Transformative Justice in the Apocalypse: Beyond Survival One Year Later

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What is needed in this moment of transformative justice and abolition work?

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One year after the publication of Beyond Survival: Strategies and Stories from the Transformative Justice Movement, we've witnessed a year of tremendous abolitionist resistance, multiple pandemics, and crises.   We're reflecting on what’s needed right now, in this moment of transformative justice and abolitionist work?

Join authors of Beyond Survival, artists and organizers Ejeris Dixon and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha alongside New York based contributors: Woods Erwin, RJ Maccani, and for a “fireside chat” about Beyond Survival, abolition, and TJ. Guests will share specific and concrete tools for holding transformative justice processes, the intersections between violence, accountability, patriarchy, and harm, and how to build community safety in order to address violence, overdoses, and medical emergencies within an abolitionist framework. Q&A to follow.


Live transcription and ASL interpretation will be provided. Please email any additional access needs to

This event is free and open to all.

About the Speakers 

RJ Maccani’s work brings together three complementary passions: transformative justice, somatic coaching, and the creative arts. He is a parent; a lead teacher and board member of Generative Somatics; and Assistant Director of Intervention for Common Justice in Brooklyn, a groundbreaking restorative justice organization. RJ served on the leadership team of generationFIVE and co-founded the Challenging Male Supremacy Project. He also co-led the Foundry Theatre, worked as an Associate Producer and Story Advisor on the documentary film Slingshot Hip Hop, and was a participant performer in Ping Chong and Company’s oral history theatre work and documentary film Secret Survivors.

The Audre Lorde Project is a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Non Conforming People of Color center for community organizing, focusing on the New York City area. Through mobilization, education and capacity-building, we work for community wellness and progressive social and economic justice. Committed to struggling across differences, we seek to responsibly reflect, represent and serve our various communities.

Woods Ervin is a Black nonbinary trans person from the South who has been deeply immersed in movements for racial and gender justice for over a decade. Woods began organizing in 2006 in Chicago with the Broadway Youth Center, both as a case manager and to develop transformative justice practices for street-based trans youth. Woods has been a member of Critical Resistance since 2010, and from 2014 to 2018 was part of rebuilding Transgender, Gender-variant, Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP). Through both organizations, Woods organized to stop construction of a jail in San Francisco, and developed policy recommendations for housing trans people in prisons, jails, and shelters, working with formerly incarcerated transgender people to develop a policy agenda based on their experiences.

Ilankai Tamil Blood, Texas-Bred and Brooklyn-Brewed, YaliniDream conjures spirit through a unique blend of poetry, theater, song, and dance-- reshaping reality and seeking peace through justice in lands of earth, psyche, soul, and dream. YaliniDream has twenty years experience using artistic tools for healing, organizing, and dignity with communities contending with violence and oppression. Yalini is a consultant with Vision Change Win, a wellness specialist with EM Arts, tours with Hip Hop Storytelling group Brooklyn Dreamwolf, and teaches "Social Justice Pedagogy and the Arts" at University of San Francisco's graduate program in Human Rights and International Multicultural Education.

Ejeris Dixon is an organizer, consultant, and political strategist with twenty years of experience organizing within racial justice, LGBTQ, transformative justice, anti-violence, and economic justice movements. She is the Founding Director of Vision Change Win Consulting where she partners with organizations to build their capacity and deepen the impact of their organizing strategies. Her essay, "Building Community Safety: Practical Steps Toward Liberatory Transformation," is featured in the anthology Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? Police Violence and Resistance in the United States.

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is the Lambda Award winning author of Tonguebreaker, Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice, Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home, Bodymap, Love Cake, Consensual Genocide and co-editor of The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities. A lead artist with the disability justice collective Sins Invalid, she is a longtime cultural worker, educator and organizer within disability and transformative justice communities.

Praise For Beyond Survival:

“I’ve been waiting for this book for so many years. Gritty, unsentimental, blunt, compassionate, and visionary, the wildly varied voices, insights, and experiences collected in this exceptional - and essential – anthology helps chart new pathways through the harms of violence in its interrelated interpersonal, vigilante, and structural forms. Appearing at precisely the moment we need them most, these visions, questions, and practices will stir your imagination, fuel your own radical dreams, and open your heart to the possibility of transformed futures for us all.” —Kay Whitlock, co-author of Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States

“Beyond Survival is full of grounded, practical wisdom based in brave, thoughtful, collaborative efforts. It will be immensely useful to people trying to respond to the real crises our communities are facing with creative solutions that actually build healing and safety. This is the collection that so many of us have been waiting for, capturing the knowledge generated by grassroots experiments undertaken by bold, imaginative activists working to respond to and prevent violence. We will be using this as a reference book for building community responses to harm and violence for decades to come.” —Dean Spade, author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law 

“Beyond Survival is a book for anyone yearning for transformation within themselves and across communities. If I had this book when I first began organizing, I would not have felt so alone and lost when seeking ways to confront conflict, harm and violence without policing and punishment. As our movements evolve, so must what we consider as essential reading — Beyond Survival is clearly essential reading. —Charlene A. Carruthers, author of Unapologetic: A Black, Queer and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements

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