Request for Proposals

Theme: Bring Us Home

Conference Dates: Friday and Saturday, November 3-4, 2023

The Beyond the Bars LA Conference is a bi-annual event that advances the work of ending racialized mass incarceration and recidivism. Each year, scholars, students, activists, advocates, policy makers, government officials and those who have been most directly impacted by issues of incarceration and criminalization come together to deepen our collective analysis, strengthen our network of those working for change, and make visible the many ways those from the university and the community can take action. We are working to dismantle the prison industrial complex and mass incarceration by expanding higher education, facilitating creative spaces, using transformative practices, and fostering movement building on university campuses, in system-impacted communities and correctional facilities.

This year’s conference will address the following questions:

  1. How are people and organizations taking action in their communities?

  2. What types of support and resources are needed for reentry?

  3. Why does recidivism matter and to whom?

Request for Proposals

Friday (virtual on Zoom) and Saturday (in-person at UCLA) will feature 60-minute workshops. These sessions are designed to facilitate skill-sharing, learning, and active engagement. The workshops are a chance to present the many personal and political struggles connected to mass incarceration and reentry to society. Workshops will teach tools for advocacy and connect participants to opportunities for continued engagement beyond the conference. We are particularly committed to highlighting the voices and organizing done by: people of color, formerly incarcerated, system impacted, artists, prison education staff or faculty, and community activists. We are interested in proposals that touch on various topics related to the theme, Bring Us Home, including:

  • Advocacy

  • Creative Expression and the Arts

  • Interrupting Mass Incarceration

  • Interrupting Violence 

  • Movement/Kinesthetic

  • Reentry Support and Programs

  • System Impacted (including policing, incarceration, deportation, and correctional supervision)

  • Trauma and Healing

  • Transformative and Restorative Justice

We are looking forward to learning various skills, including:

  • Alternative approaches to combating violence

  • Anti-oppressive organizational practices

  • Arts-based activism

  • Creating political campaigns

  • Community organizing and base building

  • Communicating your message (including the use of social media)

  • Coordinating direct actions

  • Fundraising, budgeting, and/or financial management

  • Legal advocacy

  • Self Care: How do you take care of yourself while dealing with vicarious trauma?

  • Supporting people experiencing state violence (including currently incarcerated people)

  • Technology (how to use and leverage apps, digital devices, and digital resources) 

We invite proposals for workshops that address one or more of these foundational topics and skills. In your proposal, please emphasize tangible take-aways for participants and the ways you will facilitate this through active participation and gaining a deeper understanding of an issue. If you presented for a previous BTB LA conference and you are interested in submitting a proposal, we ask that you present on a different topic.    

Accepted proposals will be interactive and bridge the gap from research and analysis to action. We are especially excited about workshops that provide the opportunity for continued involvement after the conference weekend—either through one’s individual actions or through involvement with a group or organization.

To submit a proposal, please fill out the following form by 12:00 midnight (Pacific Time) on Monday, September 25, 2023.

A decision (accepted or not accepted) will be emailed to all those who submit a proposal by Friday, October 6, 2023.

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