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Civil Rights Movements in Our Time

Stephen Menendian, assistant director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | April 28, 2015

In the aftermath of the protests and unrest in Baltimore yesterday, President Obama described the situation as a “slow rolling crisis.” This is a unique and significant moment in the history of our nation. At a conference this weekend on Othering & Belonging, New York Times columnist Charles Blow observed that “we are in the … Continue reading »

It is Time to Talk Reparations for Ferguson…and Beyond

Sandra Susan Smith, associate professor of sociology | March 25, 2015

Even before its March 4th release, the key findings of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation into the Ferguson Police Department’s (FPD) practices were fairly well known, having been reported on and discussed extensively in the media. With compelling evidence drawn from multiple sources and backed by statistical analysis, the DOJ report makes three points … Continue reading »

If black lives matter, end the War on Crime

Jonathan Simon, professor of law | December 8, 2014

From the perspective of tens of thousands of protesters around the nation this week, the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. and Eric Garner in Staten Island reflected an unfathomable decision by white police officers to kill unarmed black men engaged in trivial criminal (if any) behavior. To thousands of police officers (and their families), … Continue reading »

A response to Ferguson: Systemic problems require systemic solutions

john a. powell, director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | November 25, 2014

Last night, like many across the world who were watching, we experienced deep disappointment in the decision by the St. Louis County grand jury not to indict Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenage boy, on Aug. 9. Our thoughts are first with the family of Michael Brown and the … Continue reading »

The Black Record: Why we don’t know how often police kill

Rasheed Shabazz, former communications fellow, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | October 17, 2014

In Killing Them Softly, comedian Dave Chappelle explained how fearful he was to call the police when someone broke into his house. Now why would someone in a free country like America be afraid to call the police to their own home if they were the victim? Although a modest home, the house was too nice, Chappelle joked, “and they’d never … Continue reading »

Why Gov. Nixon has to remove prosecutor

Jack Glaser, associate professor of public policy | August 28, 2014

We are a long way from knowing precisely what happened in Ferguson, two weeks ago, but one thing is clear: The town’s name has become yet another synonym for the chasm of experience dividing white and black America. Time and again, young African-American men have been fatally shot by police under ambiguous circumstances: Amadou Diallo, … Continue reading »

Ferguson and human dignity

Jonathan Simon, professor of law | August 27, 2014

Michael Brown was buried Monday (August 25, 2014) in St. Louis, near his hometown of Ferguson, Mo. As the world knows by now, two weeks ago the 18-year-old recent high-school graduate was shot six times and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. Michael Brown was unarmed, and the reasons for Officer Wilson’s actions have yet … Continue reading »

How Many Black Boys Have to Die?

Stephen Menendian, assistant director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | August 14, 2014

Although the “facts” are still in dispute, it’s not presumptuous to add Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri to the list of young black men and boys killed by overzealous police or armed civilians: Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Oscar Grant, Jordan Davis and so many more, including young women like Renisha McBride. The … Continue reading »