Technologies For Liberation: Toward Abolionist Futures

Suggested Citation

Pascal Emmer, Caroline Rivas, Brenda Salas Neves, Chris Schweidler. 2020. Technologies For Liberation: Toward Abolionist Futures Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and Research Action Design (RAD).

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Technologies For Liberation: Toward Abolionist Futures is dedicated to the powerful Queer, Trans, Two-Spirit, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (QT2SBIPOC) movements and movement technologists who are visioning and building towards liberatory futures. It is rooted in the groundwork of visionary abolitionists who are fighting to end policing, criminalization, and carceral technologies in all their forms, and it holds central the idea that “abolition is both a vision and a political strategy.” We have learned so much from all of you, and are deeply grateful for the path you are forging for us all.

Technologies For Liberation: Toward Abolionist Futures was made possible thanks to the contributions of so many individuals, activists, and organizations. We would like to thank and honor the many people who so generously shared their experiences and stories during interviews and workshops. Your stories and vision are the foundation of this research and the work ahead. We are so grateful to all of the research partners for their time, for sharing their expertise, and for their ongoing dedication and commitment to bringing this project to life.

The primary author of this report is Pascal Emmer, with writing and editing by Brenda Salas Neves, Caroline Rivas, Chris Schweidler, and Mihika Srivastava. We thank all of our research team members, whose dedication made this project possible: Pascal Emmer, Sophie Kreitzberg, Kyla Massey, Maya Richman, Caroline Rivas, Celiany Rivera-Velázquez, Brenda Salas Neves, Chris Schweidler.

Thank you to J. Bob Alotta, whose vision helped plant the seeds for this work. We are grateful for her critical leadership and guidance as this project unfurled.

Thank you to the advisory committee for providing their knowledge, expertise, feedback, and invaluable insight throughout the research process, many of whom joined us for an in-person participatory data analysis session held in May 2019 including: Sarah Aoun, Teresa Basilio, Danielle Blunt, Helen Ceballos, Sasha Costanza-Chock, Jacinta Gonzalez, Hamid Khan, Tamika Lewis, Matt Mitchell, Cara Page, Tawana Petty, Heriberto Ramirez, Steven Renderos, Celiany Rivera-Velázquez, Loan Tran, Iman Young.

Thank you to members of Astraea’s brilliant staff for their valuable review, feedback and contributions throughout: Bridget de Gersigny, Sarah Gunther, Raviva Hanser, Shaena Johnson, Kim Kaletsky, Courtney Okeke, Sabrina Rich, Celia Turner.

Special thanks for support in the review and editing of this report: Ayana Byrd, Kenrya Rankin, Chriss Sneed, Danielle Blunt.

Design: Feeling.

Illustration: Amir Khadar.

This report was made possible with generous support from the Ford Foundation and the Levi Strauss Foundation. Thank you to Michael Brennan, Brook Kelly-Green, Luna Yasui and Daniel Lee for believing in our vision for this report and helping it come to fruition.

Research Team

The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice is the only philanthropic organization working exclusively to advance LGBTQI human rights around the globe. Astraea was founded in 1977 by a cross-class, multi-racial group of women activists looking to fund a burgeoning women’s movement that centered the leadership of lesbians and women of color. Through grantmaking, capacity building, philanthropic advocacy, and media and communications, we support brilliant and brave grantee partners in the US and internationally who challenge oppression and seed change. We work for racial, economic, social, and gender justice, because we all deserve to live our lives freely, without fear, and with dignity. In 2013, we launched the LGBTQI Racial Justice Fund affirming our long-standing commitment to advancing racial and economic justice. In 2014, we launched our CommsLabs programming, becoming the first funder to make a major investment in media, communications, and technology for LGBTQI communities globally. In 2018, Astraea committed to centering Healing Justice as a critical strategy for supporting grantee partners. Astraea invests in, advocates for, and amplifies LBTQI, feminist, and People of Color-led movements to bolster their power and sustainability. In our 40+ year history, we are proud to have granted more than $44 million to 1,700+ LBTQI activists and artists.

Research Action Design (RAD) uses community-led research, collaborative design of technology and media, and secure digital strategies to build the power of grassroots social movements. We are a worker-owned collective. Our work is grounded in the needs and leadership of communities in the struggle for justice and liberation.


Technologies for Liberation: Toward Abolitionist Futures | 2020
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