“Rising Beyond the Pandemic: Leading the Way Forward, Developing Resilience and Demanding Transformation.”
9:00 AM OPENING PLENARY SESSION
10:15 AM WORKSHOP SESSION I (Concurrent Sessions)
Workshop 1 | Economic Parity: Education Beyond the Pandemic
DESCRIPTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on how schooling is done. With the closing and re-opening of schools, an array of academic, social, and emotional challenges has impacted students, as well as teachers. This workshop will explore what educational professionals are doing to assist students to catch-up academically and transition back to in-person learning. There will be a discussion about the need to focus on mental health, social and emotional learning and classroom practices that help students to succeed beyond the pandemic.
Brenda R. Lee, Greater Newark Alliance of Black School Educators, Inc.
Dr. Stephanie James Harris, NJ Amistad Commission
Valerie Wilson, Newark Board of Education
Wilhelmina Holder, Secondary Parents Council
Workshop 2 | Criminal Justice Reform: Community Impact on Criminal Justice Reform
DESCRIPTION: Mass incarceration of people of color in New Jersey has damaged the lives and livelihoods of families and whole communities. There is a need for more investment in public safety initiatives in these communities. This workshop will explore the criminal justice reform initiatives that have been proposed with the influence of members of the community.
Ashanti D. Jones, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice
Major Carla Thomas, New Jersey State Police
Dr. Marilyn Cooper, Newark Branch of NAACP
Jiles Ship, New Jersey Chapter, NOBLE
Workshop 3 | Health: Sick of High Prescription Drug Prices
DESCRIPTION: Americans are sick and tired of paying the highest prices in the world for their prescription drugs. Americans can’t afford to pay more than 3 times what people in other countries pay for the same medicine. Too many Garden State residents are forced to choose between filling life-saving prescriptions and paying rent, buying food and meeting other critical needs. It is time for action at the state and federal level to lower prescription drug costs. Join AARP NJ to discuss the impact of high drug prices on your wallet, your health – and the reforms needed to lower drug prices now.
Lavelle Jones, AARP NJ State President (confirmed)
Dr. Jubril Oyeyemi, Cherry Hill Free Clinic
Danielle Combs, NAACP New Jersey State Conference
Evelyn Liebman, AARP NJ
Workshop | Hot Topics: Say the Word: Reparations
DESCRIPTION: The State of New Jersey was known as the “slave state of the north”. As a result of this history, Black New Jerseyans face some of the worst racial disparities in the United States.This workshop will explore the legislation (S322/A711) to establish a reparations task force and steps needed for the State of New Jersey to take responsibility for its role in the slave trade and repair the consequences of slavery.
Dr. Lanisha Makle-Ridley, New Jersey Black Issues Convention
Dr. Ron Daniels, Institute of the Black World 21st Century
Ryan Haygood, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice
Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, 35th Legislative District
MID-DAY PLENARY SESSION
Keynote Speaker: Michellene Davis, Esq., National Medical Fellowships
WORKSHOP SESSION II (Concurrent Sessions)
Workshop 1 | Economic Parity: Clean Energy and Jobs
DESCRIPTION:During his State of the State Address, Governor Phil Murphy provided that moving to clean, renewable “green” energy will create a boost to job creation in the state. Green investments such as clean energy, improvement of water and community infrastructure, building resilience to climate disasters, funding parks and trails, and improving public transportation will bring significant job growth, as well as economic, environmental and health benefits to residents of the State of New Jersey. This workshop will explore the work that needs to be done within our Black communities to prepare residents to meet the challenge of the “new” green economy and the job creation that is on the horizon.
Rev. Ronald Tuff, GreenFaith
Duwan Bogert, Workforce Development Board of Passaic County
Richard Thigpen, PSEG
Crystal Pruitt, New Jersey Department of Clean Energy
Workshop 2 | Criminal Justice Reform: Civilian Complaint Review Boards
DESCRIPTION: In recent years, we have witnessed abusive, dehumanizing behavior and excessive use of force by law enforcement officials throughout the United States.This workshop will discuss the mission of and need for civilian complaint review boards, and the powers that these boards must have to address these acts of misconduct while maintaining fairness, accountability, and cultivating better relations between law enforcement and the communities they are sworn to protect and serve.
Moderator: Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus
Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds Jackson, 15th Legislative District
Zayid Muhammad, People’s Organization for Progress
George Gore, IBPOEW
Workshop 3 |Health: Impact of COVID-19 on Black Mental Health
DESCRIPTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected Black people due to legal, social, health, and economic inequalities. The stresses related to job loss, death, financial instability, food insecurity and loss of housing that resulted from the pandemic had a traumatic effect on the Black community. This workshop will discuss the impact that social distancing had on the mental health and emotional well being of adults and children. The panelists will discuss opportunities that may be created to enhance community connections online or outdoor spaces, ways to improve services and safe spaces for children and adults, and ways to ensure access to services while improving existing mental health programs, and address policies and systems that maintain structural racism.
Sheila Thorne, Multicultural Healthcare Marketing Group, LLC
Dr. Winston Price, Past President, National Medical Association
Workshop | Hot Topics: Black Robes, No Black Faces
DESCRIPTION:This workshop will discuss the vacancies on the Superior Court Bench with attention to vicinages with high populations of Black New Jerseyans AND why we need more vacancies filled with Black Judicial candidates.
Carolyn Chang, Association of Black Women Lawyers
Senator Ronald L. Rice, 28th Legislative District
Dean Burrell, Garden State Bar Association
Assemblywoman Linda Carter, 22nd Legislative District
2:30 PM FORUM I: Re-imagining Public Safety
DESCRIPTION: The purpose of reimaging public safety is to rapidly reimagine and reconstruct the public safety system in New Jersey. Many people think only of a police response when they hear public safety.Public safety is more than a police response.Public
safety means empowering communities, especially historically marginalized communities, to participate in shaping what public safety looks like, and have the resources to address critical social problems, such as access to housing, food security, transportation, and healthcare. And it means minimizing the harms that often accompany policing- such as uses of force and arrest.This workshop will bring together community members, advocates, police, social service providers, and government officials to discuss the issues, what public safety means, and how best to achieve re-imagining public safety in New Jersey’s Black communities.
John L Smith, New Jersey Council of Black Police
Lakeesha Eure, Newark Office of Violence Prevention
Zellie Thomas, Paterson Black Lives Matter (invited)
Eric Dobson, Fair Share Housing Center