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Amid the epidemic of police shootings and racially motivated violence, Ridley-Thomas leads the management dialogue – Lasentinel

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Amid the epidemic of police shootings and racially motivated violence, Ridley-Thomas leads the leadership dialogue

Discuss issues related to racism, policing, pandemic and beyond

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In response to the increase in the shootings of unarmed black men and women, including the recent shootings of Dijon Kizzee in south Los Angeles and subsequent protests against the racial violence perpetrated by law enforcement against color communities, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has led in cooperation with the Institute for Nonviolence in Los Angeles (INLV) a virtual dialogue at management level about racism, police work and the pandemic + beyond. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Dialogue Day, a non-partisan organization that aims to bring different communities together to discuss polarizing topics for community change.

“The epidemic of the police killing unarmed African Americans is a relentless outrage, and we are all entitled to the anger and pain felt so deeply right now. But where do we go from here? Carl Segan once said, "You have to know the past to understand the present." To influence change, we have to identify the root of the problem – and days of dialogue are a step in the right direction, "said Supervisor Mark Ridley- Thomas.

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For over 25 years, the Days of Dialogue have brought together state, business, ecumenical and local leaders to discuss topical social and political issues that communities face. Amid the growing threat of racial violence, as well as its impact on community well-being and individual endeavors, Days of Dialogue provides a forum for leaders to address tension. Days of Dialogue took place in political town hall forums in large public auditoriums at smaller venues such as neighborhood libraries, churches and today via a virtual platform.

Participants in this dialogue by invitation only; Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission Chairman and Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, Patti Giggans; Michael Moore, Los Angeles Police Chief; Ricardo Garcia, Los Angeles County Public Defender; Dr. Jonathan Lucas, Los Angeles Borough Medical Examiner; President of Saint Mary & # 39; s University, Dr. Ann McElaney-Johnson; and Bishop of Faithful Central Bible Church, Kenneth Ulmer.

Recently the Board of Supervisors made a historic decision to set an agenda for anti-racist politics. However, this application is only the beginning of a process to change governance, policy-making and service delivery in Los Angeles County. Following this motion, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas advocated greater transparency and accountability with the county law enforcement agencies. The recent law enforcement deaths from the murder of Andres Guardado and Dijon Kizzee and the COVID-19 pandemic have created an environment that has made the need for dialogue even more urgent. The participants underlined this need and spoke about the origins of racism and police violence, reflecting on its persistence in the midst of a pandemic.

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“We cannot let the winds of change die. We live a movement to bring systemic racism to the forefront of American consciousness. We have to look at the institutions, their values, their history and their rewards to understand how best to make lasting change. Racism is a plague that infects us and tries to play us off against each other. It is self-sustaining and feeds on lies and fear. We can only defeat racism out of solidarity, ”said defender Ricardo Garcia. “Honest dialogue, real talking is the way to look at our institutions and understand what action is required. Thank you Days of Dialogue for further stimulating the community discussion to fuel healing, action and most importantly, change!

“For decades, Days of Dialogue has enabled community members to have bold conversations on very sensitive social issues. These types of gatherings remain more important as we work to break down racist practices and bring communities together, ”said Patti Giggans, Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission Chair and Executive Director for Peace Over Violence. "We thank Supervisors Mark Ridley Thomas and Avis Ridley Thomas for creating and continuing these community dialogues."

“I have attended sessions of the Days of Dialogue for many years and have always felt that this is an excellent opportunity to express your inner feelings and receive immediate feedback. It's a very important communication tool, ”said Michel Moore, Los Angeles Police Chief. “As a participant in earlier days of dialogue, I hope to gain insight into current events in Los Angeles and across the country through the various demonstrations people are calling for change. Changes are needed in law enforcement and in many other institutions in society. "

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Dr. Ann McElaney-Johnson, President of Mount Saint Mary & # 39; s University, said, “Days of dialogue are critical for people to share their lived experiences, speak honestly and boldly, and be heard. They invite you to discover and develop common values ​​in relation to a common sense of responsibility for reducing systemic inequalities. We need to educate ourselves to deepen our understanding, reaction and commitment to combating racism and promoting racial justice. I am confident that today's conversation will spark creative solutions to tackle racism, especially racism against blacks, and the widespread injustice we see in our neighborhood and across the country. In doing so, we recognize that racial justice is a process that requires a systematic approach. That is why we stand as allies in the re-imagining of a just and just society. I am grateful that the Board of Supervisors is addressing these issues with a collaborative lens. "

"As a past participant in Days of Dialogue, I am proud to work again with this important forum for our community to deepen our understanding of racial justice in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and other pressing issues," said Arthur J. Ochoa . JD, Senior Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer at Cedars-Sinai. "I look forward to strengthening relationships with a variety of community leaders when unity and compassion are more important than ever."

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