We have been through so much as a nation and I personally believe that in order to heal and move forward we must first and foremost acknowledge our wounds. Imagine if one of our children knocked his head on the concrete and came in with blood on his face, crying for our attention, and we ignored him or told him just to get over it. I don’t know of any mother who would do that, but there are so many people in our country crying out for us to just listen and hear them. Moms of Black Boys United, Inc., Progressive Social Network of Baton Rouge, Love Alive Church and BREC are partnering to host a viewing of the PBS documentary, THE TALK: Race in America this Saturday, July 8 from 10am-1pm. The viewing will be followed by a panel discussion and a Meet & Greet to allow guests to intermingle and learn more about each organization and the work they are doing in the community.
The Talk: Race in America
THE TALK is a two-hour documentary about the increasingly necessary conversation taking place in homes and communities across the country between parents of color and their children, especially sons, about how to behave if they are ever stopped by the police. This event will bring together a racially diverse audience to raise awareness about institutional racism and to discuss ways in which institutional racism can be identified, dismantled, and how disparities in policing based upon race can be eliminated. The panel will be hosted by Louisiana State University law professor Philip Hackney and panelists include:
Harry Turner, Founder of Distant Beginnings. Harry is a Licensed Master Social Worker who holds a Master of Social Work graduate degree from Louisiana State University. He is employed in the mental health department of a state correctional center and is also employed in the Emergency Department of a major nonprofit hospital. He has also received training by the Southern Law Enforcement Foundation to become a Critical Incident Stress De-briefer and has provided assistance to law enforcement who are/were impacted by tragic events in our community.
Jahi Mackey, Program Director and Founder of The 821 Project, a nonprofit organization that promotes global citizenship in south Louisiana by providing social justice and intercultural education programs to the local community. Jahi holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of New Orleans and a Masters of Arts in Intercultural Service Leadership and Management from the School of International Training Graduate Institute.
Anna West, a teacher of socially-engaged writing and research in the Humanities Amped program at McKinley High School, founder of WordPlay in Baton Rouge (now Forward Arts), co-founder of Louder than a Bomb, the country’s largest youth poetry slam festival as well as Mass LEAP, a Boston-based literary education and performance collective. She holds a B.A. in creative writing from Columbia College Chicago, a M.Ed. from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a PhD in English Education from Louisiana State University.
Davondra Brown, a published co-author in the The Journal of African American Studies, a board member on the Professional Development Board for the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, a self published author and the founder and owner of Spiced Up Marriages. Mrs. Brown has earned a Bachelor’s in Philosophy, a Master’s in Education and an advanced certificate of Innovative Technologies in Health Science Education. As a mother of two black sons and two black godsons- one of which she lost to community violence- Davondra is also a proud member of Moms of Black Boys United for Social Change.