Queer Abolition and Liberation: Doing the Work

Advocate & Gochis Galleries at the Los Angeles LGBT Center

1125 N McCadden Pl
Los Angeles, 90038

Power Blossom’s two-hour interactive workshop begins with a presentation on the history of structural violence against trans and queer (TQ) people with a focus on policing, incarceration, and legacies of resistance. Building on the lineage of TQ organizing work fighting for both systemic change and material support at individual levels, Power Blossoms will discuss how their abolitionist vision directly informs how they support incarcerated TQ people, including the sharing of letters and artwork from inside members — a collection of personal histories that answers the question of what we can do now for incarcerated TQ people.

In the second half of the event, Power Blossoms offers workshop participants three avenues for getting involved at various commitment levels: (1) Creating one-time birthday cards in response to personal biographies; (2) writing conversational replies to recently received letters; (3) or volunteering to become a new long-term pen pal. 

Power Blossoms members will be available at each station to offer guidance and answer questions. During this open time, participants will be able to assess their own capacity and interests as they move around, or to stay at one station to begin the work they are most interested in. Members are experienced grassroots organizers and educators committed to building sustainable connections and offering experiential learning rooted in radical TQ histories.

Workshop facilitators include Tahereh Aghdasifar, Cynthia Cordova, and Melian Radu.

This program may not be suitable for all ages.

Participant Bios

Tahereh Aghdasifar (Facilitator) is an organizer with over a decade of experience in a range of local and national leftist collectives and an assistant professor of Women’s Studies at CSU Dominguez Hills.

After receiving her BA from Fresno State, Cynthia Cordova (Facilitator) earned an MA in Education from Cal State LA. She’s now most passionate about the possibilities for extra-institutional pedagogy and recently earned an MLIS degree exploring how libraries and community archives might offer alternative spaces for troubling learning.

Melian Radu (Facilitator) first got into organizing by pushing for all-gender housing & restrooms at Middlebury College (where she earned her BA). She then received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Iowa before moving to Los Angeles, where she’s writing her first book of poetry while working as a tutor.

This program is organized by Power Blossoms as part of the 2023 Circa: Queer Histories Festival, presented by One Institute. This program is co-presented with the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

  • The Los Angeles LGBT Center is a safe and welcoming place where the LGBTQ+ community finds help, hope, and support when it is needed the most.

  • Power Blossoms is a Southern California-based abolitionist collective connecting queer and trans people on both sides of prison walls in resistance to State oppression and violence. Through our letter-writing program, we refuse the boundaries forcibly erected between us and open lines of contact that guide the rest of our work.