Category Archives: Policing

The Elephant in Activism: An Open Letter

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This post, written in the form of an open letter to civic activists, is by Ali Imad Fadlallah, Doctor of Education Leadership Candidate at Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Fadlallah offers commentary on the contemporary landscape of activism and protest such as the #BlackLivesMatter movement, through the lens of the book The End of Protest: A New Playbook for Revolution by Micah White, through the work of Marshall Ganz, Senior Lecturer at Harvard Kennedy School, and through his own personal experience and commitment to racial justice and equality. Read more posts and see upcoming events in our Race and American Politics Seminar Series.
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Filed under Future of Social Movements, Participation, Policing, Race and American Politics

Why Mass Incarceration May Have Destroyed Our Communities

10525869_10101202330137563_2072457776631529863_nOn March 9, 2016, Leah Wright Rigueur, Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor of Public Policy, hosted a conversation with Heather Ann Thompson, Professor of Afro-American and African Studies at the University of Michigan. They were joined by Elizabeth Hinton, Assistant Professor of History and of African and African-American Studies at Harvard University, and Phillip Goff, Visiting Scholar with the Malcolm Weiner Center for Social Policy. The Ash Center sponsored the event as part of the Race and American Politics seminar series. In this post, HKS student Michael Huggins recaps the panel discussion and explores Thompson’s research on why mass incarceration matters to our cities, economy, and democracy. The panel considered why politicians and policy makers have started to rethink the American carceral state and addressed the barriers that prevent individuals from reentering society and deteriorating police-community relations that further degrade public trust in the government and local institutions. Continue reading

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Filed under Policing, Race and American Politics

Is Gun Control Black Control? Black Politics and Gun Violence in America

10525869_10101202330137563_2072457776631529863_nOn February 17, 2016, Leah Wright Rigueur, Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor of Public Policy, hosted a conversation with Martha Biondi, Chair of the Department of African American Studies and Professor of African American Studies and History at Northwestern University. The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation sponsored the event as part of the Race and American Politics seminar series. This blog will articulate Professor Biondi’s research on how gun control and gun violence intersect with race and politics. Biondi also investigates whether gun control laws protect black lives or oppress them.

The Ash Center’s Race and American Politics Series is a multidisciplinary series of seminars and round-table conversations led by Leah Wright Rigueur. Co-sponsored by the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research and Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, the series features academic, practitioner, and journalistic perspectives from across the nation on the most pressing political and social issues related to race in the United States. Read other posts covering the Race and American Politics seminar series here.

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Filed under Policing, Race and American Politics

Youth Violence Prevention and Technology in Philadelphia

courtneydsharpeIn this post, Harvard Graduate School of Design student Courtney D. Sharpe continues her coverage of efforts by My Brother’s Keeper Philadelphia to engage youth in violence prevention and juvenile justice reform. Sharpe is a recent Ash Center Summer Fellow working with My Brother’s Keeper Philadelphia to help design a comprehensive public database to promote City of Philadelphia opportunities open to youth. Here, Sharpe brings attention to the collaborative nature and emphasis on leveraging data of Philadelphia’s efforts to pursue timely interventions toward reducing the justice system-involvement of young people of color. Continue reading

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Filed under Cities, Policing, Students, Technology, Youth

Philadelphia Engages Young People in Dialogue on Community-Police Relations

courtneydsharpeIn this post, originally published by MBK Philly, Harvard Graduate School of Design student Courtney D. Sharpe recaps the latest in a series of efforts by My Brother’s Keeper Philadelphia and city agencies to engage youth in a dialogue on community-police relations. The one-day summit, attended by over 200 young people, and subsequent roundtable in City Hall were intended as platforms for youth, especially youth of color, to be able to share their stories and offer suggestions for ways that police and the community can adapt behaviors or policies to work better together. Sharpe is working with My Brother’s Keeper Philadelphia this summer as an Ash Center Summer Fellow. Read more about My Brother’s Keeper Philadelphia, the local affiliate of a national effort launched by President Obama to tackle the opportunity gaps for boys and young men of color. Continue reading

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Filed under Cities, Immigration & Citizenship, Participation, Policing, Youth

Harvard Kennedy School Students Tackle the Future of Policing

Policing photoThis post by HKS student Pamela Lachman recounts a recent series of events she and other students organized at Harvard Kennedy School. Experts came together with 100+ members of the HKS community in facilitated conversations with the aim of preparing recommendations for President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Discussions focused on examining the role of police in a democratic society and identifying tangible solutions to improving police/community relations.

On February 5, 2015, Chair of the President’s Task Force, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, met with student organizers before participating in a panel discussion that the Ash Center co-hosted with the JFK Jr. Forum, the Malcolm Weiner Center for Social Policy, and the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management. Embedded below is a video recording of the Forum event, featuring Ramsey as well as Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Professor Phillip Goff, and HKS Dean David Ellwood. Continue reading

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Filed under Cities, Inequality vs Democracy, Participation, Policing