Presented by:

Aaron Dixon
he | him | his

Soffiyah Elijah
she | her | hers

Yanet Pumariega
she | her | hers

The Black Lives Matter movement and the Defund the Police Movement are two of the most dynamic social movements in U.S. history. As these movements continue to force change in our approach to policing and to organizing in the US, we are asked to reimagine a different system that can provide safety for our communities and peoples. How can we honor that request for change while also acknowledging that radical revolutionary change requires the selfishness and solidarity to look at other peoples and countries struggles as a part of our own? The United States has a tendency of appealing to U.S. exceptionalism when approaching domestic struggles against systemic oppression that are, in fact, global struggles. In order to stop perpetuating such insular and unproductive approaches, and get to the root of our problems, we need to look at other countries around the world and their experiences to create structural societal changes in terms of policing and community safety. In this webinar, we would like to look at policing in Cuba post-revolution and how under their society, the police force has been transformed.

As Dr. King once said “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. One lingering injustice is U.S. policy and attitudes towards Cuba. The policy has many faces, the trade embargo being the most well known, as well the constant political adversarialism posed by the U.S. against Cuba. This webinar aims to connect the struggle for peace and racial justice to a transnational approach through the study case of Cuba. By bringing together black and brown leaders from Cuba, the U.S. and the PNW together, we hope that this dialogue will contribute to connect our activism against militarized violence and broaden the scope of how we think about peace, justice and community safety at home and abroad.

This workshop will bring together the voices of Cuban Ambassador, Yanet Pumariega Pérez; human rights advocate, attorney and Executive Director of Alliance of Families for Justice (AFJ), Soffiyah Elijah; and Seattle Black Panther Party co-founder and author, Aaron Dixon. Our presentation will empower participants to learn from Cuba about alternatives to the American militarized, racist and patriarchal model of policing. It will also encourage self-reflection about how Cuban society is impacted by the racism breeding at home in the U.S. and how we can connect our struggles through histories and geographies. Former Venceremos lawyer, Soffiyah Elijah, and Seattle Black Panther Party co-founder and author, and Aaron Dixon, will draw some of the connections relevant to us in the U.S. and Pacific Northwest, while Yanet Pumariega will speak from the perspective of an Afro-Cuban lawyer, woman and Ambassador.

Audience: Adults: Community, Educators, Human Rights / Social Justice Professionals, Young Adults (14+)