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jackie sumell

ABOG-David Rockefeller Fund Joint Fellow in Criminal Justice

As the 2017 ABOG-David Rockefeller Fund Joint Fellow in Criminal Justice, jackie sumell will create The Garrison, a mobile classroom for prison abolition. During a three-month, multi-state tour, sumell will collaborate with local partners to facilitate restorative justice forums and establish “Solitary Gardens,” cell-sized garden beds created through correspondence with incarcerated individuals.

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Now in its second year, the ABOG-David Rockefeller Fund Joint Fellowship in Criminal Justice is a targeted fellowship that resulted from a year-long planning process between A Blade of Grass and the David Rockefeller Fund. 

Artist Bio

jackie sumell is a multidisciplinary artist inspired most by the lives of everyday people. Her work speaks to both traditional artist communities and those historically marginalized by structural racism. Ms. sumell’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the US and Europe. She has been the recipient of several residencies and awards including, 2016 Robert Rauschenberg Artist-As-Activist Fellowship, 2015 Eyebeam Project Fellowship, and 2008 Akademie Solitude Fellowship. An ardent public speaker and prison abolitionist, sumell has lectured in Colleges and Universities around the US including UC Berkeley (BAMPFA), RISD, ZKM Karlsruhe, and as keynote for the National Prisoner Advocacy Conference 2014. Her collaborative work with Herman Wallace, The House That Herman Built, is the subject of the Emmy Award Winning documentary Herman’s House, screened to a national audience on PBS in 2013. sumell’s work explores the intersection of creative practices, mindfulness studies, social sculpture, and the principles of The Black Panther Party for Self Defense. Her path has been greatly shaped by the wisdom and compassion of Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox, Robert King, Mwalimu Johnson, Malik Rahim, Norris Henderson, geronimo jijaga & all those who continue to struggle against an unjust and oppressive prison system.

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