Why this course?

This course is for people, especially young people, who want to start or continue learning about the historical context behind current calls to imagine futures beyond policing. As a student, you will …

  • Be introduced to the origins of policing, the policing of social movements, and the policing industrial complex in the United States.

  • Envision ways to keep our communities safe without policing and with care and justice.

  • Explore resources to continue learning about defunding and abolishing the police and to take action in your communities.

What you can expect:

  • Short and Sweet

    We estimate that this course will take you 1 - 1.5 hours to complete.

  • Video Lessons

    Enjoy recorded video lessons that introduce concepts and historical context in clear, accessible, 5-minute segments.

  • Activities and Resources

    Curated resources and interactive activities such as quick quizzes and an activity template help you solidify and personalize your learning experience.

  • Discussion

    Share ideas and resources with other participants in the discussion forums.

  • Closed Captioning

    All videos include closed captioning to support accessibility.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome to the course!

    • Welcome Message & Acknowledgments

    • Land Acknowledgment

    • How To Use This Course

    • Grounding and Guiding Beliefs

    • Preparing Yourself for Difficult Content

    • Before We Begin...

  • 2

    Chapter 1: The Origins of Policing in the United States

    • Origins of Policing

    • Quick Quiz on the Origins of Policing

  • 3

    Chapter 2: Policing Social Movements

    • Policing Social Movements

    • Quick Quiz on Policing Social Movements

  • 4

    Chapter 3: The Policing Industrial Complex

    • Policing Industrial Complex

    • Remember to Breathe

    • Processing the Policing Industrial Complex

  • 5

    Chapter 4: Police-Free Futures: Care, Not Cops

    • What Do We Do About This?

    • TEMPLATE - Care, Not Cops

    • Care, Not Cops Examples

    • Resources on Defunding the Police

  • 6

    Chapter 5: Police-Free Futures: Abolition

    • Reimagine Our Future

    • Abolition Resources

  • 7

    Next steps

    • Congrats! Here's What's Next...

    • More Resources For You

    • History of Policing Summer 2020 Padlet

    • Before You Go...

Meet Your Instructor!

Youth Facilitator

Syontoni Hattori-Chatterjee

Syontoni Hattori-Chatterjee (she/her/hers) is a Gen Z activist and the Youth Programs Coordinator at Freedom Lifted. After being a participant in and facilitator for Freedom Lifted’s History of Policing Class for youth in the summer of 2020, Syontoni joined the Freedom Lifted team as their Social Media and Youth Programs intern. She has created and published several educational social media series for Freedom Lifted’s Instagram page on womxn freedom fighters, lessons from history for young activists, radical imagination, and more. Syontoni has also led youth facilitator training for digital workshops and presented on the history of policing and police-free futures to youth ages 11-18 for Freedom Lifted and the International School of Los Angeles. In Spring 2021, she was one of two youth hosts of the YURI Education Project and Freedom Lifted’s online workshop on the history of Asian American oppression in the United States and contributed to gathering follow-up resources for attendees. In Summer 2021, Syontoni collaborated with Freedom Lifted Founder Mia Henry to create, host, and support the Transformative Justice Camp for Youth Activists, a week of virtual workshops for youth ages 13-16 on prison industrial complex abolition and transformative justice. She also co-developed the program’s online course companion. Syontoni is a member of the inaugural cohort of Majority Leaders from Supermajority and an alumna of the International School of Los Angeles’ French Baccalaureate Program.

Take this FREE mini-course History of Policing for Youth today!