What is the Abolitionist Public Health Student Network?

In January 2022, Human Impact Partners launched the first cohort of the Abolitionist Public Health Student Network – a network for undergraduate and graduate public health students interested in learning more about abolition and working on abolitionist campaigns on their campuses. Students applied in pairs or groups from their universities, in the ethos of abolitionist organizer and educator Mariame Kaba’s encouragement that “everything worthwhile is done with other people.”

The first cohort consisted of 66 students from 24 different schools across the country, and one group in Canada. Students met every other week from January to May, alternating didactic sessions about abolition and organizing strategy with the full group and hands-on sessions about students’ campus campaigns with 5 smaller clusters.

Goals of the network include:

  • Building capacity for public health students to be able to recognize and name abolition as a public health strategy
  • Learning what opportunities exist at schools of public health for abolitionist content
  • Providing public health research, framing, and resources to students that they could use in their organizing on campus
  • Developing an abolitionist network that can have longevity as public health students enter their careers in the field
  • Getting public health students skilled up to get involved in abolitionist campaigns at their academic institutions, including but not limited to:
    • Getting abolitionist content into their public health curriculum
    • Removing cops from their campus
    • Improving pipeline to college and/or graduate school for formerly incarcerated students
    • Launching non-punitive, non-police emergency responses on campus
    • Divesting endowments from carceral systems

Network Cohorts

Cohort One: Our first cohort convened from January 2022 – May 2022. Learn more about Cohort One here

Cohort Two: Our second cohort convened from September-December 2022. View recordings of the fall 2022 political education sessions here.

Cohort Three: Our third cohort will convene in January 2023 and will include 6 student groups focused on abolitionist organizing on their campuses.

Want to learn more?

Email Health Instead of Punishment Program Director Christine Mitchell at christine@humanimpact.org.