Learning Resources: Social Justice and Anti-Racism in Policing
In the last few years, the issues of social justice, police reform and racism in the policing and the justice system have become apparent to the masses. Brutal murders and beatings by police have been caught on film and the injustices faced by the marginalized communities in the United States cannot be ignored. Even the White House has launched new Executive Orders to change the way policing works in the United States.
We’ve created a robust guide with over 100 different articles, websites, fact sheets and more in support of these communities for academics, students, police departments, and anyone working in the criminal justice system.
Our guide includes resources on:
- Racial disparities in policing
- Facts and data on anti-Black racism in policing
- Criminal justice reform
- Organizations hoping to motivate change
- Advocacy and procedural justice
- Books and podcasts
If you are a teacher, a student, an advocate, an administrator, or just a human being who cares about anti-racism and social justice, we hope you will find our resource list useful and that you will share it far and wide.
Published on the American Bar Association (ABA) website, this Terrence M. Cunningham article looks at how the events of the last few years pushed police and citizens to work together.
Writing for the Harvard Gazette, Colleen Walsh discusses the history of racial policing and looks at how officers can embrace other cultures.
This article looks at some of the major reform policies used by governments and organizations that helped create the modern justice reform movement in the United States.
The authors of this piece focus on how and why different groups distrust policing authorities based on the racial disparities they see and experience.
Learning for Justice created this page to talk about Black Lives Matter and other protests and organizations that now fight against police violence.
Alex S. Vitale wrote an entire book about the benefits of ending policing based on the experiences he had and the things he saw in San Francisco in the 1990s.
Read this piece from Rebecca Yin to learn about the history of racial profiling and traffic stops along with the policy reforms added over the years.
Kevin E. Jason talks about the pillars or foundations of white supremacy in this piece and some of the theories on how to stop those who support it.
Even if you don’t read the whole book written by Paul Kivel, you’ll get an idea of what white people can do to end racism and help victims of racism.
The authors of this book draw a direct link between the election in 2016 and the rise of both racism and racial profiling among law enforcement.
Angela J. Davis from the American University Washington College of Law looks at those behind racial injustice and why we need to identify them.
In this American Psychological Association (APA) piece, Zara Abrams looks at the intervention techniques psychologists can use to reduce or prevent police brutality.
Maarten Van Craen uses a multidisciplinary approach to find a connection between justice and the procedures law enforcement uses.
Several authors worked on this article, which looks at how fair communities and groups think local law enforcement agencies are in their areas.
The Center for Policing Equality uses science and digital products to promote justice while giving others access to all of its online tools.
Members of the CCJ include some of the top in the criminal justice field and help meet the needs of the underrepresented and disadvantaged in facilities today.
Read through some of the organization’s reports to learn about their work, which includes policy changes, research, and major court cases.
You don’t need to live in California to join this organization or use its resources, including reports on the connection between racial disparities and traffic stops.
Known as CCR, this organization spent years fighting for the rights of others with challenges to the discrimination found among law enforcement.
The Police Brutality Center offers help to anyone who was a victim of racism or brutality as well as those who believe their civil rights are in danger.
With branches in the US and UK, this organization strives to get people talking about police brutality victims through massive campaigns in major cities.
Read through the organization’s gang and school policing reports to see what it found or sign up to access new reports as they go live.
As part of Restore Forward, Black Women’s Blueprint offers holistic programs to promote natural healing for victims of racism and similar issues.
Join Communities United for Police Reform to see how you can take action in your city or state and join events taking place in other parts of the country.
BYP100 grew out of She Safe, We Safe and runs events and protests to end police violence and create a better world for more than just women.
Based in the Beaver State, the OJRC hopes to improve the rights of women, immigrants, and others serving time in state and national facilities.
Activism – Procedural Justice
Learn more about the members of this group and the work they do to improve procedural justice while reducing discrimination among police agencies.
Read this article from the Pew Research Center to discover facts and statistics about race and its connection to policing in the United States.
The ACLU believes in helping anyone facing civil and labor rights violations along with other offenses through legal programs and other tools.
Released by the Law Enforcement Policy Center, this 14-page PDF looks at law enforcement agencies can implement policies that are free of racial and other biases.
Available from the Brennan Center for Justice, this article talks about how law enforcement needs task forces and programs to confront the violent racist groups in the country.
The authors of this Amnesty International piece look at the effects the death of George Floyd had in the years after both in the US and abroad.
In this piece from The Star, Audrey Kawire Wabwire talks about the groups protesting police brutality and provides a link to donate to them.
Campaign Zero believes in a world without policing and runs programs designed to force policy changes and improve the justice system as a whole.
The National Initiative for Building Community Trust & Justice lists the principles behind procedural justice and allows others to get involved in the reform movement.
Anti-Racism in Policing
This article from the AP tells readers that the core values of the institution of policing brings about cultural bias, which impacts policing regardless of the race of the officer.
The Organization of American Historians presents a story by Shannon King, where he walks us through a lesson plan about the history of anti-Black racism and civil rights in the U.S.
Despite more funding for diversity training and reform, Black people are still more often than other races, and until there is a complete system overhaul, this will not change.
This article looks at anti-Black bias as an infection in the United States, where Black people are looked at as prone to criminality, which has made even Black officers exhibit anti-Black bias.
The ACLU led a panel on how to end racism in policing, besides what has been done like more training and more funding and instead recommends a complete overhaul to the system.
