Crime, Justice & Truth


“For history, as nearly no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read. And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do. It could scarcely be otherwise, since it is to history that we owe our frames of reference, our identities, and our aspirations”
 — James Baldwin



Tony Gaskew, Ph.D. is a critical race theorist who has spent the last three decades examining the Black radical traditions response to systemic and direct anti-Black police violence in America. He is currently a full Professor of Criminal Justice and Africana Studies, Director of the Criminal Justice Program, and Founding Director of the Prison Education Program at the University of Pittsburgh, Bradford.
As a Fulbright-Hays Scholar, Dr. Gaskew has conducted ethnographic research across Africa, Gaza, and Palestine, exploring the connection between African spirituality and the virtues of truth, justice, balance, harmony, order, righteousness, and reciprocity.
Dr. Gaskew has been the recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) FCI McKean, for his decade long collaborative efforts with incarcerated educators and students, establishing post-secondary educational programming within carceral spaces. In 2019, he established post-secondary programming at Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PDOC) SCI Forest, specifically designed for incarcerated students who are juvenile lifers. Dr. Gaskew was invited to the White House to spearhead discussions on higher education initiatives inside prisons.
Dr. Gaskew has authored over forty books, book chapters, and journal articles, and is the editor of the book series, Contemporary Issues in Race, Crime, and Justice (Rowman & Littlefield). In his upcoming book, Stop Trying to Fix Policing: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines of Black Liberation, (2021, Lexington - Rowman & Littlefield), he examines police abolition through the critical lens of the Black Radical Tradition.


tony gaskew


Born and raised in the Southside neighborhood of Roseland in Chicago, he is a former M.P.D. police-detective and highly decorated member of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (O.C.D.E.T.F).  



After completing his doctoral studies at NSU, he was awarded a Fulbright Hays Fellowship, an FDD Terrorism Fellowship, and a University of Pittsburgh Diversity Fellowship, where he conducted ethnographic fieldwork across the globe including Kemet (Egypt).







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Stop Trying to Fix Policing: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines of Black Liberation (Critical Perspectives on Race, Crime, and Justice)

In Stop Trying to Fix Policing: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines of Black Liberation, Tony Gaskew guides readers through the phenomena of police abolition, using the cultural lens of the Black radical tradition. The author weaves an electrifying combination of critical race theory, spiritual inheritance, decolonization, self-determination, and armed resistance, into a critical autoethnographic journey that illuminates the rituals of revolution required for dismantling the institution of American policing. Stop Trying to Fix Policing is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the rhetoric of police reform, to the next step: contributing to the formation of a world without policing.



Rethinking Prison Reentry: Transforming Humiliation into Humility

Over more than a decade Tony Gaskew has been involved in many social justice oriented activities, including his work as a post-secondary educator within the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) FCI McKean, working with incarcerated students on prison-based education initiatives. He has authored numerous publications on the topics of race, crime, and social justice, including one of his most recent books, Rethinking Prison Reentry: Transforming Humiliation into Humility (Lexington - Rowman & Littlefield).

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Rethinking Prison Reentry: Transforming Humiliation into Humility

Tony Gaskew's new research is a carefully crafted study of the role of the prison industry and the intergenerational destruction it has wrought upon people of color in the United States. It is a must read for those interested in social justice, peacebuilding, criminal justice, and African American studies.
(Sean Byrne, University of Manitoba)

Rethinking Prison Reentry provides an insightful, introspective, sensitive, but powerful statement about the importance of redemption for incarcerated black students and youth. This work should be, without question, a required reading for all those interested in a more proactive approach to the criminal justice system, race and ethnic relations, and the overarching impact on the black community within American society. (Tina Jaeckle, Flagler College)

This is a very powerful, well-researched book on issues we know far too little about or choose intentionally to ignore. Gaskew takes the reader through the corrections system using the multiple lenses of his vast experience in law enforcement and as scholar and teacher, and his own lived experience as a black man in America. This book connects the dots in new ways, and is easy to read and refreshingly candid. This book will also challenge the reader to examine and re-examine some deeply held beliefs and myths about our criminal justice system, the role of corrections, and our notions of race and justice. Gaskew does not stop at a critique, but powerfully presents and argues for the ways in which our corrections system can offer new hope and opportunities for redemption and transformation to us all. (Judith McKay, Nova Southeastern University)



