Informatics Seminar Series
Spring Quarter 2024

Friday, April 5, 2024

“#SchoolsNotPrisons: Participatory Action Research Notes from the abolitionist movement to reimagine public safety in The Carceral State”

David C. Turner III, PhD
Senior Advisor/Assistant Professor of Black Life and Racial Justice
Alliance for Boys and Men of Color and UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs

In the United States, racial capitalism has facilitated the organized abandonment of minoritized communities through the removal of resources, the expansion of carceral and surveillance technologies, and the premature death of entire populations facilitated by the state. While these conditions seem insurmountable, communities have organized mass movements to fight organized abandonment and combat austerity.  What strategies do these movements use? How do these movements incorporate direct action organizing, strategic policy demands, electoral strategies, and research to facilitate social change?

Based on over twelve years of organizing experience and field notes, over 30,000 participatory action research surveys collected, and successful campaigns at nearly every level of government, Dr. Turner details how communities worked collaboratively to change what he calls, “carceral common sense,” in other words, how the state manufactured consent to facilitate the massive removal of social welfare programs and policies and institute a state of mass incarceration and control. Dr. Turner details how youth and community organizers leveraged participatory action research, among other strategies, to change material conditions and combat the dispossession brought on by racial capitalism.

Dr. David C. Turner III is a Senior Advisor at the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, working with the team to develop internal infrastructure and on campaigns to uplift community schools, transform school discipline, and decriminalize youth and communities of color. Dr. Turner was a partner with the Alliance as the manager of the Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition in Los Angeles, a part of the inaugural ABMoC Data Fellowship with the Tableau foundation, and as a staff member with the Social Justice Learning Institute in Inglewood, CA, his hometown. Dr. Turner holds a Ph.D. in Education from UC Berkeley, a Master’s in Education from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA in Africana Studies from CSU Dominguez Hills. He also holds an appointment with the Department of Social Welfare as an assistant professor of Black Life and Racial Justice at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.

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