Cat Brooks’ activism against police violence has sparked the work of her Anti Police-Terror Project and the Justice Teams Network and has greatly advanced the conversation around police accountability.
It was the killing of Oscar Grant in 2009 by a BART police officer at an Oakland station that launched Cat Brooks’ activism against police violence.
In 2009, feeling “sick to her stomach” by a video of a BART police officer killng Oscar Grant at an Oakland station, Brooks joined activists fighting for justice to form the Anti Police-Terror Project.
The project, aimed at eradicating police killings, launched Oakland’s and Sacramento’s first non 911 response to mental health crises and a non-law enforcement response to domestic violence. It created a ground-breaking opportunity for the region to imagine a new approach to community safety.
Brooks went on to co-host KPFA’s UpFront morning news show and she ran for Oakland mayor in 2018.
Brooks’ activism and creativity are rooted in her early life and drive her work as an artist, innovator, communicator, organizer, and advocate. Born to a Black union-member father and a white mother who advocated against domestic violence, Brooks learned about social justice issues at a very young age.
She now serves as Executive Director of The Justice Teams Network that seeks to end all forms of state violence across California while continuing to advocate for an anti-racist and more equitable society.
“We can do better as a city and a nation, but we have to do it on the front end. Invest in people, not police, and we’ll have healthier people and safer communities,” she wrote recently on Facebook.