1 00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:08,150 2 00:00:08,150 --> 00:00:12,100 SUSAN LESLIE: Number 4033, Building the Movement to End 3 00:00:12,100 --> 00:00:13,820 the New Jim Crow. 4 00:00:13,820 --> 00:00:15,990 First of all, I really appreciate you all being here. 5 00:00:15,990 --> 00:00:18,390 I know it's the last workshop slot. 6 00:00:18,390 --> 00:00:20,080 And it shows your dedication to this 7 00:00:20,080 --> 00:00:22,110 cause that you're here. 8 00:00:22,110 --> 00:00:23,760 My name's Susan Leslie. 9 00:00:23,760 --> 00:00:26,110 I'm congregational advocacy and witness 10 00:00:26,110 --> 00:00:28,230 director at the UUA. 11 00:00:28,230 --> 00:00:33,490 And last year we brought Dr. Michelle Alexander, author of 12 00:00:33,490 --> 00:00:36,300 The New Jim Crow to Justice GA. 13 00:00:36,300 --> 00:00:38,850 And there were over 600 people in the room. 14 00:00:38,850 --> 00:00:43,000 It was actually the largest workshop at Justice GA. 15 00:00:43,000 --> 00:00:47,290 Following that, her book was chosen as the UUA Common Read. 16 00:00:47,290 --> 00:00:49,800 And we know that hundreds of congregations are 17 00:00:49,800 --> 00:00:52,170 participating in that. 18 00:00:52,170 --> 00:00:55,650 Now people are looking for ways to actually build this 19 00:00:55,650 --> 00:01:00,010 movement to end mass incarceration and to create a 20 00:01:00,010 --> 00:01:05,370 new movement for liberation and transformation. 21 00:01:05,370 --> 00:01:08,720 Today we're going to hear from UU clergy and leaders who will 22 00:01:08,720 --> 00:01:12,840 show how our faith is grounded in this movement, as well as 23 00:01:12,840 --> 00:01:15,820 concrete strategies and practices for creating 24 00:01:15,820 --> 00:01:19,910 partnerships with those most affected by the new Jim Crow 25 00:01:19,910 --> 00:01:23,210 and for engaging our own communities. 26 00:01:23,210 --> 00:01:25,870 Now before I introduce the speakers, I just have to tell 27 00:01:25,870 --> 00:01:29,110 you that Reverend Jacqueline Duhart from our Oakland 28 00:01:29,110 --> 00:01:31,820 congregation had to send her regrets and 29 00:01:31,820 --> 00:01:32,730 she sends her love. 30 00:01:32,730 --> 00:01:36,540 She just couldn't get to GA after all this year. 31 00:01:36,540 --> 00:01:39,610 But take a look at the Ella Baker Center website. 32 00:01:39,610 --> 00:01:43,130 And you'll see their program Books Not Bars. 33 00:01:43,130 --> 00:01:45,060 Oakland has a partnership with them. 34 00:01:45,060 --> 00:01:49,190 And it's going to be taken national soon. 35 00:01:49,190 --> 00:01:54,550 The speakers we have with us today are Paula Cole Jones 36 00:01:54,550 --> 00:01:57,560 who's the racial justice and social justice director for 37 00:01:57,560 --> 00:02:00,940 the Joseph Priestley district and a consultant to 38 00:02:00,940 --> 00:02:04,620 congregations, clusters, and districts on building 39 00:02:04,620 --> 00:02:06,650 anti-racist, multicultural 40 00:02:06,650 --> 00:02:10,680 partnerships and this movement. 41 00:02:10,680 --> 00:02:13,780 We also have Reverend Marlin Lavanhar who is senior 42 00:02:13,780 --> 00:02:15,700 minister at All Souls Unitarian 43 00:02:15,700 --> 00:02:18,140 Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 44 00:02:18,140 --> 00:02:22,320 Marlin wrote the first UU sermon that I know of on the 45 00:02:22,320 --> 00:02:23,530 new Jim Crow. 46 00:02:23,530 --> 00:02:26,070 And his congregation has been part of building the 47 00:02:26,070 --> 00:02:27,600 movement to end it. 48 00:02:27,600 --> 00:02:30,860 Marlin was also in on a strategy session with Michelle 49 00:02:30,860 --> 00:02:35,230 Alexander at last year's Justice GA. 50 00:02:35,230 --> 00:02:39,050 And we also have Reverend Eric Meter, associate minister of 51 00:02:39,050 --> 00:02:43,710 First UU Church of Columbus and a leader of an interfaith 52 00:02:43,710 --> 00:02:47,460 congregation-based community organization called Bread 53 00:02:47,460 --> 00:02:52,790 that's organizing to stop the school-to-prison pipeline. 54 00:02:52,790 --> 00:02:55,030 We will be taking questions after the 55 00:02:55,030 --> 00:02:57,280 panel, but not in between. 56 00:02:57,280 --> 00:03:01,650 So you may want to jot down any thoughts you have as we 57 00:03:01,650 --> 00:03:04,480 are going to be getting a lot of information here. 58 00:03:04,480 --> 00:03:07,740 We are recording and filming this session so that it will 59 00:03:07,740 --> 00:03:11,540 be available to people who weren't able to be here to 60 00:03:11,540 --> 00:03:13,400 find out what they can do. 61 00:03:13,400 --> 00:03:17,220 And so when we do get to Q&A, you'll need to use the mics. 62 00:03:17,220 --> 00:03:18,470 So thank you very much. 63 00:03:18,470 --> 00:03:19,830 And we're going to start with our first 64 00:03:19,830 --> 00:03:22,742 speaker, Paula Cole Jones. 65 00:03:22,742 --> 00:03:33,170 [APPLAUSE] 66 00:03:33,170 --> 00:03:34,930 PAULA COLE JONES: Good evening, right? 67 00:03:34,930 --> 00:03:36,810 It's no longer afternoon. 68 00:03:36,810 --> 00:03:40,360 And I am going to try to go paperless today, 69 00:03:40,360 --> 00:03:42,800 which is not my norm. 70 00:03:42,800 --> 00:03:44,543 Hold on one second. 71 00:03:44,543 --> 00:03:47,310 [INAUDIBLE]. 72 00:03:47,310 --> 00:03:51,940 All right. 73 00:03:51,940 --> 00:03:55,670 So I have a lot to say in the time that I have. 74 00:03:55,670 --> 00:03:59,090 And pardon me if I just kind of push through. 75 00:03:59,090 --> 00:04:02,310 First, I'd like to thank Susan Leslie for the invitation to 76 00:04:02,310 --> 00:04:06,360 be a part of this panel on the New Jim Crow, Mass 77 00:04:06,360 --> 00:04:09,700 Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness. 78 00:04:09,700 --> 00:04:13,440 And I also want to acknowledge two people who I know in UU 79 00:04:13,440 --> 00:04:16,880 churches who are doing this work and helped to encourage 80 00:04:16,880 --> 00:04:19,120 me to get on board early. 81 00:04:19,120 --> 00:04:21,480 One is David Slavin, who is sitting right 82 00:04:21,480 --> 00:04:23,070 here in front of me. 83 00:04:23,070 --> 00:04:26,450 And he's been working hard in Atlanta, Georgia. 84 00:04:26,450 --> 00:04:29,070 And then also Sharon Kyle, who has been 85 00:04:29,070 --> 00:04:32,420 working hard in Los Angeles. 86 00:04:32,420 --> 00:04:36,680 And some of you may have read or seen her online newspaper, 87 00:04:36,680 --> 00:04:40,130 the LA Times. 88 00:04:40,130 --> 00:04:45,010 It's important where we ground our understanding of the work. 89 00:04:45,010 --> 00:04:48,610 Wherever we begin a story, that helps to shape our 90 00:04:48,610 --> 00:04:50,490 perspective. 91 00:04:50,490 --> 00:04:55,470 I like to ground my work in the new Jim Crow in something 92 00:04:55,470 --> 00:04:59,420 that I read in Randall Robinson's book The Reckoning, 93 00:04:59,420 --> 00:05:03,460 which was published in 2002. 94 00:05:03,460 --> 00:05:08,698 He tells the story of a small town in upstate New York, a 95 00:05:08,698 --> 00:05:09,950 rural town. 96 00:05:09,950 --> 00:05:12,920 First of all, Randall Robinson is the founder and past 97 00:05:12,920 --> 00:05:16,140 president of TransAfrica. 98 00:05:16,140 --> 00:05:20,830 But he tells the story of Malone, New York, a small 99 00:05:20,830 --> 00:05:24,190 all-white town with the exception of one person. 100 00:05:24,190 --> 00:05:27,120 And this town was in economic decline. 101 00:05:27,120 --> 00:05:28,950 Businesses had left. 102 00:05:28,950 --> 00:05:31,780 Hotels, businesses were closing. 103 00:05:31,780 --> 00:05:34,760 The dairy industry had collapsed. 104 00:05:34,760 --> 00:05:39,560 The transportation, the rail system was pretty much 105 00:05:39,560 --> 00:05:41,060 non-operable. 106 00:05:41,060 --> 00:05:46,070 And he describes it as "a shadow of defeat had draped 107 00:05:46,070 --> 00:05:50,850 like a pall upon the town." And these are words from this 108 00:05:50,850 --> 00:05:54,010 book, "shortly before, lawmakers had begun to 109 00:05:54,010 --> 00:06:02,370 criminalize nonviolent drug use." This is before 1986, I 110 00:06:02,370 --> 00:06:03,890 think was the year. 111 00:06:03,890 --> 00:06:06,840 But they had begun to criminalize nonviolent drug 112 00:06:06,840 --> 00:06:12,110 use, "the politicians' veiled deliberations and 113 00:06:12,110 --> 00:06:17,990 unarticulated plan to resuscitate the moribund 114 00:06:17,990 --> 00:06:22,652 economies of rural hamlets like Malone." 115 00:06:22,652 --> 00:06:26,490 And in New York State, under the Rockefeller drug laws, a 116 00:06:26,490 --> 00:06:30,220 first-time, nonviolent drug offender would be sentenced to 117 00:06:30,220 --> 00:06:35,670 15 years in a state prison. 118 00:06:35,670 --> 00:06:40,580 He says the "lawmakers, state and local, had written the 119 00:06:40,580 --> 00:06:45,180 tedious language with devilish care and meticulous 120 00:06:45,180 --> 00:06:50,970 foresight." They "knew their markets well enough." They set 121 00:06:50,970 --> 00:06:56,420 up the disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine. 122 00:06:56,420 --> 00:07:00,390 And he said, "when the dragnet brought home its harvest, not 123 00:07:00,390 --> 00:07:05,750 surprisingly, the ensnared, newly marketable chattel 124 00:07:05,750 --> 00:07:11,770 turned up overwhelmingly black and brown." 125 00:07:11,770 --> 00:07:17,550 "In 1980, New York State had 33 prisons. 126 00:07:17,550 --> 00:07:21,260 And during the next 20 years, it would build 38 more," 127 00:07:21,260 --> 00:07:24,200 almost all in rural areas. 128 00:07:24,200 --> 00:07:26,720 Three of those were built in Malone. 129 00:07:26,720 --> 00:07:30,770 And along with the building of those prisons, the economy 130 00:07:30,770 --> 00:07:34,630 begins to flourish again. 131 00:07:34,630 --> 00:07:37,940 With the prisons came 1,600 well-paying jobs-- 132 00:07:37,940 --> 00:07:40,760 and this is all from his chapter there-- 133 00:07:40,760 --> 00:07:44,030 18 new holes for the golf course. 134 00:07:44,030 --> 00:07:47,340 The prison population tripled in a few years. 135 00:07:47,340 --> 00:07:52,540 And 5,000 inmates added to Malone's census count, 136 00:07:52,540 --> 00:07:57,110 qualifying them for additional federal dollars. 137 00:07:57,110 --> 00:08:01,600 He included a quote from Calvin Beale, who was a senior 138 00:08:01,600 --> 00:08:04,860 demographer at the US Department of Agriculture. 139 00:08:04,860 --> 00:08:13,000 And it says, "if you have a prison come in with 1,400 140 00:08:13,000 --> 00:08:15,420 prisoners, you're probably going to get 141 00:08:15,420 --> 00:08:17,650 400 jobs out of that. 142 00:08:17,650 --> 00:08:22,240 And in a rural setting, that's a lot of jobs." 143 00:08:22,240 --> 00:08:28,240 So that's where I ground the conversation, because whether 144 00:08:28,240 --> 00:08:33,010 the drug laws, the war on drugs came first or this 145 00:08:33,010 --> 00:08:39,780 strategy to revitalize these dying economies in rural white 146 00:08:39,780 --> 00:08:45,850 America came first, is probably as much a debate as 147 00:08:45,850 --> 00:08:47,000 anything else. 148 00:08:47,000 --> 00:08:53,400 I believe that the strategy to revitalize the towns and the 149 00:08:53,400 --> 00:08:54,720 economies came first. 150 00:08:54,720 --> 00:08:57,850 And I can remember when all of the vying was taking place for 151 00:08:57,850 --> 00:09:01,090 who would get prisons. 152 00:09:01,090 --> 00:09:05,940 In the book The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander uses the 153 00:09:05,940 --> 00:09:07,540 analogy of the bird cage. 154 00:09:07,540 --> 00:09:09,950 How many of you remember that? 155 00:09:09,950 --> 00:09:11,430 Fantastic analogy. 156 00:09:11,430 --> 00:09:15,300 And she says, if we look at an individual bar, we 157 00:09:15,300 --> 00:09:17,890 do not see the cage. 158 00:09:17,890 --> 00:09:20,630 It's only when the bars are connected 159 00:09:20,630 --> 00:09:22,430 that we can see them. 160 00:09:22,430 --> 00:09:26,170 And her book helps us to connect many of the bars that 161 00:09:26,170 --> 00:09:31,260 then make this industrial prison complex visible to us. 162 00:09:31,260 --> 00:09:34,930 She informs us that we have been sleeping through a 163 00:09:34,930 --> 00:09:37,560 revolution, a counter-revolution working 164 00:09:37,560 --> 00:09:41,840 against us, as a new system of racial and social control has 165 00:09:41,840 --> 00:09:44,480 been constructed. 166 00:09:44,480 --> 00:09:49,280 There were about 300,000 people in US prisons in the 167 00:09:49,280 --> 00:09:50,810 '70s and '80s. 168 00:09:50,810 --> 00:09:58,510 And by 2004, the count was up to 2.2 million. 169 00:09:58,510 --> 00:10:03,210 Ms. Alexander, Dr. Alexander, says that the stats show that 170 00:10:03,210 --> 00:10:07,540 the crime rates were independent of the rate of 171 00:10:07,540 --> 00:10:09,690 incarceration. 172 00:10:09,690 --> 00:10:13,610 And it was the war on drugs that accounts for the increase 173 00:10:13,610 --> 00:10:17,160 in the prison population as people were being funneled 174 00:10:17,160 --> 00:10:18,750 into the system. 175 00:10:18,750 --> 00:10:24,170 So if part of the purpose was to revitalize these economies 176 00:10:24,170 --> 00:10:28,140 with globalization and businesses leaving rural 177 00:10:28,140 --> 00:10:31,730 America, if the goal was to revitalize, then you need a 178 00:10:31,730 --> 00:10:33,780 way to make it happen. 179 00:10:33,780 --> 00:10:36,560 There was a plan to build 200 prisons 180 00:10:36,560 --> 00:10:38,560 across the United States. 181 00:10:38,560 --> 00:10:42,070 And the war on drugs then becomes part of the means for 182 00:10:42,070 --> 00:10:47,570 how you fill those prisons and make them profitable. 183 00:10:47,570 --> 00:10:51,320 Michelle Alexander says we have allowed a human rights 184 00:10:51,320 --> 00:10:56,060 nightmare to occur on our watch. 185 00:10:56,060 --> 00:10:59,860 And that reminds me of the 2001 Ware lecture, who 186 00:10:59,860 --> 00:11:03,470 remembers James Forbes, Reverend James Forbes, who 187 00:11:03,470 --> 00:11:04,270 spoke to us. 188 00:11:04,270 --> 00:11:08,540 And he called on us to help build a human rights movement. 189 00:11:08,540 --> 00:11:13,710 So I think we are still lining up to respond to that call. 190 00:11:13,710 --> 00:11:16,090 We're fortunate that The New Jim Crow has 191 00:11:16,090 --> 00:11:18,120 become a Common Read. 192 00:11:18,120 --> 00:11:21,920 This book is like our anti-racism training. 