Tasfiya Kashem is a rising junior in the Honors Program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she is a first-generation Muslim American and a child of Bangladeshi immigrants. Although Tasfiya began her academic journey as a Law & Society major, she is currently pursuing an individualized course of study through CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies (CUNY BA), which has given her the opportunity to create a double concentration in Critical Socio-Legal Studies and Carcerality and Abolitionist Theory.
As a student of abolition, Tasfiya is committed to an abolitionist praxis that she strives to embody in every aspect of her life, including her academic and professional pursuits. Her areas of academic interest include the study of legal consciousness and mobilization, carceral logics, surveillance, policing and prison industrial complex abolition, resistance, and social movements, critical race theory, etc. At John Jay, she currently works as an undergraduate research assistant on the Legal Disruption Project, a student-led participatory action research project which investigates the various ways in which the law disrupts people’s lives within their neighborhoods. She has also completed several internships with the New York City Council, the Abolitionist Youth Organizing Institute, the NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault, and a local political campaign. After graduation, she plans on pursuing her J.D. at a law school with a strong public interest program and is especially interested in the practice of movement lawyering. Tasfiya will work under the mentorship of Christopher Schmidt on his project, Our Court.