Faith and Liberation: A Community Conversation on Prison Abolition

Image: Second Shot, a short film by Andrew Michael Ellis

A three-part in-person conversation series:

  • Event dates: Wednesdays 2/8, 3/22, 4/19
  • Event time: 6:30 to 8:15pm EST
  • Location: Christ Church Cobble Hill, located at 326 Clinton Street (at the corner of Kane Street).

These multi-faith community conversations will explore the concept of prison abolition, and how our Buddhist practice and the Christian faith traditions relate to it. Prison abolition is not simply a movement that looks to close all prisons, it seeks to reimagine justice in a system that discriminates so heavily toward poor people of color, and to address the hyper-funding of the police and military industrial complex at the expense of important community resources, like housing and healthcare. Furthermore, prison abolition demands that we consider the way that our carceral system influences and shows up in our personal life.

This series of dialogues between the Brooklyn Zen Center (BZC) and Christ Church Cobble Hill communities is a practice building community along lines of religious difference while using these interactions to reflect more deeply on what it means to be practitioners in our respective traditions.

Each evening, we will screen a documentary and then have a discussion which will be led by practitioners of each religion. For 2/8 and 3/22 conversations, we will explore prison abolition and mass incarceration, and for the 4/19 conversation, we will explore various efforts that prison abolitionists are involved in.

These conversations are part of Odyssey Impact, a network of faith-based communities, congregations, faith leaders, seminarians, and secular partners, which seeks to drive social change through innovative storytelling and media, and this opportunity came about through Union Theological Seminary, where BZC dharma teacher Kosen Greg Snyder is the Senior Director of Buddhist Studies.