MSW, CSW. Community Practice Social Worker

Uprisings, police abolition, anti-racism, and transformative justice: References after a Facebook Live (last updated 7/6/2020)

Mostly free to download, watch, or access references on policing, police abolition, transformative justice, and uprisings in America.

sign reading "do you want a future of decency equality and real social justice"

You may or may not have witnessed me and my afro (it is back!) in a Facebook Live discussion on May 30 discussing American policing, uprisings, community trauma, transformative justice, and more. During the discussion I mentioned some readings, and I want to list them and more here for people to check out and explore these concepts and perspectives. This is a living document that has been and will continue to be updated.


*Note: While there are many individual social workers – particularly BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) SW’s – having discussions online and elsewhere about the roles social work and social work education historically and currently play in upholding white supremacy and contributing to policing in America and globally, I am intentional about having organizational handles but not including individual/personal handles here so they are not targeted either with demands for labor or harassment. (Marginalized people are unfortunately constant targets for both online and offline.) But these discussions and accounts are not terribly hard to locate, so if you do the work and find them, be mindful of this and respect their boundaries and agency.

Facebook Virtual Event

Social Work So White– Hosted by SWCAREs: Social Work Coalition for Anti-Racist Educators, featuring Rachel Cargle [Video from 6/30/2020 watch party]

Social Media

SWCAREs (@SWCAREs on Twitter): Social Work Coalition For Anti-Racist Educators | Dismantling white supremacy in social work education

SWCAREs discussion hashtag #SWCAREs

The Network for Social Work Management (@TheNSWM on Twitter): An International Organization Advancing #SocialWork #Management.

University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work Doctoral Student Organization (DSO) (@PittSSW_DSO on Twitter)

Statements/Calls to Action/Policy Proposals

SSWR Call and Commitment to Ending Police Brutality, Racial injustice, and White Supremacy by the Society for Social Work and Research

Rutgers School of Social Work Letter to the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)


K. Agbebiyi, MSW – 2018, commencement speech at University of Michigan School of Social Work


Decolonize Social Work – Episode #4: White Supremacy at Work [49m 27s with transcript on site]


Social Work Coalition for Anti-Racist Educators


Anti-Racism Training” host by the Diversity and Resiliency Institute of El Paso, facilitated by Ashley Heidebrecht, MSW. This is a self-paced training available for registration May 20-June 30, 2020. 6 CEUs are available for $30 registration. Registration is free for students and the general public.

White Supremacy Culture at Work: Teaching Social Workers to Recognize and Disrupt [hosted by NASW Ohio Chapter 9/11/2020, $120 for NASW Members]


“How to practice abolitionist social work?” question posed to K. Agbebiyi, MSW during “On the Road With Abolition: Assessing Our Steps Along the Way” virtual event [3m 28s from 1:55:07 mark to 1:58:35 mark]

News Story

“The trauma of racism and how one local social worker is helping the black community cope” by Julia Bergman for The Day


Free Ebooks

The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale (Verso Books): Alex Vitale is a sociologist and critical criminologist at Brooklyn College who “has spent the last 25 years writing about policing and consults both police departments and human rights organizations internationally.”

Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? Police Violence and Resistance in the United States Edited by Joe Macaré, Maya Schenwar, and Alana Yu-lan Price (Haymarket Books): “This collection of reports and essays (the first collaboration between Truthout and Haymarket Books) explores police violence against black, brown, indigenous and other marginalized communities, miscarriages of justice, and failures of token accountability and reform measures. It also makes a compelling and provocative argument against calling the police.”


Assata, an Autobiography by Assata Shakur with forewords by Angela Davis and Lennox S. Hinds.

News Stories

“How I Became a Police Abolitionist” by Derecka Purnell for The Atlantic

“Policing Doesn’t Protect Women” by Isabel Cristo for The New Republic

“Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police” by Miriame Kaba for The New York Times

“What We Mean When We Say Defund the Police” by K. Agbebiyi for Rewire

“What We Mean When We Say Abolish the Police” by K. Agbebiyi for Rewire

“Has policing in America gone too far?” by Ivette Feliciano and Zachary Green for PBS

“What It Feels Like to Be Shot by a Rubber Bullet” as told to Angelina Chapin for The Cut

“Abolish the police? Organizers say it’s less crazy than it sounds.” by Maya Dukmasova for Chicago Reader

“The answer to police violence is not ‘reform’. It’s defunding. Here’s why” by Alex Vitale for The Guardian

“Native Lives Matter: The Overlooked Police Brutality Against Native Americans” by Eliza Racine for Lakota People’s Law Project

