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Together We Rise: Addressing Systemic Racism and Bias in Maine (Bangor)

February 4, 2017 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Our Pastor, Linette George has helped to plan this event and will be moderating some of the discussion. Please join us for this informative, empowering opportunity to share with our community.
On February 4, 2017, local clergy, community members, and social justice advocates will meet at Husson University to find ways to support and advocate for youth of color who, due to structural and societal inequity, may be at increased risk of becoming involved in Maine’s legal and correctional systems. Titled Together We Rise: Addressing Systemic Racism and Bias in Maine, the forum will be held from 1PM to 5 PM at Kominsky Auditorium in Peabody Hall. The program is sponsored by the Office of the Chaplain at Husson University, the United Student Association of Husson University, North Star Lodge # 22 F. & A.M., the Maine Conference of the United Church of Christ, the Maine Council of Churches, and The BTS Center.

During the forum, the members of Maine Inside Out will present their most recent production and lead a discussion about race, stigma, and youth incarceration in Maine. Members of the North Star Lodge #22 F. & A.M. will share stories about their experiences living as African Americans in Maine. Erika King, from the University of Southern Maine, will present data from the 2015 study “Disproportionate Contact: Youth of Color in Maine’s Juvenile Justice System.” This study revealed that youth of color are disproportionately over-represented at various contact points with Maine’s Juvenile Justice System. The study also indicated that youth of color feel that they are subject to systemic bias and preconceived notions about them based on race – and that these prejudices affect their experiences in Maine’s juvenile justice system. During her presentation, King specifically will highlight relevant data from Penobscot County. (A link to the full study is included at the end of this email).

Youth involved in various community programs, including the 21st Century Program in Lewiston, will describe initiatives for addressing racism and bias that they have helped develop. Forum participants will be invited to identify and discuss issues that are most pressing in Penobscot County. They also will share resources, build connections, and develop strategies for addressing bias in their own municipalities.

This is the second forum developed to address the issue of youth disproportionate minority contact with the criminal justice systems in Maine. The first forum took place in Augusta in June of 2016. As a direct result of that initial event, an implicit bias training was offered to all prosecutors in the state of Maine.

Although there is no charge for admission to this forum, preregistration is helpful in planning resources for the event. Please register atwww.maineucc.org.


Robyn Dumont, Erika King, and George Shaler, “Disproportionate Contact: Youth of Color in Maine’s Juvenile Justice System”

Maine Inside Out: http://www.pressherald.com/2016/11/07/theater-program-helps-released-juvenile-inmates-find-voice-and-a-future/

Information on the Augusta forum from June of 2016: http://www.centralmaine.com/2016/06/22/forum-takes-hard-look-at-racism-in-maines-juvenile-justice-system/

Lewiston 21st Century: http://www.lewistonpublicschools.org/students-and-parents/21st-century-programs


February 4, 2017
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Holden Congregational Church, UCC


Husson University
1 College Cir.
Bangor, ME 04401 United States
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