Subtitle: Imagination taking power

From What If to What Next: Episode 12

It is my honour and privilege to share with you our twelfth episode of ‘From What If to What Next‘.  In the US, as elsewhere, vast amounts of money are poured into mass incarceration and brutal and violent policing. What if instead that money was invested into the communities that bear the burnt of this approach to criminal justice, into healthcare, wellbeing, opportunity, safety? It’s a huge question, and such a rich What If question. We do this every two weeks, and if you were to subscribe to this podcast here, you’d get it two weeks earlier, plus bonus episodes, including the wonderful ‘Ministry of Imagination’ ‘podcasts.

Luckily we are joined in this podcast by two amazing guests to explore this question.

Andrea J. Ritchie is a Black lesbian immigrant police misconduct attorney and organizer whose writing, litigation, and advocacy has focused on policing and criminalization of women and LGBT people of color for the past two decades. She is currently Researcher in Residence on Race, Gender, Sexuality and Criminalization at the Barnard Center for Research on Women, where she recently launched the Interrupting Criminalization: Research in Action initiative.

Zach Norris is the Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, author of We Keep Us Safe: Building Secure, Just, and Inclusive Communities, and co-founder of Restore Oakland, a community advocacy and training center that will empower Bay Area community members to transform local economic and justice systems and make a safe and secure future possible for themselves and for their families.

These are tough times in the US. I was touched by both Andrea and Zach telling me how much they had been looking forward to recording this episode, how they had been looking forward to stepping out of the grave and knife-edge moment the US is living through and into some space to imagine how it could be. As Andrea puts it in this podcast, “our dreams are what will save us in this moment”.

I hope listening to this podcast moves you as much as it did to record it. My thanks for your support for this podcast, my thanks to Zach and Andrea, and to Ben Addicott for theme music and production. I would love to hear what you think of this episode. Do share your thoughts below. Thank you.


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