Program tackles “Racism and the Culture of Policing”
A campus program in McCarthy Arts Center Wednesday evening, sponsored by the Edmundite Center for Peace and Justice, brought keynoter and civil rights activist Nekima Levy-Pounds to speak on “Racism and the Culture of Policing,” joined by Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo, respondent.
Introducing the guests was Laurie Gagne, director of the Edmundite Center for Peace and Justice, who reports: “The event went really well — good presentations by both Nekima and the Chief, and then good back and forth between them before turning to the audience for questions. It was an amazing turnout—students in the aisles and on the stage.” Audience members were both engaged and respectful of both guests, several attendees said.
Levy-Pounds also attracted a lot of local media attention while in Vermont for this appearance: She did a pre-appearance interview with the Burlington weekly newspaper Seven Days that got prominent play; she appeared Wednesday morning in an interview on Vermont Public Radio with Liam Connors ’14 and Mitch Wertlieb, and taped a TV interview with anchor Lauren Maloney at Local22/Local 44 for a Sunday local-news show broadcast. Also, Burlington Cable Channel 17 sent a crew to tape the event for future rebroadcast, and vtdigger.org sent a reporter.
Levy-Pounds is a civil rights attorney, freedom fighter, legal scholar, blogger, and nationally recognized expert on issues at the intersections of race, public policy, economic justice, public education, juvenile justice, and the criminal justice system. In 2016, she received the Distinguished Service Award from the Governor’s Commission on Martin Luther King Day. In 2015, she was named one of “40 Under 40” by Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. In 2014, she was named a “Minnesota Attorney of the Year” by Minnesota Lawyer and recognized as one of “50 Under 50 Most Influential Law Professors of Color in the Country” by Lawyers of Color magazine. She currently serves as the President of the Minneapolis NAACP and as an advisor to Black Lives Matter Minneapolis.