Building Peace in America

Introduction: Who Builds Peace? Emily Sample Part 1: Framing our Conversation of Peacebuilding in the United States Chapter 1: Peacebuilding Begins at Home: A Call to U.S. Peacebuilders, Bridget Moix Chapter 2: Social Justice as Peacebuilding in Black Churches: Where Do We Go From Here? Beverly Janet Goins Part 2: Doing Good (?): Dialogue, Difference, and Ethical Practice Chapter 3: What Can They Be Thinking? Fostering Dialogue Across Divides, Melinda Burrell Chapter 4: Living Room Conversations: Identity Formation and Democracy, Jessica Shryack, Linda Taylor, Beth Raps, and Joan Blades Chapter 5: Peacebuilding Programs in the United States: First Do No Harm, Elizabeth Hume Part 3: Social Spaces and Social Practices of Peacebuilding Chapter 6: Museum Education and Social Justice in Latinx Communities, Michelle Tovar Chapter 7: Service for Peace: Working with Students and Youth to Plant the Future, Eddah Mutua Chapter 8: Environmental In/Justice: Peacebuilding in the Anthropocene, Emily Sample Part 4: Confronting Direct and Structural Racial Violence: The Paths Forward Chapter 9: From Heritage Politics to Hate: Neo-Confederate Novels and White Protectionism, Danielle Christmas Chapter 10: Legacy of Slavery: A New Approach to Reparations, Sarah Federman Chapter 11: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in Maryland: From Narrative Change to Racial Healing, Charles Chavis, Jr. Chapter 12: Stop Trying to Fix Policing: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines of Black Liberation, Tony Gaskew Part 5: In the Spirit of Self Reflection: Discussions on Gender and Nation Chapter 13: Empowered Women Empower Women: Peacebuilding in the Age of #MeToo, Shelly Clay-Robison, Melinda Burrell, Elizabeth Hume, Deena R. Hurwitz, Emily Sample and Kate E. Temoney Chapter 14: "We Don't Need No Stinkin' Peacebuilding...": The Paradox of Order in the Shadow of Chaos, Patricia A. Maulden.



Human Dignity: Practices, Discourses, and Transformations

Preface; Chipamong Chowdhury; Foreword Linda M. Hartling; Chapter One Introduction Michael Britton; Chapter Two Growing Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies: Without Falling Prey to Neoliberal Norms David C. Yamada; Chapter Three Everyday Dignity: The Surprising Power of “Small” Acts Claudia E. Cohen; Chapter Four Reclaiming Common Bases of Human Dignity Janet Gerson; Chapter Five The Language of Respect and Dignity for Intercultural Understanding and Conflict Resolution: Application to Diplomacy and Education Noriko Ishihara; Chapter Six Dignity and Therapeutic Jurisprudence: How We Can Best End Shame and Humiliation Michael L. Perlin; Chapter Seven Humiliation, Social Justice, and Ethno-Mimesis Maggie O’Neill; Chapter Eight School Discipline: A Prosocial Perspective Philip M. Brown; Chapter Nine Mindfulness, the Reawakening of Black Dharma, and Mastering the Art of Policing Tony Gaskew; Chapter Ten Suspension Bridge Mental Health Network for Human Dignity Michelle Jones; Chapter Eleven Human Dignity and Human Rights Terms in Transition Zaynab El Bernoussi; Chapter Twelve On the Problem of Evil and Violations of Human Dignity: A Moral Approach to Transforming Humiliating and Degrading Treatment of Person Kebadu Mekonnen Gebremariam; Chapter Thirteen World Dignity University Initiative in the Amazon Rainforest: A Transformational Learning Experience Mariana I. Vergara Esquivel; Chapter Fourteen Full Circle: With Gratitude to Our Dearest Evelin Lindner Judith Revesz; Chapter Fifteen Moving Beyond Humiliation: A Relational Conceptualization of Human Rights Linda M. Hartling.



