National Civil and Human Rights Groups Host Virtual Town Hall Discussion on “Ferguson and Beyond: The Crisis of Race and Policing”

Monday, February 23, 2015

CONTACT: 

Courtney O'Neal
202.629.5754; coneal@nul.org                                              

National Civil and Human Rights Groups Host Virtual Town Hall Discussion on “Ferguson and Beyond: The Crisis of Race and Policing”
February 25, 2015, 7-8:30 PM EST
Dial In Number:  (712) 775-7035; Meeting ID:  434433#
#Unity4Justice

WASHINGTON, D.C. - On February 25th, the Civil Rights Coalition on Police Reform will host a Virtual Town Hall discussion on combatting police misconduct and brutality, anniversaries of deaths of Trayvon Martin (3 years) and Michael Brown (6-months) and associated updates/progress, participating Coalition groups’ checklist on the upcoming White House Task Force on Policing Report; and solutions.  The simultaneous Twitter and Audio Town Hall will feature national human and civil rights leaders; community activists; victims and/or affected families; and local, state, and/or federal officials.  Virtual Town hall participants will learn about the national epidemic of police brutality and misconduct and associated laws and legal procedures, including grand juries processes and other accountability measures.  Participants will also engage with presenters regarding necessary nationwide reforms and solutions, including action steps, such as economic empowerment, which can be implemented in their communities.

WHEN: Wednesday, February 25, 7-8:30 p.m. EST

WHAT: Virtual Town hall discussion on combatting police misconduct and brutality, anniversaries of the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown and associated progress, participating Coalition groups’ checklist on the upcoming White House Task Force on Policing Report; and solutions.

WHO: National civil and human rights partner organizations listed below on behalf of the Civil Rights Police Reform Coalition and those who care about police brutality, misconduct and necessary reforms.

  • A. Philip Randolph Institute
  • African American Policy Forum
  • Hands Up United
  • Hip Hop Caucus
  • Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • Mall of America 10
  • Muslim Advocates
  • National Action Network
  • National Bar Association
  • National Council of Churches of Christ, USA
  • National Urban League
  • Rainbow PUSH Coalition

Tentative Agenda:

7:00-7:30 PM EST-Panel One “The Crisis of Race and Policing” (Moderated by Barbara Arnwine, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law)

Ø  Opening Remarks and Introduction of Speakers: Barbara Arnwine, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Ø  Speakers (confirmed to date):
- Farhana Khera, Muslim Advocates
-Nekima Levy-Pounds, Mall of America 10
-Marc Morial, National Urban League, National Urban League
-Rev. Al Sharpton, National Action Network

7:30-7:45 PM EST-Q&A

7:45-8:15 PM EST-Panel Two “Recommendations & Solutions” (Moderated by Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr.)

Ø  Opening Remarks:  Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., Hip Hop Caucus

Ø  Speakers (confirmed to date):
-Tanya Clay House, Lawyers’ Committee
-Kimberle Crenshaw, African American Policy Forum
-Pamela Meanes, National Bar Association
-Daryl Parks, Esq., Parks & Crump Law Firm
-T-Dubb-O, St. Louis and Ferguson, Missouri Activist and Rapper
- Rika Tyler, Ferguson Activist

8:15-8:25 PM EST- Q&A

8:25-8:30 PM EST – Closing Remarks

Instructions:
To participate by phone please call (712) 775-7035; enter the Meeting ID 434433#.  To participate and follow the conversation on Twitter, please use the hashtag #Unity4justice.

Background on Coalition
A coalition of 14 national civil and human rights organizations and leaders issued a Unified Statement of Action to Promote Reform and Stop Police Abuse on August 18th, which cited clear and necessary recommendations and reforms. We will continue to work together to ensure that all of our recommendations and reforms are adopted and justice is brought to bear in Ferguson.  Seven additional groups and more than 700 independent signatories have joined the open letter which was sent to the White House and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

We reiterate our call for transparency, accountability, leadership, and training, including: 

  • Passage of the End Racial Profiling Act  expected to be re-introduced in the U.S. Senate by and in the U.S. House of Representatives
  • A full accounting of police-involved killings of African Americans nationwide;
  • Mandatory racial bias and sensitivity training for all law enforcement personnel;
  • The required use of police officer Body-Worn Cameras (BWC) to record every police-civilian encounter;
  • Better accountability of the use and potential distribution and use of federal military weapons by local law enforcement;
  • Greater oversight of police officers through the formation of both national and community-based policing commissions; and
  • Grand jury reform.

Note to Media:  Please RSVP to jsweeney@lawyerscommittee.org by February 25 at noon.

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