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Cover Image For 2022 - Defund Fear by Zach Norris
Cover Image for 2022 - Defund Fear by Zach Norris Cover Image for 2022 - Defund Fear by Zach Norris

2022 - Defund Fear by Zach Norris

Selected for the 2022-23 Campus Community Book Project, Defund Fear focuses on police reform and transformative justice. Learn more about the Campus Community Book Project and the upcoming events and lectures associated with this year's book.


As the effects of aggressive policing and mass incarceration harm historically marginalized communities and tear families apart, how do we define safety? In a time when the most powerful institutions in the United States are embracing the repressive and racist systems that keep many communities struggling and in fear, we need to reimagine what safety means. Community leader and lawyer Zach Norris lays out a radical way to shift the conversation about public safety away from fear and punishment and toward growth and support systems for our families and communities. In order to truly be safe, we are going to have to dismantle our mentality of Us vs. Them. By bridging the divides and building relationships with one another, we can dedicate ourselves to strategic, smart investments—meaning resources directed toward our stability and well-being, like healthcare and housing, education and living-wage jobs. This is where real safety begins.


Originally published in hardcover as We Keep Us Safe: Building Secure, Just, and Inclusive Communities, Defund Fear is a blueprint of how to hold people accountable while still holding them in community. The result reinstates full humanity and agency for everyone who has been dehumanized and traumatized, so they can participate fully in life, in society, and in the fabric of our democracy.

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