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City Councilmembers Join National Discussion on Race, Equality and Justice

The 2016 NBC-LEO Summer Conference Tackles Tough Issues

[COLUMBUS, OH]  Over 125 African-American elected officials from across the country will meet to discuss implicit bias and its role in America’s justice and social systems during the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO) 2016 Summer Conference. The conference resumes  today, July 21,Thursday from 9am-4pm, at Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel, 50 N. 3rd Street.

“This is a potent mix of thought leaders offering insight to one of the greatest issues plaguing our society,” said Council President Pro Tem Priscilla Tyson. “The outcomes of this discussion could begin to change how we approach bias in our individual communities.”

The conversation on implicit bias and repair of the criminal justice system dominates Thursday’s line-up.

Columbus City Councilmember and former Director of Public Safety Mitchell Brown joins the panel discussion on Bridging the Divide: How Cities Can Address Racial Inequities. This powerful session begins at 8am and will be moderated by National League of Cities Executive Director, Clarence Anthony.

I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with cities across the nation to discuss the issues facing our communities,” said Councilmember Brown.  “It is important to collaborate and learn from one another as we focus on solving these challenges.”

Former City of Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman will begin the discussion at 9am with a focus on employment after incarceration.

Immediately following, Wayne Messam, the mayor of Miramar, Florida will lead a discussion of restorative justice through specialty dockets. Kenneth Parks, of the United States Attorney’s Office is the keynote speaker on the vital role of prosecutors in the criminal justice system.

Councilmember Shannon Hardin will moderate a passionate discussion on the “My Brother’s Keeper” program and how it will transcend after President Obama’s term.

“With President Obama’s term coming to an end, some question what happens to the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative. Leaders across the nation, of all races, must ensure that MBK lives on in our communities to close the opportunity gaps plaguing our young men of color,” said Councilmember Shannon Hardin. “Our cities will never reach their full potential if every individual cannot share in our success.”

Councilmember Jaiza Page will lead the discussion on the role of recreation and parks as a crime prevention tool.

“This is rare,” said Tyson. “We have so my elected-officials, in one location, diving into the issues relevant to our own communities, understanding our sameness and dissecting best practices.”

“With the recent unrest in the African American community, it is important that we take this opportunity to address the issues,” Tyson continued. 

National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO) was created in 1970 to represent the interests of African American elected officials. NBC-LEO's objectives include increasing African American participation on NLC's steering and policy committees to ensure that policy and program recommendations reflect African American concerns and benefit their communities.