upEND Reads: A Conversation with Roxanna Asgarian

April 6, 2023, 6:00 PM Central

University of Houston & Live Stream

We Were Once a Family: A Story of Love, Death, and Child Removal in America is one of 2023’s most anticipated books and a “searing indictment of the American foster care system.”


Does the reform or abolitionist step achieve this outcome?

NEW Abolitionist Resource

We hope that this document will be a guide to analyze whether proposed reforms to family policing further entrench the family policing system or move us closer to the abolition of family policing. The questions we ask are a reflection of the world we want to build—one without family policing and one where children are safer.⁠

Explore the Framework

Collage of upEND coverage in news, books, podcasts, and more. Includes Time Magazine, Houston Chronicle, and CBS News.

2022 Impact Report

On June 19, 2020, upEND launched a collaborative movement to protect children and reimagine how to support families. On Juneteenth, a day synonymous with liberation, we invited abolitionists, activists, and families to join us to dismantle the family policing system and work in community to imagine and build new approaches. Together, we have grown, we have learned and shifted the conversation about addressing the harms inherent in the family policing system while centering abolition as the solution. Our 2022 Impact Report tells the story of the first two years since our launch. 

Download Report



Abolitionist Steps to Build a Better World

Reforms are ineffective at combating racism and harm in part because they do not intend to, but also because they begin with the wrong presumptions.


No Coincidence: Black Family Separations Then and Now

Black families faced an incomprehensible level of pain, anger, confusion, and powerlessness during enslavement. Sadly, when speaking with Black families who have had their children forcibly and involuntarily removed by the family policing system today, too little has changed.

Young child with braids sits on a green couch and hugs her dads neck.

We Know Investing In Families Works. Why Are We Still Investing in Harm?

The family policing system’s punitive approach does not – and cannot – ever authentically heal or prevent anything.

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