Race, Education and Reintegrating Formerly Incarcerated Citizens

Race, Education, and Reintegrating Formerly Incarcerated Citizens: Counterstories and Counterspaces (Critical Perspectives on Race, Crime, and Justice)

by John R. Chaney (Editor, Contributor), Joni Schwartz (Editor, Contributor), Elliott Dawes (Foreword), Tiheba Bain (Contributor), Michael Baston (Contributor), Michael Carey (Contributor), Terrance Coffie (Contributor), Norman Conti (Contributor), Colleen P. Eren (Contributor), Cory Feldman (Contributor), Elaine Frantz (Contributor), Tony Gaskew (Contributor), Joshua Halberstam (Contributor), Davon T. Harris (Contributor), Michael Holzman (Contributor), Jane MacKillop (Contributor), Brian Miller (Contributor), Joserichsen Mondesir (Contributor), Paul J. Schwartz (Contributor), Dwayne Simpson (Contributor), Timothy Stater (Contributor), Carlyle Van Thompson (Contributor)



Law Enforcement

Law Enforcement in the Age of Black Lives Matter: Policing Black and Brown Bodies (Critical Perspectives on Race, Crime, and Justice)

by Sandra E. Weissinger (Editor, Contributor), Dwayne A. Mack (Editor, Contributor), Hector Y. Adames (Contributor), Marlon L. Bailey (Contributor), Derrick R. Brooms (Contributor), Nayeli Y. Chavez-Dueñas (Contributor), Kevin Cokley (Contributor), Ramya Garba (Contributor), Tony Gaskew (Contributor), Warren K. Graham (Contributor), Dee Hill-Zuganelli (Contributor), Ashley N. Hurst (Contributor), Shakira A. Kennedy (Contributor), Nolan T. Krueger (Contributor), Felicia W. Mack (Contributor), Rebecca G. Martínez (Contributor), Folusho Otuyelu (Contributor), Wornie Reed (Contributor), F. Tyler Sergent (Contributor)



Systemic Humiliation In America

Systemic Humiliation In America: Finding Dignity within Systems of Degradation

Addresses timely and often overlooked topics (humiliation, shame, and dignity) Takes a broad and interdisciplinary approach, incorporating insights from the fields of sociology, social psychology, criminology, moral philosophy, and conflict analysis Provides many examples and applications of "systemic humiliation" in the United States, with international implications by Daniel Rothbart, who is Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, USA. In addition to serving as Co-Director of the Program for the Prevention of Mass Violence, he chairs the Sudan Task Group, an organization that seeks to build long-term peace in Sudan, Africa. Book Launch Speakers: Daniel Rothbart, Editor: S-CAR Professor Solon Simmons: S-CAR Professor Tony Gaskew, University of Pittsburgh (Bradford) Karina Korostelina: S-CAR Professor Joseph Montville: S-CAR Professor David Ragland: Pacifica Graduate Institute Arthur Romano: S-CAR Professor



Crimes Against Humanity in the Land of the Free

Crimes against Humanity in the Land of the Free

by Imani Michelle Scott (Editor) Professor Tony Gaskew, University of Pittsburgh (Bradford) This vital book considers the compelling and addictive hold that racism has had on centuries of Americans, explores historical and contemporary norms complicit in the problem, and appeals to the U.S. government to improve race relations, rectify existent social imperfections, and guard against future race-based abuses. Presents the inescapable evidence of persistent social violence, inequalities, and injustices perpetrated against blacks within America's borders prior to and for centuries since the nation's founding Identifies the negative psycho-social consequences and harmful impact of "transgenerated trauma"―based on the experiences of living in an overtly oppressive society for centuries―on both the oppressed and the oppressor in America Emphasizes the necessity for all American citizens to share the responsibility for exposing historical truths, working through painful memories and realities, engaging in long-avoided dialogue, and implementing systems to assure a more just America for all its citizens



Policing Muslim American Communities

Policing Muslim American Communities: A Compendium of Post 9/11 Interviews

by Professor Tony Gaskew, PhD

This book examines the experiences and social conflicts facing Muslim Americans in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, providing insight on how the highly politicized and tense atmosphere which followed the events of 9/11 impacted the relationship between law enforcement agencies and Muslim American Communities.

Dr. Gaskew is currently a tenured full Professor of Criminal Justice, Director of the Criminal Justice Program, and Founding Director of the nationally recognized Prison Education Program at the University of Pittsburgh (Bradford).

