There is a growing consensus that our criminal legal system serves very few of us while incarcerating too many of us. And in 2020, the nation is waking up to how bloated police budgets fail to keep us safe, with police who not only fail to prevent, but actually perpetrate violent crime. But many of us were raised to believe that police and jails kept us safe. Now that we realize they don’t, what comes next?

Ella Baker Center Executive Director Zachary Norris’s book, We Keep Us Safe has answers to that question and so many more. It explains how we got where we are, and how to move beyond our present moment to a place where we can have systems of care that truly keep us safe. 

We hope you will use this discussion guide to further engage with the book, reflect how its themes emerge in your own life, and ultimately become an advocate for the changes Zach recommends. Organizers often say “an injury to one is an injury to all”, but this book recognizes the corollary: safety for all creates safety for one. We Keep Us Safe is not just a book, but a call to action for us all. 

Buy the Book – all proceeds benefit the Ella Baker Center