Candidates Forum on Police Accountability & Public Safety

Photo of a community member protesting the shooting of Williams in front of the King County Courthouse. Photo from blog post by Matthew Williams: http://matthewphoto.blogspot.com/2011/01/john-williams-demonstration.html courtesy

Just over a year ago, a Seattle police officer gunned down native woodcarver John T. Williams. The senseless and defenseless act was part of  a striking run of local police actions that appeared to target people of color. Rather than upholding public safety, there is a growing fear that our law enforcement officers threaten public safety.

So, what are our elected officials and candidates for office in the fall elections planning to do about it?

To find out, Solid Ground is joining dozens of community-based, social justice, peace, faith and other organizations to co-sponsor a Candidates Forum on Police Accountability and Public Safety on Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 6pm. Here are the details:

What: Candidates Forum on Police Accountability & Public Safety
When: Thursday, September 29, 2011 (dinner served at 5pm; forum starts at 6pm)
Where: New Holly Gathering Hall, 7054 32nd Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118

Childcare and interpretation services are available.

This event is free as a public service to the community.

For more information please contact K.L. Shannon at 206.854.5462.

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Families of the incarcerated coming together for change

JustServe AmeriCorps is inspired and supported by many grassroots organizations working for justice and safety in our community. One of those groups is the Black Prisoners’ Caucus, a group of incarcerated men organizing within Washington State Reformatory, Monroe.

“Men of Vision” by Monica Stewart, from the Black Prisoners’ Caucus website

Founded in 1972, the Black Prisoners’ Caucus leads workshops and dialogue inside the prison for personal and community transformation. The BPC also hosts an annual Criminal Justice Summit at Monroe, bringing community leaders into the prison to discuss the root causes of crime and violence, and solutions and alternatives to incarceration and recidivism.

On Saturday, August 14th, 2010 the Black Prisoners Caucus will bring families of the incarcerated together at the Evergreen campus in Tacoma, to connect with each other and with others who are working for social change.

The Families Summit will…

  • Bring loved ones and families of the incarcerated together with community leaders and organizations for available resources, so they can begin to collectively organize and unify as one.
  • Offer a platform for families to address personal issues and experiences with other families, community leaders and organizations in order to raise awareness.
  • Educate families and the community on issues that exist within the criminal justice system that affect the lack of treatment services, rehabilitation programs, proper education and job training availability – all of which contributes to a high recidivism rate among newly released offenders, while connecting families to organizations that provide resources, support and family assistance.
  • Establish an online network (I.C.O.N.) comprised of families, support groups and organizations to assist in their efforts to unite, organize, advocate and collectively work towards a more humane justice system that works for families of the incarcerated and the community as a whole.

Food, childcare and transportation will be provided.

Here are three ways that you can support this work:

1) Spread the word about the Families Summit to your contacts in the community.

2) Get involved in the August 14th organizing committee, helping to get food, drink and other supplies donated for the event.

3) If you have access to a car, sign up to be a volunteer driver helping to transport families to the event.

For more information, please email bpc@blackprisonerscaucus.org, call Cammie Carl at 206.619.4655, or call Sherrell Severe at 206.937.2701.

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