Lydia Pelot-Hobbs, co-founder & former member

As a co-founder and former member of AORTA, Lydia Pelot-Hobbs was an essential part of AORTA’s development and growth over her ten years with the organization. From 2009-2019, Lydia worked with a wide range of organizations and change-makers, providing political education and skills development on topics from anti-oppression fundamentals to strengthening solidarity economies to prison reform/abolition. Lydia departed her role as a worker-owner with AORTA in November 2019 to continue developing her academic writing and teaching on issues of mass criminalization, racial capitalism, and abolition geographies as a full-time scholar and professor. Below is Lydia’s bio from her days at AORTA:

Radicalized through the Unitarian Universalist youth movement as a teenager, Lydia’s politics are grounded in the revolutionary possibilities of transformative love and compassion. Currently splitting her time between Brooklyn and New Orleans, Lydia has organized in various movements for social and economic justice including supporting community-based struggles for affordable housing and prison reform/abolition. She is deeply committed to strengthening solidarity economies and served on the Board of the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) from 2007-2012.

Additionally, Lydia has brought her leadership towards the anti-racist/anti-oppressive transformation of several organizations including the Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU), the Oberlin College Student Cooperative Association (OSCA), Common Ground Relief, and NASCO. Most recently she is energized about interrogating and disrupting institutionalized patriarchy within organizations as crucial for collective liberation.

In addition, she dreams of building a radical left intellectualism grounded in and relevant to social movements. To that end, she is actively researching and writing untold stories of Southern antiprison organizing and white anti-racist activism through her doctoral work in Geography and American Studies.

She has facilitated workshops for a range of conferences and organizations including the Allied Media ConferenceWhite Privilege Conference, the National Worker Cooperative Conference, the Liberal Religious Educators AssociationBetter Future Project, and Madison Community Co-op. Lydia’s writing has appeared in Left Turn Magazine, The Indypendent, and Monthly Review.