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Policing Black Bodies: A Cultural Exchange between Afro-Brazilian and Afro-American Activists
October 9, 2017 - October 10, 2017

Date: Tuesday, October 10,2017

Time: 5pm-7pm

Location: OSF-NY 1ABC

Open Society Foundations-NY

224 West 57th Street

New York NY 10019


Policing Black Bodies: Do Black Lives Matter at Home or Abroad?

Black men in the United States aged between 18 and 44 are more than 3 times as likely as white men the same age to be killed by a police officer. While Black men make up only about 6 percent of the U.S. population, last year they accounted for one-third of the unarmed people killed by police. In July, the President of the United States stood before an audience of law enforcement officials and actively encouraged police violence. Attorney General Sessions is working overtime to roll back Obama-era policies that he’s deemed too “soft” on crime.

In Brazil, where people of African descent make up nearly 53 percent of the population, a similar human rights crisis is underway. Last year police in Rio de Janeiro killed an average of five people per day and numbers in 2017 are on track to be higher. Violence in some favelas (slums) has threatened young people’s access to health and education as drug gangs and police exchange fire in the middle of communities. Police violence against black communities is so grave it is often referred to as the genocide of black people.

Open Society’s Human Rights Initiative and Justice Roundtable are hosting a “Conversation on Justice”, about racial justice and policing in the US and Brazil, to highlight the shared experiences and challenges of Afro-Brazilians and Afro-Americans. We hope to build solidarity, exchange strategies, and learn from our shared struggles with racial injustice and police violence.


Francisca Sena, Black Women’s Network of Ceará (INEGRA), works closely with incarcerated women and aims to strengthen the political organization of Black women in Northeastern Brazil.

Wagner Moreira Campos, Institute for the Development of Social Action (IDEAS), is an attorney who promotes the right to live in Salvador, specifically by exposing conflicts resulting from an unjust development model at the expense of Black people’s territory, culture, and lives.

Sakira Cook, Senior Counsel for The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Ms. Cook leads the development of a federal policy agenda on reform of the U.S. criminal justice system for a broad coalition of national civil and human rights groups

Marlon Patterson, founder of The Precedential Group. Patterson is an advocate, writer, and educator who spent most of his 20’s in New York State prisons where he earned a college degree and developed services for men nearing release from incarceration. Ebony Magazine has named him one of America’s top 100 inspiring leaders in the Black community.

Jasmine Mickens (Moderator), Senior Policy Associate for Criminal, Youth, and Immigrant Justice, Open Society Policy Center

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October 9, 2017
October 10, 2017