193 00:11:21,920 --> 00:11:24,170 It's an important resource. 194 00:11:24,170 --> 00:11:28,790 Both the book and the training give us a common language and 195 00:11:28,790 --> 00:11:33,230 a common analysis so that we can talk with each other and 196 00:11:33,230 --> 00:11:37,040 we can enter into a larger national movement. 197 00:11:37,040 --> 00:11:40,400 They help us to be more effective as we work to build 198 00:11:40,400 --> 00:11:42,350 solidarity with other people who are 199 00:11:42,350 --> 00:11:45,830 working on these issues. 200 00:11:45,830 --> 00:11:48,180 The Common Read is a starting place. 201 00:11:48,180 --> 00:11:50,950 But we must get engaged with communities. 202 00:11:50,950 --> 00:11:53,880 And we must build collaborations with people of 203 00:11:53,880 --> 00:11:59,280 color or we will miss a critical opportunity to learn 204 00:11:59,280 --> 00:12:04,100 what it means to put our years of anti-racism work, social 205 00:12:04,100 --> 00:12:08,160 justice, and our UU values into practice. 206 00:12:08,160 --> 00:12:11,020 So I want to share with you a few things that took place 207 00:12:11,020 --> 00:12:14,560 last year in the Joseph Priestley District, where I 208 00:12:14,560 --> 00:12:18,120 work part-time on the staff. 209 00:12:18,120 --> 00:12:20,660 All the things that I'll mention to you are also 210 00:12:20,660 --> 00:12:23,430 available in an electronic form. 211 00:12:23,430 --> 00:12:26,830 So I will get those links to Susan so you can go to one 212 00:12:26,830 --> 00:12:29,240 place and hopefully find them easily if you 213 00:12:29,240 --> 00:12:32,190 want to follow up. 214 00:12:32,190 --> 00:12:35,800 Reverend Carlton Elliott Smith served for the last few years 215 00:12:35,800 --> 00:12:38,980 as the consulting minister in the Unitarian Universalist 216 00:12:38,980 --> 00:12:41,300 Church in Arlington, Virginia. 217 00:12:41,300 --> 00:12:43,770 His ministry took an innovative approach to the 218 00:12:43,770 --> 00:12:46,990 Common Read by hosting eight sessions of an 219 00:12:46,990 --> 00:12:49,110 online radio blog. 220 00:12:49,110 --> 00:12:52,950 He reached out to ministers in the district and got them to 221 00:12:52,950 --> 00:12:57,630 agree to lead or participate in each of the sessions. 222 00:12:57,630 --> 00:12:59,500 And all of that is recorded. 223 00:12:59,500 --> 00:13:00,810 So you can go back and listen. 224 00:13:00,810 --> 00:13:04,600 But that was one way that the book itself was processed 225 00:13:04,600 --> 00:13:07,220 chapter by chapter. 226 00:13:07,220 --> 00:13:10,610 I participated in the final session, in which we spoke 227 00:13:10,610 --> 00:13:14,760 about going beyond the book and what did it mean to engage 228 00:13:14,760 --> 00:13:17,230 in activism and to work in partnership in the 229 00:13:17,230 --> 00:13:18,730 communities. 230 00:13:18,730 --> 00:13:20,580 Our discussion featured three 231 00:13:20,580 --> 00:13:23,110 congregational community efforts. 232 00:13:23,110 --> 00:13:26,500 And I want to share those with you if I can do that quickly. 233 00:13:26,500 --> 00:13:28,360 First was the Prince George's County, 234 00:13:28,360 --> 00:13:30,740 Maryland, People's Coalition. 235 00:13:30,740 --> 00:13:34,270 I was outraged by the murder of Trayvon Martin, as I'm sure 236 00:13:34,270 --> 00:13:36,330 many people here were. 237 00:13:36,330 --> 00:13:38,630 I attended a community meeting. 238 00:13:38,630 --> 00:13:41,840 It was a gathering of a coalition of people who had 239 00:13:41,840 --> 00:13:45,560 previously worked together against police brutality in 240 00:13:45,560 --> 00:13:47,790 Prince George's County. 241 00:13:47,790 --> 00:13:52,370 The group had some success in organizing in the 1990s, which 242 00:13:52,370 --> 00:13:56,850 led to the US Department of Justice coming in and calling 243 00:13:56,850 --> 00:13:59,810 for a higher level, requiring a higher level of 244 00:13:59,810 --> 00:14:03,430 accountability from the police department in 245 00:14:03,430 --> 00:14:04,890 Prince George's County. 246 00:14:04,890 --> 00:14:06,850 You can hear more about that if you want to 247 00:14:06,850 --> 00:14:08,850 on the radio blog. 248 00:14:08,850 --> 00:14:11,360 But this was a group of core leaders. 249 00:14:11,360 --> 00:14:13,260 They already had a network. 250 00:14:13,260 --> 00:14:15,560 They were seasoned activists. 251 00:14:15,560 --> 00:14:19,070 And I knew I was in the right place when one person, Rod 252 00:14:19,070 --> 00:14:23,360 Green, who was an economist, passed around a paper he had 253 00:14:23,360 --> 00:14:26,660 written and it was about mass incarceration. 254 00:14:26,660 --> 00:14:27,620 I was like, yes. 255 00:14:27,620 --> 00:14:29,590 This is where I want to be. 256 00:14:29,590 --> 00:14:32,510 We met on Sunday evenings to build community and to 257 00:14:32,510 --> 00:14:35,350 determine which steps we would take next. 258 00:14:35,350 --> 00:14:39,230 Some of the members there were from Occupy DC. 259 00:14:39,230 --> 00:14:45,580 And we joined with the Occupy DC Racial Injustice Committee 260 00:14:45,580 --> 00:14:50,670 to protest against Wells Fargo Bank for their investment in 261 00:14:50,670 --> 00:14:52,180 the privatization of prisons. 262 00:14:52,180 --> 00:14:55,380 How many of you are familiar with that? 263 00:14:55,380 --> 00:14:56,870 OK. 264 00:14:56,870 --> 00:14:57,790 Ooh. 265 00:14:57,790 --> 00:14:58,520 OK. 266 00:14:58,520 --> 00:15:02,350 So we went out and we leafleted. 267 00:15:02,350 --> 00:15:04,390 We were informing people. 268 00:15:04,390 --> 00:15:05,920 And we were also getting people who were 269 00:15:05,920 --> 00:15:07,990 interested in the issue. 270 00:15:07,990 --> 00:15:12,230 Let me just give you a few points from a 2012 report from 271 00:15:12,230 --> 00:15:16,310 the National People's Action Public Accountability issue. 272 00:15:16,310 --> 00:15:19,100 Wells This was in 2012. 273 00:15:19,100 --> 00:15:22,390 Wells Fargo is a major lender to Corrections Corporation of 274 00:15:22,390 --> 00:15:26,240 America, the largest private prison company in the country, 275 00:15:26,240 --> 00:15:31,900 acting as the syndication agent and issuing lender with 276 00:15:31,900 --> 00:15:38,540 this corporation, $785 million line of credit. 277 00:15:38,540 --> 00:15:42,280 They were also a major investor in the Geo Group, 278 00:15:42,280 --> 00:15:45,610 with a $95.5 million investment. 279 00:15:45,610 --> 00:15:48,880 And also they served as the trustee for $300 million in 280 00:15:48,880 --> 00:15:51,750 the company's corporate debt. 281 00:15:51,750 --> 00:15:55,250 And they said also that the records did not show that any 282 00:15:55,250 --> 00:15:59,370 other major bank had as strong ties to these top private 283 00:15:59,370 --> 00:16:01,930 prison companies. 284 00:16:01,930 --> 00:16:05,350 A USA Today article stated that the Corrections 285 00:16:05,350 --> 00:16:11,260 Corporation of America sent a $250 million proposal to 48 286 00:16:11,260 --> 00:16:15,680 states offering to buy the state prisons, if-- 287 00:16:15,680 --> 00:16:21,510 get this, if the state could guarantee a 90% occupancy rate 288 00:16:21,510 --> 00:16:24,890 for 20 years. 289 00:16:24,890 --> 00:16:25,410 OK. 290 00:16:25,410 --> 00:16:28,810 So you see the system that we're caught in. 291 00:16:28,810 --> 00:16:30,990 And if we don't see it, it will operate. 292 00:16:30,990 --> 00:16:33,900 And if we're not careful it'll start sweeping your children 293 00:16:33,900 --> 00:16:36,210 up too, if it hasn't already. 294 00:16:36,210 --> 00:16:39,950 Our small coalition organized a teach-in. 295 00:16:39,950 --> 00:16:42,790 And then eager to bring more UU churches and people from 296 00:16:42,790 --> 00:16:46,300 Washington, DC, into the work, we also held another teach-in 297 00:16:46,300 --> 00:16:49,690 at my home congregation in All Souls Church. 298 00:16:49,690 --> 00:16:51,270 We planted more seeds. 299 00:16:51,270 --> 00:16:54,910 Currently we're organizing our annual racial justice 300 00:16:54,910 --> 00:16:55,430 conference. 301 00:16:55,430 --> 00:16:57,780 This will be our ninth conference in the Joseph 302 00:16:57,780 --> 00:16:59,250 Priestley District. 303 00:16:59,250 --> 00:17:02,530 And on the Sunday-- it'll be the first weekend in November 304 00:17:02,530 --> 00:17:03,710 if you're interested. 305 00:17:03,710 --> 00:17:06,310 On the Sunday after the conference 306 00:17:06,310 --> 00:17:08,450 we will have a teach-in. 307 00:17:08,450 --> 00:17:13,579 And Decarcerate Pennsylvania is one of the groups that will 308 00:17:13,579 --> 00:17:15,630 be participating. 309 00:17:15,630 --> 00:17:17,430 And this teach-in will reach out to the 310 00:17:17,430 --> 00:17:20,150 community, not just to UUs. 311 00:17:20,150 --> 00:17:23,720 There's a good model in Wilmington, Delaware. 312 00:17:23,720 --> 00:17:26,819 We have a minister, Paula Mariano, who 313 00:17:26,819 --> 00:17:28,140 is a community minister. 314 00:17:28,140 --> 00:17:30,980 She works with a nonprofit that helps people who have 315 00:17:30,980 --> 00:17:36,090 been incarcerated reenter into their communities. 316 00:17:36,090 --> 00:17:41,460 And they formed a partnership to read the book over a six-, 317 00:17:41,460 --> 00:17:44,990 seven-week period, Mother Africa Union Church and the 318 00:17:44,990 --> 00:17:48,200 First UU Church of Wilmington. 319 00:17:48,200 --> 00:17:51,280 They said, do not read this by yourself. 320 00:17:51,280 --> 00:17:51,830 Partner. 321 00:17:51,830 --> 00:17:53,200 Join with another church. 322 00:17:53,200 --> 00:17:56,320 Join with an organization in your community. 323 00:17:56,320 --> 00:17:59,540 Meet cross-racially as you do this work, because there are 324 00:17:59,540 --> 00:18:02,340 things that we have to learn. 325 00:18:02,340 --> 00:18:06,060 Their next phase of organizing is to train, they're doing 326 00:18:06,060 --> 00:18:09,010 this now, training facilitators who will then 327 00:18:09,010 --> 00:18:13,410 lead those kinds of partners in their 12 congregations in 328 00:18:13,410 --> 00:18:17,630 their interface network that have lined up to do this. 329 00:18:17,630 --> 00:18:18,680 They have a planning group. 330 00:18:18,680 --> 00:18:21,300 They used a study planning action model. 331 00:18:21,300 --> 00:18:22,440 They have a planning group. 332 00:18:22,440 --> 00:18:24,370 And they're hoping that out of the new reads, 333 00:18:24,370 --> 00:18:25,950 more people will join. 334 00:18:25,950 --> 00:18:27,980 That's one that you should pay attention to. 335 00:18:27,980 --> 00:18:30,610 It's a good model. 336 00:18:30,610 --> 00:18:36,220 And let me close with was just a few statements. 337 00:18:36,220 --> 00:18:40,910 The new Jim Crow and the issue of mass incarceration really 338 00:18:40,910 --> 00:18:45,330 should be an important study for us in systemic racial 339 00:18:45,330 --> 00:18:48,630 injustice and in white privilege. 340 00:18:48,630 --> 00:18:51,620 Class privilege is also part of the dynamic. 341 00:18:51,620 --> 00:18:55,420 But if we do not understand how white privilege plays out 342 00:18:55,420 --> 00:18:59,240 in this system, we will miss learning what can possibly 343 00:18:59,240 --> 00:19:03,330 transform some of our congregations and potentially 344 00:19:03,330 --> 00:19:05,740 our association. 345 00:19:05,740 --> 00:19:09,020 While we are making some progress, I think the more 346 00:19:09,020 --> 00:19:13,400 work that I do, the more I'm coming to realize that the 347 00:19:13,400 --> 00:19:17,940 chasm between white people in this country and people of 348 00:19:17,940 --> 00:19:21,050 color and in particular African Americans, that chasm 349 00:19:21,050 --> 00:19:23,830 is greater than I ever realized. 350 00:19:23,830 --> 00:19:28,630 And so it's important that we just continue to move forward. 351 00:19:28,630 --> 00:19:30,720 I want to close with one important insight that I 352 00:19:30,720 --> 00:19:31,650 gained last year. 353 00:19:31,650 --> 00:19:34,020 Give me a minute and I'll be through. 354 00:19:34,020 --> 00:19:37,050 And I hope that what I'm about to say to you will stay with 355 00:19:37,050 --> 00:19:41,100 when you leave General Assembly, so listen closely. 356 00:19:41,100 --> 00:19:44,850 We must transform our understanding of leadership. 357 00:19:44,850 --> 00:19:48,590 In the dominant culture, we understand a leader as someone 358 00:19:48,590 --> 00:19:53,870 who has been exposed to a body of knowledge, has gained a 359 00:19:53,870 --> 00:19:57,550 certain set of skills and competencies that enable them 360 00:19:57,550 --> 00:20:01,160 to direct or instruct programs or people. 361 00:20:01,160 --> 00:20:03,100 In other words, they have finished-- 362 00:20:03,100 --> 00:20:07,910 we have finished, in dominant culture, our apprenticeship. 363 00:20:07,910 --> 00:20:12,850 We are then considered a leader and are worthy of being 364 00:20:12,850 --> 00:20:15,912 role models or being emulated by others. 365 00:20:15,912 --> 00:20:17,720 Right? 366 00:20:17,720 --> 00:20:21,030 When we enter into multicultural or 367 00:20:21,030 --> 00:20:25,220 cross-cultural coalitions or collaborations, especially at 368 00:20:25,220 --> 00:20:28,640 the community level, our understanding of leadership 369 00:20:28,640 --> 00:20:31,110 must shift. 370 00:20:31,110 --> 00:20:32,590 Our apprenticeship-- 371 00:20:32,590 --> 00:20:36,100 we still can see ourselves as leaders, but we have to change 372 00:20:36,100 --> 00:20:40,730 how we understand that our apprenticeship begins when we 373 00:20:40,730 --> 00:20:44,410 enter into those multicultural collaborations. 374 00:20:44,410 --> 00:20:48,410 If we go in with the same stance that we're able to 375 00:20:48,410 --> 00:20:52,560 operate with in spaces like this, we are going to miss 376 00:20:52,560 --> 00:20:54,470 very important learnings. 377 00:20:54,470 --> 00:20:58,120 We're going to miss the opportunity to build trusting, 378 00:20:58,120 --> 00:21:01,770 long-lasting, transformative relationships. 379 00:21:01,770 --> 00:21:05,590 We need to have the humility to see ourselves as partners 380 00:21:05,590 --> 00:21:07,660 and to understand what that means in 381 00:21:07,660 --> 00:21:09,880 the particular setting. 382 00:21:09,880 --> 00:21:12,510 We have to learn to recognize and respect the people's 383 00:21:12,510 --> 00:21:14,980 understanding and learn to see them as 384 00:21:14,980 --> 00:21:17,970 leaders and as resources. 