Session Type(s): Panel, Streamed Session
Starts: Thursday, Jul. 13 4:00 PM (Central)
Ends: Thursday, Jul. 13 5:00 PM (Central)
Room: Continental A
Police partnerships with tech companies offering faulty solutions to gun violence are expanding across the country. ShotSpotter tech aims to reduce gun violence while surveilling overwhelmingly Black and brown communities with microphones. With over 120 contracts in the U.S., ShotSpotter suffered a huge blow when Chicago coalition members successfully placed ending the ShotSpotter contract onto the platform of mayor-elect Brandon Johnson, leading to a 22% drop in the company’s stock and a sudden rebranding as “SoundThinking.” The Stop ShotSpotter coalition was formed to bring together local and national groups to support organizing efforts through FOIAs, communications tools, research, and digital organizing. Over 20,000 people have signed a petition demanding that ShotSpotter be removed from our communities. Join us for a conversation about what’s next for eliminating this threat.
A comms person turned campaigner, Granate Kim is the Campaigns Director at MPower Change, a Muslim, digital-first, movement-building organization fighting for a future free from Islamophobia and white supremacy. MPower Change sees the work to stop ShotSpotter and other police surveillance tech as a continuation of Muslim organizing against state surveillance.
Je Amaechi is a healer, transformative justice activist and harm reduction advocate. Having received a Masters in Philosophy with concentrations in philosophy of mind and critical race theory, Je is passionate about truly understanding the mechanisms of the brain in service of healing trauma and reducing bias. As a systems thinker, she excelled in the tech world but left to do more impactful work. For the past 5 years she has been an organizer for Freedom to Thrive, a non-profit focused on divesting from systems of harm (like the police and prison industrial complexes) and increasing community safety by investing in people and the planet. She is also the Reimagining Community Safety Manager for Unite Oregon, a statewide organization fighting for the rights of Black, Indigenous, immigrant and refugee communities. She is currently on Portland’s Police Accountability Commission, working to create a community-based oversight system. As a community leader, Je has spent almost a decade studying and teaching various healing modalities, and is working on being certified to be a psilocybin facilitator.
Alyx is currently organizing with BYP100 Chicago, a senior organizer and researcher at Action Center on Race and the Economy, and a co-founder and writer with LEFT OUT Magazine. Her writing and activism are centered around the momentum and challenges of building Black power and self-determination. Her work at ACRE currently focuses on the relationship between the finance industry and policing, racialized capitalism, and how these things exacerbate oppressions.
Jonathan Manes is an attorney in the MacArthur Justice Center’s Illinois Office where his practice focuses on civil rights violations that flow from surveillance, police technologies, mass incarceration, and national security policies. He previously led MJC’s work on voting rights. He is an expert in government transparency, free speech, and press freedom, and is an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law reaching on those topics. He currently leads work at the MacArthur Justice Center focused on surveillance technologies, including the ShotSpotter gunshot detection system.
Alejandro Ruizesparza (they/them) is a Co-Director for Lucy Parsons Labs (LPL). LPL is an expert in challenging the development and use of harmful technology through education, investigation, and litigation. To support Chicago’s racial justice movement ecosystem, LPL leverages extensive technical expertise as researchers and technologists, shares findings and techniques with local communities, and uses a robust understanding of litigation to create direct change.