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

    • A Note on Language

    • 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 is a multilingual Gen Z activist born and raised in Los Angeles. She is a proud Japanese Desi Canadian American, Black belt in Taekwondo, and Royal Academy of Dance program trained ballet dancer. Syontoni was a participant and facilitator for Freedom Lifted's History of Policing class for youth in summer 2020 and co-organized and hosted the participant reunion in fall 2020. Now at Freedom Lifted, she designs and publishes social media content, assists with virtual programming research and development, and leads facilitation and youth facilitator training for digital youth workshops. Syontoni is passionate about using social media to educate, inspire and build community. She 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.

What Participants Are Saying

about History of Policing for Youth

5 star rating

Wonderful resource to have!

Kelena Snipes

I had the amazing opportunity to beta-test this wonderful class, and I highly recommend that anyone who is interested take this course! It’s very user friend...

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I had the amazing opportunity to beta-test this wonderful class, and I highly recommend that anyone who is interested take this course! It’s very user friendly and easy to understand for (almost) all ages. The topics discussed and the information I learned has changed the way I view things and I continue to use what I learned in this class in my every day life.

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5 star rating

Fantastic Deep Dive and Conversation

Ella Syverson

This course was a wonderful opportunity to do some deep education about the roots of policing in the context of PIC abolition. It was really meaningful to be...

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This course was a wonderful opportunity to do some deep education about the roots of policing in the context of PIC abolition. It was really meaningful to be in a space of dialogue and learning with other passionate young people and powerful presenters doing transformative work. I've felt much more prepared in conversations around policing and abolition that I've had with peers and family members since and am grateful to have had this course as background and a resource.

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