Jarrett M. Drake is a PhD student in Social Anthropology at Harvard University and an advisory archivist for A People’s Archives of Police Violence in Cleveland. His lines of inquiry converge on issues of justice, state violence, accountability, and memory work. Prior to Harvard, Jarrett spent four years as the Digital Archivist at Princeton University. While there, he volunteered as an instructor in the New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons (NJ-STEP) Consortium through the Princeton Prison Teaching Initiative, teaching preparatory and introductory college composition. Jarrett is a graduate of Benjamin Banneker Achievement Center in Gary, Indiana.
This talk will speculate on the following questions: to what extent and in what ways might communities use archives as avenues to abolish police and prisons in the United States? How can archivists, organizers, and resource allocators use the archive as a means and a method to envision a world without police and prisons, thereby assisting in the construction of a society that relies on new sets of relationships to promote justice? Drawing on historical research and narratives from A People’s Archive of Police Violence in Cleveland, Jarrett Drake will explore the term ‘abolitionist archives’ and describe how they constitute a critical component to the constellation of alternatives to imagine a societal landscape free from our present punishment paradigm.