Davidson College offers ‘#AbolishThePolice’ course

'#AbolishThePolice: Race and Policing in the U.S.' will be offered in the fall 2021 semester that teaches policing through the lens of race, gender, and disability.

The curriculum examines policing in connection to race, gender, and disability.

Davidson College is offering “#Abolishthepolice: Race and Policing in the U.S.” this fall.

Listed under Africana Studies, “#Abolishthepolice” intends to “enlist  Black political and feminist theories and social and political philosophies to critically examine and think through issues of race, criminalization, incarceration, police militarization, predictive policing, surveillance, and domestic security.” 

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The description also states, “Scholars have shown that Black, brown, and indigenous people are disproportionate police targets. And because police violence and gendered violence are intrinsically connected, Black trans and gender nonconforming people, and Black people with disabilities and mental health issues, routinely experience surveillance, arrest, incarceration, and sexual assault at the hands of law enforcement at significantly higher rates than any other racial demographic.”

The course satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought prerequisite as part of the “Ways of Knowing” requirement, which is designed to help students “examine complex problems through diverse methods of inquiry, understand how different kinds of knowledge are generated, and identify appropriate standards for evaluating knowledge in different realms.” 

#Abolishthepolice” comes nearly a year after Davidson College spent $1 million promoting racial justice in “white dominant” churches in 2020.

Jay Pfeifer, the director of media relations for Davidson College, told Campus Reform that the course is in line with the values of Davidson College.

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”Davidson’s values are most clearly expressed in its Statement of Purpose, with which you undoubtedly are familiar. That statement expresses clearly that Davidson is a student-focused institution of higher learning, grounded in the Christian Reformed Tradition and therefore faithful to a God bound by no church or creed,” Pfeifer said. “The offering of any class, whatever its title, reflects that it covers a subject worth studying. Grounded in these values, Davidson assists students in developing humane instincts and disciplined and creative minds for lives of leadership and service. We hope our graduates think clearly, make relevant value judgments, discriminate among values, and communicate freely in the realm of ideas.”

As of this writing, the course, which begins on August 23, currently has 7 seats available out of the  25 student cap.

Campus Reform reached out to Claudia Garcia-Rojas, the course instructor; this article will be updated accordingly. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @ErikJEva