Dr. Tony Gaskew


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Dr. Tony Gaskew: "Life Support: Ritual, Community, and Healing Through the Eyes of a Juvenile Lifer.”
Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict
Columbia University in New York City, December 5 – 6, 2019

Click link below to view video on YouTube

Tony Gaskew contributes to Pre-Planned Dignilogue 1 (Dignity + Dialogue), on the morning of December 5, 2019, at the 16th Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict, which took place at Columbia University in New York City, December 5 – 6, 2019. Dr. Tony Gaskew is a Full Professor of Criminal Justice, Director of Criminal Justice, and Founding Director of the Prison Education Program at the University of Pittsburgh, Bradford. (Please be aware that this is an unedited video.) See more on: - - -

Dr. Tony Gaskew: School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution,
George Mason University, April 27, 2018


Book Launch Speakers Daniel Rothbart, Editor: S-CAR Professor Solon Simmons: S-CAR Professor Tony Gaskew, University of Pittsburgh (Bradford) Karina Korostelina: S-CAR Professor Joseph Montville: S-CAR Professor David Ragland: Pacifica Graduate Institute Arthur Romano: S-CAR Professor

This volume examines a wide range of current social and political systems in the United States that strategically deploy humiliation as a means of controlling certain population groups. In this book launch chapter authors provide in-depth studies of humiliation-power that penetrates one's sense of self by degrading, devaluing and diminishing one's 'soul.' Conflicts over race, ethnicity and power are examined. Humiliation-power is embedded seamlessly in the operations of bureaucrats, routine decisions of a political agency regarding the interactions with marginalized people. Chapter authors also explore the prospects for corrective measures that foster dignifying relations.

Tony Gaskew


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MIT Media Lab








Demystifying Defunding, Reform, & Abolition

Tuesday, February 23rd 2021 | 12:30-2:00pm Tony Gaskew, PhD is a Panelist

Join Carlow University’s Social Justice Institutes and the Atkins Center for Ethics for a panel demystifying recent calls for police reform, defunding, and abolition.

Virtual, Free, & Open to the Public.






“Stop Trying to Fix Policing: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines of Black Liberation.” (virtual)

34th Annual Human DHS Conference, Columbia University, NYC, December 2020

“Stop Trying to Fix Policing: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines of Black Liberation.” (virtual)

Social Justice Roundtable, Nova Southern University, October 2020

“Philosophy in Playwork.” National Playwork Conference, 8 Weeks of Conference, (virtual)

London, United Kingdom, September 2020

“COINTELPRO-Pittsburgh.” PITT 0210-Anti-Black Racism: History, Ideology, and Resistance, (virtual)

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA., September 2020

“The Ritual of Black Armed Resistance: Police Abolition Through the Eyes of the Black Radical Tradition.” (virtual)

Kroc School of Peace Studies, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA., September 2020

“Lets Talk About the Costs of Decriminalizing or Legalizing Marijuana.” SPOAC (virtual)

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, August 2020



December 5-6, 2019

"Life Support: Ritual, Community, and Healing Through the Eyes of a Juvenile Lifer.”

34th Annual Human DHS Conference, Columbia University, NYC




October 25, 2019; Friday, at 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Ballroom of the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center. 215 S Depeyster St, Kent, Ohio 44240

When Government Kills: State Violence and Youth Movements


Gaskew to speak at Kent State anniversary event

Gaskew Tony

Dr. Tony Gaskew, professor of criminal justice, will take part in a panel discussion in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Kent State shootings.

The discussion, “When Government Kills: State Violence and Youth Movements” is part of an international conference at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, Oct. 24 through Oct. 26.

Kent State's School of Peace and Conflict Studies is sponsoring the conference as part of

Activities surrounding the 50th anniversary of the May 4, 1970, shooting by the Ohio National Guard of Kent State students during a demonstration against the U.S. wars in Vietnam and Cambodia, and the occupation of the Kent State campus by the Ohio National Guard.

“The horrific shootings that took place during the student-led protests at Kent State University in 1970, are a sober reminder that the threat of state violence has always existed in one form or another on college campuses,” Gaskew said.

“As Kwame Ture once noted, students on a college campus play a vital role in society, serving as the gatekeepers of revolutionary change. The state has always feared this reality. This is true today, just as it was 60 years ago.”  

The other experts in the discussion include Christine Nobliss, a Plains Cree-Salteaux from the George Gordon First Nation in Canada who is active with Standing Rock youth activists; Dr. Thomas Grace, a nationally recognized historian and one of the Kent State University students shot by the Ohio National Guard; and Sibley Hawkins, program officer at the International Center for Transitional Justice at Kent State University.

