Contact: Yvonne Taunton
University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Institute for Human Rights and Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will moderate a community discussion, “Police Reform: A Conversation with Derecka Purnell,” at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, in the Lister Hill Center.The
The discussion will focus on unconstitutional policing practices, consent, police and prosecutor accountability, jail closures, and ways through which the community can help.
Purnell is a human rights lawyer, writer, organizer and Harvard Law graduate. She is a columnist at The Guardian and deputy director of Spirit of Justice Center at Union Theological Seminary. Purnell is the former editor-in-chief of the Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy. She has lectured, studied and strategized around social movements nationally and internationally.
Her advocacy efforts led to the dismissal of more than 3,000 cases based on unconstitutional policing practices. She supports several campaigns and grassroots organizations including Action St. Louis, Dream Defenders, Communities Against Police Crimes and Repression, the Ferguson Collaborative, and the Movement for Black Lives.
Her writing has been published by renowned media outlets including The New York Times, The Guardian, Boston Review and Huffington Post. She has been featured on NPR, the Boston Globe, Slate’s What Next and MSNBC.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Purnell co-created the COVID-19 Policing Project at the Community Resource Hub for Safety & Accountability.
The event will take place on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UABODEI; community members are also invited to submit questions there for the panelists.