Efforts to combat systemic injustice will take center stage tonight as people gather in the auditorium of a Buffalo high school to hear from a national scholar.
Activist and author Dr. Marc Lamont Hill will speak at an event that is part of Open Buffalo’s Justice and Opportunity series. He is expected to discuss a number issues, including civic engagement, communityjustice and empowerment.
Max Anderson, Open Buffalo’s communications director, shared with WBFO other issues that are of concern.
“The disparities in mass incarceration, arrests and the war on drugs and its impact on communities through generations that have seen and lived through the war on drugs,” Anderson said, “School disciplinary policies. We’re proponents of practices called restored justice that can provide alternatives to the punitive justice system as well as alternatives to punitive school policies like suspensions.”
Anderson added that criminal justice is another important topic that often surfaces as people discuss racial equity.
“We have research locally that, at least up until a couple years ago when the research was done, that even though people of color are using marijuana at the same rate or maybe less than white folks locally, they’re being arrested and incarcerated for that offense at a much higher rate.”
Hill is the author of numerous books, including "Nobody: Casualties of America's War on the Vulnerable from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond."
The free event is open to the public and begins at 6 p.m. in the Bennett High School Auditorium at 2885 Main Street.
Also during the event, Open Buffalo plans to celebrate the top finishers in its “Youth Community Builder” contest. The effort encouraged local high school students to design community-improvement projects and compete for funds to launch their plans.