In October, the Race Relations Committee of My Brother’s Keeper New Rochelle hosted two community forums with the hope of promoting constructive conversations about race relations.
On October 5th, the Race Relations Committee hosted a highly successful 90-minute presentation on Implicit Bias at New Rochelle High School, which was delivered by Dr. Bryant Marks, an Associate Professor of Psychology at Morehouse College and Director of the Program for Research on Black Male Achievement.
“Biases held by police officers, physicians, prosecutors and criminal court judges can literally determine whether someone lives or dies,” notes Dr. Bryant Marks, who has provided Implicit Bias training to more than 1,400 Police Chiefs and several thousand patrol officers in police departments across the country, including the entire Los Angeles Police Department.
“It is possible, however, to implement practices or policies that limit the likelihood that implicitly biased beliefs will lead to biased behaviors,” asserts Dr. Marks, who presented a lively, research-based presentation on commonly held societal biases to approximately 120 attendees.
“We are grateful to Dr. Marks for showing clearly how our biases can prevent someone from getting a job offer, good terms on a bank loan or even fair treatment in our legal system,” notes Councilman Jared Rice, co-chair of MBKNewRo.”We’re glad that Dr. Marks also outlined steps we can all take to make sure our biases don’t have negative consequences for others.”
October 14th, MBKNewRo held a private screening at Regal New Roc of the movie “Marshall,” which highlights the early legal career of past Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
The screening was attended by approximately 130 New Rochelle residents, including nearly 40 students. The discussion following the screening was led by MBKNewRo co-chair Jared Rice, who is a civil rights attorney and Councilman for New Rochelle's Third District. Panelists included the Supervising Judge of 9th Judicial District Family Courts Honorable Kathie E. Davidson and William Wagstaff, III, a local civil rights attorney.
“It’s important for the students and adults in our community to see films about and interact with highly successful men and women of color so they can understand the challenges these individuals have faced in the past and see first-hand the strategies they used to overcome these hurdles,” notes Reggie Richardson, Principal of New Rochelle High School and co-chair or My Brother’s Keeper New Rochelle. “The lively discussions that follow these films enables community members to voice their hopes and frustrations, which is necessary to foster a vibrant and authentic community conversation about race relations,” adds Principal Richardson.
In March, the MBKNewRo Race Relations Committee held a private screening of "I am Not Your Negro," which was also followed by a lively community discussion. This conversation was led by Principal Richardson and featured Christopher Farley, a New Rochelle resident and Arts writer for the Wall Street Journal.
On April 29th, 2015, New Rochelle became the first community in Westchester County to accept President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Challenge. Seven additional communities in the Lower Hudson Valley and another 250 cities and towns across the country have joined the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which is designed to help all students flourish, particularly boys and young men of color.
My Brother’s Keeper New Rochelle is a unique partnership between the City of New Rochelle and the School District and is supported by more than 120 community partners and 100 volunteers. MBKNewRo has launched or implemented more than two dozen events, programs and activities to help students make progress in all six of the Milestones outlined in this cradle-to-career initiative.