National Civil Rights Museum Hosts “The Resilience” Symposium to Address Police Violence

Featured Panel include surviving relative of Tyre Nichols, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and George Floyd

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On March 22, 2024, the National Civil Rights Museum is set to host “The Resilience: Combatting Police Violence through Policy and Public Safety,” marking the final national convening in a groundbreaking series focused on addressing systemic racial violence.

Scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Renasant Convention Center, this event is the culmination of “The Reckoning, The Resolve, The Restoration, and The Resilience” series.

The symposium aims to bring together thought leaders, policymakers, surviving family members of police violence victims, and activists. Their goal is to explore the historical roots of systemic racial violence and forge solutions to contemporary challenges.

“The Resilience symposium represents the peak of collaboration among those dedicated to ensuring public safety, justice, and dignity through a love for our communities,” said Dr. Russ Wigginton, President of the Museum.

The Resilience features surviving family members of Tyre Nichols, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and George Floyd.

The day’s agenda includes an opening panel titled “From Pain to Purpose: The Courageous Activism of Police Violence Victims,” moderated by Symone Sanders Townsend, a CNN political commentator and author. Panelists include:

  • Rodney and RowVaughn Wells, parents of Tyre Nichols;
  • Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother;
  • Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s mother; and
  • Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother.

Following the opening panel, the symposium will offer two facilitated sessions focusing on community-led, trauma-informed public safety alternatives, and advocating for police reform through policy solutions. Leaders in these fields, including Eric Cumberbatch and Rashawn Ray, will lead these discussions.

A lunch roundtable titled “Ending Police Violence: Strategies for Cross-Sector Collaboration” will feature prominent figures such as Derrick Johnson, NAACP National President; Tennessee State Senator Raumesh Akbari; author and academic Michael Eric Dyson; Memphis Mayor Paul Young; and Shelby County Director for Health Services, Dr. Michelle Taylor. MSNBC’s Symone Sanders-Townsend will moderate the discussion.

Veda Ajamu, Managing Director of DEI Programs and Community Engagement, emphasized the importance of resilience in the fight for justice. “Resilience means standing firm, adapting, and advocating for change. It’s about a commitment to justice and building a safer, more equitable future for all,” Ajamu said.

The event seeks to include a wide range of participants, from various disciplines and industries, to address systemic causes of racial violence and improve citizen-law enforcement relationships. Supported by FedEx, Cummins, and The Kresge Foundation, the four-part series underscores a collective approach to fostering meaningful change.

For tickets and further information about “The Resilience” symposium and the national convening series, please visit civilrightsmuseum.org.