What is the Abolitionist Public Health Student Network?

Since Spring 2022, the Health Instead of Punishment program at HIP has been holding a growing network for students at schools of public health across the US to build capacity for the abolition of the prison industrial complex as a public health strategy. Fall cohorts typically focus on political education about the intersections of abolition, organizing, and public health, while spring cohorts are geared towards supporting student organizing for abolition on their campuses.  

Students apply each semester 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.”  People who are currently students (undergrad or graduate level), post-docs, faculty, and staff in schools of public health, at all levels of organizing experience, are welcome to apply. Those who are not in a school of public health, but studying or working on public health-related topics are also welcome to apply.

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 2022 – December 2022. Learn more about Cohort Two here.

Cohort Three: Our third cohort convened from January 2023 – May 2023. Learn more about Cohort Three here.

Cohort Four: Our fourth cohort convened from September 2023 – December 2023. Learn more about Cohort Four here.


Cohort Five begins in January 2024!

Want to learn more?

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