The Massey Dialogues – Prof. Akwasi Owusu-Bempah on Colonialism and Criminal Justice: Addressing the Legacy

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The Massey Dialogues – Prof. Akwasi Owusu-Bempah on Colonialism and Criminal Justice: Addressing the Legacy

March 31 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT


How is the experience of Black people with Crime and Policing linked to Colonialism? Will it have an impact on the way we address COVID-19?

For the first event in The Massey Dialogues series, Principal Des Rosiers will interview Senior Fellow and Sociology Professor Akwasi Owusu-Bempah about the most important aspects of his research, followed by a conversation with 2017-18 Southam Journalism Fellow and Toronto Star Staff Reporter Jim Rankin, as well as Alex Luscombe, a Junior Fellow pursuing a PhD in the Department of Criminology.

The Dialogues are open to the public – we invite everyone to join and take part in what will be a very informative online discussion.

Click here Tuesday at 4:00pm EST to join this livestream event. Participants are invited to submit questions to the speakers in real time via the youtube channel’s chat function as well as through Twitter with the hashtag #MasseyDialogues.

Akwasi Owusu-Bempah is a criminologist, and an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto. He is a Policy Fellow at the Broadbent Institute, a Massey College alumnus, and a Senior Fellow. Dr. Owusu-Bempah’s work focuses on the intersections of race, crime and criminal justice, with a particular interest in the area of policing. His current projects include: a study of Black males’ perceptions of and experiences with the police in Greater Toronto Area, and an examination of representations of Blackness in Canadian print media. He is also the Director of Research for Cannabis Amnesty, and last fall delivered a TedxToronto talk on, “The Untapped Promise of Cannabis Legalization.”

Jim Rankin is a reporter-photographer at the Toronto Star. He specializes in investigations, data journalism and features, and is currently assigned to write on policing and justice issues … from his backyard shed. In 2002, he led a Michener Award-winning investigative series into race, policing and crime in Toronto, which led to repeated Star investigations into the police practice of carding and racial disparities. Other recent stories he’s worked on revealed racial disparities in Ontario’s child protection system, jail populations, school suspensions and cannabis charges. He was also part of a team that produced a 2015 series on murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. Jim was a Massey College journalism fellow two years ago, and is a recipient of the Harry Jerome Award.

Alex Luscombe is a PhD student in the Department of Criminology. Alex’s research is broad, and includes research on issues of policing and security intelligence, the corporate sponsorship of police, Freedom of Information Acts, and the policing of illicit drug use. Along with Senior Fellow, Dr. Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, Alex recently produced a number of reports on cannabis; policing and racial justice in Canada. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Carleton University in Ottawa, and was chair of the Accessing Justice panel at the University of Winnipeg. Outside of academia, Alex is an avid sports player.


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March 31
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


4 Devonshire Place
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2E1 Canada