Cephus “Uncle Bobby X” Johnson • Michael Brown Sr. • Dante Barry • Ron Davis • Samuel Sinyangwe
Saturday, 12 October, 3:45 p.m.
This panel of nationally and locally known impacted families and activists will discuss systematic responses to extrajudicial killing to achieve police accountability and transparency. In order to tease out the systematic maneuvers employed by families to raise political consciousness and garner a diverse base of public support; we will critically examine the events of several high and low profile extrajudicial killing throughout the United States. Understanding these systematic maneuvers within the context of a family-led movement is imperative to understanding the subsequent alliances and political strategy that emerge to achieve police accountability and transparency.
Cephus “Uncle Bobby X” Johnson, a.k.a Uncle Bobby X, is a social justice activist at the forefront of ending police violence in America. After his nephew, Oscar Grant was murdered by a Bart police officer in 2009, Cephus has founded four grassroots social justice organizations, the Oscar Grant Foundation, Love Not Blood Campaign, California Families United 4 Justice, and a National Families United 4 Justice Network- a growing nationwide collective of families impacted by police violence. In 2019, Love Not Blood Campaign received an Oakland City Council Resolution for innovation, groundbreaking work, have promoted positive change and uplift for the city of Oakland in the field of Social Justice. Cephus has received many prestigious awards for his social justice work, including The Dick Gregory Award 2018, Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) Award 2017, 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. Uncle Of Oscar Grant, Public Speaker, and Activist in Oakland.
Michael Brown Sr.: In Ferguson, MO on August 9, 2014 unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, Jr. was shot and killed by white police officer Darren Wilson. Michael had just graduated from high school and was scheduled to begin vocational training classes just two days later. After his graduation, he told his father Michael Brown, Sr. “One day, the world is gonna’ know my name. I’ll probably have to go away for a while, but I’m coming back to save my city.” Unfortunately, those words have come true for the Brown family, and Mike Brown, Sr is bringing his story and his foundation, Chosen for Change, to Colleges and Universities across the Nation. “The name ‘Mike Brown’ has become the national symbol of police shootings of unarmed Black men. For me, I feel obligated to keep stressing the deeper meaning of his words. Because of my son’s death and the justice, we’re still seeking, hurting people, grieving people who’ve lost their children to gun violence or police brutality reach out to me. They invite me to speak at gatherings. There is a small level of comfort in being in the company of the wounded, the lost, the other parents who understand that we can’t possibly ‘move on,’” – Mike Brown, Sr. Michael Brown, Sr. decided to turn the pain and challenges of losing his son into an opportunity of change. Thus, “Chosen for Change Foundation” was born in loving memory of Michael Brown, Jr. It’s an organization whose purpose is to empower youth by helping them realize their potential for greatness.
Dante Barry: At 17, Dante Barry began organizing student walk-outs, demonstrations, speak-outs, and rallies, while his high school teachers went through a tumultuous contract dispute with the administration. Since then, Dante has begun to see the power of transforming local communities through community organizing, advocacy, and policy research. Over the last 10 years, Dante has become a major player in racial justice, anti-war/violence, and students movements. Dante is a grassroots and online organizer – worked for national progressive organizations such as the Roosevelt Institute, Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, School-Based Health Alliance, Political Development Group, LLC and supported local New Jersey electoral races.
Ron Davis was born in Harlem and resided in Queens. He currently lives in Jacksonville, FL. After Jordan Davis’ untimely and tragic death, his father Ron Davis became a steadfast activist working to prevent the use of “”Stand Your Ground “” laws to justify unprovoked killings. He is a member of the U.S. Human Rights Network. Davis spoke at a United Nations Conference in Geneva, Switzerland prompting UN Reps to condemn policies of Racial Discrimination against people of color in the U.S.
Samuel Sinyangwe is an American policy analyst and racial justice activist. Sinyangwe is a member of the Movement for Black Lives and a co-founder of We the Protestors, a group of digital tools that include Mapping Police Violence, a database of police killings in the United States, and Campaign Zero, a policy platform to end police violence. Sinyangwe is a co-host the Pod Save the People podcast, where he discusses the week’s news with a panel of other activists.