AC JosepH Media | Rowan Collegee at Burlington County
MOUNT LAUREL – In partnership with the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Rowan College at Burlington County invites the community to join a Facebook Live Town Hall discussion next week aimed at helping our communities heal from the systemic racism and injustice that has been highlighted in recent weeks.
“I look forward to an open and candid conversation that is a necessary part of the healing and education process,” said Burlington County Freeholder Director Felicia Hopson, who will participate in the panel.
“Throughout Burlington County, we have seen many examples of communities standing up to racism in meaningful ways that I know will lead to positive change. This forum is a good step toward beginning that dialogue and opening the communication channels,” she added.
The live discussion will occur at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 17 on the college’s Facebook page. Questions can be submitted through the comment section of the post, or ahead of time by clicking here. The discussion will include community leaders, RCBC faculty and students and law enforcement.
“The systemic racism that exists throughout the country reveals that it is way past the time to learn our lesson and heal our communities and our nation,” RCBC President Dr. Michael A. Cioce said. “RCBC provides access to first-generation students, returning adults, low-income students and all of the diverse groups in-between. We need to hear from communities that have historically been marginalized to reach solutions for achieving social justice that have eluded our society for generations.”
RCBC Trustee Dorion Morgan, an attorney who is also Founder and Pastor of Restoration Station Christian Fellowship in Edgewater Park, will moderate the discussion.
“Many people feel angry, outraged or confused by recent events. And, they have every right to be,” Morgan said. “Some people in power continue to treat people unfairly based on the color of their skin. I hope that our discussion will lead to understanding, empathy and meaningful change in our communities.
“We invite the community to join us and help us facilitate an important conversation with you,” Morgan added.
Other panelists include:
Burlington City Police Chief John Fine, who has been vocal in speaking out against police brutality while supporting protests in his community.
RCBC Criminal Justice Instructor Dr. Amber Ciccanti, a retired Willingboro Township Police sergeant who serves on the Burlington City Board of Education.
Criminal Justice students Joseph Diaz and Collin Stewart, each of whom have questioned their career choice in wake of recent events.
Healing Our Communities will be the second of two town hall forums presented by the college on June 17. Earlier in the day, President Cioce will welcome Criminal Justice Instructor Joe Rizzo and Manhoor Zahid, one of the students who nominated him for the Professor of the Year award at the college’s recent graduation.
Moving forward, the college will dedicate one Town Hall per month to a conversation about social justice.
“We started these weekly town halls as a way to keep our community connected and address concerns they had about the college’s plans during the pandemic,” Cioce said. “These forums have been an effective way to share positive stories about how the RCBC community responds to unique times and I look forward to sharing more stories about how our community is leading change toward an inclusive and equitable society.”
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