• March 23, 2021
  • 5:30 pm
  • Online (U.S. Pacific Time)
Add to Calendar 03/23/2021 5:30 pm 03/23/2021 America/Los_Angeles Defund Fear Learn about how we all can shift our mindset and embrace a new vision for public safety that overturns more than 200 years of fear-based discrimination, othering, and punishment. Online (U.S. Pacific Time) false MM/DD/YYYY

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$10- Suggested Donation

(Copies of Zach's book, Defund Fear, is available for purchase at checkout)

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This event will be streamed live online with an interactive Q&A. Instructions on how to join will be emailed to registrants shortly before the event. This event was recorded and is available to watch on our YouTube channel and portions of the audio will be released on our podcast.

As the effects of aggressive policing and mass incarceration harm historically marginalized communities and tear families apart, how do we define safety? In a time when the most powerful institutions in the United States are embracing repressive and racist systems that keep many communities struggling and in fear, we need to reimagine what safety means.  

Community leader and lawyer Zach Norris promotes a radical way to shift the conversation about public safety away from fear and punishment, and toward growth and support systems for our families and communities. In order to truly be safe, we are going to have to dismantle our mentality of Us vs. Them. By bridging the divides and building relationships with one another, we can dedicate ourselves to strategic, smart investments—resources directed toward our stability and well-being, like healthcare and housing, education, and living-wage jobs. This is where real safety begins. The result reinstates full humanity and agency for everyone who has been dehumanized and traumatized, so they can participate fully in life, in society, and in the fabric of our democracy. 

Join sonya shah, CIIS professor and restorative justice expert for a conversation with Zach about how we can shift our mindset and embrace a new vision for public safety that overturns more than 200 years of fear-based discrimination, othering, and punishment.  

Zach Norris

Zach Norris is the executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, which creates campaigns related to civic engagement, violence prevention, juvenile justice, and police brutality, with a goal of shifting economic resources away from prisons and punishment and towards economic opportunity. He is also the cofounder of Restore Oakland and Justice for Families, both of which focus on the power of community action. He graduated from Harvard and took his law degree from New York University. Connect with him at zachnorris.com and on Twitter (@ZachWNorris).  
sonya shah
sonya shah is an associate professor at California Institute of Integral Studies in the School of Undergraduate Studies. In 2016, Sonya initiated The Ahimsa Collective–an organization that works to respond to harm in ways that foster wholeness for everyone.   Central to her core values are nurturing community belonging and collective care, healing, compassion, love and transforming harm. Sonya is a Buddhist, a first-generation immigrant from the Northwestern part of India and feels most at home in nature. Sonya has two amazing children who remind her what it means to be in love all of the time. Sonya currently resides in northern California.


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Marcus Books LogoMarcus Books is the nation’s oldest Black-owned independent bookstore celebrating its 60th year. Marcus Books’ mission is to provide opportunities for Black folks and their allies to celebrate and learn about Black people everywhere.

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