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Defunding the Police: Rethinking Public Safety so that Black Lives Matter

July 21, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

On May 25, 2020, Police officer Derrick Chauvin murdered George Floyd, sparking protests in Minneapolis that quickly spread to hundreds of cities and towns across the nation and beyond its borders. Protestors have displayed righteous anger that was met with tear-gas, batons, rubber bullets, and, in some cases, live ammunition.

This political crisis has provoked a global reckoning with anti-black racism the failure of liberal “police reform.” Protestors have instead amplified radical demands to defund or, in some cases, to abolish police departments, which they argue are fundamentally irreformable. These efforts reflect a growing belief that we cannot continue to fund a militarized police department, underfund social services, and expect to solve the problem of racial inequality and state violence.

This forum takes up the question of what exactly it might mean to “defund the police” and how this demand might help us to realize the slogan “Black Lives Matter.”


Julilly Kohler-Hausmann – Associate Professor, Department of History, Cornell University
Robyn Maynard – PhD Candidate and Vanier Scholar, University of Toronto
Max Mishler – Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Toronto
Brett Story – Assistant Professor, School of Image Arts, Ryerson University
Dexter Voisin – Dean & Professor, Sandra Rotman Chair in Social Work, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto


Nicholas Sammond – Director, Centre for the Study of the United States, University of Toronto

> Click HERE to register to attend the session.

Organized by the Centre for Study of the United States, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy
Co-sponsored by the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work


July 21, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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