Safety, Justice, and Health Learning Community

What is the relationship between safety, justice, and health in the United States? How do the goals of public safety and social justice interact? How can our interdisciplinary research inform criminal justice policy and violence prevention, as well as meaningfully contribute to social movements advocating for justice and community wellbeing?

In the academic year 2021-2022, the Initiative on Cities is supporting the establishment of a learning community at the intersection of public health, community safety, and justice — under the leadership of Assistant Professor of Sociology Jessica Simes (BU CAS) and Assistant Professor of Community Health Sciences Jonathan Jay (BU SPH). Boston University has a wealth of experts and scholars researching topics related to household and community violence, police violence, incarceration, prison conditions, and non-policing interventions to address violence, among other related topics. We hope that this year-long series will build bridges across the campus, and lead to a richer understanding of how we should be approaching community safety.

In late Fall 2021, we will host several discussion panels made of 3-4 discussants each on the topics of safety, justice, and health. Participants will briefly present their work and engage in an inter-disciplinary discussion on the key connections, gaps, and areas of opportunity amongst their research. In early 2022 we will convene a workshop discussion to build the agenda and goals for the Spring semester.

If you have any questions or are a member of the BU community who would like to participate, please contact our Graduate Student Coordinator Kimberly Rhoten (they/them), Doctoral Candidate in Sociology (BU CAS) at

Discussant Submission Form

We are inviting BU faculty and graduate students to present as part of the fall sessions. Please complete the form below if you are interested in presenting:

  • Please select all that apply
  • Please select all that work for you.
  • Please note that events may be hybrid, with remote and in-person attendees.