Yesterday, I was required to deliver a presentation in Newark, NJ for my research and work with the American Friends Service Committee’s Campaign to End the New Jim Crow, otherwise known as the mass incarceration of people of color and racial disparity in the criminal justice system. I touched upon issues of race and police relations in black communities (stop-and-frisk, lack of cultural/social connectivity between patrol men and the community they serve, etc.), race in the pre-trial phase (setting bail, affordability of private practice, etc.), mass incarceration and its effects on black family dynamics, race in reentry and race in juvenile detention.
With recurring choruses of ‘oh,’ ‘wow’ and grunts, the presentation went exceptionally well in getting the main point across: that this is a systemic issue that has a perpetual design until we ALL take a well-educated and strategically assertive stand to reform the ills in our system.