Two doctorate criminology students win Dickman award for community engagement

June 2017

Destiny Drake and Peter Hanink, both of whom are pursuing doctorates in Criminology, Law and Society, have been selected for the Paul and Frances Baker Dickman Graduate Award for Community Engagement.

The award recognizes students who actively contribute to their community and while also pursuing their studies.

Drake is a leader in multiple community groups in Los Angeles. She has worked to end homelessness and promote fair housing, and was delegated serve as the homelessness liaison for Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office. She’s organizing a housing fair to partner with landlords to improve housing conditions in the community.

In July of 2016, Drake became the vice president of the Empowerment Congress Central Area Neighborhood Development Council for the City of Los Angeles, advocating for about 20,000 residents in an organization with the mission of encouraging civic engagement among community members. In May, the council approved a policy Drake developed that allocates 5 percent of the council’s budget to combat homelessness in the area.

Drake is also a board director for the Black Los Angeles Young Democrats Political Action Committee, where she helps oversee public affairs and strategic communications. She’s a member of the Emerging Civic Leaders Committee, where she has helped plan community engagement events.

Hanink has been active with neighborhood groups in Long Beach, and with civil rights organizations in Colorado and New York. He aims to translate his research – about the use of police force against minority populations – into social change.

While in law school, he worked for the Legal Aid Society, helping young men of color while observing firsthand damaging policies such as New York’s Stop, Question, Frisk. He eventually published a paper on that policy, using data he had collected.

Since 2015, he has also worked for the Colorado American Civil Liberties Union analyzing police practices in Colorado Springs. His analysis of police traffic stops brought to light over-policing of a very small black population in the city.  And in Southern California, he’s studied the effectiveness of training programs on police attitudes about the use of force at the Long Beach Police Department.

Hanink serves as a board member for the Friends of Bixby Park in Long Beach, and he worked with the city to launch a summer-long series of free skate days at the local skate park to help displace drug users and dealers. Additionally, he has organized a beach cleanup.