Memphis, TN, Aug. 25, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The National Civil Rights Museum will host the third of four hybrid, national convenings entitled “The Restoration: Community Healing for Solutions to Police Violence” on September 6 at 6:00 pm Central. As part of “The Reckoning, The Resolve, The Restoration, and The Resilience” series, the Museum brings together thought leaders, policymakers, surviving families, and activists to examine the historical connections of systemic racial violence and find solutions for today’s challenges.
During the third gathering, participants will discuss the need for collective healing among victims of police brutality, law enforcement, and the communities they serve as well as community-led, trauma-informed alternatives that reduce police violence.
- Dr. Ellen Kirschman, a psychologist and clinician at the First Responders Support Network. She is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the American Psychological Association. Her work has taken her to 21 states and four countries. She has written books and frequently blogs with Psychology Today.
- Melvin Russell, a forty-year Baltimore Police Department veteran who retired in 2019 as an acting deputy commissioner. He created the Community Partnership Division in 2013 to transform the lives of youth, ex-offenders, and others through collaborative effort and is a subject matter expert on community policing and restoring peace and public trust.
- Dr. Michelle Taylor, the Shelby County Division Director for Health Services, leads the team committed to the improvement of community health and providing expertise through the planning, organizing, and maintaining public health programs and services for Shelby County. As a pediatrician, she is also a lieutenant colonel/flight surgeon in the Tennessee Air National Guard, overseeing programs geared toward serving under-resourced families.
- Dr. Janet Taylor, a psychiatrist, self-care coach, entrepreneur, and lifestyle columnist, has many coaching programs that are an integration of her years as a medical doctor, life coach, and mindfulness expert.
- Eric Cumberbatch, the Senior VP of Policy & Community Engagement at the Center for Policing Equity, is focused on undoing the impact of white supremacy in Black communities and placing power in the hands of the most vulnerable people.
- The moderator is Dr. Earle Fisher, a movement and ministerial leader, professor of religion and humanities, and scholar at the vanguard of social justice and Black liberation efforts in Memphis, TN. A community organizer, he cofounded Memphis Grassroots Organization in response to the 2015 death of Darrius Steward by Memphis police, the removal of Confederate monuments in the city, and the voter empowerment initiative #UPTheVote901 to increase voter turnout.
“This dialogue is important because the triggers and trauma Black Americans experience at the hands of police must be acknowledged in order for community healing to begin,” said Dr. Russ Wigginton, Museum President. “From unnecessary pretextual stops to the overarching effects of the prison industrial complex, the dehumanization of people of color must stop if we are all to be truly free of the racial violence in law enforcement. It’s critical that we prioritize resources so that law enforcement trained to respond to violence are not called to address social services they are not equipped to handle,” he said.
The museum’s objective for “The Restoration” dialogue is to:
- examine how the mental health and well-being of black and brown communities are negatively impacted by the racial trauma caused by police brutality;
- unpack the mental health stigma among police officers and identify what can be done to address the mental health preparedness and well-being of law enforcement;
- explore the effectiveness of police crisis intervention programs, community violence intervention efforts, and other alternatives to traditional policing that reduce gun violence and officer and citizen injuries; and
- identify strategies law enforcement can employ to improve community-police relations.
The museum has launched this collaborative effort to include a broad spectrum of citizens from many disciplines, industries, and roles to root out the causes at a systemic level. The series will culminate with “The Resilience,” a national symposium on February 22, 2024, in Memphis. The national symposium combines the learnings and recommended solutions from the convenings to create an expanded platform for cause-and-effect discussions, data sharing, legislative policy, and transformative resolution.
The 6:00 p.m. Central event will live stream on the museum’s website and YouTube channels. A reception will follow the panel at 7:45 p.m. Registration is highly recommended. There is limited capacity for in-person guests of the free event. For more information, visit civilrightsmuseum.org.
About the National Civil Rights Museum
The NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM, located at the historic Lorraine Motel where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, gives a comprehensive overview of the American Civil Rights Movement from slavery to the present. Since the Museum opened in 1991, millions of visitors from around the world have come, including more than 90,000 student visits annually. The Museum is steadfast in its mission to chronicle the American civil rights movement and tell the story of the ongoing struggle for human rights. It educates and serves as a catalyst to inspire action to create positive social change.
A Smithsonian Affiliate and an internationally acclaimed cultural institution, the Museum is recognized as a 2019 National Medal Award recipient by the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS), the top national honor for museums and libraries. It is a TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Top 5% U.S. Museum, USA Today’s Top 10 Best American Iconic Attractions; Top 10 Best Historical Spots in the U.S. by TLC’s Family Travel; Must See by the Age of 15 by Budget Travel and Kids; Top 10, American Treasures by USA Today; and Best Memphis Attraction by The Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Business Journal.