READING: Unbuild Walls by Silky Shah published by Haymarket Books

Wednesday, June 12, 2024 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Join us for a reading book signing and conversation with author of the book Unbuild Walls Silky Shah in collaboration with The Florence Project! 

In the wake of post-9/11 xenophobia, Obama’s record-level deportations, Trump’s immigration policies, and the 2020 uprisings for racial justice, the US remains entrenched in a circular discourse regarding migrant justice. As organizer Silky Shah argues in Unbuild Walls, we must move beyond building nicer cages or advocating for comprehensive immigration reform. Our only hope for creating a liberated society for all, she insists, is abolition.


Unbuild Walls dives into US immigration policy and its relationship to mass incarceration, from the last forty years up to the present, showing how the prison-industrial complex and immigration enforcement are intertwined systems of repression. Incorporating historical and legal analyses, Shah’s personal experience as an organizer, as well as stories of people, campaigns, organizations, and localities that have resisted detention and deportation, Shah assesses the movement’s strategies, challenges, successes, and shortcomings. Featuring a foreword by Amna A. Akbar, Unbuild Walls is an expansive and radical intervention, bridging the gaps between movements for immigrant rights, racial justice, and prison abolition.




Silky Shah has been working as an organizer on issues related to racial and migrant justice for over two decades. Originally from Texas, she began fighting the expansion of immigrant jails on the US-Mexico border in the aftermath of 9/11. In 2009, she joined the staff of Detention Watch Network, a national coalition building power to abolish immigrant detention in the United States, and now serves as its executive director. Her writing on immigration policy and organizing has been published in TruthoutTeen Vogue, Inquest, and The Forge and in the edited volumes, The Jail is Everywhere (Verso, 2024), Resisting Borders and Technologies of Violence (Haymarket Books, 2024), and Transformative Planning (Black Rose Books, 2020). She has also appeared in numerous national and local media outlets including The Washington Post, NPR, and MSNBC.

Event address: 
906 W Roosevelt St
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Unbuild Walls: Why Immigrant Justice Needs Abolition By Silky Shah, Amna A. Akbar (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Silky Shah, Amna A. Akbar (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9798888900840
Availability: Usually ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Haymarket Books - May 7th, 2024