Bermuda invited to take part in international racial justice event
Bermuda has been asked to join an international virtual conference to mark the one year anniversary of the murder of a Black man by a policeman in the US state of Minnesota.
Racial Reflections, Remembrances and Reckoning will feature a panel of experts who will discuss racial injustice and the problems that affect the physical and mental health of communities of colour, including the Covid-19 pandemic.
The conference will be held a year on from the death of George Floyd after he was arrested by police in Minneapolis.
Bermuda’s appearance will be organised by Stephanie Guthman, a psychologist and former director of specialised training and assessment at Family Centre.
Dr Guthman said: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a significant escalation of killings, violence and hate crimes against blacks and people of colour.
“These forms of adversity and persecution can not only scar your spirit, but also pierce the very essence of your being. It is time for healing to begin.”
The conference was organised by the Eikenberg Academy for Social Justice in New York and was opened to Bermuda and other “global communities”.
Dr Guthman said the event was designed to help people who were “weary, wounded and dismayed by the assault on Black, brown and other persons of colour”.
The event was backed by Family Centre, the Inter Agency Committee for Children and Families and other social justice groups in Bermuda.
Racial Reflections will mark the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, after he was arrested by police officers in Minneapolis.
The death sparked outrage and months of protests around the world to demand more action to fight systemic racism.
Derek Chauvin, a former police officer who had his knee on Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes as he lay on the ground, was convicted of second-degree murder on April 20.
Chauvin will be sentenced on June 15.
The trial of three other officers in connection with the death will start on August 23.
The panellists for Racial Reflections are:
- Areva Martin – an award-winning attorney, civil rights advocate and commentator on legal and social issues. Ms Martin has been involved in several high-profile cases and has been listed as a Southern California Super Lawyer – a position reserved for the top five per cent of attorneys in the state – for the last five years. Ms Martin has served as a talk-show host and producer who serves as the Legal Analyst for CNN. She has also appeared on Good Morning America, Daily Mail TV and the American news channel HLN. Ms Martin has won several awards, including the L’Oreal Paris’ Women of Worth award, Los Angeles County Women of the Year, Ford’s Living Legend Award, the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award and Union Bank’s Neighbourhood Hero Award.
- Marc Lamont Hill – an activist, former journalist and professor of media, cities and solutions at Temple University in Pennsylvania. Dr Hill’s research looks at the junction between culture, politics and education in the United States and the Middle East. He has assisted many human rights movements and worked on campaigns to end the death penalty and abolish prisons. Dr Hill has also held positions at Columbia University and Morehouse College, both in the United States. He has also received numerous awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, GLAAD, and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. He currently works as the host of BET News and the Coffee & Books podcast. Dr Hill is also the founder and director of The People’s Education Centre in Philadelphia, as well as the owner of Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books.
- Kenneth Hardy – a psychologist and former professor. Dr Hardy is a senior trainer for the Eikenberg Academy for Social Justice. He also works as a clinical and organisational consultant for the Eikenberg Institute for Relationships. Dr Hardy has co-authored several books and had taught family therapy at Syracuse University in New York and Drexel University in Philadelphia. Dr Hardy has also presented at Bermuda’s Cathedral Hall in 2017 where he gave an analysis of the dynamics of racial trauma and how it affected the lives of young Black people. He also presented at a one-day Racial Trauma Conference, organised by Family Centre, in 2019.
The event will be held on May 25 from noon to 4pm Bermuda time and tickets are $125 each.
For more information, e-mail Dr Guthman at firstname.lastname@example.org