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Penn State Series to Discuss Police Reform

Oct. 14 panel discussion can be viewed online; community forum to be held afterward

By Submitted Report
The Tube City Almanac
October 06, 2021
Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Policing and the community will be the focus of this year’s Crossing Bridges summit at Penn State Greater Allegheny in McKeesport.

The sessions will build off of issues raised in a report delivered by the Community Taskforce for Police Reform, which was convened in 2020 by Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.

The first session, scheduled for 3 p.m. Oct. 14, will be titled “Examining Police Reform: Conversations about the Pittsburgh Community Taskforce for Police Reform and Its Implications for the Mon Valley.”

Panelists will include Rashad Byrdsong, founder and chief executive officer of the Community Empowerment Association and owner of Ma'at Construction Group; Brandi S. Fisher, president and CEO of the Alliance for Police Accountability; Richard Garland, assistant professor of public health practice at the University of Pittsburgh; and Hasan Jeffries, associate professor of history at The Ohio State University.

Katherine McLean, associate professor of criminal justice at the McKeesport campus, will moderate the discussion.

“Our Crossing Bridges Summit committee read the Pittsburgh Community Taskforce for Police Reform Report with great interest,” said Jacqueline Edmondson, Greater Allegheny chancellor and chief academic officer.

“We have employees who live in Pittsburgh, and we draw students from many neighborhoods in the city,” she said. “We are personally invested in and supportive of work that improves our communities, and we recognize we can learn from the thorough and honest review of policing in the City of Pittsburgh.”

This is the second year that the Crossing Bridges Summit has centered its work on findings in published task force reports. Last year, the summit examined Black women’s health as highlighted in Pittsburgh’s Inequality Across Race and Gender Report.

Following the Oct. 14 discussion, the committee will host a “summit talk” to reflect on the panelists’ points and consider actionable items the Greater Allegheny campus can take with community leaders to bring meaningful change to the region. There is no registration required to view the panel livestream, but registration is required for the discussion afterward by going to ga.psu.edu/summittalk

Additional events will be held in November, February and April to examine policing from the perspectives of activists, scholars, citizens, crime victims, the judicial system and other police officers, the spokeswoman said.

The Crossing Bridges Summit began in 2017 and is a signature program at Greater Allegheny. The summits include a speakers series, student-led “unity talks,” a visiting scholar program and a task force on racial equity and justice.

For more information, visit greaterallegheny.psu.edu/cbspillars.

Originally published October 06, 2021.

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