Freedom Summer: Brittany Packnett Cunningham


You shoes resistance. You choose to actively an unapologetically disrupt the status quo and work to build in its place efforts. And Liberation. For final episode of the season, we have a very special guest named by People magazine as we're on the five inspiring people chartering a path forward as America fights racism Brittany coming him is a force. Her time at teach for America to Co campaign. Zero Britney is a familiar face on TV as a critical voice for young black Americans Gore fighting to end Kalisa brutality and violence. Today, we talked to Brittany about what is our future look like from here? Thank you for being here. I just have so many questions for you. You're someone who I admire everything that you're doing especially during this time. So the first question I wanna get to is you served on the Ferguson Commission as well as President Obama's Task Force on twenty first century policing. We talk all the time about how it's important to have a seat at the table. My having a scene at those tables went insights did give you about policing in America. I think one of the most important insights is that a very people who are suffering most from the injustices have to be at the center of the conversation about what the correct equitable and just version of our communities actually looks like I think from a more detailed standpoint. One of the things I really learned or rather was confirmed just how much this is really systemic issue that there are people who enter that profession because they have altruistic motives and they. Want to help their community and what they find is that they've entered a system that frankly was not built to truly serve and protect all of us equitably, and that covers up and is permissive to so many violent acts in our communities. Lastly, I think F from a policy standpoint on of the things I really learned was just how dispersed policing policy is there are over thousand police departments in the entire country and so yes, there is work that has to. Be Done at the federal level and the Department of Justice needs to take great care to pay attention to those things were. There are also a number of things that have to happen at the level of the state legislature that governor, the state Senate, and there are many many things that have to happen locally that often it is near to are appointing and hiring police chiefs that often it is local police and fire boards who are approving police union contracts that. Can Be worded in ways that are not transparent to the public and can actually subvert justice. So these are the things that we have to pay attention to at every single level, federal local and state to remember that if we are honestly truly going get to a place where we dismantle systems that do not work for us and replace them with systems that work for all of us, we have to be diligent at every single level of the police say conversation. I love how you went through just. When we're looking at elected office public office. Criminal Justice Reform, police reform it runs through so many offices and this is why people really need to pay attention to who they elect because these people really do have a strong impact on policing in America. So thank you for walking us through that certainly. So I wanna get into something that a lot of people actually dean controversy. The words defend the police. This is scary to so many people at the beginning of the movement that we've seen over the past few weeks. There wasn't a lot of support for defend the police. But over the past few weeks, we've actually seen support increase in your own words. What does it mean to defend the police and why is it important? So. What people have to understand is that defunding the police is half of the equation. It is a necessary rallying cry to provoke people's imagination and belief that there could be more. But once you move the money and you divest from traditional structures policing that have continued to carry out violence in black brown indigenous communities. You'd have to move that money and reinvest into the things that truly keep our communities safe. So the journey that Minneapolis is going through right now is a great example. If this they said, we're going to dismantle our current police department. They were led to that by not only their city council, but by the organizers activists that made such a radically imaginative future possible by. The organizers like the first black student body president at the University of Minnesota who compelled her schoolmates to push the school to disconnect and end their contract with the Minneapolis apartment followed by the case, twelve will system that did the same. So what we're seeing as Minneapolis is on this journey of reimagining reconstructing public safety in their city is, yes that is managing a police department and then it will happen in phases. I think. So often when people hear defunding the police, they get scared because immediately here kind of the chaos of Gotham without the protection of Batman and that's what we're talking about. This will have been in pieces will happen thoughtfully and most importantly, it will happen with the. Leadership of the community because the second step there is to actually gather the community and the mental health experts, the community organizers, this safety experts, the public health experts, gathering those folks together say, what are we going to design in place? Where should the money that used to go to policing go instead? So when we see a school district like La Unified, school district, one of the largest invitation where we see them say that they're going to end the practice of

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