Eastern Michigan University’s College of Arts and Sciences to host virtual speaking series, ‘Race, Policing, & Social Justice in 2020: Looking Back and Moving Forward’

Three-part speaker series to take place on September 24, October 8 and October 22. Sessions will feature speakers from EMU, among other community members

YPSILANTI — The Eastern Michigan University College of Arts and Sciences will host a virtual three-part speaker series titled “Race, Policing, & Social Justice in 2020: Looking Back and Moving Forward.” The virtual sessions will take place on Thursday, September 24, Thursday, October 8, and Thursday, October 22 from 6:30-8 p.m.

The events are free and open to the public. Those interested in attending one or all of the virtual sessions via ZOOM must register through the individual event registration links below:

The series will examine the systems of policing, including socioeconomic and political challenges, and is intended to generate sustainable relationships among local law enforcement and the EMU community in order to create systemic support and cultivate collaborations.

Session one, titled “Addressing the Ills of Policing within Minority Communities: Precursors to the Floyd Dent Police Brutality Case in Inkster, Michigan,” will feature speaker Dr. Barbara Patrick, Associate Professor of Political Science. The session will explore provisions of Michigan legislation and local administrative practices that served as precursors to the 2015 Floyd Dent incident in Inkster and undermined public trust within the Black community.

“Working to Bridge the Divide between the Police and Communities of Color: Reforms in the Aftermath of the Floyd Dent Case,” the second event in the three-part series, will feature guest speaker Chief William Riley, III, Chief of Police for the Inkster Police Department. Soon after the 2015 Floyd Dent police brutality case exposed corruption, mismanagement, and racism within the Inkster Police Department, William T. Riley III assumed leadership of the embattled department in August 2015. During this session, Chief Riley will reflect on his efforts to transform relationships, establish trust, improve morale, reduce crime, and repair the reputation of the Inkster Police.

The third session, “A Conversation on Race, Policing, Voting, & Social Justice: Where

Do We Go from Here?” will be a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Barbara Patrick, Associate Professor of Political Science, and Dr. Stephen Jefferson, Associate Professor of Psychology. Panel experts will discuss today’s highly debated proposals regarding police oversight, de-escalation tactics, prosecutorial discretion, social advocacy, voting, and policy reforms—and they will present their recommendations for pursuing change.

For more information, visit the event homepage, or contact Barbara Patrick at bpatric1@emich.edu or Stephen Jefferson at sjeffer2@emich.edu.

To learn more about the Eastern Michigan University College of Arts & Sciences, visit the college homepage.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves nearly 18,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

September 16, 2020

Written by:
Morgan Mark

Morgan Mark