385 00:21:17,970 --> 00:21:21,680 This kind of shift is like Paulo Freire's book that was 386 00:21:21,680 --> 00:21:24,590 titled The Pedagogy of the Oppressed. 387 00:21:24,590 --> 00:21:26,180 It was the pedagogy of the 388 00:21:26,180 --> 00:21:28,380 oppressed, not for the oppressed. 389 00:21:28,380 --> 00:21:31,020 We're not going to save the day. 390 00:21:31,020 --> 00:21:34,820 But we are going to learn and to expand, because all of our 391 00:21:34,820 --> 00:21:37,540 freedom is tied up together. 392 00:21:37,540 --> 00:21:40,260 I've found my apprenticeship. 393 00:21:40,260 --> 00:21:42,079 Will you find yours? 394 00:21:42,079 --> 00:21:51,560 [APPLAUSE] 395 00:21:51,560 --> 00:21:53,280 MARLIN LAVANHAR: Thank you all for being here tonight. 396 00:21:53,280 --> 00:21:54,920 I want to just to reiterate. 397 00:21:54,920 --> 00:21:58,140 I know probably everybody knows the understanding of the 398 00:21:58,140 --> 00:22:01,560 new Jim Crow, but this idea that once somebody has a 399 00:22:01,560 --> 00:22:05,470 felony in our country, then in most states that means that 400 00:22:05,470 --> 00:22:07,030 they can't vote. 401 00:22:07,030 --> 00:22:09,660 It means that they can be legally discriminated against 402 00:22:09,660 --> 00:22:11,495 for jobs, housing, and public assistance. 403 00:22:11,495 --> 00:22:15,200 So all of a sudden, we have this disproportionate number 404 00:22:15,200 --> 00:22:17,960 particularly of African Americans being arrested and 405 00:22:17,960 --> 00:22:19,230 getting felonies. 406 00:22:19,230 --> 00:22:22,100 And therefore, we now have this legal system where we can 407 00:22:22,100 --> 00:22:27,050 now legally discriminate against them for voting. 408 00:22:27,050 --> 00:22:29,730 Their voting rights are gone, like in the Jim Crow era. 409 00:22:29,730 --> 00:22:32,320 And then also public assistance, housing, and jobs, 410 00:22:32,320 --> 00:22:34,690 they can be legally discriminated against without 411 00:22:34,690 --> 00:22:36,170 rights and recourse. 412 00:22:36,170 --> 00:22:36,940 AUDIENCE: Educational opportunities. 413 00:22:36,940 --> 00:22:38,560 MARLIN LAVANHAR: Educational opportunities and 414 00:22:38,560 --> 00:22:39,550 all kinds of things. 415 00:22:39,550 --> 00:22:46,050 So I just want-- in Oklahoma, where I come from, if you're 416 00:22:46,050 --> 00:22:52,830 an African American adult male, the rate of felonies is 417 00:22:52,830 --> 00:23:00,410 1 in every 2.7, not 1 in 4, not 1 in 3, but one in every 418 00:23:00,410 --> 00:23:02,180 2.7 African American adult males 419 00:23:02,180 --> 00:23:05,990 can't vote in our elections. 420 00:23:05,990 --> 00:23:08,240 Not to mention all the other things that are stripped from 421 00:23:08,240 --> 00:23:10,380 them legally because of the system. 422 00:23:10,380 --> 00:23:11,500 So I want to talk a little bit about what 423 00:23:11,500 --> 00:23:12,420 we're doing in Oklahoma. 424 00:23:12,420 --> 00:23:16,160 But first, I wanted to offer a little bit of theological 425 00:23:16,160 --> 00:23:19,710 grounding, which is one of the things I was asked to do here. 426 00:23:19,710 --> 00:23:23,420 Obviously-- 427 00:23:23,420 --> 00:23:23,750 oh. 428 00:23:23,750 --> 00:23:27,320 Let me go back to say also that it's very clear that drug 429 00:23:27,320 --> 00:23:31,590 use, which is the major cause of these felonies, is the same 430 00:23:31,590 --> 00:23:33,510 in all studies across 431 00:23:33,510 --> 00:23:35,830 socioeconomic and racial lines. 432 00:23:35,830 --> 00:23:38,080 So there's something going on when we have such a 433 00:23:38,080 --> 00:23:40,960 disproportionate number of African Americans being swept 434 00:23:40,960 --> 00:23:41,660 into the system. 435 00:23:41,660 --> 00:23:43,260 So that's kind of the grounding. 436 00:23:43,260 --> 00:23:47,740 So why should we do anything about it in our churches? 437 00:23:47,740 --> 00:23:52,150 Theologically, we talk about freedom and justice for all, 438 00:23:52,150 --> 00:23:55,050 compassion and equity in human relations, and all those 439 00:23:55,050 --> 00:23:59,340 things that ground what we do. 440 00:23:59,340 --> 00:24:02,550 How could we stand by and watch this happen, a new Jim 441 00:24:02,550 --> 00:24:07,140 Crow system once we understand it, continue to stay in place 442 00:24:07,140 --> 00:24:10,190 and not try to be leaders and leverage our power and 443 00:24:10,190 --> 00:24:16,120 influence in the society to try to change it? 444 00:24:16,120 --> 00:24:21,870 Krister Stendhal, a Lutheran theologian, he used to say, 445 00:24:21,870 --> 00:24:26,680 now if Jesus Christ were to come back today and get to the 446 00:24:26,680 --> 00:24:29,890 Oval Office or wherever he would office and bring his 447 00:24:29,890 --> 00:24:33,060 advisors around, what would be the first question 448 00:24:33,060 --> 00:24:34,350 that he would ask? 449 00:24:34,350 --> 00:24:36,720 Would he ask, what are the numbers? 450 00:24:36,720 --> 00:24:37,200 What are the numbers? 451 00:24:37,200 --> 00:24:37,740 How are we doing? 452 00:24:37,740 --> 00:24:41,490 How many souls have we saved since I've been gone? 453 00:24:41,490 --> 00:24:45,960 Or would he say, how much closer are we to building the 454 00:24:45,960 --> 00:24:48,700 kingdom of heaven here on earth? 455 00:24:48,700 --> 00:24:52,940 Our response historically from our Christian roots is we 456 00:24:52,940 --> 00:24:55,830 would say that his first question would be, how much 457 00:24:55,830 --> 00:24:57,800 closer are we to building the kingdom of 458 00:24:57,800 --> 00:24:59,100 heaven here on earth? 459 00:24:59,100 --> 00:25:00,710 And that's what this is about. 460 00:25:00,710 --> 00:25:04,100 It's about our role in helping to build that kind of beloved 461 00:25:04,100 --> 00:25:06,080 community here on earth. 462 00:25:06,080 --> 00:25:11,580 And I wanted to say a few of the things that 463 00:25:11,580 --> 00:25:12,290 we're working on. 464 00:25:12,290 --> 00:25:14,000 Oh-- and kingdom of heaven. 465 00:25:14,000 --> 00:25:17,470 I like also some new language that I heard at Reverend 466 00:25:17,470 --> 00:25:19,660 Cathey Edwards' ordination recently. 467 00:25:19,660 --> 00:25:23,590 The pastor who preached said, or we could call it the kindom 468 00:25:23,590 --> 00:25:29,300 of heaven, the brotherhood and sisterhood of heaven. 469 00:25:29,300 --> 00:25:34,200 So here's what we're doing in Tulsa to try to respond. 470 00:25:34,200 --> 00:25:37,050 There's some programmatic things that I think any church 471 00:25:37,050 --> 00:25:39,300 could do in their own area in some ways. 472 00:25:39,300 --> 00:25:41,560 And then there's some bigger systemic ways that we're 473 00:25:41,560 --> 00:25:42,540 trying to tackle that. 474 00:25:42,540 --> 00:25:44,900 So I just want to share a few those to get 475 00:25:44,900 --> 00:25:46,410 the questions flowing. 476 00:25:46,410 --> 00:25:48,560 And I'll sit down and we'll hear from Eric. 477 00:25:48,560 --> 00:25:51,650 And then we'll have some dialogue, I hope. 478 00:25:51,650 --> 00:25:55,520 We have a minister who's on our staff. 479 00:25:55,520 --> 00:25:56,395 He's been a student minister. 480 00:25:56,395 --> 00:25:57,840 He's coming on as a community minister. 481 00:25:57,840 --> 00:25:59,170 His name is Randy Lewis. 482 00:25:59,170 --> 00:26:02,870 He's African American, a former Baptist minister. 483 00:26:02,870 --> 00:26:06,730 And he is working particularly overseeing-- 484 00:26:06,730 --> 00:26:11,750 this is his primary focus is around prison ministry and 485 00:26:11,750 --> 00:26:14,380 issues related to the new Jim Crow. 486 00:26:14,380 --> 00:26:16,780 So he started-- 487 00:26:16,780 --> 00:26:20,535 he had a class this last spring on-- 488 00:26:20,535 --> 00:26:22,160 what did he call it? 489 00:26:22,160 --> 00:26:25,280 He called it the broken system, mass 490 00:26:25,280 --> 00:26:26,550 incarceration in Oklahoma. 491 00:26:26,550 --> 00:26:28,790 And he brought in people who are working 492 00:26:28,790 --> 00:26:30,500 with women in recovery. 493 00:26:30,500 --> 00:26:32,200 He brought in police officers. 494 00:26:32,200 --> 00:26:34,340 He brought in a panel of attorneys. 495 00:26:34,340 --> 00:26:38,600 He brought in juvenile court judges and the county 496 00:26:38,600 --> 00:26:40,470 commissioner to come talk to us. 497 00:26:40,470 --> 00:26:42,370 So we've been having programs where we're bringing these 498 00:26:42,370 --> 00:26:45,270 folks in to ask them questions about why the system like this 499 00:26:45,270 --> 00:26:47,380 and how can we make a difference. 500 00:26:47,380 --> 00:26:53,000 He is starting worship and classes in the male prison in 501 00:26:53,000 --> 00:26:55,250 Hominy, Oklahoma. 502 00:26:55,250 --> 00:26:58,510 I should say about the prisons in Oklahoma, we have a lot of 503 00:26:58,510 --> 00:26:59,410 private prisons. 504 00:26:59,410 --> 00:27:02,890 And the president of the Department of Corrections last 505 00:27:02,890 --> 00:27:06,370 week quit because he said, this is unethical. 506 00:27:06,370 --> 00:27:08,135 They were pushing and pushing and pushing him 507 00:27:08,135 --> 00:27:09,310 to fill those prisons. 508 00:27:09,310 --> 00:27:13,380 There's a profit motive to this that is significant. 509 00:27:13,380 --> 00:27:14,500 And so he resigned. 510 00:27:14,500 --> 00:27:17,880 He said his Christian values were part of what 511 00:27:17,880 --> 00:27:20,250 caused him to resign. 512 00:27:20,250 --> 00:27:20,870 I see a hand up. 513 00:27:20,870 --> 00:27:23,690 I'm going to wait until questions, so please, if you 514 00:27:23,690 --> 00:27:29,430 don't mind. 515 00:27:29,430 --> 00:27:31,330 And if you need to correct me, you can during the 516 00:27:31,330 --> 00:27:34,040 questions, all right? 517 00:27:34,040 --> 00:27:38,420 So during Black History Month, we're working on a program to 518 00:27:38,420 --> 00:27:43,270 link black history and the new Jim Crow through a major focus 519 00:27:43,270 --> 00:27:47,630 on recidivism rates and some other things that are going on 520 00:27:47,630 --> 00:27:48,420 in our community. 521 00:27:48,420 --> 00:27:51,550 But let me say some things about sort of looking at the 522 00:27:51,550 --> 00:27:53,390 larger system. 523 00:27:53,390 --> 00:27:55,880 Maybe your churches are doing some of the same things. 524 00:27:55,880 --> 00:27:59,160 We partner with three different schools in our 525 00:27:59,160 --> 00:28:02,180 community that are underserved schools. 526 00:28:02,180 --> 00:28:05,230 And we do a lot of work with those kids in mentoring. 527 00:28:05,230 --> 00:28:07,830 And we partnered with an organization called 100 Black 528 00:28:07,830 --> 00:28:11,760 Men of Tulsa to do a reading program. 529 00:28:11,760 --> 00:28:12,870 They told us-- 530 00:28:12,870 --> 00:28:15,380 and this is part of what Paula was saying, partnering with 531 00:28:15,380 --> 00:28:16,520 and apprenticing with. 532 00:28:16,520 --> 00:28:18,620 They said, if we can capture these kids-- if we don't 533 00:28:18,620 --> 00:28:22,090 capture them by sixth grade, they get into gang activity 534 00:28:22,090 --> 00:28:23,740 and it's too late. 535 00:28:23,740 --> 00:28:27,000 And so they said, we're going to make sure these kids can 536 00:28:27,000 --> 00:28:31,390 read at grade level in sixth grade, by sixth grade. 537 00:28:31,390 --> 00:28:34,740 And so they've been doing reading and mentoring with 538 00:28:34,740 --> 00:28:37,900 these young kids in sixth grade. 539 00:28:37,900 --> 00:28:42,720 We started a camp in the summer with the kids. 540 00:28:42,720 --> 00:28:45,920 And we have an addiction recovery program, so we have 541 00:28:45,920 --> 00:28:48,390 one of the largest in Tulsa, that meets in our church, an 542 00:28:48,390 --> 00:28:50,060 AA program. 543 00:28:50,060 --> 00:28:57,340 And so I was invited to be on the mayor's Police in Action 544 00:28:57,340 --> 00:28:59,320 community coalition in Tulsa. 545 00:28:59,320 --> 00:29:01,090 So I meet with the chief of police and the 546 00:29:01,090 --> 00:29:02,530 mayor once a month. 547 00:29:02,530 --> 00:29:04,880 I've been doing this now for four years. 548 00:29:04,880 --> 00:29:07,250 And that was part of my-- because I was the president of 549 00:29:07,250 --> 00:29:09,300 our interfaith organization in Tulsa. 550 00:29:09,300 --> 00:29:12,560 And so in that role, I was asked to be a part of this 551 00:29:12,560 --> 00:29:15,390 group of community leaders, meeting with them to talk 552 00:29:15,390 --> 00:29:17,540 about issues as they relate to the community. 553 00:29:17,540 --> 00:29:19,790 And so I've been able to continue to stay 554 00:29:19,790 --> 00:29:20,740 involved with that. 555 00:29:20,740 --> 00:29:23,740 But that allows me to have sort of a systemic approach. 556 00:29:23,740 --> 00:29:27,930 And then when I preached on the topic of the new Jim Crow, 557 00:29:27,930 --> 00:29:32,190 it turned out to be, that Sunday was the Sunday directly 558 00:29:32,190 --> 00:29:36,265 following Trayvon Martin being shot and killed in Florida. 559 00:29:36,265 --> 00:29:39,830 It just happened to be it happened a couple days before. 560 00:29:39,830 --> 00:29:41,450 So I switched up my sermon a little bit but 561 00:29:41,450 --> 00:29:42,110 talked about that. 562 00:29:42,110 --> 00:29:45,940 But then the sermon went viral throughout the Tulsa area 563 00:29:45,940 --> 00:29:48,780 among clergy and other folks, particularly in African 564 00:29:48,780 --> 00:29:50,200 American community, but throughout the 565 00:29:50,200 --> 00:29:51,570 community at large. 566 00:29:51,570 --> 00:29:55,760 And then they asked me-- there was a large memorial service 567 00:29:55,760 --> 00:29:58,240 at one of the Baptist churches, African American 568 00:29:58,240 --> 00:30:00,350 Baptist churches, in town and they asked me to do the 569 00:30:00,350 --> 00:30:05,000 keynote talk at this memorial, citywide 570 00:30:05,000 --> 00:30:06,530 memorial for Trayvon Martin. 571 00:30:06,530 --> 00:30:08,140 It was a huge honor to be asked. 572 00:30:08,140 --> 00:30:09,560 But it was all based on the fact that I 573 00:30:09,560 --> 00:30:10,860 had done that sermon. 574 00:30:10,860 --> 00:30:11,540 They said, he gets it. 575 00:30:11,540 --> 00:30:13,210 He gets what's going on. 576 00:30:13,210 --> 00:30:19,870 And so let's let him be the voice, to have a white ally 577 00:30:19,870 --> 00:30:23,115 saying some of the things that these pastors have been saying 578 00:30:23,115 --> 00:30:24,260 a long time to their people. 