Centering Grassroots Visions to Reimagine Public Safety: Lessons from Austin and Oakland

May 27, 2021
4 pm PT/ 7 pm ET

Featuring Task Force members and representatives from Austin’s Communities of Color United—Coalition for Racial Justice and Defund OPD (Oakland Police Department)

One year ago, sparked by outrage and heartache over George Floyd’s brutal murder, a historic, global uprising rejected calls for police reform and demanded a complete rethinking of our public safety infrastructure, starting with reallocating resources from bloated police budgets to address the root causes of harm and violence, especially in neighborhoods that have long suffered from continued disinvestment. This demand built on the call local grassroots and directly impacted communities had been making for years in Oakland, Austin, and other cities around the country to divest from policing and invest in community.

In response to demands for transformation, several cities formed “Reimagining Public Safety Task Forces,” including Austin, TX, and Oakland, CA. The establishment and success of these Task Forces were directly and necessarily tied to the visionary work of local coalitions that—over many years—laid the groundwork for tangible, ground-breaking impact. This webinar highlights the perspectives of Task Force members/facilitators and local coalition members from Austin and Oakland to present lessons learned and share opportunities to support the implementation of critical recommendations that truly reimagine public safety.