Divest, Defund, Reform, Abolish? Next Steps for Justice and Policing After the 2020 Protests

by raymond on October 28, 2020

As we inch closer to the generation-defining election of 2020, we at Liberty Hill hope you are as energized to continue the fight for progress as we are.

We were excited to recently host a lively discussion called Divest, Defund, Reform, Abolish? Next Steps for Justice and Policing After the 2020 Protests. This virtual event was an important discussion on the movements to reduce reliance on policing, along with the necessary steps to ensure the safety and future of our youth and communities. Our esteemed panel included Founding Executive Director of UCLA Black Policy Project, Isaac Bryan and Fernando Rejon, Executive Director of Urban Peace Institute.

Guests heard about their life experiences as well as the critical frontline work that is driving change across the County. They also shared personal challenges of persevering through interactions with systems of harm and how those experiences have shaped their positions as community leaders.

“If you escape those systems, you have a responsibility to deconstruct them, to reimagine them, in some instances abolish them, and to think very critically about how our civic institutions could be more helpful for the people who need them the most.” 
—Isaac Bryan, Founding Executive Director of UCLA Black Policy Project


Fernando Rejon also emphasized an examination of the history of policing, which has traditionally focused on oppression rather than justice. He pressed the audience to consider how an alternative community-based infrastructure centered around public safety can build an economy allowing families and communities to thrive.

“I think we have to change the mission of American Policing. Policing does not have to be punitive. The enforcement of laws does not generate safety alone.
—Fernando Rejon, Executive Director of Urban Peace Institute

As we head into this critical election season, we will continue to highlight the voices of the people closest to the issues and work to mobilize voters to make their voices heard in this election and beyond. 

Three things you can do to get and stay engaged:

  • Fund grassroots organizations working on these issues
  • Fund Liberty Hill to provide training, campaign support, and grants to organizations
  • Tell your friends to vote YES on Measure J

Thank you for all you are doing to support this work.