The Response: 29th May – 5th June

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This week’s selection of solutions, progress and development

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#BlackLivesMatter & Criminal Justice Reform

Solutions Journalism Network wrote a comment on how the news media has a role to play in racism:

“We all know what brings journalists to Black and Brown neighbourhoods: crime. That means that many people who don’t live in those neighbourhoods think that’s all that happens there. When journalists neglect the progress and solutions in historically oppressed, marginalised, and otherwise systemically harmed communities, we aren’t just “missing the story”, we are misinforming people about those communities. That misinformation drives public sentiment which drives policies, which can harm those communities further. But we harm them in another way too. What are people to think when we are there for their deaths and despair, but don’t see their progress as “newsworthy” enough? Intentionally or not, we show what we value. We let them know that we don’t think we’d get enough eyes on their success story but maybe our bills can get paid off the latest shooting.

There is no longer any excuse (nor has there ever been) for journalists to exploit, demean, and yes, harm Black and Brown communities by devoting a disproportionate coverage to “crime”. Not without exploring the systemic issues that give rise to it and how those communities themselves are leading the way in addressing it.”
To learn more about Solutions Journalism Network, visit here.

There have long been alternatives to policing and prisons that serve to reduce both crime and harm.  Below are some in depth investigations to help us understand what these are and how they work. 

Minneapolis Activists Ask Local Leaders to Invest in Communities, Not Cops In Minneapolis, Minnesota, a coalition of organizers and community members called Reclaim the Block advocates for divestment from the city’s police force and into more community-based initiatives and services. Advocates for the group argue that rather than solving issues like homelessness, opioid addiction, and mental health crises, policing can actually make the situation worse off. (YES! Magazine)

How the Media Can Fix Its Protest Coverage 
The general public’s opinions about protests and the social movements behind them are formed in large part by what they read or see in the media. This gives journalists a lot of power when it comes to driving the narrative of a demonstration. (Reasons to be Cheerful)

We know that prison doesn’t work. So what are the alternatives?
There is no shortage of calls for more people to be sent to prison, and for longer. However, decades of research have shown that prison is the least effective place to rehabilitate offenders and ultimately make our community safer. Alternative methods can offer solutions. (The Guardian)

How to Reform The Criminal Justice System with Baz Dreisinger 
In this compelling conversation with IVY’s co-founder, Beri Meric, Baz illuminates the history of mass incarceration in the United States, and draws on her experience at the forefront of the movement towards restorative justice to reveal how we can fix a broken prison system and generate new opportunities for reform.

Restorative justice—does it work? 
The expansion of restorative justice in recent years has been nothing short of remarkable; it is often promoted as being more meaningful, humane and cost-effective than traditional criminal justice. (All About Law)


How Europe recovered from the Black Death

Welcome to Recovery, a new series from The Anthill Podcast, exploring key moments in history when the world recovered from a major crisis or shock. In this first episode, we find out what happened after one of history’s worst epidemics, the Black Death. (The Conversation)

Why are Africa’s coronavirus successes being overlooked?

In Senegal, a country of 16 million people (and much less expensive healthcare and social infrastructure than European countries) they have experienced only 16 deaths from COVID-19. Examples of innovation aren’t getting the fanfare they would do if they emerged from Europe or the US. But there is much to learn from how Africa is overcoming Coronavirus. (The Guardian)

Climate change: How a green new deal really could go global

World leaders know their countries face one of the most severe recessions in history thanks to the coronavirus restrictions. That presents a unique challenge, but also a massive opportunity. (BBC)

Cervical cancer vaccine boost increases supply for up to 84 million girls worldwide

Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, said the deal on the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine means around 1.4 million cervical cancer deaths could be avoided in the future. (The Telegraph)

Lockdown gives asylum seekers reprieve and hope for change in policy

Some believe that, as the crisis has exposed flaws in the immigration system, this could be a good opportunity to look at the Home Office rule barring those awaiting immigration decisions from working. (The Guardian)

Peru’s war on drugs is an abject failure – here’s what it can learn from Bolivia

For 40 years, policies in Peru have prioritised forced eradication of coca leaf under intense pressure from the US government. Weak economies, farmers turned into outlaws, and human rights violations are the result of this militarised crop and drug control strategy. In contrast, Bolivia has emerged as a world leader in promoting a new model based on farmer participation and non-violence. (The Conversation)

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