Robyn Maynard

Abolish the Police, Abolish Prisons: Black liberation in a time of revolt

Photo of Robin Maynard
Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020
7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Online via Zoom

This talk will address the ways that processes of captivity and surveillance have been embedded within Canadian state institutions from the period of Black peoples enslavement and onward into the present moment. Providing a critique of policing and prisons as forms of racial and gendered violence, it will map out a vision geared toward abolitionist futures.


Robyn Maynard is the author of the award-winning book Policing Black Lives: State violence in Canada from slavery to the present. The book, her first, is a national bestseller in its third printing. Helping to create a national conversation on anti-Black racism in Canada, she has been touring the book across Canada to sold-out venues since its release. In the words of the Winnipeg Free Press: "Every Canadian—black, white, Indigenous or otherwise—could benefit from reading Maynard's frank and thorough assessment of racism in Canada". 

Maynard has published writing in the Washington PostWorld Policy Journal, the Toronto Star, the Montreal Gazette and Canadian Women's Studies journal, as well as an essay for Maisonneuve Magazine which won the acclaim of "most-read essay of 2017". Her writing on race, gender, and discrimination is taught widely in universities across Canada and the United States. Her expertise is regularly sought in local, national and international media outlets including The Guardian and the Globe and Mail, and additionally, she has spoken before Parliamentary subcommittees and the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent.

Additionally, Maynard has a long history of involvement in community activism and advocacy. She has been a part of grassroots movements against racial profiling, police violence, detention and deportation for over a decade and has an extensive work history in harm reduction-based service provision.