The Carolyn Benton Cockefair Chair continues to play an influential role in the cultural and intellectual life at UMKC and in the Kansas City community.

The Cockefair Chair continues its 60-year tradition of presenting fascinating lectures. Lectures are announced as soon as arrangements are final. Please check this website and subscribe to our contact list so that you are sure to receive the most current lecture information.

Alex Vitale: The Politics of Public Safety: Police Reform and Alternatives

Sponsor: Carolyn Benton Cockefair Chair
Date: October 17th, 2023
Time: Wine and Cheese at 6:00pm. Program at 6:30pm
Location: New Venue - UMKC Student Union, Room 401, 5100 Cherry St., Kansas City, MO 64110, (UMKC Campus).
Admission Fee: Free and open to the public
Parking Information: Cherry Street Parking Garage – Levels 5 and 6
Event Contact: Matt McLain

Register Here


Book cover: The End of Policing






Author the Author:

Alex VitaleAlex S. Vitale is Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center, He has spent the last 30 years writing about policing and consults community-based movements, human and civil rights organizations, and governments internationally. Prof. Vitale is the author of City of Disorder: How the Quality of Life Campaign Transformed New York Politics and The End of Policing. His academic writings on policing have appeared in Policing and Society, Police Practice and Research, Mobilization, and Contemporary Sociology. He is also a frequent essayist, whose writings have been published in The NY Times, Washington PostThe Guardian, The NationVice NewsFortune, and USA Today. He has also appeared on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, NPR, PBS, Democracy Now, and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.


Past Lectures

In the past few years, our audiences have heard famous historians, experts on climate change and foreign policy, renowned authors, educators and others who examine contemporary life. More outstanding lectures are coming from the Cockefair Chair.

Recent lecturers include authors Adam Gopnik, Andrew Kaplan, Ben Lerner and Meg Wolitzer, experts on climate change Diana Liverman and Bill McKibben, artist Carrie Mae Weems, former Ambassador Michael McFaul, educators Sarah Lewis and Sarah Marty, historian Andrew Bacevich, former Press Secretary to the President Josh Earnest, founder/executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative Bryan Stevenson and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson