Why More People and Public Defenders Need to Think and Advocate Systemically w Olayemi Olurin
Today on the Public Defenseless Podcast, Hunter spoke with Olyaemi Olurin, a political commentator, activist, abolitionist and public defender at the New York Legal Aid Society. As with all of the advocacy she does, Olayemi brings unrelenting passion to unpack the ways in which our system of mass incarceration is allowed to survive. While many people claim to be shocked and appalled by individual injustices it produces, those very same people will turn around and fight tooth and nail to pull back even the most modest of reforms.
Ultimately, this stems from the failure to look at stories like Kalief Browder or George Floyd for what they are: one of many produced by a system that to its core is rotten. While many public defenders are fighting admirably in court against this system, there must be a shift to systemic advocacy if we are to ever solve the issues plaguing communities around the country. Olayemi leans on her experience in the fight to close Rikers and her everyday battles in court rooms in New York to reveal the many ways those interested in the status quo of mass incarceration are able to sustain it.