Successful Summit Against Racism
by BAP Staff Writer Ashley G. Woodson


The 8th Summit Against Racism was January 21, 2006 at the East Liberty Presbyterian Church and the turn out was great.

Tim Stevens who is the founder of the Black & White Reunion welcomed everyone to celebrate the 8th Annual Summit and the 10th Anniversary of the Black & White Reunion. Black and white people united to once again build bridges to end racism in Pittsburgh. Singers Brian Wright, J.G. Bocella and Teresa Hawthorne were excellent as they sang in tribute of racism. Spoken word artists Ashley Cole, Nathan James and Shaela Montague-Phillips of Meeting of the Minds gave us something to think about as they expressed their views through their art.

The purpose of this years summit was to discuss three major issues: Citizens Police Review Board, Community Police Relations and Supporting and Advocating for Our Youth. All of the workshops had key resource people and Celeste Taylor-Black, Pete Shell, Major Mason III, Gale McCloin, Jerome Jackson and Erika Fearbry-Jones were the facilitators for the workshops. One topic of discussion from the Citizens Police Review Board workshops was to address the understanding of what to do when they are either a witness or victim of racial profiling or police brutality, while another topic discussion for the Community Police Relations was to address the understanding of how to create a collaborative relationship with law enforcement at the community, local and state level.

The workshop that was most informative for our youth was to address issues of analyzing what role media plays in the stereotypes and negative portrayals to youth. In this workshop, Julian Larkins and Jarmar Pearson (pictured left) spoke about trust of family, peer pressure, and the influence of hip-hop culture. A lot of valid points were made from Brotha Khalid Raheem, Teresa Hawthorne, Nathan James, and other youth who attended. The Coordinating Council and Summit Planning Team did a great job putting this summit together.

Until next year, keep building bridges to end racism in Pittsburgh.