By Cassandra Harris-Lockwood

Utica- On Wednesday, Sept. 16, 12 noon in the MWPAI Auditorium The College/Community Partnership for Racial Justice Reform announced its multi-pronged program designed to provide resources for the community and local government in response to the Black Lives Matter movement and, specifically, to Governor Cuomo’s executive order 203.

This order requires that all jurisdictions with police agencies forward detailed reform plans to Albany by April 1, 2021, that take racial justice into account and that source local experience and opinion in doing so.

College/Community Partnership whose members include six area colleges – Hamilton College, Herkimer College, Mohawk Valley Community College, Pratt MWP, SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly), and Utica College – was formed earlier this year with the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, Frontiers Club of the Mohawk Valley, and the United Way of the Mohawk Valley to pursue constructive, equitable change in the criminal justice system locally and statewide.

Coordinating Committee members include: Frank Anechiarico, Department of Government, Hamilton College, Convener and Chair, Anthony Colon, Mitchell International and MVCC Trustees, Bernard Hyman, Department of Criminal Justice, Utica College,  Gbemende Johnson, Department of Government, Hamilton College, Marquis Palmer, Office of the Kings County, New York, District Attorney, Mark Polkosnik, Professor of Law and Director of the Legal Studies Program, Herkimer College, Jawwaad Rasheed, Oneida County Family Court Magistrate and President, Frontiers Club of Mohawk Valley, Christopher Riddle, Department of Philosophy, Utica College,  Veronica Tichenor, Department of Sociology, SUNY Poly and  Patrick Johnson, Consultant on Race Relations and Project      Director, Save Our Streets

The partnership announced several programs including: A survey of experience and opinion about law enforcement, racial justice, and criminal justice conducted recently by Zogby Analytics; Use of the United Way’s 2-1-1 system, to deploy the same survey so that anyone with a text capable phone will be able to have his or her voice heard.

There will be an eight-part lecture, webinar, Q&A series that covers Black Lives Matters, police use of force, the treatment of people with mental illness in the criminal justice system, domestic violence, and other issues relevant to effective reform. The series will be broadcast by WUTR/PNR and accessible via Zoom.

The committee will make contact with the chief executive officers of each of the 24 policing jurisdictions in the two counties to open discussion about the way the partnership’s work and resources can be leveraged by each jurisdiction in the reform process.

They engage the entire community in a discussion to address this important issue.

The public can access our project at: or through MVJustice 8982121 on your mobile device.


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