Issues surrounding racial equality and policing are at the forefront of conversations across the country, and the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club wants to keep the dialog going.
On Wednesday (July 8), the organization will host Coming Together: A discussion on race, equity and the future of policing in Pinellas County. Panelists include:
- Bob Gualtieri, Pinellas County Sheriff
- Jabaar Edmond, Community Activist, Writer, VP Child’s Park NA
- Belinthia A. Berry, Director, Corporate College at SPC and president of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Tampa Bay Chapter
- Dr. Dawn K. Cecil, Professor of Criminology at USF’s St. Petersburg campus
Moderator Garin Flowers, a former WTSP-10 Tampa Bay reporter now based in Los Angeles, said the topics that will be discussed at the virtual event are more important than ever.
“There’s no way you can hide from the discussion now,” he said. “We’re at a crossroads. Regardless of your stance on politics or whatever, people are facing a human rights crisis. It’s no longer appropriate to sit on the sidelines.”
Wednesday’s event is especially timely, coming days after the July 4 weekend drew large crowds of protestors across Tampa Bay, with a number of peaceful protests being held outside St. Petersburg Police Department headquarters. Following a moderated discussion, event participants will have an opportunity to share thoughts and ask questions.
Flowers said his ultimate goal for the session is to enlighten people and expand their thoughts on these complicated issues.
“I hope listeners leave with a better understanding of why Black Lives Matter the way it does, and that they also gain understanding of the law enforcement perspective and how they’re dealing with everything,” he said. “I also hope it’ll help people understand how to get involved in the discussion.”
The virtual event will be held from noon to 1 p.m. It is free for Tiger Bay members and $5 for non-members, though organizers encourage donating the $25 price of the regular lunch meeting. Money raised goes to support continuing programming and support for the Young Tigers Scholarship Program.
A link to the Zoom video will be sent via email the day before the event and the day of the event. The registration deadline is Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.
You can register for the event by clicking here.