Contacts & Follow Up: Reimagining Safety Philadelphia Screening
Hello and welcome to the Info page for the Philadelphia premiere of “Reimagining Safety” a documentary by Matthew Solomon, screened November 15th at The Fallser Club in partnership with community activists and grassroots media.
Special thanks to the wonderful audience of open, engaged citizens that came out to show support and ask What More Can We Do? This page is for all of us who know there’s a better path to safety in our society.
Follow up matters! Thank you for all you do to help keep this critical grassroots movement going. Seeking names, links, books, local groups, and any other information we can all use to better organize. Please add your info in the Comments section below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add it to the list here.
DIRECTOR: Matthew Solomon was born and raised in Los Angeles and has been in the entertainment business for most of his adult life — first in music and then as an award-winning writer/director. His passion for people, equity, and social justice led him to a career in conflict resolution (he’s now adjunct professor at Antioch University teaching Conflict Resolution). His Masters degree study involved a deep dive into understanding policing, the carceral system, and public safety. This film was his capstone project. ReimaginingSafetyMovie.com
PRESENTED BY: Nigel Ousey was twelve in 2020, when he founded See Beyond My Skin as a way to push back on dehumanizing narratives behind over-policing and under-investment in Black and Brown communities. Currently, Nigel is an intern at Germantown Radio, with his own show “Big Questions” where he interviews local guests about big issues (airs First Thursdays at 6pm on 92.9 FM). In 2023, he was awarded a Civic Spring Fellowship from the Institute for Citizens & Scholars to continue his efforts with See Beyond My Skin. Tonight’s screening is his organization’s first time co-hosting an event. He’s excited to promote better understanding and network with others for radical, evidence-based reforms.
MODERATOR: Seth Anderson-Oberman is a Black working-class advocate, public school parent, and lifelong Germantowner. A union organizer for the past 24 years, Seth has been an activist since he was in college, where he helped lead protests against union-busting and community displacement in North Philadelphia. He co-founded the Philadelphia Labor for Black Lives Coalition and fostering youth-led activism as a member of the Board of Directors for the Philadelphia Student Union. After a very narrow loss to three-term incumbent Councilmember Cindy Bass for 8th District City Council last May, Seth Anderson-Oberman is an emerging Philadelphia leader and community organizer for civic action.
See Beyond My Skin – a local storytelling non-profit dedicated to making America safe for Black and Brown people.
The Fallser Club – an innovative community space for everyone, located in East Falls Philadelphia.
The Local paper – a free monthly paper exploring Philly through a local lens, with a focus on the people.
Germantown Radio/92.9FM — Northwest Philly’s community radio station. Gtownradio.com **will be broadcasting audio soon, standby for date/time/link**
Alex S. Vitale — Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center. One of the featured experts in Reimagining Safety, he’s also been widely published in The NY Times, Washington Post, The Guardian (and many others). He’s written two books: City of Disorder and The End of Policing. He has also appeared on CNN, NPR, and other major news networks as well as The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. He has spent the last 30 years writing about policing and consults community based movements, human and civil rights organizations, and governments internationally.
Menika Dirkson, PhD — Philadelphia native who specializes in Race and Policing in post-1968 Urban America. Her dissertation explored how Philadelphia’s police department, journalists, and city officials used news media to disseminate crime narratives to convince the white middle-class to resist desegregation and support tough-on-crime policing in the inner city from 1958 to the present-day. Dirkson’s book, Hope and Struggle in the Policed City: The Rise of Black Criminalization and Resistance in Philadelphia, uses robustly-researched information from newspapers, census records, oral histories, police reports, maps, housing project pamphlets, and other documentation to draw connections between racial bias and over-policing that affects nearly every aspect of society. (Release date: JULY 2024)
Movita Johnson-Harrell, MSW — Former Supervisor of Victim/Witness Services and Restorative Justice at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office under Larry Krasner, she now works to address the social determinants that lead to gun violence including systemic racism, poverty and gentrification. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and a survivor who lost her father, brother, cousin and two sons to homicide. She has a master’s in Social Work from U of P; her local nonprofit, the CHARLES Foundation (Creating Healthy Alternatives Results in Less Emotional Suffering), is dedicated to helping communities heal from generational trauma.
Evan Laine — Professor and director of the Law & Society Program and faculty director for the Arlen Specter Center at Jefferson University, East Falls; he also produces the Roxboro House Round Table on G-Town Radio. A former attorney specializing in civil trial law, Laine has written and lectured in the fields of conspiracy theory and civil law and is the author of “Nixon and the Dragon Lady” a book that explores undercover Vietnam theories with potential global consequences.
Local movie review: “Know Better, Do Better” (The Local, November 2023)
EXPERTS FEATURED IN FILM
Dr. Jody Armour – The Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law at the University of Southern California
Nikki Blak – Sociologist, anti-racism educator, and Inglewood born and raised|
Sennett Devermont – “Mr. Checkpoint,” police auditor and founder of the AFTP Foundation (Always For The People or, as he says in the movie “Always Film The Police”)
George Gascón – Los Angeles County District Attorney
Jose Gutierrez – Licensed social worker, therapist, and Restorative Justice practitioner
Dr. El Jones – Professor and co-author of “Defunding the Police – Planning the Way Forward for the HRM”
Hadiya Kennedy – Former detective, The Los Angeles Police Department
Hawk Newsome – Co-founder of Black Lives Matter NY and Black Opportunities
Gina Viola – former LA Mayoral candidate who ran on an abolition platform
Alex S Vitale – Professor, law enforcement expert, and author of “End of Policing”
ADDITIONAL LINKS & INFO:
Read more about a “Marshall Plan” for violent crime in Local reporter Cory Clark’s recent article, “Blueprint Beyond Policing” (NOV 2023)
Comments, questions, reactions to the film (and topic in general) also welcome. Stay tuned for additional screenings coming to a community near you.
Special thanks to Deborah Echevarría Richter Captain Stephen A. Richter who made it possible for Matthew Solomon to bring us his film in person, and offer this screening for free. 🙏🙏🙏 S.A.R. Marine Consulting