By Stacy M. Brown
National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) President and CEO, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., will serve as a moderator for an important national forum on racial equality in Phoenix, Arizona.
“I’m honored to have legendary civil rights leader and NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin Chavis Jr. moderating the ninth ‘The Bridge Forum,’” stated Alan “AP” Powell, the event’s organizer, and U.S. Desert Storm Veteran.
Powell is the founder of the HeroZona Foundation, a nonprofit with a strong focus on veteran initiatives and honoring those who have served our country and their family members.
“Dr. Chavis’ commitment to supporting and advocating for our nation’s 230 Black newspapers is crucial in reaching equality,” Powell stated. “Dr. Chavis and I are also in conversations with Indiana Attorney General Greg Fisher about bringing ‘The Bridge Forum’ to their markets.”
The HeroZona Foundation announced the Bridge Forum would take place on Tuesday, June 23 from 8 to 11 a.m. at the American Legion Post 65 (1624 E. Broadway Rd.) in Phoenix.
Participants are expected to discuss what it’s like to be Black in America and how to take actions to reach equality.
The invitation-only event will also be live streamed to the public on TheBridgeForum.com.
The Bridge Forum: Time for Change event will be the ninth Bridge Forum series from the organization to understand different perspectives, attitudes, and beliefs about community policing.
The upcoming forum will focus on current events within the Black community and law enforcement and examine how communities can work together with police to create equality in the nation.
“Bridge Forums are an essential tool in bridging the gap between communities and law enforcement,” Powell stated.
“The Black community needs to move from peaceful protest to action and this is what the Bridge Forum is designed to do.”
The Bridge Forum will include panelists such as General Manager for the Phoenix Suns, James Jones; Superintendent for the Roosevelt School District No. 66, Quintin Boyce; Arizona State Representative from District 27, Reginald Bolding; President for the Arizona Youth & College NAACP, Armonee D. Jackson; Founder of Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles, Larry White; Senior Pastor of First Institutional Baptist Church, Dr. Warren. H. Stewart Sr.; City of Phoenix Police Chief, Jeri Williams; Maricopa County Attorney, Allister Adel; Chief Special Agent of Attorney General Arizona, Reggie Grigsby; Superintendent of the Phoenix Union High School District, Dr. Chad E. Gestson; Arizona State Senator for District 27, Rebecca Rios and President of the NAACP Arizona State Conference, Charles Fanniel. UPS, EPCOR and SRP are supporters of the event.
“As part of the Steering Committee for the U.S. Chamber’s National Initiative to Address Inequality of Opportunity, which will hold a national Town Hall a few days after this event, I know that the Bridge Forum will drive action both in Arizona and nationally,” says President & CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Glenn Hamer.