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Everyday Philadelphians Want to #DefundThePolice

Kris Henderson sits as a video crew interviews Yvonne Newkirk about what she would like to see funded instead of the police

In the middle of the 2020 uprising for Black lives, we found ourselves in a pitched battle to reduce the Philadelphia Police Department budget. While some elected officials located the demand to #DefundThePolice solely in street protests, we knew that it ran much deeper. Members of communities throughout Philadelphia had been calling to defund the police for years.

Feeling a fierce urgency to make sure that people in Philly’s Black and brown neighborhoods were heard, we assembled a quick series of cell phone video testimonials which we promoted on social media in the Summer of 2020. As we approached the end of Summer, we felt we needed to go deeper . We began to dialogue with 8 Black women in Philadelphia about what they felt would help keep their communities safer. With our allies at Bonfire Media Collective we produced the videos below.

These videos amplify the call to #DefundThePolice and also speak to what keeps our communities safe:  jobs, schools, and resources for our communities. A short film which features all 8 women is forthcoming in early 2021.

 

Martha Williams: North Philly resident and union carpenter

Regina Glass: West Philly resident, union social worker and small business owner

Angela Baker: North Philly resident, social worker and minister

 
Patricia Vickers: West Philly resident and community organizer
 

Brenda Harris: North Philly resident and block captain
 
 
Kariymah McClary: West Oak Lane resident, SEPTA retiree and organizer
 
 
Chenelle Vickers: West Philly resident and parent 
 
 
Yvonne Newkirk: West Philly resident