In the spirit of Nellie Stone-Johnson, the late local African American union and civil rights activist, the NAACP Minneapolis branch kicked off its first official event Friday, October 30 taking aim at the ills of the criminal justice system as they affect Black women.
The event, entitled “Black Women, Policing and Mass Incarceration,” took place at the Women’s Club of Minneapolis and featured Kemba Smith, a former incarcerated person, who chronicled her transformation from college student to federal prisoner in the memoir ‘Poster Child: The Kemba Smith Story.’ Continue Reading →
Can the current U.S. criminal justice system be reformed? This and other questions were recently discussed at a half-day forum at St. Paul’s Metropolitan State University. No easy answers were forthcoming.
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University of St. Thomas School of Law Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds is one of the most influential young minority law professors in the country, according to media and research company Lawyers of Color. Levy-Pounds was named to the company’s “50 Under 50” list for 2014, which recognizes law professors of color who are making “bold contributions to the legal canon and the community at large.”
As professor and founding director of the Community Justice Project, the School of Law’s award-winning civil rights legal clinic, Levy-Pounds fosters and inspires up-and-coming lawyers to work to improve the lives of members of under-served communities and youths in the Twin Cities. Challenging laws and policies that hold back communities of color, she has carved her place in the local civil rights movement. With Levy-Pounds’ vision, the Community Justice Project developed Brotherhood Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that uplifts and empowers young African American males who have had contact with the criminal justice system, are involved in gangs, or are at risk of such involvement. Continue Reading →
What can Black communities expect from him over the next four years? By Charles Hallman
History repeated itself Tuesday as Barack Obama won reelection as U.S. president, making him only the first Black man to twice win the presidency in this country’s history. “It has been a fairly harsh campaign,” noted local Republican activist Carleton Crawford, who added that both President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney “have done a particularly good job of presenting their side, primarily based on issues. I think the [three] debates have been substantive… They [gave] people a chance to actually analyze…the perspective and the intention of the candidates.”
Crawford says that President Obama “is going to have a decent mandate” from the American electorate. Throughout his first term, the president was oft-criticized that he didn’t speak out or didn’t put specific issues affecting the Black community on the front burner. Continue Reading →