579 00:30:24,260 --> 00:30:26,350 But to hear it from me made a difference. 580 00:30:26,350 --> 00:30:27,600 They said it makes a difference 581 00:30:27,600 --> 00:30:29,670 hearing it from you. 582 00:30:29,670 --> 00:30:32,170 So that was something I was invited to do. 583 00:30:32,170 --> 00:30:40,110 And then the week later we had two gentlemen in a truck, 584 00:30:40,110 --> 00:30:42,190 described as two white gentleman in a truck, went 585 00:30:42,190 --> 00:30:45,810 around and shot five African Americans in the predominantly 586 00:30:45,810 --> 00:30:48,340 black part of North Tulsa. 587 00:30:48,340 --> 00:30:51,890 And three were shot dead and left-- just randomly went 588 00:30:51,890 --> 00:30:53,750 through and were shooting people. 589 00:30:53,750 --> 00:30:56,850 And so as soon as that happened, they called an 590 00:30:56,850 --> 00:30:59,960 emergency meeting that evening, the NAACP leaders. 591 00:30:59,960 --> 00:31:01,460 And they called me and they asked me to 592 00:31:01,460 --> 00:31:02,640 come down and be there. 593 00:31:02,640 --> 00:31:07,310 I was the only Caucasian person in 594 00:31:07,310 --> 00:31:09,120 this assembly of folks. 595 00:31:09,120 --> 00:31:11,980 And it was a very intense-- you can imagine how intense it 596 00:31:11,980 --> 00:31:14,170 was that evening trying to figure out what to do, because 597 00:31:14,170 --> 00:31:16,290 they were still at large. 598 00:31:16,290 --> 00:31:18,980 And this was Good Friday. 599 00:31:18,980 --> 00:31:21,360 With Easter coming up, people were scared on Saturday to 600 00:31:21,360 --> 00:31:25,140 even leave their homes, African Americans that live in 601 00:31:25,140 --> 00:31:26,880 that part of town, because these killers 602 00:31:26,880 --> 00:31:28,760 were still at large. 603 00:31:28,760 --> 00:31:32,910 So they appointed me to be part of a response team. 604 00:31:32,910 --> 00:31:35,840 And then I ended up inviting my entire congregation to come 605 00:31:35,840 --> 00:31:39,650 down to a vigil, a prayer vigil with the families who 606 00:31:39,650 --> 00:31:43,930 had lost loved ones and two of the victims who had survived 607 00:31:43,930 --> 00:31:46,780 on Easter Sunday at 1 o'clock. 608 00:31:46,780 --> 00:31:50,280 And so in my Easter sermon, I changed that up to talk about 609 00:31:50,280 --> 00:31:51,290 what was happening. 610 00:31:51,290 --> 00:31:55,210 And I invited my congregation to come down to this church, 611 00:31:55,210 --> 00:31:58,030 African American Baptist church in a part of town where 612 00:31:58,030 --> 00:32:00,240 a lot of my congregation don't go into that 613 00:32:00,240 --> 00:32:02,250 part of Tulsa typically. 614 00:32:02,250 --> 00:32:05,560 And a whole bunch of folks went down and we had a 615 00:32:05,560 --> 00:32:08,970 fantastic connection with folks. 616 00:32:08,970 --> 00:32:12,730 So it's about building the relationships with folks. 617 00:32:12,730 --> 00:32:16,710 And folks were so moved to see that this was not something 618 00:32:16,710 --> 00:32:20,430 that was just the African American community being 619 00:32:20,430 --> 00:32:23,570 scared and praying together, but that they had white allies 620 00:32:23,570 --> 00:32:27,670 from the Unitarian Church in town coming to be with them, 621 00:32:27,670 --> 00:32:28,800 even on Easter Sunday. 622 00:32:28,800 --> 00:32:33,290 So it's been just getting into this work working on the new 623 00:32:33,290 --> 00:32:36,600 Jim Crow has built so many really positive relationships 624 00:32:36,600 --> 00:32:39,210 for our congregation within our city. 625 00:32:39,210 --> 00:32:42,670 And it's giving us the relationships that we need to 626 00:32:42,670 --> 00:32:46,360 continue hopefully to be effective and certainly to be 627 00:32:46,360 --> 00:32:48,140 allies in this work. 628 00:32:48,140 --> 00:32:51,960 And so now, we were approached by a judge, someone who wants 629 00:32:51,960 --> 00:32:55,300 to run from our congregation to be a judge in the criminal 630 00:32:55,300 --> 00:32:59,510 justice system, and who has said, I want to run on the 631 00:32:59,510 --> 00:33:01,360 issue of recidivism rates. 632 00:33:01,360 --> 00:33:04,040 Maybe the Church can help put together some programs to 633 00:33:04,040 --> 00:33:08,440 heighten the idea of what's going on with regard to the 634 00:33:08,440 --> 00:33:11,050 recidivism rates in our community. 635 00:33:11,050 --> 00:33:14,030 And so it's a way that our church can then become a 636 00:33:14,030 --> 00:33:16,800 vehicle to raise awareness about an issue that could 637 00:33:16,800 --> 00:33:21,040 potentially allow a particular judge to get elected so that 638 00:33:21,040 --> 00:33:23,760 we have judges who understand the new Jim Crow and 639 00:33:23,760 --> 00:33:25,780 understand what's going on in the system so that we can 640 00:33:25,780 --> 00:33:27,440 start to change the system. 641 00:33:27,440 --> 00:33:29,970 So this is what I mean about the systemic piece, getting 642 00:33:29,970 --> 00:33:32,850 involved with the mayor and the chief of police, getting 643 00:33:32,850 --> 00:33:36,190 involved in the school system, and then getting involved with 644 00:33:36,190 --> 00:33:38,550 trying to not just bring judges and lawyers and other 645 00:33:38,550 --> 00:33:41,730 folks to speak to us, but also letting them know that we're a 646 00:33:41,730 --> 00:33:45,330 resource for them and others as they're trying to get 647 00:33:45,330 --> 00:33:49,620 elected on issues that relate to the prison industrial 648 00:33:49,620 --> 00:33:52,940 complex and the war on drugs and all of those things. 649 00:33:52,940 --> 00:33:53,660 Thank you very much. 650 00:33:53,660 --> 00:33:54,910 I look forward to your questions. 651 00:33:54,910 --> 00:34:03,900 [APPLAUSE] 652 00:34:03,900 --> 00:34:05,090 ERIC METER: Marlin, no one should ever 653 00:34:05,090 --> 00:34:08,070 have to follow you. 654 00:34:08,070 --> 00:34:13,370 Your presence and your stories are always that compelling. 655 00:34:13,370 --> 00:34:18,480 The story I have to tell you may be a little less dramatic 656 00:34:18,480 --> 00:34:20,750 from Columbus, Ohio, where I'm from. 657 00:34:20,750 --> 00:34:28,060 But I don't think it's any less important. 658 00:34:28,060 --> 00:34:32,989 And it relates to a phrase that Susan mentioned earlier. 659 00:34:32,989 --> 00:34:36,429 It's one of the ugliest phrases I know, the 660 00:34:36,429 --> 00:34:39,659 school-to-prison pipeline. 661 00:34:39,659 --> 00:34:42,170 And if there's anyone here who doesn't think that is an 662 00:34:42,170 --> 00:34:46,440 absolutely ugly phrase, I really need to know what your 663 00:34:46,440 --> 00:34:51,580 thinking is, because I don't get it. 664 00:34:51,580 --> 00:34:54,850 Another phrase I like, and I'm paraphrasing the sociologist 665 00:34:54,850 --> 00:35:01,140 Robert Bellah, democracy begins with paying attention. 666 00:35:01,140 --> 00:35:07,210 Well, in Columbus, Ohio, folks are organized and have been 667 00:35:07,210 --> 00:35:09,970 paying attention. 668 00:35:09,970 --> 00:35:13,220 In Columbus, the First Unitarian Universalist Church 669 00:35:13,220 --> 00:35:15,980 was one of the founding members of a 670 00:35:15,980 --> 00:35:18,610 congregationally-based community organizing group 671 00:35:18,610 --> 00:35:23,130 called BREAD, Building Responsibility 672 00:35:23,130 --> 00:35:24,610 Equality And Dignity. 673 00:35:24,610 --> 00:35:28,710 At this time, there are over 50 faith communities coming 674 00:35:28,710 --> 00:35:34,310 together to tackle a new issue every year that affects not 675 00:35:34,310 --> 00:35:37,620 just one church, not just a region, but the entire 676 00:35:37,620 --> 00:35:40,490 metropolitan community. 677 00:35:40,490 --> 00:35:43,650 I've been at the Columbus church for five years now. 678 00:35:43,650 --> 00:35:48,010 And three and a half years ago, I was asked to be part of 679 00:35:48,010 --> 00:35:52,310 BREAD's Keeping Kids in School committee. 680 00:35:52,310 --> 00:35:55,680 Now, many of you may have known of that phrase, 681 00:35:55,680 --> 00:35:58,080 school-to-prison pipeline. 682 00:35:58,080 --> 00:36:00,040 But that's when I first learned about it. 683 00:36:00,040 --> 00:36:00,850 And I said, no. 684 00:36:00,850 --> 00:36:02,610 That can't be. 685 00:36:02,610 --> 00:36:05,220 That's not right. 686 00:36:05,220 --> 00:36:10,210 I was a white guy from a very good public school system. 687 00:36:10,210 --> 00:36:14,790 Little did I know how wrong I was. 688 00:36:14,790 --> 00:36:17,590 Each year in BREAD we take an issue. 689 00:36:17,590 --> 00:36:21,170 And the issue that came out three and a half years ago was 690 00:36:21,170 --> 00:36:25,680 truancy and that the schools weren't doing everything in 691 00:36:25,680 --> 00:36:28,580 their power to keep our students in 692 00:36:28,580 --> 00:36:31,660 school where they belonged. 693 00:36:31,660 --> 00:36:35,030 Now, the school has a policy, the Columbus city schools, of 694 00:36:35,030 --> 00:36:40,180 not giving out the punishment of out-of-school suspensions 695 00:36:40,180 --> 00:36:45,880 for truancy or for an undefined category called 696 00:36:45,880 --> 00:36:48,870 disruptive behavior. 697 00:36:48,870 --> 00:36:51,650 But the schools were doing that in the case of truancy 698 00:36:51,650 --> 00:36:56,040 over 4,200 times a year. 699 00:36:56,040 --> 00:37:01,850 Now if you remember your youth, if you are sent away 700 00:37:01,850 --> 00:37:04,980 from school for not going to school, that's not a 701 00:37:04,980 --> 00:37:05,560 punishment. 702 00:37:05,560 --> 00:37:10,430 That's a reward. 703 00:37:10,430 --> 00:37:15,060 And the incidence of out-of-school suspensions for 704 00:37:15,060 --> 00:37:18,030 whatever they mean by disruptive behavior, that 705 00:37:18,030 --> 00:37:23,000 happened over 15,000 times on average in the last several 706 00:37:23,000 --> 00:37:24,180 school years. 707 00:37:24,180 --> 00:37:26,400 Let me put this in context. 708 00:37:26,400 --> 00:37:28,130 Five years ago, the Columbus city 709 00:37:28,130 --> 00:37:31,030 schools had 52,000 students. 710 00:37:31,030 --> 00:37:33,260 This last year, it was 47,000. 711 00:37:33,260 --> 00:37:37,660 So that's nearly one out of every three students being 712 00:37:37,660 --> 00:37:44,690 suspended for either of those two problems. 713 00:37:44,690 --> 00:37:49,820 So we brought this to the school board superintendent, 714 00:37:49,820 --> 00:37:51,570 Dr. Gene Harris, her attention. 715 00:37:51,570 --> 00:37:54,200 And she said, yes, she would work with us. 716 00:37:54,200 --> 00:37:57,030 So for the last several years, we've been 717 00:37:57,030 --> 00:38:00,230 meeting with her quarterly. 718 00:38:00,230 --> 00:38:05,680 I'm able to tell you that during those meetings, she has 719 00:38:05,680 --> 00:38:08,280 greeted us graciously. 720 00:38:08,280 --> 00:38:10,910 And the number of out-of-school suspensions for 721 00:38:10,910 --> 00:38:16,160 truancy has decreased from over 4,000 to 722 00:38:16,160 --> 00:38:18,825 just under 1,000 now. 723 00:38:18,825 --> 00:38:22,010 And she seems happy with that. 724 00:38:22,010 --> 00:38:25,140 We're not. 725 00:38:25,140 --> 00:38:28,950 And we still have much work to do with all of those 726 00:38:28,950 --> 00:38:31,860 out-of-school suspensions for what's 727 00:38:31,860 --> 00:38:34,330 called disruptive behavior. 728 00:38:34,330 --> 00:38:38,360 During the last several years, I have had many productive and 729 00:38:38,360 --> 00:38:42,170 challenging conversations with teachers in my congregation. 730 00:38:42,170 --> 00:38:45,310 And I suspect there are probably a teacher or two 731 00:38:45,310 --> 00:38:47,590 either current or former here in this room. 732 00:38:47,590 --> 00:38:49,930 If you are or have been a teacher, would you please 733 00:38:49,930 --> 00:38:51,520 raise your hand? 734 00:38:51,520 --> 00:38:52,406 Wow. 735 00:38:52,406 --> 00:38:54,830 [APPLAUSE] 736 00:38:54,830 --> 00:38:59,215 Yes. 737 00:38:59,215 --> 00:39:01,720 Thank you. 738 00:39:01,720 --> 00:39:02,370 Thank you. 739 00:39:02,370 --> 00:39:04,160 Number one, number two, number three. 740 00:39:04,160 --> 00:39:07,180 Thank you. 741 00:39:07,180 --> 00:39:09,610 But when I read Michelle Alexander's book-- and I have 742 00:39:09,610 --> 00:39:13,640 to say this work with this committee on BREAD happened 743 00:39:13,640 --> 00:39:15,920 before the book came out. 744 00:39:15,920 --> 00:39:20,050 At least we hadn't received it yet. 745 00:39:20,050 --> 00:39:24,350 It underlined how important the work we were doing was, 746 00:39:24,350 --> 00:39:27,320 because when kids aren't in school, they're on the streets 747 00:39:27,320 --> 00:39:28,690 getting in trouble. 748 00:39:28,690 --> 00:39:32,100 And once you get into that juvenile system, like you were 749 00:39:32,100 --> 00:39:36,070 saying about sixth grade reading, you're gone. 750 00:39:36,070 --> 00:39:38,950 It is so hard to get out of that system. 751 00:39:38,950 --> 00:39:42,180 And so what we're doing is a preventive measure, nothing 752 00:39:42,180 --> 00:39:46,950 more, nothing less. 753 00:39:46,950 --> 00:39:49,800 I want to say in the efforts that we're doing with the 754 00:39:49,800 --> 00:39:54,280 school system, there are other important partners. 755 00:39:54,280 --> 00:39:57,360 The Columbus Police Department is making 756 00:39:57,360 --> 00:39:59,490 neighborhood truancy sweeps. 757 00:39:59,490 --> 00:40:02,020 During school hours, 10 officers are 758 00:40:02,020 --> 00:40:03,500 committed to this. 759 00:40:03,500 --> 00:40:05,530 They tell us they're doing this citywide. 760 00:40:05,530 --> 00:40:07,220 I doubt that's true. 761 00:40:07,220 --> 00:40:09,590 I think they're coalescing their efforts 762 00:40:09,590 --> 00:40:12,240 in low income areas. 763 00:40:12,240 --> 00:40:15,590 I also want to let you know that we've had great success 764 00:40:15,590 --> 00:40:21,530 with the county prosecutor's office, who not only fund 765 00:40:21,530 --> 00:40:24,900 folks going into the schools being truancy intervention 766 00:40:24,900 --> 00:40:29,100 specialists, but also 2,000 times a year, a letter goes 767 00:40:29,100 --> 00:40:34,200 out to families whose kids are becoming more and more truant. 768 00:40:34,200 --> 00:40:36,270 I wouldn't have expected that from any county 769 00:40:36,270 --> 00:40:37,730 prosecutor's office. 770 00:40:37,730 --> 00:40:41,080 So we're making some inroads there among people we might 771 00:40:41,080 --> 00:40:42,440 not have thought would have been 772 00:40:42,440 --> 00:40:46,920 allies from the beginning. 773 00:40:46,920 --> 00:40:49,840 When I started this work, I said, oh, out-of-school 774 00:40:49,840 --> 00:40:51,380 suspensions for truancy. 775 00:40:51,380 --> 00:40:53,290 That should be low-hanging fruit. 776 00:40:53,290 --> 00:40:57,470 We'll do this and we'll move on to something bigger. 777 00:40:57,470 --> 00:40:59,280 I was wrong. 778 00:40:59,280 --> 00:41:00,770 This is difficult. 779 00:41:00,770 --> 00:41:03,560 This is difficult work. 780 00:41:03,560 --> 00:41:07,330 If you have paid attention, I doubt this has made the 781 00:41:07,330 --> 00:41:08,350 national news. 782 00:41:08,350 --> 00:41:13,930 But Columbus is one of several cities in Ohio that is being 783 00:41:13,930 --> 00:41:16,770 looked at very rigorously for-- 784 00:41:16,770 --> 00:41:18,230 how should I say this? 785 00:41:18,230 --> 00:41:22,720 Cooking the school books on attendance records. 786 00:41:22,720 --> 00:41:26,420 And so we take the information that we're given from the 787 00:41:26,420 --> 00:41:27,140 school district. 788 00:41:27,140 --> 00:41:29,460 This is what they report to the state. 789 00:41:29,460 --> 00:41:33,920 We have no other information to trust, except anecdotal 790 00:41:33,920 --> 00:41:37,940 information we hear from members of our congregations. 791 00:41:37,940 --> 00:41:42,300 And that is not positive generally. 792 00:41:42,300 --> 00:41:47,030 When I was a young man in high school, my friends and I 793 00:41:47,030 --> 00:41:52,400 roamed, like many youth have roamed before and still roam. 794 00:41:52,400 --> 00:41:57,620 And we had this expression that I come back to again and 795 00:41:57,620 --> 00:41:59,470 again and again in this work. 796 00:41:59,470 --> 00:42:02,180 And that expression was, if you can't beat 797 00:42:02,180 --> 00:42:09,110 them, confuse them. 798 00:42:09,110 --> 00:42:11,550 The numbers we're getting from the State will 799 00:42:11,550 --> 00:42:13,260 only confuse us. 800 00:42:13,260 --> 00:42:15,150 We have to stay with what we know. 801 00:42:15,150 --> 00:42:20,190 We have to stay the course. 802 00:42:20,190 --> 00:42:21,340 It's not just me. 803 00:42:21,340 --> 00:42:24,740 It's members of Baptist congregations, of Lutheran 804 00:42:24,740 --> 00:42:29,900 congregations, of conservative synagogues. 805 00:42:29,900 --> 00:42:34,300 I wish I had a great success story to share with you. 806 00:42:34,300 --> 00:42:35,170 I do not. 807 00:42:35,170 --> 00:42:37,620 This is going to take years. 808 00:42:37,620 --> 00:42:41,220 We were asking ourselves on this committee this last 809 00:42:41,220 --> 00:42:45,560 spring whether we were ready to say we've had 810 00:42:45,560 --> 00:42:48,070 success and bag it. 811 00:42:48,070 --> 00:42:50,020 And the answer was uniformly no. 812 00:42:50,020 --> 00:42:52,320 We're in for the long haul. 813 00:42:52,320 --> 00:42:54,740 Our superintendent is resigning 814 00:42:54,740 --> 00:42:56,550 the end of this month. 815 00:42:56,550 --> 00:43:00,350 We are in a tricky period of finding an interim. 816 00:43:00,350 --> 00:43:02,700 Hopefully that's been done by now. 817 00:43:02,700 --> 00:43:06,510 But we need to keep the school board's and the school 818 00:43:06,510 --> 00:43:08,790 system's feet to the fire on this. 819 00:43:08,790 --> 00:43:10,820 And we're not going to let go. 820 00:43:10,820 --> 00:43:12,160 Thank you. 821 00:43:12,160 --> 00:43:19,770 [APPLAUSE] 822 00:43:19,770 --> 00:43:23,000 SUSAN LESLIE: Thank you so much to our panelists. 823 00:43:23,000 --> 00:43:26,800 And what Eric said is it is long haul work. 824 00:43:26,800 --> 00:43:29,990 Before we get to Q&A, I just want to make sure you know 825 00:43:29,990 --> 00:43:32,240 where to find resources. 826 00:43:32,240 --> 00:43:36,420 uua.org/newjimcrow. 827 00:43:36,420 --> 00:43:38,780 And I will be posting resources that Paula 828 00:43:38,780 --> 00:43:40,650 mentioned on there. 829 00:43:40,650 --> 00:43:44,790 We also have a Facebook page, UUs Resisting New Jim Crow. 830 00:43:44,790 --> 00:43:45,620 Join the group. 831 00:43:45,620 --> 00:43:46,740 It's a Facebook group. 832 00:43:46,740 --> 00:43:48,730 People are sharing what they're doing in their 833 00:43:48,730 --> 00:43:51,200 congregations and the partnerships they're 834 00:43:51,200 --> 00:43:52,750 developing. 835 00:43:52,750 --> 00:43:55,260 We have David Slavin's study guide here 836 00:43:55,260 --> 00:43:57,540 on the new Jim Crow. 837 00:43:57,540 --> 00:44:00,480 Standing on the Side of Love is also 838 00:44:00,480 --> 00:44:02,080 supporting this movement. 839 00:44:02,080 --> 00:44:04,650 We sent out an MLK message this year 840 00:44:04,650 --> 00:44:06,870 from Michelle Alexander. 841 00:44:06,870 --> 00:44:09,880 And we've been getting stories from people, so we want those 842 00:44:09,880 --> 00:44:11,170 for the blog. 843 00:44:11,170 --> 00:44:13,420 And if you want to know more about congregation-based 844 00:44:13,420 --> 00:44:16,440 community organizing that Eric was talking about, 845 00:44:16,440 --> 00:44:22,330 uua.org/cbco, congregation-based community 846 00:44:22,330 --> 00:44:24,460 organizing. 847 00:44:24,460 --> 00:44:28,740 So with that, I'm going to open it up for questions. 848 00:44:28,740 --> 00:44:32,635 And this is the study guide that Dr. 849 00:44:32,635 --> 00:44:34,320 David Slavin developed. 850 00:44:34,320 --> 00:44:35,553 And he's at the-- 851 00:44:35,553 --> 00:44:36,300 AUDIENCE: That one's the new one. 852 00:44:36,300 --> 00:44:37,450 SUSAN LESLIE: Oh, this is the new one? 853 00:44:37,450 --> 00:44:39,210 OK. 854 00:44:39,210 --> 00:44:40,070 All right. 855 00:44:40,070 --> 00:44:41,480 PAULA COLE JONES: [INAUDIBLE] 856 00:44:41,480 --> 00:44:44,200 and you can order that online at no cost. 857 00:44:44,200 --> 00:44:47,710 SUSAN LESLIE: Where online? 858 00:44:47,710 --> 00:44:49,630 PAULA COLE JONES: Is it the Veterans for Hope project? 859 00:44:49,630 --> 00:44:53,750 SUSAN LESLIE: Veterans of Hope project. 860 00:44:53,750 --> 00:44:54,675 Yes? 861 00:44:54,675 --> 00:44:57,705 Oh, and will people just say your first name at least and 862 00:44:57,705 --> 00:44:59,150 the congregation you're from? 863 00:44:59,150 --> 00:45:00,050 MIKE LEBURKIEN: Hi. 864 00:45:00,050 --> 00:45:02,010 I'm Rabbi Mike LeBurkien. 865 00:45:02,010 --> 00:45:06,980 I have two congregations, First UU of Austin and San 866 00:45:06,980 --> 00:45:14,620 Gabriel of Georgetown, Texas. 867 00:45:14,620 --> 00:45:20,230 The question is, have we noticed how Jim Crow UUs are? 868 00:45:20,230 --> 00:45:22,760 Look at the white faces here. 869 00:45:22,760 --> 00:45:26,930 By not proselytizing, we are Jim Crow ourselves and Diego 870 00:45:26,930 --> 00:45:29,470 Crow, by not going out into the hoods. 871 00:45:29,470 --> 00:45:34,160 We ask ourselves, why do we have not enough money? 872 00:45:34,160 --> 00:45:38,760 Then we are not even trying to get more people to join in the 873 00:45:38,760 --> 00:45:40,140 obvious areas. 874 00:45:40,140 --> 00:45:42,170 I mean, look at all the white faces here. 875 00:45:42,170 --> 00:45:45,650 But getting back to more specifically what we've got 876 00:45:45,650 --> 00:45:54,240 here, NBC has talked about at great length today-- 877 00:45:54,240 --> 00:45:55,960 I was trying to get at what the real cause 878 00:45:55,960 --> 00:45:56,710 of our problem is. 879 00:45:56,710 --> 00:46:06,150 The real cause, says NBC, and black commentators is that we 880 00:46:06,150 --> 00:46:08,200 incarcerate too many blacks. 881 00:46:08,200 --> 00:46:14,140 And an easy solution would be in part to legalize marijuana, 882 00:46:14,140 --> 00:46:20,290 because a huge percentage of black young men are in prison 883 00:46:20,290 --> 00:46:24,750 for very minor marijuana possession infractions. 884 00:46:24,750 --> 00:46:26,200 SUSAN LESLIE: And so are you making a comment? 885 00:46:26,200 --> 00:46:26,930 Are you-- 886 00:46:26,930 --> 00:46:27,580 MIKE LEBURKIEN: This is a question. 887 00:46:27,580 --> 00:46:28,140 I want-- 888 00:46:28,140 --> 00:46:28,900 SUSAN LESLIE: I just want-- 889 00:46:28,900 --> 00:46:30,330 MIKE LEBURKIEN: They're all shaking their heads, so they 890 00:46:30,330 --> 00:46:30,870 understand. 891 00:46:30,870 --> 00:46:31,220 SUSAN LESLIE: I get it. 892 00:46:31,220 --> 00:46:31,750 I just want-- 893 00:46:31,750 --> 00:46:33,120 there's quite a few people. 894 00:46:33,120 --> 00:46:33,500 MIKE LEBURKIEN: Right. 895 00:46:33,500 --> 00:46:34,220 I understand that. 896 00:46:34,220 --> 00:46:35,400 But they're shaking their heads. 897 00:46:35,400 --> 00:46:37,480 And we're not talking-- we haven't talked about marijuana 898 00:46:37,480 --> 00:46:41,270 here and how small it is and how important it is. 899 00:46:41,270 --> 00:46:45,340 We should be trying to legalize it, as UUs. 900 00:46:45,340 --> 00:46:50,360 And they also said that these young men who we are saying 901 00:46:50,360 --> 00:46:53,440 don't have enough education are marvelous entrepreneurs. 902 00:46:53,440 --> 00:46:55,100 They are marvelous capitalists, the 903 00:46:55,100 --> 00:46:56,540 ones who sell drugs. 904 00:46:56,540 --> 00:47:00,420 If we could give them another way of expressing their 905 00:47:00,420 --> 00:47:03,520 capitalistic entrepreneurs, we could solve the problem. 906 00:47:03,520 --> 00:47:04,400 SUSAN LESLIE: And what would you like the panel-- 907 00:47:04,400 --> 00:47:04,750 OK. 908 00:47:04,750 --> 00:47:06,320 Thank you for your comment. 909 00:47:06,320 --> 00:47:06,710 Thank you. 910 00:47:06,710 --> 00:47:10,570 Does anyone want to respond? 911 00:47:10,570 --> 00:47:12,660 MARLIN LAVANHAR: Well, I certainly agree with you. 912 00:47:12,660 --> 00:47:15,850 Most of these drug offenses and most of the felonies and 913 00:47:15,850 --> 00:47:19,970 things are for nonviolent drug offenses. 914 00:47:19,970 --> 00:47:22,680 So you're absolutely right that that's a huge issue. 915 00:47:22,680 --> 00:47:28,350 The solution, whether it's legalization of marijuana, I'm 916 00:47:28,350 --> 00:47:30,660 not ready to speak to that exactly right now. 917 00:47:30,660 --> 00:47:32,220 I think we've got a couple states that 918 00:47:32,220 --> 00:47:33,420 are trying that out. 919 00:47:33,420 --> 00:47:35,200 We'll get a chance to see how they do. 920 00:47:35,200 --> 00:47:36,470 And we'll see where that goes. 921 00:47:36,470 --> 00:47:39,940 But I certainly would agree that the police, it's clear 922 00:47:39,940 --> 00:47:41,300 that they're shaking down people. 923 00:47:41,300 --> 00:47:43,540 I'll give you one example from Tulsa, because we do a ride 924 00:47:43,540 --> 00:47:47,180 along with the police every year as part of this mayor's 925 00:47:47,180 --> 00:47:48,870 police community coalition. 926 00:47:48,870 --> 00:47:52,070 And this didn't happen in my ride along, but it actually 927 00:47:52,070 --> 00:47:53,830 happened for a colleague of mine who's an 928 00:47:53,830 --> 00:47:54,900 African American woman. 929 00:47:54,900 --> 00:47:58,000 So this even makes the point even more, I think, is that 930 00:47:58,000 --> 00:48:01,450 the police went down into a predominantly African American 931 00:48:01,450 --> 00:48:02,370 part of town. 932 00:48:02,370 --> 00:48:06,650 They park their car facing a stop sign. 933 00:48:06,650 --> 00:48:09,240 And he said to her, see, this is great, because almost 934 00:48:09,240 --> 00:48:13,110 everybody rolls past the stop sign before they stop. 935 00:48:13,110 --> 00:48:17,200 And the law is you're supposed to stop before the stop sign. 936 00:48:17,200 --> 00:48:18,430 He said, so we'll just wait here. 937 00:48:18,430 --> 00:48:19,550 And we'll watch people do that. 938 00:48:19,550 --> 00:48:21,750 And as soon as we see someone who looks like they may be 939 00:48:21,750 --> 00:48:25,470 suspicious of drugs, we'll pull them over. 940 00:48:25,470 --> 00:48:26,640 It's perfectly legal. 941 00:48:26,640 --> 00:48:29,180 The Supreme Court has said this is legal. 942 00:48:29,180 --> 00:48:32,090 It's called-- 943 00:48:32,090 --> 00:48:35,710 I forget the name, profiling for sure. 944 00:48:35,710 --> 00:48:37,520 There's a name for that kind of a stop that's 945 00:48:37,520 --> 00:48:38,010 not coming to me. 946 00:48:38,010 --> 00:48:40,240 But they sat there and did that. 947 00:48:40,240 --> 00:48:41,730 And they pulled over-- 948 00:48:41,730 --> 00:48:43,950 the first person they pulled over was a white person. 949 00:48:43,950 --> 00:48:45,800 The next person was Hispanic. 950 00:48:45,800 --> 00:48:48,070 They asked them, can we search your car? 951 00:48:48,070 --> 00:48:51,000 Of course, a lot of people don't know their rights. 952 00:48:51,000 --> 00:48:51,380 They go in. 953 00:48:51,380 --> 00:48:53,160 They found some marijuana. 954 00:48:53,160 --> 00:48:54,690 He got arrested immediately. 955 00:48:54,690 --> 00:48:57,110 The next people that-- they watched a bunch of people go 956 00:48:57,110 --> 00:48:58,140 by, please understand. 957 00:48:58,140 --> 00:48:59,870 These are just the folks that they stopped. 958 00:48:59,870 --> 00:49:02,540 The next were two African American males. 959 00:49:02,540 --> 00:49:04,940 But they stopped before the stop sign. 960 00:49:04,940 --> 00:49:06,870 So then the police officer said, oh, that's OK. 961 00:49:06,870 --> 00:49:08,800 Let's just follow them, because pretty soon they're 962 00:49:08,800 --> 00:49:11,340 going to make a mistake. 963 00:49:11,340 --> 00:49:15,270 It turned out they pulled into a parking lot and got out. 964 00:49:15,270 --> 00:49:16,030 What's that? 965 00:49:16,030 --> 00:49:16,690 AUDIENCE: It's a pretext stop. 966 00:49:16,690 --> 00:49:17,130 MARLIN LAVANHAR: Yes. 967 00:49:17,130 --> 00:49:17,670 Thank you. 968 00:49:17,670 --> 00:49:19,150 It's a pretext stop. 969 00:49:19,150 --> 00:49:20,125 SUSAN LESLIE: Pretext stop. 970 00:49:20,125 --> 00:49:21,960 MARLIN LAVANHAR: It's perfectly legal in our system. 971 00:49:21,960 --> 00:49:24,790 PAULA COLE JONES: So I agree with you. 972 00:49:24,790 --> 00:49:26,380 I don't know what-- 973 00:49:26,380 --> 00:49:30,260 obviously the drug war was designed to, I think, was 974 00:49:30,260 --> 00:49:34,770 designed to just put people in the prisons to fill them up. 975 00:49:34,770 --> 00:49:37,010 The plan, I think, was already in place. 976 00:49:37,010 --> 00:49:43,450 But growing populations in the prison are women, Latino 977 00:49:43,450 --> 00:49:46,450 immigrants, and juveniles. 978 00:49:46,450 --> 00:49:50,540 And so because this is a for-profit thing, I don't 979 00:49:50,540 --> 00:49:54,240 think that the corporations have hit their stride. 980 00:49:54,240 --> 00:50:01,400 And it's going to be a hungry, bottomless pit that will 981 00:50:01,400 --> 00:50:04,440 continue to find whatever demographic 982 00:50:04,440 --> 00:50:06,210 it needs for profit. 983 00:50:06,210 --> 00:50:08,160 So I think we need to look at that. 984 00:50:08,160 --> 00:50:10,450 But we need to look far beyond it as well. 985 00:50:10,450 --> 00:50:12,850 MARLIN LAVANHAR: Just a quick follow-up is that they're not 986 00:50:12,850 --> 00:50:15,590 doing that in my neighborhood in Tulsa. 987 00:50:15,590 --> 00:50:17,640 If they were doing that in my neighborhood in Tulsa, 988 00:50:17,640 --> 00:50:20,400 stopping at a stop sign and pulling over housewives who 989 00:50:20,400 --> 00:50:24,260 have Valium and a little marijuana and some of that 990 00:50:24,260 --> 00:50:28,320 stuff in just the same numbers as the folks in the 991 00:50:28,320 --> 00:50:32,190 neighborhoods where they are doing that, folks would get 992 00:50:32,190 --> 00:50:35,100 their lawyers and there would be outrage. 993 00:50:35,100 --> 00:50:36,810 And so they know that they can't do it in those 994 00:50:36,810 --> 00:50:38,420 neighborhoods, so they do it in the neighborhoods where the 995 00:50:38,420 --> 00:50:42,600 folks don't have the same access and same sense of how 996 00:50:42,600 --> 00:50:47,450 to work the system. 997 00:50:47,450 --> 00:50:49,640 ERIC METER: Just briefly, while I think that in 998 00:50:49,640 --> 00:50:54,070 particular drug use is important, the system of 999 00:50:54,070 --> 00:50:56,720 incarceration is in place. 1000 00:50:56,720 --> 00:51:01,310 And it almost doesn't matter what the behavior is. 1001 00:51:01,310 --> 00:51:03,250 They're going to criminalize something and 1002 00:51:03,250 --> 00:51:04,380 catch people for it. 1003 00:51:04,380 --> 00:51:06,240 We've got to go to the structures. 1004 00:51:06,240 --> 00:51:10,650 [APPLAUSE] 1005 00:51:10,650 --> 00:51:13,040 PAULA COLE JONES: And what you're hearing here is why I 1006 00:51:13,040 --> 00:51:16,780 said this is a study in privilege. 1007 00:51:16,780 --> 00:51:21,100 So you have to be able to see how privilege operates and how 1008 00:51:21,100 --> 00:51:25,330 it becomes a part of this system of exploitation and 1009 00:51:25,330 --> 00:51:25,890 oppression. 1010 00:51:25,890 --> 00:51:27,290 It's real important. 1011 00:51:27,290 --> 00:51:28,750 We've got to get that piece. 1012 00:51:28,750 --> 00:51:31,110 SUSAN LESLIE: So I'm going to go to this mike now. 1013 00:51:31,110 --> 00:51:31,440 NANCY KOSSEFF: Hi. 1014 00:51:31,440 --> 00:51:34,350 I'm Nancy Kosseff from Madison, Wisconsin First 1015 00:51:34,350 --> 00:51:35,620 Unitarian Society. 1016 00:51:35,620 --> 00:51:39,840 And I wanted to just put forward an initiative that 1017 00:51:39,840 --> 00:51:41,440 members of our congregation have been 1018 00:51:41,440 --> 00:51:44,130 involved in in Wisconsin. 1019 00:51:44,130 --> 00:51:48,300 We're part of a faith-based community organizing a 1020 00:51:48,300 --> 00:51:51,030 statewide network called WISDOM. 1021 00:51:51,030 --> 00:51:55,730 And we're part of the local affiliate called MOSES. 1022 00:51:55,730 --> 00:52:02,430 Wisdom has a campaign currently to reduce the state 1023 00:52:02,430 --> 00:52:08,820 prison population in half, from 22,000 by 11,000 by the 1024 00:52:08,820 --> 00:52:10,800 end of 2015. 1025 00:52:10,800 --> 00:52:16,500 And members of our congregation and other 1026 00:52:16,500 --> 00:52:20,670 congregations throughout the state have been talking with 1027 00:52:20,670 --> 00:52:23,630 every legislator in the state to educate 1028 00:52:23,630 --> 00:52:26,200 them about these issues. 1029 00:52:26,200 --> 00:52:30,470 We testified before our legislative joint finance 1030 00:52:30,470 --> 00:52:35,880 committee about the importance of adequate funding to 1031 00:52:35,880 --> 00:52:39,590 treatment and diversion programs as an alternative to 1032 00:52:39,590 --> 00:52:43,190 incarceration for nonviolent offenders. 1033 00:52:43,190 --> 00:52:49,360 We had a very modest success at the state level. 1034 00:52:49,360 --> 00:52:55,800 We would need $75 million to go to the treatment and 1035 00:52:55,800 --> 00:53:00,790 diversion programs to make an impact on decreasing our 1036 00:53:00,790 --> 00:53:03,370 prison population. 1037 00:53:03,370 --> 00:53:08,930 In the new biennial budget, we have been able to increase the 1038 00:53:08,930 --> 00:53:12,560 funding for treatment and diversion from $1 million to 1039 00:53:12,560 --> 00:53:17,070 $2.5 million, which is way short of what's needed. 1040 00:53:17,070 --> 00:53:20,840 But given the current legislative environment in 1041 00:53:20,840 --> 00:53:23,120 Wisconsin, it's somewhat of a success. 1042 00:53:23,120 --> 00:53:24,000 MARLIN LAVANHAR: That's fantastic. 1043 00:53:24,000 --> 00:53:25,060 Incredibly inspiring. 1044 00:53:25,060 --> 00:53:26,320 Thank you for your work. 1045 00:53:26,320 --> 00:53:31,900 [APPLAUSE] 1046 00:53:31,900 --> 00:53:32,895 SUSAN LESLIE: Yes, please. 1047 00:53:32,895 --> 00:53:33,670 ELAINE MCMILLAN: Thank you. 1048 00:53:33,670 --> 00:53:35,700 I'm Elaine McMillan and I'm from the 1049 00:53:35,700 --> 00:53:38,780 Unitarian Church in Westport. 1050 00:53:38,780 --> 00:53:39,670 Sorry. 1051 00:53:39,670 --> 00:53:41,870 Elaine McMillan, Unitarian Church in Westport. 1052 00:53:41,870 --> 00:53:45,480 I didn't realize how close I had to be to the mike. 1053 00:53:45,480 --> 00:53:48,600 A couple things, and then I'll get to my 1054 00:53:48,600 --> 00:53:50,430 question very quickly. 1055 00:53:50,430 --> 00:53:53,300 The thing that always occurs to me is pay me 1056 00:53:53,300 --> 00:53:55,480 now or pay me later. 1057 00:53:55,480 --> 00:53:58,720 When people have difficulty in coming up with money for 1058 00:53:58,720 --> 00:54:02,570 funding for education, OK, they don't have trouble coming 1059 00:54:02,570 --> 00:54:05,510 up with funding for prisons. 1060 00:54:05,510 --> 00:54:09,080 There's a one-to-one correlation-- 1061 00:54:09,080 --> 00:54:13,080 I used to teach in a school district that was 1062 00:54:13,080 --> 00:54:15,480 predominantly black and Hispanic. 1063 00:54:15,480 --> 00:54:17,990 And as a teacher, in looking at the records I noticed there 1064 00:54:17,990 --> 00:54:20,630 was a one-to-one correspondence between 1065 00:54:20,630 --> 00:54:24,800 students who miss school for whatever reasons, their mother 1066 00:54:24,800 --> 00:54:29,130 had them home babysitting, whatever, and 1067 00:54:29,130 --> 00:54:31,120 failing that grade. 1068 00:54:31,120 --> 00:54:34,240 And I know you have to start somewhere. 1069 00:54:34,240 --> 00:54:37,210 And I commend you for trying to get kids on grade level by 1070 00:54:37,210 --> 00:54:38,290 sixth grade. 1071 00:54:38,290 --> 00:54:42,390 But the research shows that they have to be on grade level 1072 00:54:42,390 --> 00:54:44,680 by the end of second grade, otherwise they 1073 00:54:44,680 --> 00:54:46,540 will never catch up. 1074 00:54:46,540 --> 00:54:51,690 And even more than that is-- 1075 00:54:51,690 --> 00:54:53,620 I remember a fourth grader I had who had 1076 00:54:53,620 --> 00:54:55,800 been held back twice. 1077 00:54:55,800 --> 00:55:01,400 So he was at the age of a sixth grader. 1078 00:55:01,400 --> 00:55:05,510 So if you have someone in sixth grade, they're the age-- 1079 00:55:05,510 --> 00:55:10,280 so I don't know if you can work it backwards and get your 1080 00:55:10,280 --> 00:55:13,980 mentors and your people working with a younger group. 1081 00:55:13,980 --> 00:55:14,300 MARLIN LAVANHAR: Thank you. 1082 00:55:14,300 --> 00:55:16,280 I'll bring that back to our folks. 1083 00:55:16,280 --> 00:55:17,150 I really appreciate that. 1084 00:55:17,150 --> 00:55:20,520 That's disheartening but valuable information. 1085 00:55:20,520 --> 00:55:21,580 [APPLAUSE] 1086 00:55:21,580 --> 00:55:21,980 SUSAN LESLIE: Yes, please. 1087 00:55:21,980 --> 00:55:22,930 MARSHA SCHACHTEL: Hi. 1088 00:55:22,930 --> 00:55:24,310 I'm Marsha Schachtel. 1089 00:55:24,310 --> 00:55:27,290 I'm from the UU Church of Annapolis, Maryland. 1090 00:55:27,290 --> 00:55:29,510 But I'm going to talk to you as somebody who has been 1091 00:55:29,510 --> 00:55:31,430 working on economic development in the city of 1092 00:55:31,430 --> 00:55:34,150 Baltimore for 35 years. 1093 00:55:34,150 --> 00:55:38,470 And it used to be that in order to grow the economy, we 1094 00:55:38,470 --> 00:55:41,900 were interested in all the usual stuff. 1095 00:55:41,900 --> 00:55:45,360 And now we know it's all about human capital. 1096 00:55:45,360 --> 00:55:49,350 And Baltimore City is now 2/3 African American. 1097 00:55:49,350 --> 00:55:52,030 And I would say to Ms. Cole I am still serving my 1098 00:55:52,030 --> 00:55:56,770 apprenticeship of trying to understand what we're actually 1099 00:55:56,770 --> 00:55:57,610 dealing with. 1100 00:55:57,610 --> 00:56:00,820 But at the same time, and I commend all of you, I believe 1101 00:56:00,820 --> 00:56:04,430 the best thing you can do to achieve widely-shared 1102 00:56:04,430 --> 00:56:07,170 prosperity, which is what economic development is really 1103 00:56:07,170 --> 00:56:09,890 about, is to start pre-birth. 1104 00:56:09,890 --> 00:56:12,470 But while we're doing that, while we're getting it right 1105 00:56:12,470 --> 00:56:16,250 the first time, we have this huge population and you all 1106 00:56:16,250 --> 00:56:20,990 have pointed this out, of men, particularly in a city like 1107 00:56:20,990 --> 00:56:25,690 Baltimore, who cannot get work, who cannot get work. 1108 00:56:25,690 --> 00:56:28,240 And so at the same time we're getting it right the first 1109 00:56:28,240 --> 00:56:31,010 time, we have to think about what we are doing. 1110 00:56:31,010 --> 00:56:34,250 And I'd love to hear some experiences from you and from 1111 00:56:34,250 --> 00:56:35,760 others in this room. 1112 00:56:35,760 --> 00:56:43,640 How do we try to address those whom we have failed when 1113 00:56:43,640 --> 00:56:48,850 they're adults? 1114 00:56:48,850 --> 00:56:51,120 MARLIN LAVANHAR: We've been talking about trying to work 1115 00:56:51,120 --> 00:56:54,080 particularly with folks who are getting out of prison with 1116 00:56:54,080 --> 00:56:56,370 felonies around finding jobs. 1117 00:56:56,370 --> 00:56:58,250 And there are some organizations doing this in 1118 00:56:58,250 --> 00:57:00,770 the Tulsa area that we've been talking with. 1119 00:57:00,770 --> 00:57:02,370 MARSHA SCHACHTEL: Are they starting behind the gate, 1120 00:57:02,370 --> 00:57:04,380 behind the wall, before-- 1121 00:57:04,380 --> 00:57:07,150 MARLIN LAVANHAR: But in this case, they've already been-- 1122 00:57:07,150 --> 00:57:10,380 they're already a felon for one reason or another. 1123 00:57:10,380 --> 00:57:13,160 And I'm assuming most people have read this book. 1124 00:57:13,160 --> 00:57:16,050 But most of the felons are plea-bargained out. 1125 00:57:16,050 --> 00:57:16,960 And they're given the choice. 1126 00:57:16,960 --> 00:57:20,000 You can go home right now with a felony on your record for 1127 00:57:20,000 --> 00:57:25,410 the rest of your life or you could see whether a jury will 1128 00:57:25,410 --> 00:57:29,140 let you off, will agree that you really weren't doing what 1129 00:57:29,140 --> 00:57:30,140 you say you were doing. 1130 00:57:30,140 --> 00:57:32,010 And so a lot of them just say, well, I'd rather 1131 00:57:32,010 --> 00:57:32,730 just go home now. 1132 00:57:32,730 --> 00:57:34,200 But they don't realize when they're doing that that 1133 00:57:34,200 --> 00:57:36,620 they're being stripped of a lot of their rights for the 1134 00:57:36,620 --> 00:57:38,360 rest of their lives. 1135 00:57:38,360 --> 00:57:43,070 But I don't have any-- maybe others have examples of ways 1136 00:57:43,070 --> 00:57:45,080 to help people get jobs. 1137 00:57:45,080 --> 00:57:47,470 MARSHA SCHACHTEL: Well, I know my former colleagues at Johns 1138 00:57:47,470 --> 00:57:50,900 Hopkins who specialize in this say the most effective things 1139 00:57:50,900 --> 00:57:53,770 are to start community partnerships that start behind 1140 00:57:53,770 --> 00:57:57,046 the gate, before people are released. 1141 00:57:57,046 --> 00:57:58,210 MARLIN LAVANHAR: Oh, behind the gate. 1142 00:57:58,210 --> 00:57:58,550 Oh, I got you. 1143 00:57:58,550 --> 00:58:00,760 PAULA COLE JONES: Someone has a comment. 1144 00:58:00,760 --> 00:58:05,500 I was listening to one of Michelle Alexander's lectures 1145 00:58:05,500 --> 00:58:06,950 online last night. 1146 00:58:06,950 --> 00:58:09,730 In fact, this one was done in Portland, Oregon. 1147 00:58:09,730 --> 00:58:11,620 I think I was last year. 1148 00:58:11,620 --> 00:58:14,950 And she was talking about we need to build an underground 1149 00:58:14,950 --> 00:58:18,860 railroad for people who have already been into prison, 1150 00:58:18,860 --> 00:58:22,240 because with all of their rights stripped away and 1151 00:58:22,240 --> 00:58:26,470 because many have plea-bargained and can't even 1152 00:58:26,470 --> 00:58:30,030 feed themselves or have a place to live, that we need to 1153 00:58:30,030 --> 00:58:34,050 create safe spaces for them to come back in, so that we can 1154 00:58:34,050 --> 00:58:37,820 help to reduce the recidivism rate and help folks to take 1155 00:58:37,820 --> 00:58:39,030 care of themselves. 1156 00:58:39,030 --> 00:58:41,970 So I don't know what the answers are either. 1157 00:58:41,970 --> 00:58:46,040 But if we keep working together, we'll start to 1158 00:58:46,040 --> 00:58:48,150 figure some things out. 1159 00:58:48,150 --> 00:58:49,450 MARLIN LAVANHAR: I just want to say I didn't understand 1160 00:58:49,450 --> 00:58:50,580 what you meant by behind the gate. 1161 00:58:50,580 --> 00:58:53,070 I have a note here from Randy, our community minister who's 1162 00:58:53,070 --> 00:58:53,560 working on this. 1163 00:58:53,560 --> 00:58:57,610 He's teaching a class in the county jail. 1164 00:58:57,610 --> 00:58:59,490 He's calling it criminal thinking. 1165 00:58:59,490 --> 00:59:02,650 He's working with folks who are in the jail, talking to 1166 00:59:02,650 --> 00:59:06,160 them about the mindset and everything that can help-- 1167 00:59:06,160 --> 00:59:08,430 how they got there and how they can not be 1168 00:59:08,430 --> 00:59:09,000 there in the future. 1169 00:59:09,000 --> 00:59:10,540 MARSHA SCHACHTEL: But not preparing them for jobs. 1170 00:59:10,540 --> 00:59:11,950 MARLIN LAVANHAR: Not necessarily for jobs. 1171 00:59:11,950 --> 00:59:13,805 SUSAN LESLIE: We're going to go over here now to this side 1172 00:59:13,805 --> 00:59:14,460 of the room. 1173 00:59:14,460 --> 00:59:16,460 Did you want to comment specifically on that? 1174 00:59:16,460 --> 00:59:17,210 OK. 1175 00:59:17,210 --> 00:59:17,295 Yes. 1176 00:59:17,295 --> 00:59:20,500 My name is Doug McCusker and I'm with the Accotink UU 1177 00:59:20,500 --> 00:59:22,730 Church in Virginia, in Burke, Virginia. 1178 00:59:22,730 --> 00:59:27,660 But I'm also a minister intern at River Road UU congregation 1179 00:59:27,660 --> 00:59:28,670 in Bethesda, Maryland. 1180 00:59:28,670 --> 00:59:33,450 And in that capacity, I'm starting a jail ministry with 1181 00:59:33,450 --> 00:59:34,730 the congregation. 1182 00:59:34,730 --> 00:59:39,090 What I don't have is the alliance with another church 1183 00:59:39,090 --> 00:59:44,870 in the area, although I have tapped into the other pastors 1184 00:59:44,870 --> 00:59:46,540 in various other churches. 1185 00:59:46,540 --> 00:59:48,180 So there is a place to start. 1186 00:59:48,180 --> 00:59:50,880 DOUG MCCUSKER: And what we're preparing to launch in 1187 00:59:50,880 --> 00:59:53,220 September is a two-pronged thing. 1188 00:59:53,220 --> 00:59:58,460 We're working in the rehabilitation and re-entry 1189 00:59:58,460 --> 01:00:02,060 services facility of Montgomery County, which has 1190 01:00:02,060 --> 01:00:04,670 about 180 people there. 1191 01:00:04,670 --> 01:00:06,770 And they are people who are nine months 1192 01:00:06,770 --> 01:00:09,370 away from being released. 1193 01:00:09,370 --> 01:00:11,530 So we will go in and provide mentoring. 1194 01:00:11,530 --> 01:00:13,380 It's a one year obligation. 1195 01:00:13,380 --> 01:00:17,200 And we'll be partnering with Catholic Charities. 1196 01:00:17,200 --> 01:00:22,540 And the other half is the job coaching. 1197 01:00:22,540 --> 01:00:25,780 And what we're really doing here, of course, is 1198 01:00:25,780 --> 01:00:30,160 communicating on both sides of the bridge and not just 1199 01:00:30,160 --> 01:00:33,960 providing these services but also opening the eyes to the 1200 01:00:33,960 --> 01:00:35,320 people in the congregation. 1201 01:00:35,320 --> 01:00:38,140 And then hopefully, if we ally with other churches to make 1202 01:00:38,140 --> 01:00:39,640 this a larger thing-- 1203 01:00:39,640 --> 01:00:41,710 starting in Montgomery County, because it's quite 1204 01:00:41,710 --> 01:00:45,240 progressive, but the state prison system is quite a mess 1205 01:00:45,240 --> 01:00:46,220 in Maryland. 1206 01:00:46,220 --> 01:00:49,240 So if we can start there and then ripple out. 1207 01:00:49,240 --> 01:00:55,570 But working with in job employment, really what we 1208 01:00:55,570 --> 01:00:59,620 stand most of a chance is getting them entry-level jobs. 1209 01:00:59,620 --> 01:01:01,720 And yes, that's better than nothing. 1210 01:01:01,720 --> 01:01:06,020 But we want to work with the school system, the community 1211 01:01:06,020 --> 01:01:08,360 college system, to get them something that is much more 1212 01:01:08,360 --> 01:01:11,960 marketable than just a job at Wendy's. 1213 01:01:11,960 --> 01:01:12,490 SUSAN LESLIE: Thank you. 1214 01:01:12,490 --> 01:01:15,005 Please keep me posted on that work. 1215 01:01:15,005 --> 01:01:15,270 PAULA COLE JONES: Yes. 1216 01:01:15,270 --> 01:01:17,240 Susan, I have one more comment. 1217 01:01:17,240 --> 01:01:20,360 Many of you are probably familiar with the Ban the Box 1218 01:01:20,360 --> 01:01:21,910 initiative. 1219 01:01:21,910 --> 01:01:24,150 And that's the box that people have to check when they're 1220 01:01:24,150 --> 01:01:26,610 filling out a job application, whether or not they've been 1221 01:01:26,610 --> 01:01:28,390 convicted of a felony. 1222 01:01:28,390 --> 01:01:30,930 And some cities have been successful. 1223 01:01:30,930 --> 01:01:34,550 In fact, Wilmington, Delaware, and Philadelphia have both 1224 01:01:34,550 --> 01:01:39,260 eliminated at least the city's applicants for Ban the Box. 1225 01:01:39,260 --> 01:01:43,500 So that's another piece that local communities partner, 1226 01:01:43,500 --> 01:01:45,250 again with the people in the community. 1227 01:01:45,250 --> 01:01:48,840 But that's a piece that could be taken on to help with 1228 01:01:48,840 --> 01:01:52,220 people not being screened out of the job market just when 1229 01:01:52,220 --> 01:01:55,620 they apply. 1230 01:01:55,620 --> 01:01:56,850 JOYCE MOORE: My name is Joyce Moore. 1231 01:01:56,850 --> 01:01:58,790 And I'm from Waltham, Massachusetts. 1232 01:01:58,790 --> 01:02:01,600 And I am profoundly disturbed. 1233 01:02:01,600 --> 01:02:05,010 I too was disturbed by the schools-to-prison pipeline 1234 01:02:05,010 --> 01:02:06,800 concept and reality. 1235 01:02:06,800 --> 01:02:11,370 I am really disturbed by for-profit prisons. 1236 01:02:11,370 --> 01:02:13,830 I come to General Assembly to be disturbed. 1237 01:02:13,830 --> 01:02:17,620 I am embarrassed that it was only last year and Michelle 1238 01:02:17,620 --> 01:02:20,330 Alexander's book that made me aware of this. 1239 01:02:20,330 --> 01:02:21,660 This is not new. 1240 01:02:21,660 --> 01:02:23,420 But it's new to me. 1241 01:02:23,420 --> 01:02:28,160 So I ask for resources from anyone, from you, from where 1242 01:02:28,160 --> 01:02:31,700 that website is, for talking points so that I can go visit 1243 01:02:31,700 --> 01:02:34,870 my mayors, my police chiefs, my school principals, and 1244 01:02:34,870 --> 01:02:38,120 anybody else that will give me an appointment so that I can 1245 01:02:38,120 --> 01:02:40,730 ask them, what are they doing about this? 1246 01:02:40,730 --> 01:02:41,910 I am one person. 1247 01:02:41,910 --> 01:02:43,460 But I can ask questions. 1248 01:02:43,460 --> 01:02:46,900 And for me, I think that's where our leverage is. 1249 01:02:46,900 --> 01:02:50,540 For the panel, I want to know from each of you, what is our 1250 01:02:50,540 --> 01:02:51,350 greatest leverage? 1251 01:02:51,350 --> 01:02:56,000 These are huge, huge problems. 1252 01:02:56,000 --> 01:02:58,380 SUSAN LESLIE: And before the panelists talk, just on 1253 01:02:58,380 --> 01:03:02,520 talking points go to standingonthesideoflove.org 1254 01:03:02,520 --> 01:03:05,790 and search on Michelle Alexander and the blog she 1255 01:03:05,790 --> 01:03:06,680 wrote for us. 1256 01:03:06,680 --> 01:03:08,840 We'll do it for you. 1257 01:03:08,840 --> 01:03:11,880 PAULA COLE JONES: Also look at the American Civil Liberties 1258 01:03:11,880 --> 01:03:15,010 Union, at what they have online. 1259 01:03:15,010 --> 01:03:17,360 MARLIN LAVANHAR: I think we all have to look at our own 1260 01:03:17,360 --> 01:03:21,490 situation and see where is our best leverage point, because 1261 01:03:21,490 --> 01:03:23,380 I'm sure there's probably judges in this room. 1262 01:03:23,380 --> 01:03:25,240 There's probably politicians in this room. 1263 01:03:25,240 --> 01:03:26,620 There's doctors in this room. 1264 01:03:26,620 --> 01:03:28,800 There's obviously a lot of teachers in this room. 1265 01:03:28,800 --> 01:03:29,420 PAULA COLE JONES: Parents. 1266 01:03:29,420 --> 01:03:30,380 MARLIN LAVANHAR: Parents. 1267 01:03:30,380 --> 01:03:34,280 So we all have different sort of context. 1268 01:03:34,280 --> 01:03:39,650 But we all have some ways that we can sort of leverage our 1269 01:03:39,650 --> 01:03:43,550 power and privilege in order to help somebody who otherwise 1270 01:03:43,550 --> 01:03:45,880 might not be able to help themselves 1271 01:03:45,880 --> 01:03:50,880 because of the system. 1272 01:03:50,880 --> 01:03:53,430 ERIC METER: Marlin got involved because he was 1273 01:03:53,430 --> 01:03:56,020 president of his interfaith association. 1274 01:03:56,020 --> 01:04:01,060 I got involved because of the interfaith work the CBCO that 1275 01:04:01,060 --> 01:04:02,990 we're a part of. 1276 01:04:02,990 --> 01:04:07,170 Interfaith coalitions are extremely powerful. 1277 01:04:07,170 --> 01:04:09,200 Use them. 1278 01:04:09,200 --> 01:04:11,920 SUSAN LESLIE: And I will just add my congregation, First 1279 01:04:11,920 --> 01:04:15,490 Parish in Cambridge, Mass, we a part of an interfaith 1280 01:04:15,490 --> 01:04:20,990 coalition that's called Church and the Prison System. 1281 01:04:20,990 --> 01:04:23,940 And if you can believe it, in Massachusetts, a three-strikes 1282 01:04:23,940 --> 01:04:25,060 law came up. 1283 01:04:25,060 --> 01:04:28,220 And we worked with the interfaith coalition and UU 1284 01:04:28,220 --> 01:04:31,460 Mass Action to stop that law. 1285 01:04:31,460 --> 01:04:35,320 So I just really want to echo that sentiment. 1286 01:04:35,320 --> 01:04:35,910 Yes? 1287 01:04:35,910 --> 01:04:36,260 RACHEL GARDINER: Hi. 1288 01:04:36,260 --> 01:04:37,450 My name is Rachel Gardiner. 1289 01:04:37,450 --> 01:04:41,120 I'm with the First Unitarian Church of Orlando. 1290 01:04:41,120 --> 01:04:44,760 We are minutes away from Sanford, Florida, where 1291 01:04:44,760 --> 01:04:48,810 Trayvon Martin was shot and killed. 1292 01:04:48,810 --> 01:04:54,580 Currently I understand since we got to GA that the jury has 1293 01:04:54,580 --> 01:04:55,900 been selected. 1294 01:04:55,900 --> 01:04:59,870 It is to our knowledge all white, mostly women. 1295 01:04:59,870 --> 01:05:01,600 Some of the alternates are white men. 1296 01:05:01,600 --> 01:05:06,340 There may be a Hispanic woman on the jury. 1297 01:05:06,340 --> 01:05:10,260 Of immediate interest to us is our church administrator was 1298 01:05:10,260 --> 01:05:13,880 in the jury pool and had made the first cut. 1299 01:05:13,880 --> 01:05:16,100 She is an African American. 1300 01:05:16,100 --> 01:05:20,190 She was released after the first cut and she was told it 1301 01:05:20,190 --> 01:05:24,980 was because our church had been aggressively supportive 1302 01:05:24,980 --> 01:05:28,940 of Trayvon Martin's family. 1303 01:05:28,940 --> 01:05:34,470 So my question to you is we're going home in a few days to 1304 01:05:34,470 --> 01:05:38,560 that trial. 1305 01:05:38,560 --> 01:05:41,760 Obviously there are huge amounts of stories about what 1306 01:05:41,760 --> 01:05:46,420 we did in the last year to be labeled aggressively 1307 01:05:46,420 --> 01:05:47,670 supportive. 1308 01:05:47,670 --> 01:05:49,140 I'm proud of that. 1309 01:05:49,140 --> 01:05:52,620 But I don't know what to do when we get home? 1310 01:05:52,620 --> 01:05:55,340 Do you have any suggestions? 1311 01:05:55,340 --> 01:05:57,710 ERIC METER: Be even more aggressively supportive. 1312 01:05:57,710 --> 01:05:59,168 [LAUGHTER] 1313 01:05:59,168 --> 01:06:00,140 ERIC METER: Really. 1314 01:06:00,140 --> 01:06:02,570 SUSAN LESLIE: Take the mike. 1315 01:06:02,570 --> 01:06:05,780 ERIC METER: Be even more aggressively supportive. 1316 01:06:05,780 --> 01:06:07,920 RACHEL GARDINER: In more ways than just showing up in our 1317 01:06:07,920 --> 01:06:08,690 yellow shirts. 1318 01:06:08,690 --> 01:06:11,120 I mean, we've written letters to the editor. 1319 01:06:11,120 --> 01:06:12,160 We've done sermons. 1320 01:06:12,160 --> 01:06:14,230 We've been at every protest. 1321 01:06:14,230 --> 01:06:15,290 We've been very visible. 1322 01:06:15,290 --> 01:06:17,830 We've carried signs with the church's name on it. 1323 01:06:17,830 --> 01:06:21,900 We've been interviewed by the television stations. 1324 01:06:21,900 --> 01:06:22,160 ERIC METER: Keep it up. 1325 01:06:22,160 --> 01:06:24,030 And know that we're with you. 1326 01:06:24,030 --> 01:06:24,910 RACHEL GARDINER: Thank you. 1327 01:06:24,910 --> 01:06:27,024 SUSAN LESLIE: And find some partners too. 1328 01:06:27,024 --> 01:06:27,800 Throw it. 1329 01:06:27,800 --> 01:06:31,250 MARLIN LAVANHAR: And pay attention to what happens and 1330 01:06:31,250 --> 01:06:31,990 the response. 1331 01:06:31,990 --> 01:06:34,750 And be ready. 1332 01:06:34,750 --> 01:06:37,810 PAULA COLE JONES: Excuse me, miss? 1333 01:06:37,810 --> 01:06:40,450 Come and see me when this is over, OK? 1334 01:06:40,450 --> 01:06:42,500 I want to give you a couple of names. 1335 01:06:42,500 --> 01:06:43,327 RACHEL GARDINER: Thank you. 1336 01:06:43,327 --> 01:06:44,610 PAULA COLE JONES: You're welcome. 1337 01:06:44,610 --> 01:06:45,370 SUSAN LESLIE: Yes, sir. 1338 01:06:45,370 --> 01:06:48,620 FRANK POTTER: Frank Potter, the Unitarian Universalist 1339 01:06:48,620 --> 01:06:51,110 Fellowship of Dubuque, Iowa. 1340 01:06:51,110 --> 01:06:58,360 My suggestion is maybe very controversial but for the UUA 1341 01:06:58,360 --> 01:07:03,490 to consider having a resolution that anyone who is 1342 01:07:03,490 --> 01:07:06,600 18 years or older and a citizen of the United States 1343 01:07:06,600 --> 01:07:10,000 should be allowed to vote in a federal election. 1344 01:07:10,000 --> 01:07:16,000 Now you heard earlier that is not in the Constitution. 1345 01:07:16,000 --> 01:07:19,600 The Constitution says every state decides who's going to 1346 01:07:19,600 --> 01:07:21,920 vote in any election. 1347 01:07:21,920 --> 01:07:25,980 So when we had our last election of a new governor in 1348 01:07:25,980 --> 01:07:30,400 Iowa, who was a Republican, his highest priority, and he 1349 01:07:30,400 --> 01:07:33,980 did this within 24 hours, was to take the vote away from 1350 01:07:33,980 --> 01:07:37,630 felons and require an ID for voting. 1351 01:07:37,630 --> 01:07:39,990 24 hours. 1352 01:07:39,990 --> 01:07:44,390 But as he points out, you can appeal to him if you pay off 1353 01:07:44,390 --> 01:07:47,870 all your fines and he'll consider it. 1354 01:07:47,870 --> 01:07:49,670 That was his highest priority. 1355 01:07:49,670 --> 01:07:53,950 Now the other thing to know, if you're a citizen in the 1356 01:07:53,950 --> 01:07:58,310 country of Germany, you are required to vote. 1357 01:07:58,310 --> 01:07:59,630 SUSAN LESLIE: Could you use the mike please? 1358 01:07:59,630 --> 01:08:00,470 We're recording this. 1359 01:08:00,470 --> 01:08:03,340 FRANK POTTER: If you live in Germany, you're required to 1360 01:08:03,340 --> 01:08:05,466 vote in federal elections. 