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 Visualizing Abolition with Rhodessa Jones and Sarah Crowell

Visualizing Abolition continues with performer, activist, and director Rhodessa Jones, in conversation with dancer and choreographer Sarah Crowell. Jones is the co-artistic director of the critically acclaimed, performance company Cultural Odyssey. She also founded and directs The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women, an award-winning performance workshop committed to to the personal and social transformation of women, now in it’s 23rd year. Crowell joins her to talk about their shared commitment to the vital roles of the arts and humanities in abolition and, what Jones calls, “telling the truth and practicing revolution.”

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Event Series Event Series: Visualizing Abolition

April 25, 2022 @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm

Rhodessa Jones

Visualizing Abolition is organized by Professor Gina Dent, Feminist Studies and Dr. Rachel Nelson, Director, IAS, with support from the Mellon Foundation. The events feature artists, activists, and scholars united by their commitment to the vital struggle for prison abolition. 

About the speakers

Rhodessa Jones’

Rhodessa Jones’ work in education, performance and activism has taken place in corrections and for educational institutions internationally. She conducted the Medea Project in South African prisons, working with incarcerated women and trained correctional personnel and local artists. In 2012, the U.S. Department of State, Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau named her as Arts Envoy for the U.S. Embassy. Jones is a recipient of many awards and honors including the US Artist Fellowship; the Pew Fellowship; SF Bay Guardian’s Lifetime Achievement Award; SF Foundation Community Leadership Award; Non-Profit Arts Excellence Award by the SF Business Arts Council; and an Otto Rene Castillo Award for Political Theater. From 2018-2021, she was Frank H.T. Rhodes Chair at Cornell University. She was appointed as a Rhodes Professor “to strengthen the undergraduate experience by bringing individuals from every walk of life who represent excellence of achievement to the university.” As a Visiting Professor at Dartmouth College, Jones was invited to join August Wilson, Cornel West, Yo-Yo Ma, and Anna Deavere Smith as a “Montgomery Fellow”, fostering “the advancement of the academic realm of the College in ways that will significantly add to the quality and character of the institution.” Most recently, Jones was an Actress/Voice Talent for the character “Lulu” in Disney’s (Pixar) award-winning feature length animated film, SOUL.

Sarah Crowell

Sarah Crowell is a dancer and choreographer who has taught dance, theater, mindfulness and violence prevention for over 35 years. At the end of 2020 she left her position as the Artistic Director at Destiny Arts Center in Oakland where she served in different capacities including Executive Director for 30 years. She founded and co-directed the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company, which was the subject of two documentary films, and won the National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award. Sarah has facilitated arts integration, violence prevention, cultural humility and team building professional development sessions with artists and educators since 2000, both locally and nationally. She is the recipient of many awards including the KPFA Peace award, the KQED Women’s History Local Hero award, and the National Guild for Community Arts Education Milestone award. She is a four-time finalist for a Tony Award for Excellence in Theater Education. Sarah believes that movement must be part of all movements for social change.


April 25, 2022
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
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407 McHenry Rd
Santa Cruz, California 95064
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