Abolition activist Mariame Kaba to deliver MLK keynote address


Mariame Kaba. The abolition activist will give the keynote address during Northwestern’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Dream Week in January.

Marissa Martinez, Editor In Chief

Abolition activist Mariame Kaba will give the keynote address during Northwestern’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Dream Week in January.

Kaba, who studied sociology at Northwestern and has taught courses at the University in the past, is a prison industrial complex abolitionist and educator. She founded Project NIA, a grassroots organization that aims to end youth incarceration, along with several social justice organizations based in Chicago. Among other projects, Kaba is a lead researcher at the Barnard Center for Research on Women for the Interrupting Criminalization initiative. 

Kaba was selected as part of the larger One Book, One Northwestern theme, Bryan Stevenson’s “Just Mercy” and the Women’s Center’s “Mutual Aid and Community Engagement” theme for this school year.

“Mariame is such a thoughtful and talented teacher,” program coordinator of the Women’s Center Melisa Stephen said in a press release. “She has a remarkable gift of simultaneously humbling you to the challenging, sometimes ugly truths of human nature and inspiring you to dream bigger than you ever thought you could. Her voice and work are an invaluable source of guidance in a time of heightened awareness and reckoning.”

In her keynote address, Kaba will discuss prison industrial complex abolition as a vision for a restructured society based on care, cooperation and true safety, according to the release. 

The most recent activist to address the Northwestern community was Angela Davis, the featured speaker for the annual State of the Black Union event in November. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @mar1ssamart1nez

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