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December 09, 2020 2020 US Elections Aftermath: A Social Justice Policy Summit

Defund the Police? Dismantle the US Department of Homeland Security? Let’s Discuss Policy Approaches to Institutional Reform

From law enforcement abuses in Portland, Oregon, to institutionalized violence in immigration detention facilities, public demands for institutional reform have included calls to defund local police forces, abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and dismantle the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in its entirety. In response, some elected officials have responded with legislation that would effectively “defund the cities that defund the police.” But, what does it all mean?

In this panel, experts identify, describe, and contextualize emerging trends in institutionalized violence. They also assess recent legislative proposals on merit and discuss practical policy solutions that ensure safety for all.


  • Sen. Raumesh Akbari, Esq., State Senator, Tennessee General Assembly; TILN’18
  • Ajenai Clemmons, Truman National Security Fellow; PhD Candidate in Public Policy, Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy; TILN’15
  • Donald M. Jones, JD, Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law


  • David Johns, Executive Director, National Black Justice Coalition; Former Executive Director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans; PhD Candidate, Columbia University; TILN’12

Co-Sponsors: ABA Center for Human Rights, ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice, ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights & Responsibilities, ABA Commission on Homelessness & Poverty, ABA Commission on Immigration, ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, ABA Council for Diversity in the Educational Pipeline, ABA Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division, ABA Section of State and Local Government Law, ABA Standing Committee on Gun Violence, ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service


2020 US Elections Aftermath: A Social Justice Policy Summit Resources

2020 US Elections Aftermath: A Social Justice Policy Summit Participant Handbook

ABA Journal: Police reform and homeland security: Some policy recommendations to close the racial justice gap

Notes and Additional Resources

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