13th Amendment and the Criminal Justice Center event raised awareness and more

Civil Rights and Criminal Justice panel. (photo by Deborah A. Culp)

Civil Rights and Criminal Justice panel. (photo by Deborah A. Culp)

“The 13th Amendment and the Criminal Justice System,” event featured a strong cast of justice fighters. Davison County General Sessions Court, Division VIII Judge Rachel L. Bell, was the moderator for the panel discussion. The event was organized by community activist Carla Hudson, who also sat on the panel. She was supported strongly by her husband David Hudson, attorney, and other political, religious and community leaders such as City Councilwoman-at-Large Erica Gilmore; Dr. Dorsha James (Campus RX); Rev. Enoch Fuzz; Dr. Katherine Brown; LaRhonda Mclemore; LaNese Campbell; and artist/musician Tremaine Artemis Cojo-Ko.

The other event panelists included dynamic game changers and trailblazers like:
Glenn R. Funk, who became District Attorney General of the 20th Judicial District in 2014;

Daniel Sharfstein, the author of two books, a professor of law and history and director of the George Barrett Social Justice Program at Vanderbilt University;

Dr. Rubin Cockrell an international speaker, author, and professor; Daniel Horwitz, attorney, a constitutional lawyer practicing in Nashville; and

Rev. Dr. Judy Cummings, senior pastor of New Covenant Christian Church.

The program kicked off with Ava Duvernay’s 13th, which centers on race in the U.S. criminal justice system, and is modeled on the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution outlawing slavery, unless as punishment for a crime.

DuVernay’s documentary argues that slavery is being effectively perpetuated through mass incarceration. Event organizers were successful in effectively raising awareness and have placed a plan in motion which will educated the masses on the controversial issues such as those raised in Duvernay’s award winning, thought provoking film.

“It’s always about positive change and we must begin or jump in somewhere,” Hudson said.

Someone was over heard in the packed audience saying: “the film alone should come with a warning label, especially for those who haven’t seen it.” Emotions ran from one realm to another both when the panelist spoke and when the film further cemented, various dates and places in time. None for the faint at heart but historically real, matters and engulfing events in black history. All which somehow contributes to the tapestry of African American’s over the often harsh years.

After Judge Bell Carla Hudson( David Hudson) addressed the crowd, the film was shown and the catered lunch break had them lined up anticipating the savory spread ahead. With the combination of the heavy hitting panelist and organizers, the attendees and on lookers streaming through many photo ops were shared. Soon after lunch was over the panelist were each introduced. Yet another day and event which ruled for Black History month 2017, that should take center stage anytime.