DURHAM – Walltown Neighborhood Ministries, N.C. NAACP President William Barber and N.C. Central University law professor Irving Joyner will hold a mass meeting at 7 p.m. today in the sanctuary of St. Johns Missionary Baptist Church, 917 Onslow St., Durham.
“We believe the church has a mandate to address racial profiling and any other injustice that keeps us from living at peace with one another,” said St. Johns pastor, the Rev. Robert L. Daniels, in a statement. “Psalm 133 says, ‘How good and how pleasant it is for people to dwell together in unity.’ That is the mission of the church — to confront the powers that divide us and trust God’s power to unite us in love.”
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove chairs Walltown Neighborhood Ministries, a coalition of churches and nonprofit organizations that have worked together in Durham’s Walltown community since 1999.
“The mass-incarceration of our black and Latino neighbors is a community concern for everyone in Durham, North Carolina,” he said in a release. “We are hosting a public meeting in the community to talk about how we can work together to help disconnected youth imagine a better future for themselves and for their neighborhood.”
Wilson-Hartgrove stated that while the issue involves policing, they do not think racial profiling is the sole responsibility of the police department.
“If people are profiling neighbors they don’t know and calling 911, then this is also about the community’s fears. It’s something we have to address together,” Wilson-Hartgrove said. Walltown Neighborhood Ministries has proposed the creation of a Walltown Neighborhood Safety Council to work with the police department on the issue and has invited the department to Wednesday’s forum.
At the meeting, Joyner will talk about racial profiling and the legal issues involved. WNM will present an online tool, accessible by mobile devices, neighbors can use to report incidents of profiling that they witness on site. Barber will deliver a keynote address on “Racial Profiling in the Community and Our State.”
For information, call St. Johns church office at 919-286-0332.