by Krista Lee
There are many colleges in Vermont and making connections and supporting the student work of other schools is so crucial for student empowerment and student power.
In my experience at Green Mountain College I have connected with student activists from UVM and Middlebury and really look forward to really connecting with students from colleges and universities around Vermont next semester. I always get energized and excited learning about what people are doing on their campuses across the country and the state, and am interested in further building GMC’s student relationship with other colleges and universities surrounding activism and social and environmental justice.
Today Middlebury College had a free event open to the public entitled “Panel Discussion: Critical Queer Perspectives on Prison Abolition.” And these are the kinds of events that students from all over the state should be supporting and going to (in my opinion).
The event had three renowned activist scholars: Reina Gossett, Ryan Conrad, and Yasmin Nair “having a panel discussion about incarceration and queer imaginings of justice”!
“Taking an abolitionist stance against the prison industrial complex, Reina, Ryan, and Yasmin will explore the intersections of state-sponsored violence with queer, trans, and gender non conforming people and communities. Their discussion will expose how hate crimes legislation, often framed as a marker of “progress” for LGBT people, actually expands and reinforces the criminal punishment system. Identifying prisons, policing, and detention centers as sites of perpetual violence, racism, homophobia, transphobia, poverty, imperialism, and alienation, they locate abolition in a broader practice of breaking down these systems. Their work invites us to consider alternative ways of creating justice and building communities that truly transform, rather than reform, our current social conditions.”
How incredible! Middlebury student, Jenny Marks, was one of the main organizers getting this event at the college. Learning, supporting, and meeting student activists I think is beneficial and important for like-minded students. Collaborativr student activist organizations have potential to do a lot of good! I was super excited reading about this event that took place today and hearing about all the incredible work Vermont student organizers are doing!