BLMforumForum on Race, Policing & Black Lives Matter

by Julius Haag, Centre PhD candidate

On October 14, 2016, the Centre hosted a public forum entitled Race, Policing and Black Lives Matter. The event, organized by Prof. Honor Brabazon of the Centre, brought together a compelling group of presenters, including Marques Banks, from the Black Movement-Law Project, Anthony Morgan, a human rights and public interest lawyer, Prof. Idil Abdillahi, a professor of social work at Ryerson University, and Ravyn Wngz, a member of Black Lives Matter Toronto. The event was moderated by Prof. Akwasi Owusu-Bempah of UTM. The presentations explored the growth and genesis of Black Lives Matter Toronto, the role of law and lawyers in the ongoing struggle for black lives, the crisis of racism and sanism facing black people in Toronto with mental health issues, and the urgent need for continued action to protect black lives and to eradicate anti-blackness in our society.

The presenters illustrated how racialized policing is part of a larger crisis facing racialized people. They demonstrated that the issues currently confronted by black people are not new, but the most recent iteration of centuries of oppression rooted in colonialism and slavery. Rayvn Wngz spoke of the importance of solidarity and collaboration between Black Lives Matter Toronto and other groups facing systemic oppression and marginalization, including Indigenous People in Canada. Anthony Morgan noted that this event took place almost 50 years to the day from the founding of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in Oakland, California. He noted that, much like the Black Panthers, Black Lives Matter Toronto is a movement founded by young people who are fighting to advance important social justice issues.

The presentations were followed by a lively and engaging question period. The organizers also created a hashtag for the event, #CrimBLMForum, and encouraged participants and attendees to tweet about their experiences and impressions of the event.

Click to download the current issue of our newsletter:

October 2016 Newsletter

Criminological HighlightsCriminological Highlights is designed to provide an accessible look at some of the more interesting criminological research that is currently being published. Its focus is on research that is policy relevant. It is produced by a group of about a dozen academics and professional librarians including faculty from the University of Toronto and nearby universities and doctoral students at the University of Toronto. The project is directed by Anthony Doob and Rosemary Gartner.

In the Current Issue (Vol 16, No 2), we ask:

  1. Are the harmful effects on children of the imprisonment of a parent short-lived?
  2. When are crime prevention programs cost-effective?
  3. Does the research evidence suggest that body-worn cameras change police behaviour?
  4. Why are victims of violent crimes likely also to commit violent offences?
  5. Should cities invest in ‘streetworkers’ to help get people to quit being gang members?
  6. What should we think about when creating programs to help ex-prisoners re-enter society?
  7. Does sending people to prison deter them from committing offences in the future?
  8. Why can’t we assume that a crime prevention program that has been shown to be effective will, in fact, be effective when implemented in a new setting?

Special Issues:

  1. Research on Public Confidence in the Criminal Justice System
  2. The Effects of Imprisonment: Specific Deterrence and Collateral Effects
  3. Issues related to Harsh Sentences and Mandatory Minimum Sentences: General Deterrence and Incapacitation



    • TUESDAY NOV 22: Dr. David Murray (York) on “Sexual orientation & gender identity in Canadian immigration policy & law”

    • MONDAY NOV 28: Dr. Fabian Zhilla (Harvard)
      on “Mafiocracy: Organized crime and politics in Albania”



 See More: Our News Archives

undergraduateGraduateThe Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies is a research and teaching unit at the University of Toronto. Founded in 1963 by Professor John Edwards, the Centre’s faculty and students study crime, order and security from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and theoretical approaches. With backgrounds in sociology, history, law, psychology, philosophy and political science, the faculty are actively engaged in Canadian and international criminological research.

The Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies offers a graduate program for masters and doctoral students. The undergraduate Criminology and Sociolegal Studies Program is administered through the Woodsworth College. The Centre’s library (the Criminology Information Service) houses the leading Canadian research collection of criminological material, consisting of more than 25, 000 books, journals, government reports, statistics and other documents.