In our fourth episode, we once again focus on the topic of Public Safety, but this time from an abolitionist perspective. This episode features community organizer and abolitionist Tynetta Hill-Muhammad in conversation with interviewer Andrea Hernandez. A student and community outreach worker, Hill-Muhammad, 25, also works as the Chicago Chapter Organizer for BYP100, or Black Youth Project 100. The photo they describe in this episode was taken on Aug. 19, 2021, at a rally outside a Chicago Police Department district office in Englewood. They stand speaking to a crowd and the press, in front of a banner that reads, in part, “Defund the Police.” For Hill-Muhammad, the photo represents a moment in time that reinforced their belief that police are not necessary for public safety—in fact, only community members have what they need to keep one another safe.
Chicago community organizer and abolitionist Tynetta Hill-Muhammad grew up in Louisiana. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, as thousands of residents waited to be rescued, they watched police arrest, shoot, and in some cases kill residents seeking basic supplies from local stores. That was the only spark Hill-Muhammad needed to envision a safer world without police. After moving to Chicago, they encountered the work of Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), a national, member-based organization of young Black organizers and activists dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. Today she’s the Chicago Chapter Organizer with BYP100, and works in organizing spaces across the city on initiatives around food sovereignty, transformative justice, and public health.
Interviewer Andrea Hernandez began serving as a member of the Youth District Advisory Council when she was in high school. Now 20 years old, Hernandez is completing college coursework and pursuing plans to work as a Chicago Police Department officer. She credits YDAC for her growth and understanding of the importance of public and community safety.
Artwork: Dan MacDonald Studios
Audio Producer: Samantha Gattsek
Executive Producers: Mareva Lindo & Elissa Yancey
This podcast is brought to you by Public Narrative and A Picture’s Worth.
Resources and Links
Our Stories Our World podcast site: http://apicturesworth.org/publicnarrative
Public Narrative: http://publicnarrative.org
A Picture’s Worth: http://apicturesworth.org
BYP100 Chicago Chapter: https://www.byp100.org/copy-of-new-page
Cathy Cohen: http://blackyouthproject.com/about-us/cathy-j-cohen/
16 Shots: The Police Shooting of Laquan McDonald:https://www.wbez.org/shows/16-shots/55c63c72-d518-4ad9-b5dc-dd0d841d79a7?gclid=Cj0KCQiAys2MBhDOARIsAFf1D1czFcyHIcOl_vyZ3g7m3Xl1kjbSeOGoRIaq7stbiDCAR6E7hfgGKz8aAq38EALw_wcB
Activists Want City to Cut Ties with ShotSpotter: