April 2, 2018
Dear Richard Harris,
As the OAH prepares to gather in Sacramento, California, for our Annual Meeting, we want to use our presence in a constructive way in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of an unarmed man, Stephon Clark, by local police officers. We are working on several initiatives:
Encouraging OAH members to donate to a fund for Stephon Clark’s family, especially his young sons, which former Sacramento King Matt Barnes is establishing for Clark's children's education. (Please note, there is not yet a link for this fund. We will post an update once it is available. Members and attendees may also wish to donate to the Build. Black. Initiative, which is spearheaded by a coalition group of activists, non-profits, legal support teams, youth advocates, faith leaders, police accountability and policy experts, and Sacramento community leaders in the fight for equity. Resting on four foundational pillars, the Build. Black. Coalition is working in key areas: 1) Uplifting Black Youth Voices 2) Health Equity and Access 3) Justice and Policing in Black Communities and 4) Investment in Black Neighborhoods and Businesses.)
Discussion in the Thursday opening plenary, on California and the nation, and in the Friday plenary on Confederate monuments, of the issues raised by the shooting.
Facilitating contributions from our colleagues in publishing of recent works on guns, policing, and racial violence for local libraries. (The 2018 Book Bridge partner is the California State University Sacramento library and they've partnered with Sacramento Public Library, which is hosting an event on June 3, "Let's Talk about...Guns." Donations from attendees of books on those topics are also welcomed.)
We welcome other suggestions you may have.