Is Shelby County "the right place" to help lead serious conversations about timely issues such as reform regarding law enforcement? The conveners of #SouthernJustice Summit say yes.

Declaring that the “need for transformative change has never been clearer” and that the way forward is equally so,” Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris this week detailed plans for the first #SouthernJustice Summit to be hosted in virtual mode with the Memphis Urban League.

“This is that moment when those who crave change have to convene, make plans, assign work and take action,” said Harris in a media release about event set for next Tuesday, July 14.

Marc Morial

The all-virtual conference will bring together activists and thinkers around issues of arrest and detention, bail reform, alternatives to detention, re-entry and more. The keynote speaker is Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League and the former Mayor of New Orleans.

Given its size (nearly a million residents) and diversity, Harris said Shelby County is the “right place to help lead serious conversations about reform. With images of the murder of George Floyd permanently imprinted in our collective conscience, this is surely the right time.”

Those set to address criminal justice reform include Shelby County Board of Commissioners members Tami Sawyer Reginald Milton. Among the other speakers are Sam Sinyangwe, co-creator of 8 Can’t Wait; Saint Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell and Birmingham Municipal Court Presiding Judge Andra Sparks.

Registration is free; click here.