Gaskew is director of the criminal justice program at Pitt-Bradford and has more than 20 years of policing experience. He is a Fulbright Hays Fellow and is the founding director of the Prison Education Program, where he has created post-secondary education initiatives in prisons since 2007.

Gaskew garnered national recognition when he was selected by the White House and the Obama administration to serve on a criminal justice roundtable. Over the past several years, he has spearheaded numerous grant-funded research projects that have examined the impact of systemic racism within the policing culture and the broader criminal justice system, and new pedagogical platforms in post-secondary prison education programming. 

He is the author of two books, “Policing Muslim American Communities” and “Rethinking Prison Reentry: Transforming Humiliation into Humility.” His upcoming third book project, “Stop Trying to Fix Policing: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines,” is a critical examination of community-controlled alternatives to policing in America.


Oct. 25, 2019




December 6 – 7, 2018

2018 Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict: "What Is the Language of Dignity?"

Tony Gaskew, PhD: Learning to Speak the Language of Police Abolition

Professor of Criminal Justice, University of Pittsburgh, Bradford

The state-sponsored social experiment known as policing has come to a clear and distinct crossroads in America. With its origins in the underbelly of enslavement, policing has left a horrific legacy of direct and systemic violence against the Pan-African diaspora in America. As scholars, practitioners, and community activists, we must begin to embrace our own collective role in creating what Kwame Ture described as a resistance consciousness. In this Dignilogue, I seek to inspire a new, revolutionary, and liberatory conversation on police abolition and national decolonization efforts in America.

Venue: Columbia University, Teachers College (TC), NYC in cooperation with the World Dignity University initiative


August 10-12, 2018

The Society for the Study of Social Problems Annual Meeting

Philadelphia, PA


April 6-7, 2018

North Central Sociological Association Annual Meeting

Pittsburgh, PA


March 9-10, 2018

George Mason University

Lorton, VA



December 7-8, 2017

Human DHS Conference

Columbia University



November 15-18, 2017

American Society of Criminology

Philadelphia, PA


September 27, 2017

CUNY-La Guardia Community College

La Guardia, NY



November 18, 2016
American Society of Criminology
New Orleans, LA

November 3, 2016
National Conference on Prison Higher Education
Nashville, TN


June 10, 2016
Roundtable Discussion: Fair Chance Education Pledge

The White House Washington, DC

May 5, 2016
Roundtable Discussion: Criminal Justice Reform

The White House Washington, DC


TonyGaskew WhiteHouse





December 20, 2015: 6:00am-8:am

Dr. Gaskew on WHCR 90.3 FM, "Man 2 Man Show"


December 3-4, 2015:

Columbia University, Human DHS, lecture



November 21, 2015
American Society of Criminology
Washington, D.C.


November 19, 2015
Global Solutions Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA


November 6, 2015
National Conference on Prison Higher Education
Pittsburgh, PA


October 17, 2015
Peace and Justice Studies Association
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, Virginia


May  28th-30th, 2015:

Paper Presentation & Panel | Justice Studies Association (JSA) Annual Conference

Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, Massachusetts


March 3rd-5th 2015:

Academy of Criminal Justice Science, Orlando, FL


February 8th, 2015:
Discussion Panel, “Race Issues in America: Part 11, the Ferguson Police Shooting and Beyond” 
NSU, Fort Lauderdale, FL



September 26th-29th 2014: 

Book Signing and lecture, NSU, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Academy of Criminal Justice Science, Orlando, FL


October 8th 2014:

Book Signing, University of Pittsburgh Bookstore, Pittsburgh, PA @ Noon

Academy of Criminal Justice Science, Orlando, FL


October 9th-11th 2014:

Association of Applied & Clinical Sociology, Pittsburgh, PA

Academy of Criminal Justice Science, Orlando, FL


October 10th 2014: 

Discussion Panel "Think Tanks as Mechanisms of Social Justice"  Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA @ 5:00 PM

Academy of Criminal Justice Science, Orlando, FL


October 24th 2014: 8:00pm-9:00pm 

Dr. Gaskew on WXIA TV's NightTalk: Get to the Point 


November 21st, 2014: 8:00pm-9:00pm

Dr. Gaskew on WXIA TV's NightTalk: Get to the Point 


November‎ 28th, 2014

Dr. Gaskew appeared LIVE

on KDKA-TV CBS Pittsburgh

Commentary on the Ferguson Grand Jury decision


December 4th-5th 2014:

Columbia University, HumanDHS lecture,





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