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Portrait of Elizabeth Wrigley Field

Racism's Hidden Toll

In America, how long you live depends on the color of your skin. Assistant professor of sociology Elizabeth Wrigley-Field helps reveal that if Black people were immune to the coronavirus, their mortality rate in 2020 would still likely surpass white people's.
Portrait of Michelle Phelps

Minneapolis police face staffing challenges as violence rises

University of Minnesota sociology Prof. Michelle Phelps says that other cities experienced unrest after a controversial police killing, not because police were being less proactive, but because a lack of community confidence created an atmosphere of lawlessness. Slower response times only further chipped away at public trust, she says, creating a “self-fulfilling cycle.”
Police in riot gear graphic art

Defunding the police: Could it hurt or help elder abuse efforts?

"They respond to family disturbances, elder abuse, a culture of homelessness, traffic, all kinds of things they're not necessarily trained to do," said Page. "In many cases, they don't want to be doing a lot of these things. Police chiefs sometimes ask: 'Why are we expected to be a social worker, an elder specialist, a superhuman?" Professor Joshua Page is quoted in this Star Tribune article.
Portrait of Michelle Phelps

What Does "Dismantling" the Police Really Mean?

The Minneapolis City Council is moving forward with a proposed amendment to the city’s charter that would disband the current police department and replace it with a Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention. Voters will ultimately decide the fate of the council’s proposal in November if it passes some bureaucratic hurdles in meantime. This week on Dialogue Minnesota, University of Minnesota Associate Professor of Sociology Michelle Phelps discusses systemic racism in our nation’s police departments and what a new vision for law enforcement might look like.