“Young people with disabilities more likely to be arrested” by Ronnie Cohen for Reuters

“Where To Donate To Help Black People With Disabilities” by Erika Harwood for Nylon

“A New Lawsuit Sheds Light on the Horrors Trans People Face in Prison” by Victoria Law for Rewire

“We protest police in the streets, so why do we let police in our schools?” by Dave Stieber for The Chicago Reporter

“COINTELPRO and the History of Domestic Spying” by NPR [7m 55s audio with transcript]

“The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther” by Democracy Now! [59m 0s of video with transcript]

“Policing is a Dirty Job, But Nobody’s Gotta Do It: 6 Ideas for a Cop-Free World” by Jose Martin for Rolling Stone


Native Lives Matter by the Lakota People’s Law Project

Enough Is Enough: A 150-year performance review of the Minneapolis Police Department by MPD 150 [available to view on the website, as a downloadable pdf, and a streamable or downloadable 1 hr 37m 06s audio report]

Call to Action/Policy Proposal

Call for Northwestern to invest in Black students, divest from law enforcement (by Northwestern University undergraduate and graduate students)


The Takeaway podcast episode “The Lack of Attention for Violence Against Black Trans People” [7m 23s]

Rustbelt Abolition Radio


“Traffic” Stop by Story Corps ft. Alex Landau and Patsy Hathaway [3m 18s]

“The Criminal Justice System is Broken: Should the Police be Abolished?” by Fusion ft. Janaya Khan [2m 33s]

“Kamau Walton, ‘What’s Wrong with Community Control of Police?’” [5m 30s]

“Dylan Rodriguez, “It’s Not Police Brutality” for Critical Resistance [6m 43s]

“Private prisons: How US corporations make money out of locking you up” by Point [9m 43s]

“How America’s justice system is rigged against the poor” by Vox [4m 51s]

Cops and No Counselors” by the ACLU [2m 51s]

“More Police in Schools? L.A. Youth Respond” by Race Forward 3m 53s]

“On the Road With Abolition: Assessing Our Steps Along the Way” featuring Dean Spade, Woods Ervin & Kamau Walton from Critical Resistance, K Agbebiyi from Survived and Punished NY and Mariame Kaba from Project NIA and Survived & Punished [2hr 07m 54s]


Critical Resistance


The Abolitionist Toolkit (by Critical Resistance)

Scholarly Articles

Duran, E., & Simon, J. (2019). Police Abolitionist Discourse? Why It Has Been Missing (and Why It Matters). In T. Lave & E. Miller (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Policing in the United States (Cambridge Law Handbooks, pp. 85-103). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108354721.005

Gimbel, V. N., & Muhammad, C. (2018). Are Police Obsolete: Breaking Cycles of Violence through Abolition Democracy. Cardozo L. Rev., 40, 1453.

McDowell, M. G., & Fernandez, L. A. (2018). ‘Disband, Disempower, and Disarm’: Amplifying the Theory and Practice of Police Abolition. Critical Criminology, 26(3), 373–391.

Seigel, M. (2017). The dilemma of ‘racial profiling’: an abolitionist police history. Contemporary Justice Review, 20(4), 474–490.

Voter Suppression


“How Your Vote Might Be Blocked in 2020” by NowThis ft. attorney Mark Elias [7m 45s]

“The man who rigged America’s election maps” by Vox [7m 31s]

“How restrictive voting requirements target minorities” by PBS [6m 20s]

“The Voter Fraud Lie is Really About Voter Suppression” by Fusion [3m 49s]

“Why Virginia’s Restoration of Voting Rights Matters” by The Atlantic [4m 13s]

Website/File Cache

The Hofeller Files (torrent download): The files of GOP strategist Thomas Hofeller that “have been cited as evidence of gerrymandering that got political maps thrown out in North Carolina, and they have raised questions about Hofeller’s role in the Trump administration’s failed push for a census citizenship question.”


One Person, No Vote by Carol Anderson: “Focusing on the aftermath of Shelby [County v. Holder], Anderson follows the astonishing story of government-dictated racial discrimination unfolding before our very eyes as more and more states adopt voter suppression laws. In gripping, enlightening detail she explains how voter suppression works, from photo ID requirements to gerrymandering to poll closures. And with vivid characters, she explores the resistance: the organizing, activism, and court battles to restore the basic right to vote to all Americans.” (available as paperback, hardback, eBook, and audiobook)

Scholarly Articles

Cottrell, D., Herron, M. C., & Westwood, S. J. (2018). An exploration of Donald Trump’s allegations of massive voter fraud in the 2016 General Election. Electoral Studies, 51, 123-142.

