First Public Forum – June 19, 2020, 12:00 – 1:00 pm
View the recording of this event.
The University of Maine School of Law will host several virtual public forums designed to examine the racism in our laws and institutions, and to discuss specific policies and practices that could be implemented by local communities and the government to facilitate change through law.
The first in the series will take place at noon on Juneteenth on Racial Injustice: Reimagining Policing and Public Safety. The discussion will feature a panel of state and local leaders, including Councilor Pious Ali of the Portland City Council, who will discuss specific laws, policies, and resources that could be implemented to change policing and public safety. Governor Janet Mills will deliver opening remarks.
Dean Leigh Saufley said this: “George Floyd died while he and onlookers begged for his life from the very people empowered by government to keep us safe. As we grapple with the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, and so many others, we have an opportunity to move forward together as a state by confronting our country’s history of racism, reevaluating our approach to policing, and creating long-term systemic change to prevent further violence and injustices against people of color.”
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. It was on June 19th, 1865, that Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, finally setting the last enslaved individuals free and enforcing President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which had been enacted into law more than two and half years earlier.
This inaugural discussion marks the beginning of several conversations to be hosted by the Law School, which are designed to identify ways to change public policies, amend legal rules, and transform our society by eliminating racial injustice. Dates and topics for future events in the series will be announced soon.
The virtual forums are free and open to the public, but registration is required.