The Racial Justice Coalition (RJC) is a new community group taking action against conscious and unconscious racial bias. The coalition formed in December 2014 as part of a national response to law enforcement’s use of deadly force against black men. The group’s objectives are to fight racism and racial profiling by law enforcement in Whatcom County and to make Whatcom County a safe and equitable place for people of color to live.
The coalition will be working on projects and participating in community events to raise awareness about the disparate treatment of people of color by law enforcement in Whatcom County. For example, on March 4, coalition members participated in a community discussion on improving relations between police and the public, held by Western Washington University’s Ralph Munro Institute for Civic Engagement at City Hall. At this meeting, RJC members brainstormed interventions and actions to improve community and police relations and invited community members to participate with the coalition.
Another action task of the RJC is researching local arrest and incarceration rates. Initial results show striking patterns that suggest people of color in Whatcom County are brought into the criminal justice system at rates higher than in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the United States. RJC was formed to address and rectify this tragic disparity in treatment of people, in order to help create an equitable community, where all people can live with freedom, respect and dignity.
RJC wants it to be known that they support police officers and respect the work that they do to keep our communities safe. RJC does not however support racial profiling and works to ensure that racial profiling and bias by law enforcement are not practiced in our community.
For more information on the Racial Justice Coalition, media members can contact the Racial Justice Coalition at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RJC welcomes all who care and are of like-minds to visit their meetings and get involved. RJC welcomes short-term volunteer support on a project-by-project basis or long-term volunteer support on an ongoing basis.
RJC meets the first Tuesday of every month at the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center, located at 1220 Bay Street in downtown Bellingham.
Join the Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/805865166153530/