Sunday PlatformVideo

Alex S. Vitale: “Understanding Defunding the Police”

By November 15, 2020 November 23rd, 2020 No Comments

You’ve likely heard the calls for defunding the police, during this summer’s demonstrations against police killings. You may agree and wonder how we could get there, or you may think that defunding goes too far, or you may just wonder what it means. Whatever your reaction, here’s a chance to find out more.

Professor Vitale, who teaches in the Department of Sociology at Brooklyn College and has researched and written about the future of policing for 30 years, will explain the “defund the police” movement and its relationship to the long struggle for racial and economic justice.

Note: This online Sunday Platform is hosted by the Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture.

Alex S. Vitale is Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College and a Visiting Professor at London Southbank University. He has spent the last 30 years writing about policing and consults both police departments and human rights organizations internationally. Prof. Vitale is the author of City of Disorder: How the Quality of Life Campaign Transformed New York Politics and The End of Policing.

His academic writings on policing have appeared in Policing and Society, Police Practice and Research, Mobilization, and Contemporary Sociology. He is also a frequent essayist, whose writings have been published in The NY Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, The Nation, Vice News, Fortune, and USA Today. He has also appeared on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, NPR, PBS, Democracy Now, and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.


Sunday Platform is our most important and long-standing community event. These gatherings educate, stimulate personal growth, inspire reflection and action, and strengthen our community. Sunday meetings usually begin with music, followed by greetings and a talk given by a Society Leader, member, or guest.  Platforms cover a variety of topics that reflect current events, pressing social issues, and Ethical Culture philosophy. A collection basket is passed and money is shared between the Society and a charity selected for that day.  While contributions are always appreciated, Sunday meetings are free and open to the public.  Each Sunday meeting is followed by a luncheon and social hour.

To view previous Sunday Platform addresses and interviews, visit the Ethical NYC YouTube channel.

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