On November 13, 2015, at 7:00pm, a thought-provoking conversation on “Police Perception: A candid discussion about diversity, community, and policing” is being hosted by Saint Paul College Beta Xi Alpha Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, in conjunction with the Office of Student Life & Diversity, and the Criminal Justice Club, and led by a panel of local experts. The event is free and open to the public.
The following panelists, who have experience on all sides of the criminal justice system, have been invited to mediate a discussion and answer questions submitted by Saint Paul College students and others, about this complex topic in a way that fosters increased understanding, awareness, and dialogue:
- Deputy Chief Medaria Arradondo, current Minneapolis Police Department Chief of Staff and former co-chair of the Police Community Relations Council
- William Finney, former SPPD Chief and current St. Paul City Councilmember
- Reverend Danny Givens, a core member of Minneapolis’ Black Lives Matter movement
- Dr. Tanya Gladney, University of St. Thomas sociology/criminology justice professor and former Mississippi police officer
- Teresa Nelson, Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota
- Tou Vue, Police Officer with a B.A. in sociology with emphasis in law, criminology and deviance.
The panel will be moderated by John Parker-Der Boghossian, Saint Paul College's Chief Diversity Officer.
Every year, the College’s Beta Xi Alpha Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, which is the international honor society of two year colleges, chooses a Honors in Action project. This year, the Beta Xi Alpha Chapter chose to explore the following question as their Honors in Action project: "How are people’s perceptions of the police affected by race, age, gender, socioeconomic status, and previous interactions?"
“After peeling back the onion and doing our own research, we had more questions than answers,” the Chapter said. “This led us to some interviews with police that gave us a range of responses that helped us understand the complexities of the issue. Issues surrounding police-community relations, and in particular how diversity of citizens shapes officers’ approaches to their interactions with the public, have increasingly captured national attention in recent years. Opinions are sharply divided on issues such as profiling, cultural sensitivity, use of force, and accountability. Primarily using questions gathered from a diverse community college student body, Beta Xi Alpha hopes to bring together people from a variety of backgrounds with expertise on police matters for a candid discussion of issues of great significance to our communities.” As part of the project, the Chapter distributed a survey to the student body of Saint Paul College, asking about their impressions of, and interactions with, the police. The project will culminate with the “Police Perception: A candid discussion about diversity, community, and policing” panel event.
A reception will follow the discussion, and panelists will be available for additional questions and conversation. Should you have any questions about the College’s Beta Xi Alpha Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and this project please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, Phi Theta Kappa faculty advisor.