A PATH TO PEACE, JUSTICE, AND STRONGER INSTITUTIONS.
LEWIS' mission is to build a bridge between law enforcement and the communities those officers have sworn to protect and serve, using academic research translated into social commentary and advocating for greater accountability, equal treatment, and mutual respect.
LEWIS addresses inequality in policing across all disproportionately impacted communities. We conduct novel interdisciplinary research, develop unique tools, and build impactful educational programs that enable lasting transformational change in the places where it matters most. LEWIS is a centralized cohort of concerned citizens looking to foster more effective communication between the police and the community, serving as a beacon for meaningful collaboration toward a common goal of building a safer and more equitable society for all of us.
LEWIS is intimately aligned with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #16, to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”
DRIVING TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE WITH A LASTING IMPACT
EDUCATION: We will increase public safety through our BRIDGES Program, providing novel education and training aimed at promoting safer interactions between officers and community members, especially within disproportionately impacted communities.
RESEARCH: We will continue supporting groundbreaking academic research that contributes to greater accountability and transparency in law enforcement, and ensuring that this research is translated into actionable practice that serves the community in a meaningful way.
PROGRESS: We will continue empowering community members with a voice in the conversation on how to improve the police system while also recognizing the difficulty of a law enforcement officer's job, understanding that mutual respect is a necessary condition for positive change.
"IF YOU SEE SOMETHING THAT IS
NOT RIGHT, NOT FAIR, NOT JUST,
YOU HAVE A MORAL OBLIGATION
TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT."
-REP JOHN LEWIS
BUILDING A LEGACY BASED ON JUSTICE, EMPATHY, & RESPECT
Dr. Guëz Salinas and Dr. Erroll Southers conceptualized LEWIS in 2020 out of a sense of responsibility to create change, fueled both by personal experience and frustration with ongoing tragedies involving police violence. When Dr. Salinas was in high school, his best friend was shot in the back by an officer, who was never reprimanded for the incident. With an atypical partnership combining Dr. Salinas' personal experience and cybersecurity expertise and Dr. Southers' experience as both a former officer and an expert in violent extremism, LEWIS was born to be different from other organizations in its approach. Rather than pitting community and law enforcement stakeholders against one another, LEWIS promotes justice and accountability by serving as a credible bridge between both groups, accurately and fairly representing their interests. The public death of George Floyd in 2020 was an undeniable inflection point in the historical arc of the relationship between law enforcement and the citizens they have sworn to both protect and to serve, one that necessitated action. Community stakeholders and activists, several law enforcement agencies and their unions, legislators on both sides of the aisle, and academia support LEWIS' work to increase transparency and build research-backed programs in the law enforcement community and beyond.