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Western New England University Presents Symposium On Racial Justice

by Senior Jonah Snowden SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2017 - 9:09 AM Law , All News

The Western New England University School of Law recently hosted a symposium titled “Perspectives on Racial Justice in the Era of #BlackLivesMatter.” The daylong event featured speakers and panel discussions on the topics of voting rights, the criminal justice system, health care, and the LGBTQ community.

The first panel discussion featured attorneys Terry Negal, Committee for Public Counsel Service, Edward Pikula, Springfield City Solicitor, and Law Professor Dr. Bridgette Baldwin. The topic was a reflection on the 30th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the City of Springfield v. Kibbe, 1987, concerning an African American man killed by a white city police officer, and inadequate police training. Attorneys Terry Nagel and Edward Pikula, argued the case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“When we’re talking about police brutality, it usually involves much more than just a racist cop,” explained Dr. Baldwin, “The only way we are going to remedy this persistent problem is to understand the implicit and unconscious associations that are being made about black men.”

Additional speakers who attended the event included Nicole Austin Hillery, Director and Counsel of The Brennan Center of Justice in Washington D.C.;  John Abdallah Wambere, Ugandan gay rights activist and co-founder of Spectrum Ugandan Initiatives; Dr. Raja Staggers-Hakim, the Director of Equity Inclusion, & Civic Engagement at Yale Divinity School; and Attorney Carl Williams, ACLU of Massachusetts.