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Press Release


Contact:
Matt Bach, Director of Media Relations
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C (810) 874-1073
mbach@mml.org; www.mml.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 15, 2015

Forum on Race and Law Enforcement in Urban Communities Set for November 14 in Saginaw

Event Sponsored by Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials

SAGINAW, Michigan — Race relations have taken on a heightened seriousness in recent months with high-profile cases of police incidents involving African-American men and women.

The forum taking place next month in Saginaw will explore the causes and offer some solutions to improving the relationship between law enforcement and the African-American community. The “Race and Law Enforcement in the Urban Community” forum is 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, November 14, at the Saginaw County Community Action Center, 2824 Perkins St., Saginaw. The event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is requested to determine the number of lunches to provide. Go here for the registration form: http://www.mml.org/pdf/mbcleo/MBC-Leo-registration-form-Nov-2015.pdf.

The event is sponsored by the Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (MBC-LEO, http://www.mbc-leo.org/) and is the first of several forums that will examine different aspects of race relations in Michigan, said MBC-LEO President Lois Allen-Richardson, mayor pro tem of Ypsilanti.

“Michigan has not had some of the higher profile incidents that other states have been faced with, but that doesn’t mean we should turn a blind-eye to it or that it’s not happening in our communities. It is happening,” Allen-Richardson said. “It’s an issue that’s been around for so long that it needs to be addressed.”

Allen-Richardson said MBC-LEO has been wanting to do this forum for many months and plans to tackle a variety of issues and lessons, including educating young people on how to properly respond to police, legal rights when being stopped by the police, having more diversity among police officers, violence in schools, and giving police more training on race relations and cultural differences.

Buena Vista Township Manager Dexter Mitchell, an active member of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative started by President Obama in 2014, is helping coordinate the day-long forum. Mitchell plans to have a diverse line-up of speakers and attendees, including police officials, youth and community members. They’re also working on bringing in a national speaker or two.

“We hope to have 300 people attend this forum,” Mitchell said. “We are planning that this will be the first of several forums conducted throughout the state of Michigan. It’s something we can all benefit from. We’ve seen tragedies in urban communities where individuals have died after altercations with police. Many of these tragedies could have been avoided if all those involved had been better educated—the citizens as well as the police. We hope to provide this much-needed education.”

MBC-LEO was created to provide a forum for its members to collaborate, network, coach, mentor, share information, and provide support to one another in the state of Michigan. The Caucus works in cooperation with the Michigan Municipal League (MML). Membership of MBC-LEO is comprised of local elected officials and municipal staff members and associates in the state of Michigan.

Michigan Municipal League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services.

 

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