Regroup & Restore: April 2nd–5th, 2024

The 3rd Annual Transformative Action & Abolition Symposium will focus on how we survive interacting with systems of oppression that we morally oppose, particularly violent ones that might put our personal or emotional health and safety at risk.

Dr. Angela Davis

Through her activism and scholarship over many decades, Angela Davis has been deeply involved in movements for social justice around the world. Her work as an educator – both at the university level and in the larger public sphere – has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender justice.

Professor Davis’ teaching career has taken her to San Francisco State University, Mills College, and UC Berkeley. She also has taught at UCLA, Vassar, Syracuse University the Claremont Colleges, and Stanford University. Most recently she spent fifteen years at the University of California Santa Cruz where she is now Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness – an interdisciplinary PhD program – and of Feminist Studies.

Angela Davis is the author of ten books and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. In recent years a persistent theme of her work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. She draws upon her own experiences in the early seventies as a person who spent eighteen months in jail and on trial, after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.” She also has conducted extensive research on numerous issues related to race, gender and imprisonment. Her books include Abolition Democracy and Are Prisons Obsolete?, and two books of essays entitled The Meaning of Freedom, and Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement. Her most recent books include a re-issue of Angela Davis: An Autobiography and Abolition. Feminism. Now., with co-authors Gina Dent, Erica Meiners and Beth Richie.

Angela Davis is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to the dismantling of the prison industrial complex. Internationally, she is affiliated with Sisters Inside, an abolitionist organization based in Queensland, Australia that works in solidarity with women in prison.

Like many educators, Professor Davis is especially concerned with the general tendency to devote more resources and attention to the prison system than to educational institutions. Having helped to popularize the notion of a “prison industrial complex,” she now urges her audiences to think seriously about the future possibility of a world without prisons and to help forge a 21st-century abolitionist movement.


OHOM stands for Open Hearts Open Minds — a mentality that we promote among everyone in our community, from staff and volunteers, to incarcerated members of our programs, and the public who attend our productions.

At any given time there are 22,000 people behind bars in Oregon. Most of them will be released at some point without having improved their social and emotional skills in order to re-enter society productively. We believe that change is possible and that our duty is to see men and women in Oregon’s carceral system as whole people who are experiencing trauma and are in need of support and community.

Our programs in prison promote healing and transformation through the process of making and sharing art, with each other and beyond prison walls. We offer productions that are open to the public and invite visitors to witness the innate creativity and complexity that lies within our program participants. Our hope is that we make visible the value that these individuals have, that they are more than their crime, and that returned citizens can be valuable members of our communities.

OHOM is a part of a larger movement promoting prison arts as a powerful tool to shift public perception and generate a sense of self-worth among incarcerated people. We welcome partnerships with other institutions, groups, and individuals who share in our vision.

Check out OHOM’s work: https://www.openheartsopenminds.org/