Saturday at 8am on WCLK's The Local Take I talk with Devin Barrington-Ward about what "Defund The Police" actually means. Last month I moderated a panel discussion for the Center for Civil and Human Rights for the non-profit organization Equal Dignity.
The panel was made up of various activist from across the nation around to answer the question What does Defund The Police Really Mean? One of the panelists was a young activist from right here in Atlanta. Devin Barrington-Ward is the founder and managing director for The Black Futurists Group. His organization is a social justice innovation firm that works on public policy, community organizing, the media and other tools to ensure an equitable and liberated future for Black people.
I asked Barrington-Ward to tell us exactly what his organization does, and why haven’t we had an organization concerned about our future before now.
He explained how he came to be involved with public policy after working with Stacy Abrams on her 2006 race for the Georgia House of Representatives. He thinks this is the best way to bring out change. In high school he participated on the debate team and while he was great at making his point, this didn't change anything. He began to look for ways to use those skills to make real change.
The Black Futurists Group was focusing on defunding the police even before it became a hashtag. He shared that police department budgets have waste that can be used to help citizens ratheer than locking them up. He suggests using technology to reduce unnecessary police interactions such as traffic stops. Funds from police departments could be used to provide more counselors in public schools. Instead of policing students, help them become better citizens.
For more information on The Black Futurists Group
For more information on Devin Barrington-Ward