On the most recent episode of our podcast, The Next World, DSC Communications Coordinator Tafari Melisizwe and Coordinating Committee Member Andrew Hairston of Texas Appleseed join organizer, writer, and radical political theorist Geo Maher for a robust conversation on policing and social justice movements. The episode begins with Geo laying out the ideas of his book A World Without Police, and then continues with a conversation with Tafari and Andrew about translating these ideas to the work of getting police out of schools and transforming society.
Geo Maher is an abolitionist educator, organizer, and writer based in Philadelphia. He has taught previously at the University of Pennsylvania, Vassar College, Drexel University, San Quentin State Prison, and the Venezuelan School of Planning in Caracas, and has held visiting positions at the CUNY Graduate Center, the Decolonizing Humanities Project at the College of William & Mary, NYU’s Hemispheric Institute, and the Institute of Social Research at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). He is the author of five books: We Created Chávez (2013); Building the Commune (2016); Decolonizing Dialectics (2017); A World Without Police (2021); and Anticolonial Eruptions (2022); and co-editor of the Duke University Press book series Radical Américas
Andrew Reginald Hairston is a civil rights attorney and writer who serves as the Education Justice Project Director of Texas Appleseed. In this role, he engages in public policy advocacy and works with community groups to diminish the presence and influence of school police officers across the state of Texas. In recognition of these efforts, Andrew served as a 2019 Law for Black Lives Fellow, along with Tyler Whittenberg of Advancement Project’s National Office. Along with Khem Irby, he is a 2022-23 co-chair of the Dignity in Schools Campaign’s Coordinating Committee. He earned his law degree from Louisiana State University in May 2016, where he was a Faculty Scholar. Andrew received his bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from Howard University. From 2017 to 2019, Andrew served as a staff attorney at Advancement Project in Washington, D.C.
Tafari Melisizwe is a passionate educator, brand strategist, graphic designer & photographer based in Chicago. He joined the Dignity in Schools Campaign as Communications Coordinator in April 2018. Tafari is the owner and operator of The Indigenous Lens, a photography company that works to connect heritage and beauty through the art of visual conversation. Tafari also is a Facilitator-in-Training at AYA Educational Institute, an African-Centered educational and leadership development organization that facilitates a myriad of trainings, workshops and one-on-one sessions designed to heal alienation, heal toxic communication patterns and other wounds born of oppression. Previously, he Co-Directed HABESHA-Baltimore, a Pan-African organization that cultivates leadership in youth and families through practical experiences in cultural education, sustainable agriculture, entrepreneurship, holistic health, and technology.
Links for more information:
Dignity in Schools