Hajnal, Z., Lajevardi, N., & Nielson, L. (2017). Voter identification laws and the suppression of minority votes. The Journal of Politics, 79(2), 363-379.

Weeden, L. D. (2014). The Supreme Court’s Rejection of the Rational Basis Standard in Shelby County v. Holder Invites Voter Suppression. Miss. CL Rev., 33, 219.

TransformativE/restorative Justice & Community Empowerment

News Articles

“Transformative Justice, Explained” by Kim Tran for Teen Vogue

Black Panther Fred Hampton Created a “Rainbow Coalition” to Support Poor Americans by Tana Ganeva for Teen Vogue

“Young Patriots, Black Panthers and the Rainbow Coalition” by Richard Moser for CounterPunch

“Restorative Justice Practices of Native American, First Nation and Other Indigenous People of North America: Part One” written by Laura Mirsky for the International Institute of Restorative Practices

“Restorative Justice Practices of Native American, First Nation and Other Indigenous People of North America: Part Two” written by Laura Mirsky for the International Institute of Restorative Practices


The National Black Justice Coalition

Transgender Law Center

Transform Harm

Forward Together

Restorative Resources (includes an educator toolkit)

American Indian Movement Patrol (AIM Patrol)

Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice


Creative Interventions Toolkit: A Practical Guide to Stop Interpersonal Violence

San Francisco Unified School District Restorative Practices Whole-School Implementation Guide


Rustbelt Abolition Radio, episode – Beyond Punishment: The Movement for Transformative Justice [29m 57s]

Justice in America, episode 19 – Restorative Justice [1hr 3m 53s]


“The Original Rainbow Coalition: Multi-Racial Poor People’s Organizing in Chicago and Beyond” by Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice [1hr 24m 34s]


“Using Dialogue Circles to Support Classroom Management” by Edutopia [4m 04s]

“Colorado high school replaces punishment with ‘talking circles’” by PBS NewsHour [7m 30s]

“What You Don’t Know About The Black Panthers” by AJ+ [10m 46s]

“What is Transformative Justice?” by Barnard Center for Research on Women [10m 30s]

“What Does Justice Look Like for Survivors?” by Barnard Center for Research on Women [7m 40s]

“Intersections of Disability Justice and Transformative Justice” by Barnard Center for Research on Women [4m 19s]

“Fred Hampton on Revolution And Racism” from Chicago Film Archives [5m 15s]

“Black Panthers White Lies” by Curtis Austin at TEDxOhioStateUniversity [13m 26s]

“Storied 1968: American Indian Movement” by Minnesota History [2m 39s]

“AIM documentary 1970s” by aimovementmedia [54m 48s]

Social Media

The Okra Project (@TheOkraProject on Twitter): The Okra Project is a 100% grassroots, organizer-led initiative with the goal of combating food insecurity in the Black Trans/GNC community.


Brave New Films Restorative Justice Series: Why Do We Need Restorative Justice? and Choices for a Change

Circles [1 hr 21m]

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution [PBS]

Scholarly Articles

Phillips, M., & LeBlanc-Ernest, A. (2016). The Hidden Narratives: Recovering and (Re) Visioning the Community Activism of Men in the Black Panther Party. Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men, 5(1), 63-89.

A few uprisings, protests, riots, and massacres in America:

News Story

“How Western media would cover Minneapolis if it happened in another country” by Karen Attiah for The Washington Post


“The Largest Slave Rebellion Was Hidden From U.S. History” by AJ+ [8m 17s]

“Forgotten Rebellion: Black Seminoles and the Largest Slave Revolt in U.S. History” by Learn Liberty [9m 19s]

“How the Civil War Draft Incited Violence in New York City” by The History Channel ft. Ashley Judd [3m 56s]

“Labor Day’s Violent Beginnings” by CNN ft. Professor Daniel J. Walkowitz [2m 34 s]

“Sound Smart: The Haymarket Square Riot” by Historian Yohuru Williams for the History Channel [2m 08s]

“The massacre of Tulsa’s ‘Black Wall Street’” by Vox [9m 12s]

“How Anti-Mexican Racism in L.A. Caused the Zoot Suit Riots” by the History Channel [4m 48s]

“Stonewall Forever – A Documentary about the Past, Present and Future of Pride” by LGBT Community Center NYC [21m 48s]

“The Kent State Shootings, Explained” by the History Channel [5m 32s]

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