SAFE Coalition NC believes in providing a safe space for community members to voice their concerns in private or when desired, with the levers of power. In the course of the past two years, we have held several large scale dialogues on police accountability, black liberation and criminal justice reform. In July, 2016, SAFE held a large community dialogue with the Charlotte NAACP and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department to encourage dialogue and propose solutions to the spate of killings by police departments around the country.
SAFE Coalition NC uses direct action when needed to raise public awareness around the issues we organize around. Last year, we organized a die-in and day of action in partnership with the family of Jonathan Ferrell and a coalition of millennial organizers called the Tribe. Our goal was to draw national attention to the trail of CMPD Officer Randall Kerrick. Jonathan was unarmed and seeking assistance when Kerrick shot him 10 times.
The Day of Action started with an interfaith prayer vigil before the first day of the Kerrick trail. More than 60 people took part in our Die-in at 5pm. Over 200 people took part in our community event in the park and over 300 people attended our film showing that night of Ferguson: A Report from Occupied Territory
Safe Coalition NC provides opportunities’ for our advocates to attend national events and trainings to learn more about the issues we fight for. We believe that the advocates are the leaders of this organization and devote time and funding to their development. Last year, we sent 6 victims of police violence to New York City to take part in the Rise Up October trainings conducted by Dr. Cornel West and Carl Dix and we sent 5 advocates to the Movement for Black Lives Convening held in Cleveland. This year, advocates attended the Still We Rise training held in Pittsburgh by the Center for Popular Democracy. Our advocates also attend local trainings and speak for SAFE Coalition NC at public events.
SAFE Coalition NC holds lobby day’s for victims of police violence and concerned citizens. We held a Lobby Day in support of the Prohibition of Discriminatory Profiling bill (H1193) at the NC General Assembly in March of 2015. Victims of police violence attended the lobby day and visited the offices of conservative legislators that refused to allow H193 be scheduled for a hearing. More than 50 families victimized by police violence and advocates took part in the lobby day.
SAFE Coalition NC conducted a Virtual Lobby Day to support the NC Prohibition of Discriminatory Profiling bill (H193). We used the social media service Thunderclap to reach out to a combined universe of over 300,000 people to call and email the NC Legislature on the same day. Our effort resulted in hundreds of calls and emails asking the legislature to support the bill. The Virtual Lobby Day was also covered on Sirius XM Radio by Radio Show host Joe Madison.
Listen to the national radio interview.