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

For Immediate Release February 20, 2015


Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

February 25, 2015, 7-8:30 PM EST
Dial In Number:  (712) 775-7035; Meeting ID:  434433#

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, the Coalition’s 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, the coalition’s 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

  • A. Philip Randolph Institute
  • African American Policy Forum
  • 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)

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

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

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

8:25-8:30 PM EST – Closing Remarks

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; and
  • Greater oversight of police officers through the formation of both national and community-based policing commissions.
  • Grand jury reform

Note to Media:  Please RSVP to [email protected] by February 25 at noon.

About The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The Lawyers' Committee, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The Lawyers' Committee celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 as it continued its quest of "Moving America Toward Justice." The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and fair lending, community development, employment, voting, education and environmental justice.

For more information about the Lawyers' Committee, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.

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