In the wake of national discourses about the future of policing, many higher education leaders are reconsidering their institution’s relationship to municipal and campus police. As student activists have raised critical questions about campus police department budgets, hiring practices, and whether police are needed as first-responders on college campuses at all, concerns about student safety, campus crime, and conjecture surrounding the universities’ inability to resolve crises if campus police structures are altered have guided institutional responses to growing criticism.

As an attempt to address this social and political moment, Between the Carceral University and Police-Free Futures brings together concerned campus and community stakeholders to discuss the many and varied ways contemporary colleges and universities create the conditions that necessitate policing and prisons. In conversation with professor and director of the Campus Abolition Research Lab, Dr. Charles H.F. Davis III, an interdisciplinary panel will engage the conceptual underpinnings of abolitionist praxis and consider the possibilities for higher and postsecondary education to reimagine itself as a life-affirming institution.

Part of our Research & Community Impact Fellow series, this session is co-sponsored by the Anti-Racism Collaborative, the University of Michigan's strategic space for engagement around anti-racism research and scholarship and part of the provost's anti-racism initiative; the Diversity Scholars Network, a scholarly community committed to advancing understandings of historical and contemporary social issues related to identity, difference, culture, representation, power, oppression, and inequality; and the Campus Abolition Research Lab (CARL).

Dr. Charles H.F. Davis III, 2022 Anti-Racism Collaborative Research & Community Impact Fellow and Assistant Professor in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan

Dr. Davarian L. Baldwin, Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Founding Director of the Smart Cities Lab at Trinity College

Dr. Erin Corbett, CEO at Second Chance Educational Alliance, Inc. and Director of the Quinnipiac University Prison Project

Kamaria B. Porter, PhD Candidate in Higher Education, and Lab Manager for University Responses to Sexual Assault (URSA) Project in the Department of Sociology at the University of Michigan

David Helps, PhD Candidate in History, Research Fellow with the Carceral State Project, and Officer of the Graduate Employees Organization at the University of Michigan