Webinar to examine how protests helped galvanize Black Lives Matter movement

“Hands Up, Don’t Shoot: Why the Protests in Ferguson and Baltimore Matter, and How They Changed America” will be presented in a live Zoom webinar Tuesday, April 12, at Ripon College.

The webinar will run from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. Central Time and is sponsored by the Center for Politics and the People. Registration may be made here. A post-event recording will be available on YouTube at go.ripon.edu/p1a.

The speaker will be Dr. Jennifer E. Cobbina, associate professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. She will discuss the findings and recommendations of her recent book of the same name.

Brian Smith, professor emeritus of religion and co-director of the Center for Politics and the People, will moderate the discussion.

Cobbina’s book is based on interviews with close to 200 protesters in Ferguson and Baltimore after the killing of unarmed Black men by police. She will discuss how protesters perceived their relations with police and the state of their communities and how these and other experiences galvanized the Black Lives Matter movement.

She explains that Black Lives Matter has as a major goal greater investments in minority communities for education, employment and social services. She argues that enhancing individual, family and community well-being in Black communities will provide a more effective way to reduce crime and protect public safety than pouring more money into policing and prisons.

Cobbina received her Ph.D. in criminal justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2009. Her primary research focuses on community responses to police violence and the strategies that communities employ to challenge police expansion and end state sanctioned violence.

Her research also examines the intersection of race, gender, and how neighborhood contexts shapes crime and criminal justice practices. Finally, her work focuses on corrections, prisoner re-entry and the understanding of recidivism and desistance from crime.

She has served as an expert commentator on community responses to police violence, and inequalities of race/class/gender and their relation to facets of crime and the criminal legal system, for outlets such as CBS News, CBC News, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post and Politico.

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