The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. educated attendees about wrongful arrests Thursday in the Phipps Auditorium during the Just Mercy: Discussion About Wrongful Arrest presentation.
David Hagler, a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and a senior business management major, said that the event was part of African-American Heritage Month and discussed the problem of wrongful conviction and incarceration among men of color.
“This is one of the events we have for Black History Month, and since February is ending we just wanted to do an event talking about wrongful incarceration for African-Americans and Hispanics, just to get the topic out there that African-Americans are still being wrongfully incarcerated,” Hagler said.
Yolanda Williams, an academic and retention adviser with the Office of Inclusion and Academic Engagement, said that the topic of the event was beneficial for students to hear.
“They wanted to have a discussion about incarceration, black men and being incarcerated,” Williams said. “So, I thought it was an excellent Idea, not to watch the movie, but to get audience responses to the clips and what their thoughts are about this topic.”
Dominique Starling, a graduate student studying school psychology, said the event was good for discussing important issues.
“Overall, I think it was a really good event for them to highlight the important issues that happened historically but that are still present in our nation,” Starling said.
Hagler said that he was happy that Eastern President David Glassman voiced a prominent issue on campus.
“I think it turned out great, we got our point across, we’re thankful that President Glassman came and spoke about the topic of the racist papers that’ve been posted around campus,” Hagler said.
Williams said that the attendance for the event was low, but that it was a good conversation.
“Attendance is down,” Williams said, “but sometimes we get six people with a good discussion, an intimate discussion, so that’s fine too.”
Starling said that one of the most important parts of the conversation was the discussion on the ‘Preschool to Prison Pipeline’.
“One of the topics they talked on was the school to prison pipeline, and that’s also a topic that I’m interested in doing my thesis proposal on and I think that’s an important area to highlight,” Starling said.
Hagler stressed that this conversation was an important one in the country today saying,
“We just wanted to get the topic out and let the public know that this is still an issue going on throughout the United States,” Hagler said, “We just wanted to let them know that this is a topic that should be discussed, not just during Black History Month but throughout the year.”
Allison Little can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]