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COVID-19 Student Interviews - Battle, Brittany

Deacon Experiences during COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic


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Portman, Jack
Battle, Brittany
2020-09-10 (issued)
Brittany Battle is a Sociology Professor at Wake Forest University who is involved with the Triad Abolition Project, a group formed in the spring of 2020 to conduct research and disseminate information about racial injustice. It is also known as the main organization to conduct research and organize around the case of John Neville, a Forsyth County man who died in custody in December 2019, having sustained injuries from five correction officers. At the time of this interview, Battle was in the midst of an occupation organized to demand answers about Neville's death and educate the community about systemic racial injustice and in this interview, she explains the lengths that are involved with organizing this type of protest. She explains that, although the community is concerned about COVID-19, protestors have been willing to risk exposure for the sake of protesting violence against people of color. Battle shares her experience being arrested while peacefully protesting Neville's death, emphasizing the disproportionate agression used by the police against her and others protesting. She describes the occupation movement and as "multi-dimensional" and gives examples of sessions local organizations have led to educate the community about topics such as systematic oppression, food insecurity, and mental health. She explains how grassroots movements are positioned to reach everyday members of the community and shares the long-term goal of the Triad Abolition Project, to abolish the carceral state, by pushing for steps in that direction, such as defunding the police and investing in community programs. She encourages others to read about John Neville's case and to learn how America's systems work together to oppress people of color.
Oral histories
Special Collections and Archives
Z. Smith Reynolds Library
Wake Forest University
Office of Civic and Community Engagement (RG22.6)
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Coronavirus infections--History--Sources
COVID-19 (Disease)--History--Sources
Wake Forest University--History--Sources
Neville, John
COVID-19 Student Interviews
Office of Civic and Community Engagement
Race relations
Black lives matter movement
Protest movements--United States
Social justice
Winston-Salem (N.C.)
COVID-19 Student Interviews - Battle, Brittany

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