On Aug. 9, 18-year old Mike Brown was fatally shot in Ferguson, MO by Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department.
Brown’s death sparked protests and police retaliation lasting for weeks on end. Yet, despite the chaos and confusion, Arcadia University has made creating a voice for those affected a priority.
Arcadia hosted a Town Hall Meeting on Sept. 24 to reflect on Mike Brown’s death and determine how similar cases can be prevented. The event welcomed Norristown’s Police Chief Mark E. Talbot, Sr., AU student and global security major Robert Roth, film maker Denzel Owens Pryor, activist Andrea Lawful-Trainer, and civil rights lawyer and Arcadia adjunct professor Paul Hetznecker as panelists in the discussion.
Topics ranged from police culture to the history of racially-based police brutality, and concluded with a discussion of how to enact social change. Lawful-Trainer asserted, “We need to stop fussing about the media and change the narrative ourselves. You all have Facebook.”
Many of the nearly 300 attendees participated in a social media discussion, sharing their thoughts in a live Twitter chat under #figuringoutferguson. Throughout the event, the panelists and moderators worked together with the audience to brainstorm action plans.
Following the meeting, a candlelight vigil was held on Haber Green for African American victims of police brutality.
Three more Town Hall Meetings on the subject will be held in the Great Room on Oct. 22 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., Nov. 12 from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m., and Dec. 3from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.