Across the country people are rising up in protest against police brutality—only to be met with more police brutality. How can we demand accountability? What are the limits of 'police reform,' and what would investing in our communities—rather than in police—look like? Leading advocates in New York City will consider how to organize going forward, and direct righteous anger and collective will into sustained action.
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Alex S. Vitale is Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College and a Visiting Professor at London Southbank University. He has spent the last 25 years writing about policing and consults both police departments and human rights organizations internationally. He also serves on the New York State Advisory Committee of the US Commission on Civil Rights. Prof. Vitale is the author of City of Disorder: How the Quality of Life Campaign Transformed New York Politics and The End of Policing. His academic writings on policing have appeared in Policing and Society, Police Practice and Research, Mobilization, and Contemporary Sociology. He is also a frequent essayist, whose writings have appeared in The NY Times, NY Daily News, The Nation, Vice News, Jacobin, and USA Today.
Anthony Dixon is the Parole Preparation Project’s Director of Community Engagement. For the past three decades Anthony has helped secure the release of people serving long sentences in New York State. He has prepared people for their transitions home from prison, and supported them in the months and years after their release. His critical advocacy work includes pushing key policy reforms and building strategic partnerships. As an activist and organizer, Anthony is also a prominent national speaker on issues of long and life sentences. While in prison, Anthony received commendations for developing an anti-violence program, Breaking Free from Criminal Thinking, and a therapeutic anti-drug program called ASAP Life Areas. He is also a recipient of the 2018 Freedom Fighter Award issued by Citizens Against Recidivism. He is also a National Lawyers Guild distinguished scholar.
Jabari Brisport is an activist, educator, and candidate for State Senate District 25. He is a 3rd-generation Caribbean-American from Prospect Heights. Whether it is working with his students as a public school teacher, advocating for teachers and students with his union, or organizing his neighbors to fight for progressive legislation, he has always fought for his community. Jabari’s experiences as a queer, black, public school teacher, union member, and child of immigrants, have shaped his drive to make his community and all New York communities more just and equitable. He wants to fight to provide a home for every New Yorker, to guarantee quality healthcare to all, to empower workers, and to abolish policing as we know it. Jabari has spent years organizing with Black Lives Matter and has been on the ground during the recent protests in New York City.