Norman activists began a #PoliceFreeFutures month social media campaign for April, encouraging participants to create 30 different visions for community safety without police.
The Norman Collective for Racial Justice — who is leading this event — is calling artists, creators, activists and revolutionary thinkers to take over their platform and share ideas on how to keep the community safe without police.
“Some people have the misconception that 'police' and 'public safety' are synonyms, and so the idea of ‘defunding the police’ provokes a response that is immediately defensive and fear-based,” NC4RJ said in an email. “But there are other people in our community, especially young people, who are excited about the possibilities that would become available to us if we invested in other methods of creating safety.”
NC4RJ said the goal of #PoliceFreeFutures is to uplift the work locals are doing to make the community safe without police presence.
The month will highlight community locals who are creating public security in a variety of ways, according to the email. A scheduled submission April 20 by the youth-led organization Foundation for Liberating Minds, for example, will share their investments in non-hierarchical, collaborative methods of education to promote public safety without police.
The NC4RJ said the 1M Experiments, a website created to share and inspire community-based safety projects, inspired this project, and they hope to continue highlighting community safety projects in Oklahoma to spread awareness of what sort of changes are in the works.
“Public safety is not something you achieve by force — it is created through investing in and creating a community where everyone can feel safe and have their basic needs met,” NC4RJ said. “This community imagination project is just one way for us to start to make that future a reality.”