Professor Ruth Wilson Gilmore Is a 2022 Freedom Scholar

December 7, 2022

The $250,000 award celebrates a scholar who is known for her work on racial capitalism and prison abolition.

Ruth Wilson Gilmore
Professor Ruth Wilson Gilmore received a 2022 Freedom Scholars award from the Marguerite Casey Foundation.

Graduate Center Professor Ruth Wilson Gilmore (Earth and Environmental Studies, American Studies, Africana Studies) was named a 2022 Freedom Scholar by the Marguerite Casey Foundation. The prestigious $250,000 award recognizes influential scholars and leaders involved in research on social justice topics.

Gilmore is the director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the Graduate Center and the co-founder of several grassroots organizations including California Prison Moratorium Project, Critical Resistance, and the Central California Environmental Justice Network. She works on racial capitalism, organized violence, organized abandonment, and prison abolition. In 2021, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Gilmore is the author of influential books including Abolition Geography: Essays Towards Liberation and Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California. With Paul Gilroy, she co-edited Stuart Hall: Selected Writings on Race and Difference. Her forthcoming book, Change Everything: Racial Capitalism and the Case for Abolition, is due out in March 2023.

She is one of 10 authors, scholars, and activists to receive a 2022 Freedom Scholar award, announced on December 6, 2022.

“Through their research, these scholars provide critical insight to social justice leaders and encourage all of us to radically reimagine a democracy, economy and society animated by liberation,” said Marguerite Casey Foundation President and CEO Carmen Rojas in a statement.

“My scholarship shares how past or present creative energy sparks efforts by grassroots groups, unions, faith communities, movements, and states to configure liberation,” Gilmore said in a statement. “My work’s purpose is to uplift the historical geography of the future — where people materialize consciousness and forge solidarity by organizing and extending green, red, and internationalist place-making.”

Learn More About Professor Ruth Wilson Gilmore

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