Institute for Historical Studies – Tuesday October 19, 2021
Over the past two years in Austin, concerns over “safety” have motivated politically opposed efforts at developing public safety alternatives to policing and propositions requiring the city to expand the policing of public space. Protests against police brutality and police violence against protesters in the summer of 2020 has been followed by efforts at the state and local level to mandate and increase police funding. Within the context of the upcoming November 2nd election’s Proposition A that, if passed, would dramatically increase the funding of traditional policing in Austin, this panel convenes experts to discuss the social context and potential impacts of this proposed measure. How is this proposition representative of a broader backlash against attempts at remaking public safety in the wake of the summer 2020 protests following the death of George Floyd? While opposing groups involved in the reform, remaking, or defense of policing all uphold “safety” as their aim, do they share the same conceptions of that word? How are ideas of “safety” shaped by the historical contexts of Austin, the state of Texas, and the US?
- Andrew M. Busch
Assistant Professor, Honors College, Coastal Carolina University; Historian and author of City in A Garden: Environmental Transformations and Racial Justice in Twentieth Century Austin, Texas.
- J. Brent Crosson (moderator)
Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies; Faculty Associate, Lorenzo Long Institute for Latin American Studies; and Faculty Affiliate, Department of Anthropology, Warfield Center for African and African American Studies, and History and Philosophy of Science Program, The University of Texas at Austin; and Author of Experiments with Power: Obeah and the Remaking of Religion in Trinidad.
- Ashleigh Hamilton & Gabriela Torres
Communities of Color United for Racial Justice
- Monica Muñoz Martinez
MacArthur Fellow; Associate Professor of History, The University of Texas at Austin; Author of The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas; Lead Researcher, Mapping Racial Violence in Texas Project; and Founding Member of the Non-profit Refusing to Forget.
- Jason McDonald
Assistant Professor of History, Truman State University; Author of Racial Dynamics in Early 20th Century Austin.
- Eliot M. Tretter
Research Fellow, Department of Geography and the Environment, The University of Texas at Austin; and Author of Shadows of a Sunbelt City: The Environment, Racism, and the Knowledge Economy in Austin.