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Feb 4, 2021

Andrea Ritchie joins the show to talk about her research with the group Interrupting Criminalization, specifically their new report looking back on the “Defund the Police” demand in 2020.

Interrupting Criminalization describes itself as an initiative that aims to interrupt and end the growing criminalization and incarceration of women and LGBTQ people of color for criminalized acts related to public order, poverty, child welfare, drug use, survival, and self-defense, including criminalization and incarceration of survivors of violence.

The discussion begins with a look at the work that Interrupting Criminalization does, and their findings on the various successes and failures activists have had with the “Defund” demand over the last year. Perhaps most importantly, we talk about how the state has tried to undermine abolitionist efforts. Toward the end, we speak about the need to fund experimental approaches to harm, including those that might fail.

Andrea Ritchie is a Black lesbian immigrant whose research, litigation, organizing, and policy advocacy has focused on policing and criminalization of women and LGBT people of color. She is the author of “Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color,” and co-author of “Challenging Criminalization: A Call for A Comprehensive Philanthropic Response; Centering Black Women, Girls, and Fem(me)s in Campaigns for Expanded Sanctuary”; “Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women”; “A Roadmap for Change: Federal Policy Recommendations for Addressing the Criminalization of LGBT People and People Living with HIV”; and “Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States.

A nationally recognized expert on policing issues, Andrea supports and advises numerous groups across the country. She is also a frequent author of opinion pieces making critical interventions in current debates around police sexual violence, policing of young women, responses to mental health crises, and more.

Andrea is a current Researcher-in-Residence at Barnard’s Center for Research on Women

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