Demar Lewis: "Unveiling the Trauma of the Routine: Illuminating Levels of Persisting Inequity in Conceptions of Community Safety"

Hybrid: In Person, 402 Social Sciences Building & via Zoom

This talk is based on a chapter of Lewis' dissertation which draws on data from open-ended interviews and surveys with 83 Black adults from diverse class backgrounds in Cincinnati, OH–a city whose dynamic history is relevant to 21st Century discussions of community safety. In this presentation, he mobilizes the concept of safety reimagination to capture how class-diverse Black men and women reconstitute their community priorities to elevate root causes of poverty and persisting inequities as fundamental safety concerns to avoid gaslighting themselves and obscuring the material realities of their social condition(s).


Demar F. Lewis IV is a PhD Candidate in Sociology & African American Studies at Yale University. His scholarship uses quantitative, qualitative, and archival methods to examine how historical and contemporary notions of safety influence the ways that Black people organize their lives. Using semi-structured interviews and surveys, Demar's current work pushes sociological understandings of Blackness and sociolegal interpretations of public safety by examining how class-diverse Black adults prioritize their safety concerns and reimagine the future of community safety in the United States. His research has been published in Sociology Compass, received awards from the American Sociological Association’s Theory Section, and has been generously funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Ford Foundation.