Safety for Whom? Racist Policing in Communities and Schools
JusticeAid 2021 Spring Forum

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Did you miss the event? Watch the recording on YouTube.

The JusticeAid 2021 Spring Forum, Safety For Whom? Racist Policing in Communities and Schools, was held on May 2, 2021 in partnership with The Riverside Church of New York and introduced JusticeAid’s 2021 grantee partner NDS PACE. A panel of trusted voices shared insights and challenged us to think hard about these questions:

  • How can we end our nation’s legacy of racist policing?
  • What steps can we take together to eliminate the presence of police in our schools and the use of excessive force altogether?
  • What could real justice look like? 

The Forum featured a keynote address by Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), a personal statement from US Rep. Cori Bush (MO-01), and a compelling conversation moderated by Angela J. Davis, Distinguished Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law, with panelists Rick Jones, Executive Director NDS PACE; Kristin Nicole Henning, Professor of Law and Director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic and Juvenile Justice Initiative at Georgetown Law; and Sally Lee, Founder and Executive Director, Teachers Unite.

The event opened and closed with special musical performances by The Resistance Revival Chorus and Matthew Whitaker.

President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF)
Missouri’s First Congressional District
Distinguished Professor of Law
American University Washington College of Law
Executive Director NDS PACE
Blume Professor of Law and Director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic and Initiative, Georgetown Law
Founder and Executive Director, Teachers Unite
Jazz Pianist

JusticeAid leverages the community-building power of art and music to transform awareness into action in the fight against injustice. Each year we identify and raise funds for justice causes by hosting music, arts and educational events. Since 2013 JusticeAid has raised over 1 million dollars for justice heroes: nonprofits that are ending mass incarceration, addressing the criminalization of poverty and inhumane immigration policies, and protecting civil rights for all.

In 2021, JusticeAid’s focus is police accountability and community empowerment. Through October 2021, 100 percent of your donation will support the expansion of NDS PACE, the Police Accountability/Community Empowerment program of Neighborhood Defender Service.

The historic Riverside Church is an interdenominational, interracial, and international congregation in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. A focal point of global and national activism since its inception, Riverside Church has a long history of social justice. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered sermons at Riverside between 1961 and 1967, most famously Beyond Vietnam on April 4, 1967, exactly one year before King’s assassination.

The Mission and Social Justice Commission seeks to transform individuals, communities, and systems of racial, economic, social, and environmental oppression. It encompasses 16 ministries, including The Lift Every Voice & Vote Ministry, The Prison Ministry, Sojourners Working with Individuals in Detention Centers, the Latino Ministry, and Black Lives Matters, among others. Riverside Church’s diverse congregation includes more than 40 ethnic groups.

The building was designated as a city landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2000, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.

The PACE (Police Accountability/Community Empowerment) Program is founded by Neighborhood Defender Service (NDS), a national public defender office with three decades of service. NDS pioneered holistic public defense in 1990 to provide high-quality, comprehensive social and legal services to those who otherwise could not afford them. Thirty years later, NDS’ PACE Program aims to disrupt and dismantle the structural impediments in our legal system that continue to oppress its clients, their families, and communities. PACE reckons with police impunity, reduces over-policing, and builds community power and wealth. It helps individuals and communities alike secure their futures by addressing the police misconduct that marginalizes them, providing them with resources, and working alongside them to reshape policy in ways that reverberate across generations.

Kim Duckett Coaxum and Therese Steiner, C0-Chairs
Natalie Jowett Agoos
Gary Kohlman
Neil Parekh
Kameron Van Patterson
Johnny Perez
Heather Pinckney
Jennifer Turner

Riverside Church
Jacqueline McLeod and Sheila Rule Co-Chairs, Prison Ministry
Frances Connell and Craig Lemley, Co-Coordinators, Sojourners Ministry
Rueben Martinez

Neighborhood Defender Service
Miriam Gohara
Elinor Tatum

Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

Rick Brotman
Marion Dry
Donna Brown Guillaume
Henrietta Wigglesworth Lodge
Peter Mazareas

Sheila Pree Bright is an Atlanta-based, award-winning fine art photographer nationally known for her photographic series Young AmericansPlastic BodiesSuburbia1960 Who, and #1960Now. Bright is described as a “social cultural anthropologist” whose works combine a wide range of contemporary culture including photographic portrayals and provocative commentary on American beauty standards, urban and suburban themes, citizenship, and social movements.

JusticeAid supporters share a passion for justice and a love for the arts. Learn about police accountability, persuade someone of its importance, and let’s rally together to make the world a better place.