Feb 23, 2023
In this conversation we interview Alejandro Villalpando.
Alejandro Villalpando is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pan-African Studies and the Latin American Studies Program at Cal State LA. He earned his Ph.D. in Critical Ethnic Studies from UC Riverside, and an M.A. from Latin American Studies at Cal State LA. His work lies at the intersection of Black, Central American, and Ethnic Studies. His co-authored chapter entitled "The Racialization of Central Americans in the United States,” can be found in the edited volume Precarity and Belonging (Rutgers University Press, 2021). He was also a co-founder, co-organizer, and co-facilitator for a year-long political education project entitled the Abolition Open School. Villalpando is also indelibly shaped and inspired to be part of and contribute to the crafting of a world rooted in justice, equity and dignity for all by his young child and partner who remain the bedrocks of his existence.
This discussion is primarily about organizing around the issue of police violence in Los Angeles, specifically south of Interstate 10 where Alejandro is born and raised and continues to live and organize. Villalpando shares a bit about his own experiences growing up in Los Angeles around police violence and around the organized abandonment and criminalization of his community by the state. He also discusses organized violence from a transnational perspective that attends to everything from imperialist wars and CIA counterinsurgency wars in Central America to both interpersonal violence and state violence in the Los Angeles area. Pushing back against these forces through political education, mobilization, and grassroots organizing, Alejandro speaks of the abolitionist work he and his partner engage in, and in the work they do with the Coalition for Community Control Over the Police and with many families who have had their loved ones taken by the state. Along the way Villalpando talks about a lot of the contradictions that come up when working to do abolitionist work in the real world with real people. And he talks about balancing some of the more practical day to day work of organizing around the vexed positions of responding to state violence, with the necessary work of world building and offering up the more expansive horizon of abolition.
Alejandro and his partner are co-convening Heal Together's Anti-Carceral Care Collective which is a space for anyone who needs a grief processing space that’s anti-carceral.
We just sent off our latest book to our incarcerated reading group. We want to thank Pluto Press for donating copies of Josh Myers Of Black Study. We also want to thank Massive Bookshop for kicking in for postage, and also the folks who donated some funds for postage to make that happen. And finally we want to thank our partners over at Prisons Kill.
Lastly, there’s 5 days left in the month of February, we only need 2 more patrons to hit our goal for the month of adding 28 patrons to the show. So if you want to support the show, kick in $1 a month or more be a part of the amazing community of folks that make episodes like this possible on a weekly basis at patreon.com/millennialsarekillingcapitalism.
Steven Osuna's episode (mentioned in this discussion)
Jury Nullification Toolkit (also discussed in the episode)
Villalpando social media links: