03/04/2016 – Social Justice and Guest; Sgt. Jessica Hawkins, Liaison for the MPDU LGBT Unit!

This Friday, we will be revisiting our discussion on the ever-changing landscape of social justice and will be joined by Sgt. Jessica Hawkins, Liaison for the MPDU office of LGBT Affairs. She will join us to discussGay District for a discussion about the MPDU LGBTLU, her work with them and their work in the community.

Gay District meets at The DC Center, located inside the Reeves DC government building (2000 14th Street NW, Suite 105 Washington, DC 20009). Attendees will need to enter the Reeves building via the “Exit” doors on 14th Street, facing McDonald’s. We encourage attendees to bring a photo ID to gain access inside the building. If you do not have or are unable to present a photo ID, please contact a facilitator ahead of time by email or The DC Center’s Executive Director David Mariner.



Throughout history there have been debates on the subject of inequality, the change  brought about through social justice and the appropriate way to facilitate this change. Some are writing to their representatives, forming petitions, boycotts and sit-ins, while others riot against the regime in aggressive and sometimes violent protests. With both sides angry, despondent and looking for change whose methods garner the best result? How can the needs of the few outweigh the “law” of the many.

On August 9th, 2014 in Ferguson, MO, Michael Brown ,young unarmed black man, was gunned down by an officer of the law after an alleged altercation. The grand jury decided not to indict the police officer on any chargers associated with this tragedy. The community was outraged and an outcry for officers to wear cameras to document all civilian interactions was heard.

On July 17th, 2014 in Staten Island, NY an unarmed Eric Garner, having recently broken up a fight, was approched and detained under suspicion of selling unlicensed cigarettes (loosies).  After an initial arguement over the perceived harassment Garner was strong armed by a group of officers in an attempt to arrest and subdue the visibly agitated man,  resulting in his suffocation and subsequent  death. Most of this being caught on tape. Garners final words were cries for air as he repeated, “I Can’t Breathe”. Again, the grand jury decides not to indict…this time in spite of the recorded evidence present.

On June 28th, 1969 in Greenwich Village, New York a series of spontaneous and violent demonstrations arose in the early morning hours at the Stonewall Inn. This was in response to the systematic intimidation tactics and police raids that had become all too familiar for Gays at that time.

Tomorrow,  join us as we discuss how the landscape of social justice has changed over the years and what methods and tactics we now have at our disposal to be a part of the changing tide. What are the ways we hold those who represent us responsible for our safety and liberties? How do we feel when those rights are being abused? What are some of the similarities between the protests and riots happening now and those in New York over 40 years ago…what have we learned in between?


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