Marcus Shelby and Jackie Ramos are opening the 3rd series of discussions: “Beyond the Blues: Ending the Prison Industrial Complex” on Wednesday, March 16, 6-8pm at the Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco.
with special guests: Jeff Adachi, San Francisco Public Defender and Cesar R. Gomez, legal expert and community organizer. In light of today’s climate, the meeting will focus on: “Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System: A Call for Reform,” and we will discuss the cases of Alex Nieto, Mario Woods, and Amilcar Perez-Lopez; San Francisco as a sanctuary city; and homeless displacement.
Live music and poetry will be played featuring Marcus Shelby on bass, Destiny Muhammad, “The Harpist from the Hood,” master percussionist, Aaron Kierbel, lyricist, UnLearn the World, electric viola played by Colin Miller, and poetess, Jackie Ramos.
Discussion 1: Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System: A Call for Reform
Guest speakers: Jeff Adachi, San Francisco Public Defender; Cesar R. Gomez, legal expert and community activist
Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Time: 5:45pm doors open, 6pm discussion
Venue: Red Poppy Art House
Cost: $10 suggested donation (sliding scale; no one will be turned away for lack of funds)
Jeff Adachi has served as elected Public Defender of the City and County of San Francisco since March 2002 and has worked as a deputy public defender in San Francisco for 15 years. From 1998-2001, he served as the Chief Attorney of the office. He has tried over 150 jury trials, including numerous serious felony and homicide cases, and has handled over 3,000 criminal matters throughout his career. As the only elected Public Defender in the state of California, Mr. Adachi oversees an office of 93 lawyers and 60 support staff. The office, which has a $30 million budget, represents more than 23,000 people each year who are charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses. It provides a panoply of innovative programs to its clients, including Drug Court, Mental Health Court, Clean Slate expungement services, and a full-service juvenile division. The public defender’s community MAGIC programs address the root causes of juvenile crime in San Francisco’s underserved neighborhoods by linking families with educational, health and community services. Mr. Adachi has received numerous local, state and national awards, most recently the 2014 SPUR Good Government Award, 2014 California Public Defender’s Association Program of the Year Award, and 2015 American Bar Association Hodson Award for Public Service. He serves on the Board of Directors of Cal Humanities. Mr. Adachi graduated from Hastings College of the Law in 1985 and attended undergraduate studies at U.C. Berkeley
Cesar R. Gomez is a legal expert and community organizer. He is the Member of the Board of Directors of the United Front, a Civil Rights Organization with over 12,000 members. He founded a legal services organization: www.mylegalcoach.org that promotes low-cost and transparent legal services. He was Director of Education at the long standing Mission District Community Organization: “Arriba Juntos.” He volunteered with the Coalition of Concerned Legal Professionals as an advocate for farm workers, traveling throughout the Central Valley interviewing clients and interpreting on behalf of member attorneys. Mr. Gomez worked with CCLP and Double Rock Baptist Church to provide free Legal Advisory sessions and Know Your Rights workshops for indigent and pro se clients with volunteer attorneys in Double Rock in Bayview Hunters Point, and worked in gang intervention with United Playaz in San Francisco’s Balboa High School. Mr. Gomez graduated with a Juris Doctorate from the San Francisco Law School.
“Beyond the Blues: Ending the Prison Industrial Complex” is a series of interactive discussions where we explore the criminal justice system, the prison industrial complex and the effects thereof (mass incarceration, school-to-prison pipeline, immigration, families impacted, public health, solitary confinement, the death penalty). Our hope is to raise consciousness and build with our community to find solutions to fight this epidemic and bring positive change. The meetings include special guest speakers and artists, with live music and poetry. Now is the time. When we come together as a community, sharing our passions and abilities, and fueled by the power of the arts–the movement will not be stopped and change will happen.
Series 3 Schedule:
March 16, 6pm-8pm: Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System: A Call for Reform (Guest speakers: Jeff Adachi and Cesar R. Gomez)
April 20, 7:30-9:30pm: Incarceration and its Connection to Immigration (Guest speakers: TBA)
May 18, 7:30-9:30pm: Ending the Death Penalty (Guest speakers: TBA)
June 8, 7:30-9:30pm: Protecting our Community: Principles and Philosophies of Restorative Justice
July 6, 7:30-9:30pm: Music and the Arts as Weapons of Critical Resistance (Guest speakers: TBA)
Special performance with the Marcus Shelby Trio will be scheduled in early August.
Check out this event and more on the Poppy webpage:
To stay connected with Beyond the Blues, follow us at www.beyondthebluesaprisono
Event photo credit: Groundswell Mural Art Project, NYC
Photography by: ITWASHARVEY (IG @WHYSF)
Special thanks to the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival for their continued support, and to the Red Poppy Art House for allowing us to use their space to host these meetings!