Leading Social Justice Advocate Lateefah Simon To Speak At Montgomery County Community College March 28

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA —Lateefah Simon, a nationally recognized advocate for civil rights and racial justice, will discuss how solutions to big problems often begin with one person who is willing to act when she visits Montgomery County Community College on Tuesday, March 28, at 12:30 p.m. for the annual Richard K. Bennett Distinguished Lectureship for Peace and Social Justice. 

The lecture will be held in the Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, with a simulcast to MCCC’s South Hall Community Room, West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown. The community is invited to attend this free presentation, but tickets are required. To reserve seats, visit www.mc3.edu/BennettLecture or call 215-641-6518. 

Simon has more than 20 years of executive experience advancing opportunities for communities of color and low-income communities. She gives hope to thousands of families who are struggling to overcome the challenges of poverty and discrimination.  

She currently serves as president of the Akonadi Foundation, a charitable group that funds community projects in the San Francisco Bay area. She has received several honors for her work including being the youngest woman ever to be named a MacArthur “Genius” Grant Fellow. She also was included on the first ever Power List in O Magazine, received the Remarkable Woman Award from Lifetime TV, and was honored by JFK Presidential Library with a Fenn Award. 

This presentation is part of the ongoing Richard K. Bennett Distinguished Lectureship for Peace and Social Justice series which was established at the College in 1981. The lectureship reflects the ideals of Richard Bennett, a Quaker who devoted his life work to accomplishing peace and justice through non-violent efforts.   

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Pittsburgh To Participate In Federal Program To Improve Police-Community Relations

The Justice Department picked Pittsburgh and five other cities as sites for a pilot program intended to test police-community relations strategies and policies, the agency said Thursday.

The agency chose the sites based on factors that include the applicants’ willingness to try ideas and their ability to collect data that would provide a scientific evaluation of methods.

U.S. Attorney David Hickton and Mayor Bill Peduto scheduled a news conference for Friday to discuss Pittsburgh’s role in the initiative.

Pittsburgh applied to become a pilot site, and police Chief Cameron McLay is excited about the opportunity, said Public Safety Department spokeswoman Sonya Toler.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/7958736-74/justice-community-pittsburgh#ixzz3UHoI1PeH
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Zimmerman Is Acquitted Of Murder And Manslaughter Charges

SANFORD, Fla. — George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, igniting a national debate on racial profiling and civil rights, was found not guilty on Saturday of the second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin.  He also was acquitted of manslaughter, a lesser charge.

After three weeks of testimony, the six-woman jury rejected the prosecution’s contention that Mr. Zimmerman, 29, had deliberately pursued Mr. Martin, 17, because he viewed the hoodie-clad teenager as a criminal and instigated the fight that led to his death.

Mr. Zimmerman said he shot Mr. Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, in self-defense after the teenager knocked him to the ground, punched him and slammed his head repeatedly against the sidewalk.  In finding him not guilty of murder or manslaughter, the jury agreed that Mr. Zimmerman could have been justified in shooting Mr. Martin because he feared great bodily harm or death.

The jury, which has been sequestered since June 24, deliberated 16 hours and 20 minutes over two days.

Read more:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/14/us/george-zimmerman-verdict-trayvon-martin.html?_r=0