kim has facilitated hundreds of workshops over the years. She works to raise awareness about the conditions in prisons, and organizes with others to build a world without prisons. Her work has appeared in Shadowproof, TruthOut, and Abolition Journal, and her art has been shown in galleries across the country.