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Reimagining Safety

August 18, 2023 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Skid Row History Museum and Archive
250 S. Broadway
Los Angeles CA 90012
Los Angeles Poverty Department
213-412 1077

Reimagining Safety
Directed by Matthew Solomon
Run time: 83 min.
Q&A with director Matthew Solomon and others

Worldwide protests following the 2020 murder of George Floyd included calls to defund or abolish the police until a sharp rise in crime gave politicians and police supporters the fuel they needed to suppress the movement. Unfortunately, a detailed conversation about transforming public safety was never had. In this film (shot on iPhone), 10 experts discuss how policing and incarceration create more harm than good, why the system persists, and what changes can be made to make everyone safe.

For Immediate Release
July 24, 2023

Press Contact: Rita Hollingsworth/RMH Media
213-361-2736 or [email protected]


L.A. Poverty Department to host screening of hard-hitting documentary REIMAGINING SAFETY 

Friday, August 18 at 7:00 pm in Skid Row

Probing Documentary Currently Screening at Film Festivals and Community Events Across the Country Convenes Leading Voices Including Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, USC Law Professor Dr. Jody Armour, Dr. El Jones and Brooklyn College’s Prof. Alex Vitale

Post-screening Panel to Feature Filmmaker Matthew Solomon

Reimagining SafetyMatthew Solomon’s incisive, insightful documentary that explores the challenges of addressing police abuse and misconduct while providing solutions for maintaining public safety, will screen at the Skid Row Museum and Archive, 250 S. Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles.

The screening will be followed by a Q & A with the filmmaker as well as with (OTHERS?) and will be shown as part of an ongoing series of screenings of timely and socially relevant topics. The Los Angeles Poverty Department, which is hosting the screening, is made up of people who live, work and make art in Skid Row, and is the first arts program of any kind for homeless people in Los Angeles. The screening is free and open to the public and is scheduled for 7 pm.

LA Poverty Department’s Movie Nights at the Museum “offers free popcorn, free coffee & free conversation” and is presented every first and third Friday of the month, screening movies about issues that are important to the Skid Row and downtown community such as gentrification, income inequality and racism.

Cut together with hard-hitting, contemporary news footage from such watershed moments as the brutal murder in May, 2020 of George Floyd and the ensuing protests in cities across the country, Reimagining Safety falls squarely in the center of a national debate on the best way forward in policing alternatives.

Taking as its premise that policing is not the only solution to all of society’s challenges in public safety, Reimagining Safety features wide-ranging, one-on-one interviews, with some of the leading voices on the topic, including Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon; University of Southern California Professor of Law Dr. Jody Armour; Dr. El Jones, Chair, Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Canada; Alex S. Vitale, Professor of Sociology and author of “The End of Policing”; feminist and abolitionist Nikki Blak; and Hawk Newsome, co-founder of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, among others.

Among the questions posed by the documentary are: is policing really the best answer to problems that occur in many neighborhoods? What can be done to address conflicts that arise from mental health crises? What is the best training or background for those whose job it is to defuse conflicts of various sorts? Reimagining Safety reimagines the goal of public safety by acknowledging what isn’t working and then offering humane and equitable alternatives.

With such provocative notions as “Defund the police” and “Abolish the police” framing the debate, Solomon solicits opinions from stakeholders in law enforcement, academia, and community activism to provide a cross-section of perspectives on how to address the scourge of police abuse. What emerges is a multi-faceted approach to problems inherent in modern society, with the challenges presented by ensuring public safety and a peaceful co-existence among all.

“As I was applying the concepts of sustainability and workable communities to the issues of policing and incarceration, I became more and more interested in what the alternatives could be. This film provides that conversation,” comments Solomon.

Recent screenings include the People’s Film Festival in Harlem, New York, where the documentary, which was shot entirely on iPhone, won Best Cinematography; the UCLA’s Science Policy Institute, Scripps College in Pomona, CA, in Memphis at Rhodes College in conjunction with Decarcerate Memphis and BLM Memphis, and in Kansas City, Missouri with Decarcerate KC, the film was named a Finalist for Best Documentary Feature at the Washington DC International Cinema Festival and was named Winner, Best Documentary Feature for the Crown Point International Film Festival in Chicago, Illinois. Reimagining Safety also screened at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival in July, where it was awarded Best Documentary.

Filmmaker Matthew Solomon will be present at the screening and is available for interviews. Please contact Rita Hollingsworth/RMH Media 213-361-2736 or [email protected] to arrange an interview.

Los Angeles Poverty Department was founded in 1985 by director-performer-activist John Malpede. LAPD was the first performance group in the nation made up principally of homeless people, and the first arts program of any kind for homeless people in Los Angeles. Skid Row Los Angeles is the poorest area in the city, with the largest concentration of homeless people of any neighborhood in the US. LAPD, as the first arts organization in Skid Row, immediately became active in a conversation and a movement with advocates, residents, and social service professionals, that put forward the idea that Skid Row could be improved, by embracing and nourishing the powers of the people who live there.

For more information or to view the film’s trailer, go to