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Culture and Identity

Central Coast Voices: Why do we need to rethink public safety?

For weeks following the death of George Floyd and during the protests that have followed, activists across the country have called on community leaders to “defund the police.” But what does this really mean? And is this the solution that we need? Why do we as a community need to rethink public safety?

Advocates for change believe that Public Safety involves creating a safe, welcoming, inclusive, thriving community for our marginalized community members. It means reducing recidivism and reducing violent crime. It means decreasing the amount of harm done to all community members, and finding ways to be accountable if harm has been done. It means increasing the therapeutic rehabilitative resources, like early intervention, access to treatment, providing community-based resources like housing and employment opportunities. Public safety is about recognizing our common humanity, healing the individual, and meeting them where they are at, to do the transformative work side by side.

Join Kris Kington Barker as she hosts the program from home amid concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus. She will be speaking with Katie Grainger with Race Matters SLO, Sr. Theresa Harpin, Founder and Executive Director with Restorative Partners, and Kirsten Rambo, Executive Director with Stand Strong San Luis Obispo as they discuss a collaborative need to address public safety, accountability, alternatives to criminalization and incarceration, and restorative justice.

You are invited to listen, learn and participate in the conversation today, Thursday, between 1-2 pm. Call in and be part of the discussion at (805) 549-8855 or email questions to

Broadcast date: 7/2/20

Central Coast Voices is sponsored by ACTION for Healthy Communities in collaboration with KCBX and made possible through underwriting by Joan Gellert-Sargen.