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Strategies for Protecting Communities of Color in the DMV Region: Defunding the Police and Exploring Other Alternatives to Policing

Join the Urban Institute and the Urban–Greater DC initiative for a virtual discussion on police reform and accountability strategies in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. 

Just over one year ago, Americans gathered across the country in unprecedented numbers to protest the killing of George Floyd and other Black men and women at the hands of police. Thousands of protestors joined demonstrations in the DMV region calling for police accountability and justice reform.

These events recognized the structural racism in our justice system that harms people of color, especially Black people. In the United States, Black and brown people in the United States are killed by police and incarcerated at a higher rate than white people, including here in the DMV. 

One year after these national calls to action and almost a decade into the Black Lives Matter movement, it is critical to review the steps that have been taken and the work still to be done by our local governments to better protect communities of color and hold police accountable for their actions.

This conversation will focus on police funding and reform in the region and provide a contextualized discussion on pathways for reform and the next steps for local movements.



  • Wanika Fisher, Delegate, Maryland General Assembly 
  • Jesse Jannetta, Senior Policy Fellow, Urban Institute 
  • Ashanti Martinez, Organizer, PG Change Makers Coalition 
  • Bethany Young, Deputy Director, DC Justice Lab
  • Monique King-Viehland, Associate Vice President, Urban Institute (moderator)


Revitalizing and Reimagining the DMV after COVID-19 Event Series

As the pandemic continues to exacerbate racial and socioeconomic inequities in the DMV, this series convenes Urban Institute subject matter experts and local changemakers to discuss what support communities need in the short term and how we might reimagine what the region could be after the pandemic, including through a framework for equitable growth. The series is part of Urban–Greater DC, an initiative to build knowledge that empowers Urban scholars and local partners to build on the DMV’s assets to confront inequities and create a region of shared prosperity.


We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. Please email [email protected] if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.


Date & Time Thursday, June 10, 2021

  • Senior Policy Fellow
  • Associate Vice President, Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy