Group to focus on impact of drug on black communities

The Institute of Black World 21st Century (IBW) in conjunction with the Black Family Summit, is conducting a series of programmes to wage war on drugs during the month of June.

A major forum on June 17th at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. would be organized on the theme: “Declaring War on the “War on Drugs” Creating Just and Humane Alternatives to a Failed Strategy”.

A statement issued in Accra said Reverend Jesse Jackson, President of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition has agreed to be the keynote speaker for what IBW hoped would be a powerful catalyst for change.

It said another speaker Dr Ron Daniels noted that “no one has been more consistent and persistent in analyzing and sounding the alarm about the flaws and egregious consequences of America’s criminal justice policies and priorities than Rev Jesse Jackson.

Therefore, it felt it appropriate that Rev Jackson once again give the nation the benefit of his knowledge and experience of crusading against a failed strategy for the past four decades.

The statement noted that under the leadership of Dr Ron Daniels, IBW was mounting an initiative to galvanize support to end the war on drugs which was launched 40 years ago by President Richard M. Nixon.

The ultimate goal of the “War on Drugs” was to halt the trafficking of illegal drugs in the United States But, Dr. Daniels and many drug policy reform analysts and advocates believed it has had a destructive impact on Black communities across the nation.

It observed that Black communities have been a primary target for selective policing practices that had resulted in the mass incarceration of millions of black people, adding that families had been disrupted and communities devastated by a racially biased policy.

It stated, “Far from stemming the tide of illegal drugs, the War on Drugs quickly became a war on us”.

“It is time to declare war on the war on drugs and vigorously explore just and humane alternatives to a failed strategy,” the statement added.

It said Dr Ron Daniels would issue the Call to Action – Confronting the State of Emergency in Black America: Holistic Strategies to Heal Black Communities.

It also said Rev Jesse Jackson would headline a stellar line-up of political leaders and drug policy reform analysts and advocates.

IBW in collaboration with the Black Family Summit would conduct a multi-year national dialogue and educational campaign to mobilize support for alternatives to the War on Drugs.

The Black Family Summit is comprised of a number of Black professional organizations including the National Association of Black Social Workers, National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, National Association of Black Psychologists, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and National Association of Black Psychiatrists of America among other groups.

Source: GNA

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