Culture Project, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Drug Policy Alliance will present Blueprint for Accountability: NYPD's Stop and Frisk Policy. This high-voltage conversation will focus on the history and consequences of NYPD's policy of Stop and Frisk on communities of color and on national policing policies."
An award-winning author and journalist, asha bandele first attained recognition when she penned her 1999 debut book, The Prisoner's Wife, a powerful, lyrical memoir about a young Black woman's romance and marriage with a man who was serving a twenty-to-life sentence in prison. With the hope that they would live as a couple in the outside world, she became pregnant with a daughter. A former features editor for Essence Magazine, she returns with her latest memoir, Something Like Beautiful, the continuation of her love with Rashid and its ultimate loss, with another emotional disappointment and a serious bout of depression. She is also the author of two collections of poems and the novel, Daughter.
Chris Bilal is 24-year-old writer from the Bed Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn who just moved to a similarly policed section of the South Bronx. He is an advocate for social and economic justice who currently works as campaign staff for Streetwise and Safe (SAS), a NYC-based grassroots organization that empowers LGBTQ youth of color who have experienced homelessness, policing, and criminalization, and whose voices are not often heard in conversations about policing through know-your-rights education, organizing, advocacy, and solidarity with similary criminalized communities. SAS serves on the steering committee of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) and works to raise the profile of LGBTQ experiences of policing and criminalization.
Rha Goddess is a hip-hop artist and playwright who coined the term "floetry" and independently released a solo album, Soulah Vibe, in 2000. Rha Goddess has collaborated with artists like Zulu Nation, The Last Poets, and Chuck D. She began writing poems and journals when her mother died of stomach cancer in 1995; her death was followed by the deaths of a family friend, an uncle, and two young men from her community. She was a collaborating artist in Rhythmicity during the Humana Festival of New American Plays' 2002-2003 season. Her play "Low" debuted in Actors Theatre of Louisville in March 2006.
Chino Hardin is a Youth Organizer and Campaign Coordinator for the Prison Moratorium Project in New York City, as well as the point person for the "No More Jail Beds" campaign. Chino has traveled throughout the country to raise awareness about the terrible conditions, including sexual abuse, that young people must face while locked up.
Gabriel Sayegh is the director of the Drug Policy Alliance's New York policy office. sayegh and his team work in New York City and across the state, partnering with community organizing groups, human service agencies, and researchers to advance drug policies that are guided by science, compassion, health, racial justice and human rights. Recent successes include reform of New York's draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws and the passage of historic legislation to prevent accidental overdose fatalities.
Vincent Warren is the Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a national legal and educational organization dedicated to advancing and defending the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Vince oversees CCR's groundbreaking litigation and advocacy work which includes using international and domestic law to hold corporations and government officials accountable for human rights abuses; challenging racial, gender and LGBT injustice; and combating the illegal expansion of U.S. presidential power and policies such as illegal detention at Guantanamo, rendition and torture.
Prior to his tenure at CCR, Vince was a national senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where he litigated civil rights cases, focusing on affirmative action, racial profiling and criminal justice reform. Prior to the ACLU, Vince monitored South Africa's historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings and worked as a criminal defense attorney for the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn.