When I saw this, it immediately gave me pause and the reason why is that I saw organizations and people who do NOTHING in houston that is substantially related to Black Lives Matter. Then all of the sudden they want to hold an event three weeks after the death of our beloved Sandra Bland. Many of them have been RADIO silent on the issue and I can't help to think that this is an attempt to attain grant funding and keep doing more of the same, NOTHING. Looking at the organizations involved gave me even more pause, The NAACP Houston Branch, Houston Area Urban League, The TSU BJ-ML School of Public Affairs, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Department of Justice Community Relations Service, Southwest Region, Office of Senator Rodney Ellis, Texas Southern University Police Department, Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, Texas Organizing Project, Texas Civil Rights Project, & Texas ACLU, this just screams respectability politics and organizations vying to stay relevant.
In my opinion these organizations (highlighted) are top heavy at the local level with so - called leaders that suck up most of the organizational budget for their pay and still don't do a damn thing that their job calls them to do. They hide behind the wall of respectability politics, avoid meeting with the Black LGBT community or when they do, it is rushed and often without results. I only see and hear from these orgs when something happens and not really when preventative measures can be implemented. Then when they get together publically after meeting in back rooms they come up with events like this with the supposed purposes to:
"- Devise strategies for proactive measures that will ensure that in the future such incidents are less common.
- Foster collaborations to formulate specific policy recommendations with definite timeframes for achieving the objectivest Devise mechanisms for highlighting incidents everywhere bringing a voice to each person injured--no matter who or where.
- Establish research priorities for issues needing further development .
- Receive public comment on prioritizing strategies and soliciting persons interested in further developing these strategies through future convenings of smaller workgroups.
If you or someone you know has been impacted by the criminal justice system we want to hear from you. This is your opportunity to have your voice heard! Join us!"
Did they meet their supposed objectives, Watch it for yourself...
Here are some feelings about the event from a good friend of mine on twitter & MORE can be found HERE.
This leads me to my issue with some (not all) of the speakers, because many of them were not millennials, activists, and people who work on the ground doing the work that ACTUALLY NEEDS TO BE DONE. We should not be listening to folks tell us that we should "Comply and get out of that traffic stop asap." I will say again, that If you are gonna be bout that #BlackLivesMatter life, be about it all the time. That means you need to be willing to get dirty and not just coming out when it is comfortable... example: avoids protests, conversations, usually silent and only shows up when the cameras are around, to look good in front of politicians. Take your respectable ass somewhere and have many many seats.
[Here is a list of the speakers, Marlon Smith, Black Greeks Speak -- Tarsha Jackson, Texas Organizing Project -- Professor Howard Henderson, TSU School of Public Affairs -- Kim Milstead, Community Relations Services Southwest Region -- Sarah Guidry, Earl Carl Institute Executive Director -- DeWayne Charleston, Former Waller County Justice of the Peace -- Deputy Chief Remon Green, TSU Police Department -- Jeanette Harris, Choices with Jeanette]
***CONSIDER THIS A CALL TO ACTION FOR MILLENNIALS AND THOSE WHO DON'T BUY INTO RESPECTABILITY POLITICS, THE OLD WAYS OF YESTERDAY AND ARE UNAPOLOGETIC ABOUT WANTING CHANGE. WE DON'T NEED POLITICIANS & "EXPERTS" TELLING US HOW TO DO WHAT WE HAVE BEEN DOING! THEY NEED TO BE LISTENING TO US, AND DOING WHAT WE ASK THEM TO DO IN ORDER FOR OUR BLACK LIVES TO MATTER. ITS TIME TO HOLD THEM ALL ACCOUNTABLE, RIGHT NOW***