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Greetings from the Square One Project!
Last week, Square One held our very first convening of the Roundtable on the Future of Justice Policy, “Examining the History of Racial and Economic Inequality: Implications for Justice Policy and Practice.” The Roundtable brought together some of the most powerful voices from advocacy, policy, academia, houses of faith, law enforcement, and communities across the country most affected by the broken status quo in criminal justice.
Held at the historic North Carolina Central University School of Law in Durham, we had an incredible conversation about all the ways that our nation’s history of racism and structural inequality contribute to the discriminatory system of justice that exists in the United States today.
Our participants, observers, and partners – representing an enormous diversity of experience, perspective, and expertise – dug deep in a three-day discussion that pushed us all to listen, think, and consider new ideas for moving forward. The event was capped off by a moving and inspiring conversation between author, commentator, and professor Melissa Harris Perry and Marlon Peterson, creator of the podcast Decarcerated.
All of the Roundtable sessions are available on the Square One YouTube channel. We hope you’ll take time to watch. You’ll see moments such as these:
- Square One Co-Founder Bruce Western on the ways in which our current politics reflect – and yet simultaneously fail to reflect and address – the experience of racism.
- Pastor Mike McBride on the need for leadership from those in positions of power, and the potential for the civic community to insist on that leadership.
- North Carolina District Court Judge Elizabeth Trosch on her perspective on the ways that racism and disadvantage impact experiences of justice on a day-to-day basis.
- Forward Justice’s Daryl Atkinson on the importance of healing – personally, collectively, and systemically – from the damaging impact of our current justice system.
- CCU Law School Dean Elaine O’Neal on the connection between the history of racism and current justice system practices and experiences
The Roundtable convening was just one more step in this fast-moving project. We will keep you updated on all of the incredible work happening at the Square One Project, and look forward to continuing to work with you!
Executive Director, The Square One Project