Westminster DC, 400 I St SW, will be hosting a Town Hall Meeting at 7:00pm on Thursday, August 1st to hear from civil rights attorney Phil Fornaci about the recent report on “Racial Disparities in Arrests in the District of Columbia (http://www.washlaw.org/pdf/wlc_report_racial_disparities.pdf).”

The report is from the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, of which Mr. Fornaci is a member. The report, developed with the help of Covington & Burling, is based on raw arrest data for 2009-2011. The data reveals not only that African-Americans are arrested in numbers grossly disproportionate to their numbers in the D.C. population but also that these arrests are overwhelmingly for misdemeanors and minor drug offenses.

This Town Hall is one of many happening across the city as concerned citizens organize to change legal codes that have helped to establish what author Michelle Alexander  has described as “the New Jim Crow.” In her book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness, Alexander lays out the evidence of a self-supporting social system, encouraged by the 40 year War on Drugs, that has led to a new segregation through incarceration and second-class citizenship for millions of people of color.

The August 1st Town Hall Meeting is a follow-up to Westminster’s licensed screening of “The House I Live In” on Thursday, July 25th at 7:00pm. This award-winning documentary illuminates many of the same issues and points to the high cost to families and communities such as Southwest DC resulting from unjust policies of the War on Drugs. The community is encouraged to attend both events.

For more information contact Rev. Brian Hamilton at beh@westminsterdc.org or call 202-484-7700.

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