1361 01:08:05,466 --> 01:08:06,220 AUDIENCE: Yay. 1362 01:08:06,220 --> 01:08:11,820 FRANK POTTER: So I think that we should consider next year 1363 01:08:11,820 --> 01:08:15,680 in GA to have a resolution that if you're 18 years old 1364 01:08:15,680 --> 01:08:17,819 and a citizen of the United States, you should 1365 01:08:17,819 --> 01:08:20,180 be allowed to vote. 1366 01:08:20,180 --> 01:08:23,620 And it would take a constitutional amendment, but 1367 01:08:23,620 --> 01:08:26,174 at least it would get the dialogue going. 1368 01:08:26,174 --> 01:08:26,850 MARLIN LAVANHAR: All right. 1369 01:08:26,850 --> 01:08:27,810 Spearhead it. 1370 01:08:27,810 --> 01:08:30,939 FRANK POTTER: And finally I realized if I was a black 1371 01:08:30,939 --> 01:08:33,689 felon, that would not be my highest 1372 01:08:33,689 --> 01:08:35,220 priority, getting a vote. 1373 01:08:35,220 --> 01:08:36,260 That's realistic. 1374 01:08:36,260 --> 01:08:38,590 But it's a place to start. 1375 01:08:38,590 --> 01:08:40,040 SUSAN LESLIE: Thank you. 1376 01:08:40,040 --> 01:08:41,343 Voting rights. 1377 01:08:41,343 --> 01:08:42,819 MARLIN LAVANHAR: Good. 1378 01:08:42,819 --> 01:08:44,370 SUSAN LESLIE: David. 1379 01:08:44,370 --> 01:08:44,800 DAVID SLAVIN: Hi. 1380 01:08:44,800 --> 01:08:46,506 I'm David Slavin. 1381 01:08:46,506 --> 01:08:49,140 I'm from the Unitarian Universalist 1382 01:08:49,140 --> 01:08:50,470 Congregation of Atlanta. 1383 01:08:50,470 --> 01:08:52,580 And I'm also on the Journey Toward Wholeness 1384 01:08:52,580 --> 01:08:55,140 Transformation Committee. 1385 01:08:55,140 --> 01:08:58,470 I think we really need a paradigm shift here. 1386 01:08:58,470 --> 01:09:03,990 The relationship between racial privilege and benefits 1387 01:09:03,990 --> 01:09:05,850 just doesn't exist. 1388 01:09:05,850 --> 01:09:09,540 Privileges are not-- racial privileges are not benefits. 1389 01:09:09,540 --> 01:09:14,479 They are actually means to implement social control over 1390 01:09:14,479 --> 01:09:15,970 working class people. 1391 01:09:15,970 --> 01:09:20,340 That's their primary role in this country. 1392 01:09:20,340 --> 01:09:22,080 I want to give you an example from this. 1393 01:09:22,080 --> 01:09:27,200 If we step back from the new Jim Crow just one step back, 1394 01:09:27,200 --> 01:09:31,620 we could see that this whole system of war on drugs was put 1395 01:09:31,620 --> 01:09:35,840 into place first rhetorically by Nixon, but primarily 1396 01:09:35,840 --> 01:09:39,630 administratively as an institution by the Reagan 1397 01:09:39,630 --> 01:09:43,140 administration at just the same time that the Reagan 1398 01:09:43,140 --> 01:09:46,020 administration declared war on the labor 1399 01:09:46,020 --> 01:09:47,470 unions in this country. 1400 01:09:47,470 --> 01:09:52,260 Remember the PATCO strike, 1981, where Reagan fired 1401 01:09:52,260 --> 01:09:57,830 17,000 air traffic controllers and opened the gates for 1402 01:09:57,830 --> 01:10:00,880 corporate assaults on the labor movement. 1403 01:10:00,880 --> 01:10:04,440 Now, that was happening at exactly the same time as the 1404 01:10:04,440 --> 01:10:07,990 war on drugs was beginning to sweep to this mass 1405 01:10:07,990 --> 01:10:13,960 incarceration of particularly men, African 1406 01:10:13,960 --> 01:10:15,940 American men of color. 1407 01:10:15,940 --> 01:10:19,280 This was happening at a time that essentially broke the 1408 01:10:19,280 --> 01:10:21,250 solidarity between-- 1409 01:10:21,250 --> 01:10:25,540 potential solidarity between these two racial groups. 1410 01:10:25,540 --> 01:10:28,780 Let me just make one second point, bringing right up to 1411 01:10:28,780 --> 01:10:29,790 the present. 1412 01:10:29,790 --> 01:10:34,500 In 2011, there was a tremendous uprising, a 1413 01:10:34,500 --> 01:10:36,760 movement in Wisconsin. 1414 01:10:36,760 --> 01:10:40,660 Just before that happened, there was a mass prison strike 1415 01:10:40,660 --> 01:10:43,100 in Georgia that no one knows about. 1416 01:10:43,100 --> 01:10:46,790 They were 57,000 prisoners in the state 1417 01:10:46,790 --> 01:10:48,470 prison system in Georgia. 1418 01:10:48,470 --> 01:10:53,290 They work for the Prison Industries Corporation, as 1419 01:10:53,290 --> 01:10:54,140 it's called. 1420 01:10:54,140 --> 01:10:55,520 They work for nothing. 1421 01:10:55,520 --> 01:10:57,150 They are paid nothing. 1422 01:10:57,150 --> 01:11:02,510 So these are unpaid employees of the State of Georgia. 1423 01:11:02,510 --> 01:11:10,880 And there was not a peep, not a word out of the Wisconsin 1424 01:11:10,880 --> 01:11:14,780 uprising that talked about this. 1425 01:11:14,780 --> 01:11:16,230 SUSAN LESLIE: Thank you, David, for sharing that. 1426 01:11:16,230 --> 01:11:18,980 We have five minutes left, so I want to just let a couple 1427 01:11:18,980 --> 01:11:19,700 more voices get in. 1428 01:11:19,700 --> 01:11:20,840 Sorry we're not going to get to everybody. 1429 01:11:20,840 --> 01:11:22,240 DAVID SLAVIN: All I wanted to say to you is that this 1430 01:11:22,240 --> 01:11:25,510 question of solidarity is the critical one that we are 1431 01:11:25,510 --> 01:11:32,280 missing, I think, in this conversation. 1432 01:11:32,280 --> 01:11:32,520 FRANCEY LIEFERT: Hi. 1433 01:11:32,520 --> 01:11:35,900 I'm Francey Liefert, and I'm a member of the Namaqua 1434 01:11:35,900 --> 01:11:37,940 Unitarian Universalist Congregation 1435 01:11:37,940 --> 01:11:40,320 in Loveland, Colorado. 1436 01:11:40,320 --> 01:11:43,770 I also lived in Oakland, California, for many years and 1437 01:11:43,770 --> 01:11:45,930 taught in the school district there. 1438 01:11:45,930 --> 01:11:51,670 And I'm wondering, Eric, why your interfaith coalition 1439 01:11:51,670 --> 01:11:58,690 decided to target truancy rather than helping the school 1440 01:11:58,690 --> 01:12:03,420 districts make school attendance more meaningful for 1441 01:12:03,420 --> 01:12:06,550 the students who tend toward truancy. 1442 01:12:06,550 --> 01:12:11,840 ERIC METER: This is a really good question. 1443 01:12:11,840 --> 01:12:13,390 And I'll be as brief as I can be. 1444 01:12:13,390 --> 01:12:18,320 Several years earlier than-- maybe seven years ago, 1445 01:12:18,320 --> 01:12:19,600 truancy came up. 1446 01:12:19,600 --> 01:12:23,510 We have what we call house meetings and one-on-ones with 1447 01:12:23,510 --> 01:12:24,770 the member congregations-- 1448 01:12:24,770 --> 01:12:27,130 this is how CBCOs work-- 1449 01:12:27,130 --> 01:12:30,870 asking people what your deepest fears are and concerns 1450 01:12:30,870 --> 01:12:33,560 and what you would like to see change to make life in your 1451 01:12:33,560 --> 01:12:36,150 society better. 1452 01:12:36,150 --> 01:12:38,470 And then three rise up. 1453 01:12:38,470 --> 01:12:41,300 And the members vote. 1454 01:12:41,300 --> 01:12:46,400 Several years ago truancy became number one. 1455 01:12:46,400 --> 01:12:49,960 A pilot project was begun at that time. 1456 01:12:49,960 --> 01:12:53,730 People wanted to see three, four years ago if that could 1457 01:12:53,730 --> 01:12:56,230 be expanded. 1458 01:12:56,230 --> 01:12:59,850 So that's why we have done what we've done. 1459 01:12:59,850 --> 01:13:02,670 I have consistently talked to Gene Harris, our school 1460 01:13:02,670 --> 01:13:06,190 superintendent, to say, this should be a win-win. 1461 01:13:06,190 --> 01:13:08,310 What can we do to support you? 1462 01:13:08,310 --> 01:13:16,020 Last fall, six schools who had shown marked decrease in 1463 01:13:16,020 --> 01:13:19,360 out-of-school suspensions were honored at our celebration. 1464 01:13:19,360 --> 01:13:22,080 We tried to get some press around that. 1465 01:13:22,080 --> 01:13:23,620 I'm not saying we're perfect. 1466 01:13:23,620 --> 01:13:25,590 I'm just saying this is what we've done. 1467 01:13:25,590 --> 01:13:29,580 We will be going to the whole school board before the start 1468 01:13:29,580 --> 01:13:33,170 of school in August and saying, let's see what we can 1469 01:13:33,170 --> 01:13:34,210 do together. 1470 01:13:34,210 --> 01:13:36,140 This should be a win-win. 1471 01:13:36,140 --> 01:13:39,650 We're not trying to target the school system as the enemy. 1472 01:13:39,650 --> 01:13:42,560 We're trying to be partners in dialogue working forward. 1473 01:13:42,560 --> 01:13:44,600 FRANCEY LIEFERT: But I hope you're not just giving the 1474 01:13:44,600 --> 01:13:48,660 students who are swept up by the police for being truant 1475 01:13:48,660 --> 01:13:51,750 more experience of how to behave once they're in prison. 1476 01:13:51,750 --> 01:13:52,110 ERIC METER: No. 1477 01:13:52,110 --> 01:13:55,510 We're getting them off into truancy centers, trying to 1478 01:13:55,510 --> 01:13:56,770 work with them. 1479 01:13:56,770 --> 01:13:59,640 We're visiting the homes, talking to the parents, things 1480 01:13:59,640 --> 01:14:02,950 the school system doesn't have the staff or time to do. 1481 01:14:02,950 --> 01:14:06,710 We're funding people from third party sources to provide 1482 01:14:06,710 --> 01:14:08,520 the role I think the schools should be 1483 01:14:08,520 --> 01:14:10,740 doing and they're not. 1484 01:14:10,740 --> 01:14:13,260 SUSAN LESLIE: So we're going to just sadly only have time 1485 01:14:13,260 --> 01:14:15,880 for one more comment, question. 1486 01:14:15,880 --> 01:14:16,120 THERISSA LIBBY: Thank you. 1487 01:14:16,120 --> 01:14:16,920 And I'll be brief. 1488 01:14:16,920 --> 01:14:19,000 My name's Therissa Libby from the Unitarian Universalist 1489 01:14:19,000 --> 01:14:19,850 Church of Annapolis. 1490 01:14:19,850 --> 01:14:22,460 I'm also the current chair of the Unitarian Universalist 1491 01:14:22,460 --> 01:14:24,520 Addictions Ministry Team. 1492 01:14:24,520 --> 01:14:26,440 There are a lot of levels at which we can have 1493 01:14:26,440 --> 01:14:29,700 conversations about addiction and how our congregations and 1494 01:14:29,700 --> 01:14:33,120 our movement can address addiction and recovery. 1495 01:14:33,120 --> 01:14:37,780 And there's not enough that the team has focused on but 1496 01:14:37,780 --> 01:14:40,140 would like to focus on in terms of the interaction of 1497 01:14:40,140 --> 01:14:42,970 oppression and addiction and how this fits into the larger 1498 01:14:42,970 --> 01:14:44,350 picture that we're discussing here. 1499 01:14:44,350 --> 01:14:46,473 And so I'm making myself available to be part of that 1500 01:14:46,473 --> 01:14:46,830 conversation. 1501 01:14:46,830 --> 01:14:48,730 MARLIN LAVANHAR: How do people get in touch with the UU 1502 01:14:48,730 --> 01:14:50,630 Addiction Ministry? 1503 01:14:50,630 --> 01:14:52,890 THERISSA LIBBY: uuaddictionsministry.org. 1504 01:14:52,890 --> 01:14:57,020 You can also search us on the UUA website or on Facebook. 1505 01:14:57,020 --> 01:14:59,360 And we have a booth in the UUA Expressway. 1506 01:14:59,360 --> 01:15:01,190 You can stop by and get information from me tomorrow. 1507 01:15:01,190 --> 01:15:02,230 MARLIN LAVANHAR: Fantastic. 1508 01:15:02,230 --> 01:15:03,170 SUSAN LESLIE: Excellent. 1509 01:15:03,170 --> 01:15:06,790 PAULA COLE JONES: Can I make one final comment, Susan? 1510 01:15:06,790 --> 01:15:08,510 SUSAN LESLIE: I'm going to let each of you make one quick 1511 01:15:08,510 --> 01:15:09,970 comment if you need to, OK? 1512 01:15:09,970 --> 01:15:10,880 So go ahead. 1513 01:15:10,880 --> 01:15:11,320 PAULA COLE JONES: OK. 1514 01:15:11,320 --> 01:15:12,690 Thank you. 1515 01:15:12,690 --> 01:15:16,580 Again, listening to Michelle Alexander online in Portland, 1516 01:15:16,580 --> 01:15:21,060 Oregon, one of things she says is, we can't fix this by 1517 01:15:21,060 --> 01:15:23,680 piecemeal, which is what we've been talking about. 1518 01:15:23,680 --> 01:15:26,760 And that gets us at the-- end the game. 1519 01:15:26,760 --> 01:15:29,770 But she said we can't fix this by piecemeal. 1520 01:15:29,770 --> 01:15:35,780 Nothing short of a social overhaul is going to resolve 1521 01:15:35,780 --> 01:15:39,240 this issue, the situation that we're in. 1522 01:15:39,240 --> 01:15:41,350 MARLIN LAVANHAR: And I just think that Eboo Patel's talk 1523 01:15:41,350 --> 01:15:44,620 last night is so important to do in this work. 1524 01:15:44,620 --> 01:15:47,170 We need to have that mindset that he has, because some of 1525 01:15:47,170 --> 01:15:49,760 the folks we're going to partner with on this work are 1526 01:15:49,760 --> 01:15:52,250 not going to partner with us on marriage equality. 1527 01:15:52,250 --> 01:15:54,320 They're not going to partner with us on women's right to 1528 01:15:54,320 --> 01:15:57,830 choose and some other things possibly. 1529 01:15:57,830 --> 01:15:59,840 And we just have to be ready to say, hey. 1530 01:15:59,840 --> 01:16:01,430 On this issue, we're going to work together. 1531 01:16:01,430 --> 01:16:02,390 We're going to be friends. 1532 01:16:02,390 --> 01:16:04,950 We're going to agree to disagree 1533 01:16:04,950 --> 01:16:05,740 on these other issues. 1534 01:16:05,740 --> 01:16:06,960 We'll take that up later. 1535 01:16:06,960 --> 01:16:09,820 And in my experience, when we build those relationships 1536 01:16:09,820 --> 01:16:13,570 working on something we both care about in the end, in the 1537 01:16:13,570 --> 01:16:15,170 long term, folks say, hey. 1538 01:16:15,170 --> 01:16:18,070 That pastor's not so bad, or that person's not so bad. 1539 01:16:18,070 --> 01:16:20,890 And he was gay or she was gay. 1540 01:16:20,890 --> 01:16:22,470 He's open to that. 1541 01:16:22,470 --> 01:16:25,200 And it actually changes minds on other issues too. 1542 01:16:25,200 --> 01:16:27,990 But being able to stay in a relationship with people who 1543 01:16:27,990 --> 01:16:30,510 have very different values than us is really going to be 1544 01:16:30,510 --> 01:16:34,310 essential to being successful in building a human rights 1545 01:16:34,310 --> 01:16:35,608 effort like this. 1546 01:16:35,608 --> 01:16:40,490 [APPLAUSE] 1547 01:16:40,490 --> 01:16:42,810 ERIC METER: How else will we build the kingdom, 1548 01:16:42,810 --> 01:16:45,010 the kindom of heaven? 1549 01:16:45,010 --> 01:16:45,790 That's it. 1550 01:16:45,790 --> 01:16:46,673 Right there. 1551 01:16:46,673 --> 01:16:47,500 SUSAN LESLIE: That's right. 1552 01:16:47,500 --> 01:16:49,380 So I want to thank you all for coming. 1553 01:16:49,380 --> 01:16:51,290 And I want to thank our panelists. 1554 01:16:51,290 --> 01:16:59,690 [APPLAUSE] 1555 01:16:59,690 --> 01:17:07,503