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Confronting the Assault on Communities of Color


“If you want to hear the truth, you must let the suffering speak” Cornel West. In this panel discussion and presentation, participants will learn how concerned communities can have a crucial role in confronting the assault on communities of color. We will explore the realities of race-based violence, unveil the criminalization by mainstream media and the State that has allowed this type of violence to continue generation after generation. We will also discuss the current movement to analyze how social justice activist and social justice organization, can empower impacted families of State violence.
SATURDAY August 25, 2018 - 3:45pm to 4:45pm
Main Hall


First Name: 
Cephus "Uncle Bobby" X
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Cephus X Johnson, also known as, Uncle Bobby X, is the uncle of Oscar Grant. He is an alumnus of SF State University African Studies program of 1986-1989. After his nephew, Oscar Grant, was murdered by a Bart police officer in 2009, Cephus founded two social justice organizations, the Oscar Grant Foundation and Love Not Blood Campaign. Since then, Cephus has received many prestigious awards for his activism, including The Fannie Lou Hamer Award 2016, The Hero of Forgiveness Award 2016, The Henry Moskowitz Award 2015, The Kwame Ture Black Star of Labor Award 2015, The Black Organizing Project Award 2014, The Martin Luther King Jr Gene Young Award 2014, and many others. He was a consultant for the movie Fruitvale Station, and has served as a leading expert on the creation of the Motherhood and Fatherhood Movement of children murdered by police. Cephus has presented at The Left Forum NY conference, US Human Rights Conference, The Netroot Nation Conference, The ACLU Conference, The Free Mind Free People Conference, The National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE), The Congressional Black Caucus Conference, Teachers for Social Justice Conference, The Social Justice Symposium of Cal-Berkeley and The National Bar Association Conference Fatherhood Movement. He has also spoken at universities, high schools, and community events, and served as the West Coast Organizer of the United Nation Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent visiting the United States at Merritt College, Oakland 2016. Uncle Bobby X is a social justice activist at the forefront of ending State violence in America.

Speaker 1

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Forced Trajectory Project; Families United 4 Justice
Vanissa W. Chan is a media artist, educator and community organizer whose passion for the arts is fueled by her work with the People, especially the Youth. Utilizing various mediums to create dialogue and draw attention to pressing sociopolitical issues, her work’s intent is to strengthen communal bridges, assist in storytelling, and shed light upon narratives that are often marginalized and buried under distress and trauma. Vanissa co-founded the Alliance of Conscious Documentarians (ACD Media), an independent media collective that works to serve the media needs of marginalized communities. Currently, the main projects are the Forced Trajectory project, which follows the narratives of family members of police brutality victims via still images, moving pictures and sound, in order to bring awareness to the rippling effects police violence has on communities while also providing more context for the Stolen Lives Project, and the Ayiti Solidarity project which focuses on uncovering the current situation in Haiti while also deeply investigating Haitian history to create a linear timeline from 1492 to present day Haiti.

Speaker 2

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Kelly L
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Author, MIGRA! History of U.S. Border Patrol
Kelly Hernandez is one of the nation’s leading historians of race, policing, immigration, and incarceration in the United States. Her award-winning book, MIGRA! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (University of California Press, 2010), explored the making and meaning of the U.S. Border Patrol in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, arguing that the century-long surge of U.S. immigration law enforcement in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands is a story of race in America. Her forthcoming book, City of Inmates: Conquest and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles (University of North Carolina Press, 2017), is an unsettling tale that spans two centuries to unearth the long rise of incarceration as a social institution bent toward disappearing targeted populations from land, life, and society in the United States. It does so with six extraordinary stories detailing when, why, and how the dynamics of conquest made Los Angeles, California, the carceral capitol of the world. By the 1950s, she argues, incarceration was a complex and well-oiled machine of elimination targeting blacks, Natives, and Latinos. In the years ahead, the rise of mass incarceration amounted to mass elimination.

Speaker 3

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Black Lives Matter LA; Pan-African Studies; Activist
Melina Abdullah is Professor and Chair of Pan-African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. She earned her Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Southern California in Political Science and her B.A. from Howard University in African American Studies. She was appointed to the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission in 2014 and is a recognized expert on race, gender, class, and social movements. Abdullah is the author of numerous articles and book chapters, with subjects ranging from political coalition building to womanist mothering. Melina is the recipient of many awards, most recently the 2016 Racial Justice Award presented by the YWCA, 2016 Fannie Lou Hamer Award for outstanding community service presented by the Coalition of Mental Health Professionals, 2016 Fannie Lou Hamer Award presented by the National Conference of Black Political Scientists, 2016 Sacred Sistahs Award, 2016 California Teachers Association Human Rights Award, 2016 BCCLA Ella Baker Award, 2015 Freedom Now Award, and the 2015 Communitas Award. She was recognized by LA Weekly as one of the 10 most influential Los Angeles leaders, “Urban Girl of the Year” by 2UrbanGirls, and one of the 15 “Fiercest Sisters” of 2015 by Fierce. She has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, TV One, ABC, PBS, KTLA, KCET, BET, Free Speech TV, and Al-Jazeera, and is featured in the films 13th, When Justice Isn’t Just, and Justice or Else. Melina is originally from Oakland, California. She is a single “soccer mama” of three children and resides in Mid-City Los Angeles.

Speaker 4

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Afrikan Black Coalition; Nation of Islam
Born and raised in Oakland, California, Salih Muhammad has strived to consistently improve the condition of his people. In 2009, Salih graduated from the Muhammad University of Islam where he helped to establish a student run coffeehouse. Muhammad was admitted into the University of California, Berkeley, where he excelled as a community leader helping to restart the Black student Union, which he would chair for nearly 2 years. As chair of UC Berkeley’s Black Student Union he made numerous political and social achievements for Black students including hosting the Afrikan Black Coalition Conference – the largest Black Student conference in California. Later, Salih would chair CalSERVE, a multicultural coalition that seeks to empower students of color through access to student government as well as grassroots organizing.

Speaker 5