“I Use My Love to Guide Me”: A Conversation with Trans activists CeCe McDonald, Reina Gossett and Dean Spade

CeCe embraces reina and dean

Be part of the conversation April 21

Join us on Monday, April 21st - Register today!

In her first major public event in New York City, CeCe McDonald joins prison abolition activists Reina Gossett and Dean Spade in a conversation about her experiences surviving trauma and impossible situations, and the importance of collective organizing for people facing systems of violence.

In 2011, CeCe McDonald was a fashion design student at Minneapolis Community and Technical College when while walking to a grocery store, she and her friends were attacked by a group of white people shouting racist and transphobic slurs. When CeCe fatally stabbed one of their attackers in self defense, she was arrested and eventually imprisoned for 19 months. As she awaited trial and experienced incarceration, the Transgender Youth Support Network in Minnesota created the Free CeCe campaign, inspiring an international community of activists to support CeCe and rally for her freedom. Throughout, CeCe updated community members with her evocative and thoughtful writing on police brutality, transphobia, homophobia, racism, and the power of love against systems of injustice.

Recently, CeCe joined prison abolition activists Reina Gossett and Dean Spade in a conversation about her own experiences surviving trauma and impossible situations, and the importance of collective organizing for people facing systems of violence. Watch the first video from this conversation here.

On April 21, CeCe, Reina, and Dean will share additional excerpts from their discussion and continue the conversation, responding to questions from the audience and online. Join us to support CeCe and the continued push for an end to the prison system and the institutionalized structures of violence throughout our society which support it.

This event is part of the series No One is Disposable, which features conversations on trans activism and prison abolition with BCRW activist fellow Reina Gossett. Presented by the Office of Social Justice Initiatives at The New School this event is co-sponsored by the Barnard Center for Research on Women, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at NYU, the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School, and the Transgender Youth Support Network.

Additional on campus sponsors at The New School include: Queer Collective, Student Health Services, Milano School of International Affairs, Managementand Urban Policy, and the University Social Justice Committee.

About the presenters:

CeCe McDonald is an activist living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a creative and energetic person who, before her life was so unjustly interrupted, was studying fashion design at MCTC. She had a stable home where she lived with and helped support four other African American youth, her family. CeCe’s family describes her as a leader, a role model, and a loyal friend. She is known as a wise, out-spoken, and welcoming person, with a history of handling prejudice with amazing grace. She is currently working with actress Laverne Cox and director Jac Gares on a documentary about her experience.

Reina Gossett lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and believes creativity & imagination are vital in movements for self determination. She is a trans activist & artist, working as membership director at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and blogging at reinagossett.com. Reina’s work has been featured in BCRW’s The Scholar & Feminist Online, as well as Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment & The Prison Industrial Complex. She is an activist fellow at BCRW.

Dean Spade is the founder of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of the Law, and an associate professor at Seattle University School of Law. He is currently a fellow in the Engaging Tradition Project at Columbia Law School.

Want to know more ? Watch this space for more about Cece’s story, check out video clips from the conversation and see related on-campus events here!