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Dear White Women

Nov 9, 2021

We first heard about our guest today when we were all participating in the Edelweiss Book Fest as Editors’ Picks and couldn’t get her, or her book, out of our heads. While “abolition” has been a word largely associated with slavery, it has taken on a new meaning when it comes to the police in America. Yes, we know - this word is scary. Police reform can seem daunting. But Derecka Purnell not only understands that, but she has a framework for how we need to be thinking about this process, and what new structures can be built in its place.

Listen in to hear more about becoming abolitionists, the lack of history of White resistance, Derecka’s own personal thought journey, and so much more. We really enjoyed this conversation - and learned so much - and hope you do too.

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What to listen for:

  • How Derecka’s views of the role of the police changed from her childhood to her organizer days
  • Why police reform is something that affects all of us, not just BIPOC individuals
  • Why the history of White resistance is missing in our history books, and what that means for abolishing the police or other similar movements

About Derecka: DERECKA PURNELL received her JD from Harvard Law School and works to end police and prison violence by providing legal assistance, research, and training to community-based organizations through an abolitionist framework. Her work and writing has been featured in the New York Times, NPR, The Atlantic, the Boston Globe, Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, The Appeal, Truthout, Slate, and many other publications. She is the co-creator of the COVID19 Policing Project at the Community Resource Hub for Safety Accountability.


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