Mothers of the Movement

Douglass to Host The Mothers of the Movement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Imani Johnson, imani.johnson@rutgers.edu, 848-932-3041

New Brunswick, N.J. (November 5, 2019) — Douglass Residential College at Rutgers University–New Brunswick will host a social justice teach-in by The Mothers of the Movement on at 12:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 14, in Voorhees Chapel.

The Mothers of the Movement is a group of African-American women whose children have been killed by gun violence, including some by law enforcement officers. These high profile deaths have sparked national outcry and inspired social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter.

The event is free and open to the public.

The women of The Mothers of the Movement have spoken around the country about police brutality, including at the Democratic National Convention in 2016. The women argue for a change in the nation’s gun laws and for overhauling a biased criminal justice system. 

The speakers will hold a social justice teach-in, sharing their experiences of turning loss and grief into social and political action. They also will discuss the importance of advocacy in honoring the legacies of their children. The teach-in will be a conversational, participatory and action-oriented event that encourages critical dialogue and audience engagement.

Speakers will include Sybrina Fulton (Trayvon Martin’s mother), Lesley McSpadden (Michael Brown’s mother), Gwen Carr (Eric Garner’s mother), Wanda Johnson (Oscar Grant’s mother), Valerie Bell (Sean Bell’s mother), Kadi Diallo (Amadou Diallo's mother), Marion Gray-Hopkins (Gary Hopkins Jr.’s mother), Greta Williams (Kevin Cooper’s mother), Gwen Wesley (Cliff Wesley’s mother) and Hawa Bah (Mohamed Bah’s mother). The first 100 guests will receive a free book by one of the featured speakers. 

“According to a study by Rutgers University sociologist Frank Edwards, one in 1,000 African-American men and boys will be killed by police in our country. Additionally, black men and boys are 2.5 times more likely than their white peers to die at the hands of police,” said Jacquelyn Litt, dean of Douglass Residential College. “The Mothers of the Movement have unfortunately lived this tragedy firsthand. They now use their voices to further illuminate this epidemic in our country and to unite social justice activists to speak out against injustice. They are incredible role models for our students and the Rutgers community at large.” 

Douglass Residential College, the Institute for Women's Leadership, the Department of Women's and Gender Studies, the Paul Robeson Centennial Celebration, and the Division of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement are co-sponsors for this event.

Douglass Residential College at Rutgers University cultivates knowledge, skills, and resources needed to take up the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

Photo credit: Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla