The distressing events of 2020 challenged the United States to reimagine how our social institutions can and should respond to demands for racial justice. These demands impacted higher education and debates arose about whether the classroom is an appropriate place for teaching abolition. I address this debate by introducing a senior-level elective course, Policing in the American City, to explore how abolitionist pedagogy can guide our teaching, learning, and doing sociology alongside our students. I begin with a brief grounding in abolition and then introduce virtual community-based learning (VCBL) as an ideal medium to facilitate abolitionist pedagogy in the classroom. Next, I provide preliminary insights into the use of VCBL to illustrate how it helped students develop critical skills, mobilize their learning, and benefit community partners. Throughout, I call on instructors to consider how online education, service learning, and public sociology can align with abolitionist practices to create communities of care in our classrooms and empower students to engage abolition as praxis beyond their college years.
Rocha Beardall, T. (2022). Abolition as Praxis and Virtual Community-Based Learning. Teaching Sociology. https://doi.org/10.1177/0092055X221096663