Dorothy Roberts, author of “Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families – and How Abolition Can Build a Safer World will be the next guest speaker at Cal State San Bernardino’s series, Conversations on Race and Policing.
The program, free and open to the public, will take place at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25 on Zoom. It can be accessed from a PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android at https://tinyurl.com/csusb-race-policing.
The publisher’s website for “Torn Apart” summarizes Roberts’ book: “Drawing on decades of research, legal scholar and sociologist Dorothy Roberts reveals that the child welfare system is better understood as a ‘family policing system’ that collaborates with law enforcement and prisons to oppress Black communities. Child protection investigations ensnare a majority of Black children, putting their families under intense state surveillance and regulation. Black children are disproportionately likely to be torn from their families and placed in foster care, driving many to juvenile detention and imprisonment.
“The only way to stop the destruction caused by family policing, ‘Torn Apart’ argues, is to abolish the child welfare system and liberate Black communities.”
Roberts is the George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology and the Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights at the University of Pennsylvania. She is an acclaimed scholar of race, gender and the law, who joined the University of Pennsylvania as its 14th Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor with joint appointments in the departments of Africana studies and sociology and the law school.
Conversations on Race and Policing began after the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, and its aftermath. It was the death of Floyd, a Black man, by a white Minneapolis police officer, that sparked widespread protests, calls for reform and revamping of the nation’s policing system, difficult and hard conversations on race and racism – and gave birth to Cal State San Bernardino’s Conversations on Race and Policing, also known as CoRP.
In subsequent court cases, three other former Minneapolis police officers implicated in Floyd’s death were given prison sentences.
The series has featured scholars, journalists, law enforcement officers, lawyers, activists, artists, educators, administrators and others from throughout the nation who shared their experience and expertise on issues related to race and policing.
More than 90 forums have taken place, and video recordings of the sessions are posted online on the Conversations on Race and Policing Lecture Series Archive.
The guest presenters in the upcoming programs of Conversations on Race and Policing, each at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, include:
- Nov. 1: U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), whose Congressional committee assignments include the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services. Last spring, he found himself in a dispute with U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Green (R-Ga.), demanding that she apologize to him for making statements employing historically “racist tropes” after the two exchanged words outside the Capitol.
- Nov. 8: Ronnie Dunn, executive director of diversity and associate professor of urban studies, Cleveland State University, whose research interest includes urban and social policy, racial profiling, racial inequality, the criminal justice system and issues affecting children and families living in urban areas, minority populations and the urban poor.
- Nov. 15: Joanna Schwartz, UCLA professor of law, faculty director of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy and author of “Shielded: How the Police Became Untouchable.”
- Nov. 29, Matthew Guarigla, affiliated scholar at the Institute of Criminal Justice at University of California, Hastings School of Law, and the author of “Police and the Empire City: Race and the Origins of Modern Policing in New York.”
The series is organized by Matt Patino (CSUSB MA candidate); CSUSB faculty members Mary Texeira (sociology) and Jeremy Murray (history); Robie Madrigal, public affairs/communication specialist for the CSUSB John M. Pfau Library; Michael German, fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice; and community member Stan Futch, president of the Westside Action Group.
Also visit the Conversations on Race and Policing webpage.