Advance Praise for We Keep Us Safe

An urgent call for safer, more inclusive communities for everyone . . . Highly illuminating account of the changes required to create a more democratic society for all.”
Kirkus Reviews
Bright, talented, compassionate, strategic, and committed . . . Norris’s insights and story will be an enormously important contribution in the effort to advance human rights in this country.”
Bryan Stevenson
Author of Just Mercy
We Keep Us Safe powerfully demonstrates that safety, freedom, and justice come from relationships, resources, and real accountability—not more punishment, police, and prisons.”
Michelle Alexander
Author of The New Jim Crow
“Zach Norris’s powerful book offers an inspiring blueprint for justice beyond prisons and courts—and paints a picture of a brighter future for all of us.”
Sally Kohn
Author of The Opposite of Hate
We Keep Us Safe is a profoundly important contribution to our thinking about what safety is, what’s undermining it, and how to advance it. Norris draws on an amazing array of ideas and resources to show us that it is not walls and jails we need more of, but care, connection, and community.”
Annie Leonard
Greenpeace US Executive Director
Zach’s words are a must-read for anyone who cares about a more just and more compassionate future. He shows us the world that might be possible when we lead with empathy, when we humanize rather than criminalize each other, and when we seek restoration rather than retribution. And perhaps most importantly, he gives us hope that it’s a world in which we might one day live.”
Jennifer Siebel Newsom
First Partner of California, Filmmaker
In his excellent new book Zach Norris writes with insight, inspiring stories, and a vision that includes everyone—just what we need to move from fear to caring, and from a system of punishment to one of transformative justice. We Keep Us Safe identifies the roots of our fear, insecurity and vulnerability, offers a way forward together, and provides practical, workable strategies for public policy change. Reading this book will alter the way you understand safety, security, and justice. We so need the caring, fierceness and insight Norris brings us in these challenging times.”
Paul Kivel
Educator, Activist, Author of Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice
Zach Norris, executive director of Oakland’s Ella Baker Center for many years, has written a powerful book that is very much in the tradition of Baker’s radical humanitarianism. Many racial and social justice projects focus on what’s wrong with our current system of policing and prisons, Norris’ book focuses on alternatives: conflict resolution, prevention strategies and restorative justice. Rejecting fear-based, revenge-based models of ‘justice’, Norris’ work pays homage to an entire generation of activists who are not only clear about what they are against, but collectively creating a vision and a practice of what the future could look like. A must read.”
Barbara Ransby
Historian, Activist, Author of Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement
Looking at our moment in time through the lens of safety is a brilliant insight—it gets at what so many of us are feeling every day. By offering real solutions rooted in a new way of thinking, Zach Norris has done our society a great service.”
Bill McKibben
Environmentalist, author of Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?
In We Keep Us Safe, Norris shows how a narrative of otherness is woven throughout the stories that make up our society and compels us to see every person as a valuable member of our community.  Only when we do that, can we all be truly safe. He shares a vision of a more inclusive America in which our collective well-being is a priority. We should listen.”
Jonathan Rapping
Founder of Gideon’s Promise