-Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
When Gil Scott-Heron released Winter in America among it's powerful track list sat "Peace Go With You, Brother" opening with these words: "Now, more than ever...". That was 1974. Here we are, today, in 2016 and who's to say that the time is not now? Right now, today we can end the systematic (and judicial) oppression and violence against people of color, worldwide.
Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Sean Bell, Aiyanna Jones, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Andy Lopez, Oscar Grant, Alton Sterling... these are just a small fraction of the names we know. How long would this list be if we were to name every person of color that has lost their lives at the hands of our justice system? What about the men and women who should be gracing our dinner tables, wasting away in prison? We have all seen judicial violence rear its ugly head. But as a people we can not abide by it; we can not continue to normalize and ignore the monster that we all face every single day. Now, more than ever...
Judicial violence is defined as the State using its authority, law-enforcement, and judicial arms to inflict immoral, illegal, unwarranted, and violent actions upon its citizens, particularly those of color. In the summer of 2016, Mount Morris Ascension Presbyterian Church will host this conference due to the moral and ethical foundation needed not only to focus attention on these urgent human rights issues, but also to galvanize action, particularly among communities of faith, to address the systemic nature of the current problem of judicial violence and race.
We need your help to make this symposium a reality. The generosity of your hearts and spirits will not only fund this symposium, but the start of a growing non-profit organization dedicated towards fighting judicial violence, educating communities of color, and encouraging these communities to take ownership and action over their freedom.
The urgency of this matter is built on the graves of those community members, family members that we have lost. Now, now, more than ever we must all come together to speak out against these injustices and take back our humanity.