Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Racial Profiling and Knowing Your Rights Continues King's Debate on Justice

The ACLU of Wisconsin celebrated Martin Luther King Day with a very successful Know Your Rights/Racial Profiling workshop in Racine. The workshop was part of Voces de la Frontera’s Martin Luther King Day Celebration at the Memorial Hall.

About 60 people of all ages learned from ACLU of Wisconsin staff and volunteers how to flex their rights and spot racial profiling. Importantly, attendees also learned how to take action if they are a victim or a witness of police discrimination. The workshop focused on how to handle police encounters such as being stopped on the street or in a car. Many of the participants are now eager to pass the knowledge of their rights onto the rest of their community.

We also debuted our new Know Your Rights bust cards - part of a initiative to make region-specific bust cards listing local community organizations that can assist with law enforcement concerns.

Other speakers helped to put current issues of racial profiling into context. Attendees were focused as Geraldine White, affiliated with the Racine Branch of the NAACP, spoke about her years with the civil rights organization, ths Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and some of the life-changing events that she witnessed there with Ralph Abernathy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Maggie Piery, longtime ACLU of Wisconsin volunteer and a student at UW-Parkside, shared her experiences speaking to law enforcement and community at the Office of Justice Assistance Traffic Stop Data - Racial Profiling listening sessions last month.

Contact us if you'd like to host a Know Your Rights/Racial Profiling workshop.

- Submitted by ACLU of Wisconsin intern, Sharon Cross