Rob Thomas will explore Racial Justice and why it’s needed at the Sunday, February 21, 2021 meeting of the Ethical Humanist Society of Asheville.
Thomas, a 33-year-old native of Asheville and a partner in the minority-owned Equity Consulting firm, is the newly named Community Liaison for the Racial Justice Coalition (RJC) of Asheville. He was named WNC’s 2020 Peacemaker by WNC 4 Peace, Veterans for Peace Chapter 099, and other local peace activists.
The RJC came together after the police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY, in 2014. Since then, Asheville has made national headlines for the shooting of Jerry “Jai” Williams in 2016 and the beating of pedestrian Johnnie Rush by an APD officer in 2018. Data shows that Asheville has the worst racial disparities in traffic stops and the worst achievement gap in the state (indicating a real correlation of the school-to-prison pipeline).
As a former justice-involved individual, Thomas understands the negative impacts and disparities faced by people of color in the carceral system. With more than 10 years of direct experience, Thomas has narrowed his focus to racial justice, decarceration, and activism around police accountability that was recently brought to the attention of residents this summer following the killing of George Floyd and others.
The presentation takes place from 2:30-4 p.m. by Zoom videoconference. Zoom connection details can be found at EHSAsheville.org. All are welcome to attend.