Stories to Rebuild America


Every year, billions of taxpayer dollars are used to fund policing in America.

These big budgets contribute to the tremendous power of law enforcement. We have come to over rely on police, turning to them as the sole solution for public safety especially in situations where their involvement is unnecessary, and often makes things worse. Despite decades of reform, Police violence in the US continues to escalate and is disproportionately impacting communities of color.

The Stories

The following stories highlight the terrible impact of misapplied policing—on real people and real families.

So we ask: if law enforcement budgets could be redistributed within our communities, would these stories have different endings?

Social Services

Living with Housing Insecurity


Reading, Writing and Handcuffs


Help or Harm?


Traffic Stop Terror

Take Action

Changing the way our leaders and peers think about safety will not happen overnight - it’s a long road - but every conversation we have is progress. You can help us build safer and healthier communities learning more about effective safety policies, adding your voice to the movement, and leading these conversations with your friends and family.

Our Mission

Defund to Refund is an initiative to help Americans rethink public safety. Through a story-based platform that illustrates the human cost of over-policing, our mission is to amplify support for budget reinvestments that change the role of police in America and redirect resources to build safer, healthier communities.