“I Use My Love to Guide Me”: Surviving and Thriving in the Face of Impossible Situations
A conversation with CeCe McDonald, Reina Gossett, and Dean Spade
Get your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cece-mcdonald-reina-gossett-and-dean-spade-tickets-11082426837
In 2011, CeCe McDonald was a fashion design student at Minneapolis Community and Technical College when while walking to a grocery store, she and her friends were attacked by a group of white people shouting racist and transphobic slurs. When CeCe fatally stabbed one of their attackers in self defense, she was arrested and eventually imprisoned for 19 months. As she awaited trial and experienced incarceration, the Transgender Youth Support Network in Minnesota created the Free CeCe campaign, inspiring an international community of activists to support CeCe and rally for her freedom. Throughout, CeCe updated community members with her evocative and thoughtful writing on police brutality, transphobia, homophobia, racism, and the power of love against systems of injustice.
Recently, CeCe joined prison abolition activists Reina Gossett and Dean Spade in a conversation about her own experiences surviving trauma and impossible situations, and the importance of collective organizing for people facing systems of violence. Video of this conversation will be available onbcrw.barnard.edu in April. On April 21, CeCe, Reina, and Dean will share excerpts from their discussion and continue the conversation, responding to questions from the audience and online. Join us to support CeCe and the continued push for an end to the prison system and the institutionalized structures of violence throughout our society which support it.
This event is part of the series No One is Disposable, which features conversations on trans activism and prison abolition with BCRW activist fellow Reina Gossett. Co-sponsored by the Barnard Center for Research on Women, the Office of Social Justice Initiatives at The New School, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at NYU, and the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School.
CeCe McDonald is an activist living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a creative and energetic person who, before her life was so unjustly interrupted, was studying fashion design at MCTC. She had a stable home where she lived with and helped support four other African American youth, her family. CeCe’s family describes her as a leader, a role model, and a loyal friend. She is known as a wise, out-spoken, and welcoming person, with a history of handling prejudice with amazing grace. She is currently working with actress Laverne Cox and director Jac Gares on a documentary about her experience.
Reina Gossett lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and believes creativity & imagination are vital in movements for self determination. She is a trans activist & artist, working as membership director at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and blogging at reinagossett.com. Reina’s work has been featured in BCRW’s The Scholar & Feminist Online, as well as Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment & The Prison Industrial Complex. She is an activist fellow at BCRW.
Dean Spade is the founder of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of the Law, and an associate professor at Seattle University School of Law. He is currently a fellow in the Engaging Tradition Project at Columbia Law School.
Check out this great conversation between CeCe McDonald, Reina Gossett and SRLP collective member Dean Spade! They will be doing an in person event with Barnard Center for Research on Women on April 21st at the New School!