Sophia Sarantakos

Sophia Sarantakos

Assistant Professor

What I do

I’m working to build a world where harm and need are approached with collective care and accountability, and where the death-making ideologies and systems of racial capitalism, settler colonialism, and white supremacy are refused. The focus of my research is to reduce the size, scope, and power of the prison-industrial complex (PIC). I bring the liberatory framework of PIC abolition into every class that I teach, and am dedicated to helping us all unlearn the dangerous mythologies we’ve been taught so that new ways of knowing and being can take hold.

Professional Biography

Prior to entering academia, Dr. Sarantakos [she/they] was a social work practitioner for ten years. During that time, they developed and directed the first jail diversion program in the state of Louisiana, housed in the New Orleans public defenders office. This work experience, along with their personal knowledge of the intentionality behind and harms caused by the prison-industrial complex, helped lead them to a politic focused on root causes.

Dr. Sophia Sarantakos' research, writing, and organizing are focused on how the workers and resources of professionalized social-change work can be coordinated in service to an abolitionist horizon.

As part of their building work, Dr. Sarantakos co-created the Abolitionist Social Change Collective (ASCC), a virtual space for all paid and unpaid social-change workers to convene and strengthen their ability to engage in an abolitionist praxis.


  • Ph.D., Social Service Administration, University of Chicago, 2020
  • MSW, Social Work, Tulane University, 2006
  • BS, Business Administration, Marist College, 2004