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.
Defund Fear shows us how we can make the most vulnerable among us safe, and heal this land after so much division and dehumanization. My heartfelt thanks to author Zach Norris for redefining safety.
Edgar VillanuevaAuthor of Decolonizing Wealth
Defund Fear powerfully demonstrates that safety, freedom, and justice come from relationships, resources, and real accountability—not more punishment, police, and prisons.
Michelle AlexanderAuthor of The New Jim Crow
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. Defund Fear 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 KivelEducator, Activist, Author of Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice
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 McKibbenEnvironmentalist, author of Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?
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 StevensonAuthor of Just Mercy
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 KohnAuthor of The Opposite of Hate
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 RansbyHistorian, Activist, Author of Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement
In Defund Fear, 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.