This article looks at 15 years of data surrounding police killings and concludes that systemic racism is a problem for police forces and the struggles the police face with racism.
This article by the Marshall Project discusses the Department of Justice investigation into the Worchester, Massachusetts police department, their sixth such investigation.
The NAACP takes a broad look at issues like incarceration, policing, discrimination and prosecution and how years of racist policies negatively impact the Black community.
This Forbes article details how having representation and diversity at all levels does not necessarily address issues of systemic racism and can perpetuate them in some cases.
This book takes a look at policing in Brazil, and how their policies for managing and governing marginalized people have led to even more violence and crime.
This study looks at 48 interviews with Black law enforcement officers and concludes that Black employees do contribute to anti-racism efforts but they often leave very racist organizations.
Anti-Racism and Social Justice in the Law
Explore the webinars and other free resources available for current and future lawyers from the ABA and see the benefits of becoming a member after you finish law school.
As a law student, you’ll want to check out this page to see some of the responsibilities lawyers have today along with short videos and other resources.
IBO offers this article and other resources that discuss how technology can work for justice and improve the rights of people around the world.
CAP discusses the lack of legal help given to some people and how the color of their skin determines the resources afforded to them in court.
Two authors worked on this article that looks at the history behind the modern social justice system and what needs to happen in the future.
Hosted by Berkeley Law, this page includes links to major articles on social justice and a calendar of events students and others can attend.
See how you can donate your time or money to help this organization, which offers free legal help to people of color and others from underrepresented groups.
The United States Department of Justice maintains a large database filled with lawyers in various states who offer free legal help.
Read through this article if you thought about working as a social justice lawyer to get an idea of what the job requires and where the lawyers work.
The Social Justice Legal Foundation was launched in 2021 as a way to support incarcerated people and others who cannot fight for themselves.
Occidental College offers a unique Lawyering for Social Justice program in which students and professionals work directly with different communities.
From The Catholic University of America, this article discusses the importance of legal clinics and practical experience to prepare students for working in social justice.
The Los Angeles County Bar Association launched this committee to promote civil rights and fight racism against black people and people of color in both the city and the county.
Matthew Horace worked with Ron Harris to write this book that focuses on the racism he saw while working as a police officer on the front lines.
Paul Butler wrote this book to talk about the policies and actions law enforcement use against black men and show the racism they represent.
Kenneth Meeks created a handbook for black drivers to help them stay safe and avoid confrontations with law enforcement on the road.
Available as an ebook or paperback book, this updated copy of The End of Policing looks at the history of law enforcement and how its policies changed in recent years.
Just Mercy is a firsthand account from Bryan Stevenson on his experience with the Equal Justice Initiative helping the poor and disadvantaged as well as what his organization now does.
Learn about Harry Louis Gates Jr and his experiences going from a college professor to a convict after a wrongful arrest and what happened next, creating a harrowing tale that is hard to read.
Franklin E. Zimring wrote this book to go over some of the victims killed by police officers and the circumstances that led to their deaths with an emphasis on how those deaths were preventable.
Haymarket Books and Truthout jointly published this book, which includes essays and reports from people of color about the negative interactions and experiences they had with law enforcement.
Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve spent more than a decade and over 1,000 hours working on this book to describe the racial injustice she saw in the Cook County court system in Chicago.
If you ever wondered how life was different for people of color vs. white people, this book looks at the harsh realities with a focus on major cases, including OJ Simpson and Rodney King.
Though women of color were once thought of as invisible, Andrea Ritchie wrote this book to talk about how public opinion changed and the increase in police violence against black women and other women of color.
The U.S. Department of Justice runs this podcast with an emphasis on how technology, science, and better funding can affect and improve public safety as a whole.
Apple named Code Switch the Show of the Year in 2020 due to its interviews and conversations with others on the way race affects politics, food, and other areas of life.
The New York Times created an audio series called 1619 that includes podcasts discussing the history of slavery and how its roots are still present in the modern world.
Nominated twice for a Peabody Award, the Scene on Radio podcast asks difficult questions about how and why we reached this point in the world and what we can do about it.
Kai Wright addresses the history of US issues that include the meaning behind color blind, slave emancipation, and Black American roots in her podcast.
Systemic was launched after George Floyd’s death and now covers the activists and others who hope to change the world in big ways and end racism.
David Harris is a college professor and the voice behind Criminal Injustice, a podcast that focuses on the racial biases that exist in everything from technology to prison.
From Arnold Ventures, this podcast allows Laura Arnold to talk with police reform experts about what they think should and needs to happen next.
The Heights Libraries in Cleveland provide this free list of podcasts that address race, prison, and police issues you can listen to anywhere in the world.
Created by the Center for Justice Research, Unpacking the Data looks at the rise of police brutality and mental health issues since the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among people of color.
This podcast from the Criminal Justice Reform Imitative explores the biggest changes in the policing of America and some of the changes that still need to happen.
Max Markham from the Center for Policing Equity talks about the work done by the St. Louis Police Department and how officers can implement changes with the right tools.
Get an inside look at what happens inside the prison system through this podcast, which talks with former inmates about their experiences in some of the biggest facilities.
Ear Hustle is a podcast that talks with former and current prisoners to give listeners a better look at what life is like for men and women behind bars, including the impact incarceration has on their loved ones.