Will Tchakirides

Exploring the History of Policing & Confrontations with Police Power

dedicated researcher    ·    public historian    ·    engaged scholar

A little about myself…

I’m a historian who writes about how the state, law enforcement, and invested citizens have made and re-made police power in cities over the course of the 20th century. My research focuses on middle- and working-class African Americans, Latinx and white accomplices who have boldly challenged state violence and sought to re-imagine community safety free of police coercion and neglect.

I’m also an active public historian with a combined decade of digital humanities, archives, and oral history experience. I’ve worked on collaborative projects for universities and museums in cities as regionally diverse as Boston, Washington, D.C., and Milwaukee. Projects I’ve assisted on have helped communities and organizations build more usable, complete interpretations of the past on their own terms. I’m currently working as a Research Assistant on the Smithsonian’s “Our Shared Future: Reckoning with our Racial Past” initiative.

My dissertation examines the origins and maintenance of police power in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, centering Black-led struggles for accountability across the city’s long history of civil rights insurgency.

Let’s connect

You can catch me on Twitter @willtchak, or reach out by email: wtchak@gmail.com