Nationwide Civil Rights Museum and Simply Metropolis Host Digital Symposium on Prison Justice Reform

Memphis, TN, Jan. 6, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The National Civil Rights Museum and Just City are hosting a virtual symposium, Journey to Justice, to highlight the critical reform work being carried out across the country on criminal justice reform and demonstrate how Much Remains to do. The 90-minute virtual event consists of three Journey Stops or panel discussions and includes a keynote by award-winning attorney and grace master Brittany K. Barnett.

The partner event with Just City offers thought leaders a platform to present research results, share stories and perspectives on the pressing social problems of today and the history that led us to this point. The complementary work of both organizations will serve as a unique backdrop for this important conversation.

“Justice has been an issue in this country for centuries,” said Veda Ajamu, director of the Museum for Community Engagement and Diversity, Justice and Inclusion Initiatives. “The“ Journey to Justice ”symposium is not only intended to draw attention to the ongoing injustices in the criminal justice system, but also to offer a call to action. We brought together a distinguished group of people in the criminal justice field, including those directly affected, to share their perspectives, life experiences and recommendations. ”

The symposium will focus on how this system affects families and society, how it continues to hinder the return of citizens and youth, and what we need to do to ensure opportunities, progress and security for all.

  • The first panel is Journey Stop I: Roots of an Unjust System with Megan Ming Francis, Professor of Political Science and Public Order at the University of Washington, Duane Loynes, Professor of Urban Studies at Rhodes College and Professor of Africana Studies, and Sarah Lockridge-Steckel , CEO and founder of the youth development organization The Collective.
  • The second panel is Journey Stop II: Pandemic, Policing, and Law Enforcement, with panelists Demetria Frank, Director of Diversity and Inclusion and Professor in the Law School of Memphis University, Kevin Ring, President of Advocacy for Criminal Justice Reform FAMM, and Alex S. . Vitale. Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Police and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College.
  • The third panel is Journey Stop III: Return of Citizens and Transformation of Justice with directly affected speakers Marcus Bullock, who has developed a mobile app through his company Flikshop, Topeka Sams, which founded the Ladies of Hope Ministries and is a social justice, to keep families connected during incarceration lawyer and talk radio host and Robert Shipp, who provides advice on violence and talks about criminal justice reform.

The symposium will feature keynote speaker Brittany K. Barnett, who has won the freedom to serve a number of people serving death sentences for federal drug offenses. She is the founder of organizations such as the Buried Alive Project and Girls Embracing Mothers. Barnett was named one of America’s Most Outstanding Young Lawyers by the American Bar Association. She recently published a memoir in A Knock at Midnight on her personal experience with the criminal justice system.

The virtual event also includes the spoken word of Memphis poet Yolanda “Quiet Storm” Gates. This event is free, but registration is required by January 8th to access the event platform on January 9th. Further information and registration can be found on the museum’s website.

Via the National Civil Rights Museum

The NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM in the historic Lorraine Motel, where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated provides a comprehensive overview of the American civil rights movement from slavery to the present day. Since the museum opened in 1991, millions of visitors have come from around the world, including more than 90,000 students annually. The museum is determined to record the American civil rights movement and tell the story of the ongoing struggle for human rights. It trains and acts as a catalyst to stimulate action to create positive social change. The museum is a Smithsonian subsidiary and an internationally recognized cultural institution. It is recognized as the National Medal Award 2019 by the Institute for Museums and Library Services (IMLS), the highest national award for museums and libraries. It’s a TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Top 5% US Museum, USA Today’s Top 10 Best American Cult Attractions; Top 10 Best Historic Places in the US by TLC’s Family Travel; Must be seen by Budget Travel and Kids by age 15; Top 10 American Treasures from USA Today; and best Memphis attraction from The Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Business Journal.

About Smithsonian Memberships

Founded in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums and educational and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. The long-term goal of Smithsonian Affiliations is to enable a two-way relationship between partner organizations and the Smithsonian Institution to advance discovery and promote lifelong learning in communities across America. For more information about the Smithsonian Affiliations Program and affiliate activities, please visit

Connie Dyson National Civil Rights Museum 901-331-5460 [email protected]

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