Chi Psi Omega Chapter hosts second joint political forum
Chi Psi Omega hosts second political forum. (Photo by Sebastian Singh of Savvy Shots Photo, Inc.)
By Barbara Thomas
Chi Psi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, in partnership with Alpha Lambda Omega Chapter of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Incorporated, hosted a community-wide political forum, “Protect and Serve or Violation of Civil Rights”, on Nov. 14, 2013 at St. Christopher Episcopal Church, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. More than 80 community participants were in attendance for this event.
City of Fort Lauderdale District III Commissioner, Bobby Dubose, was the moderator and panelists included Honorable Judge Elijah H. Williams of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court Juvenile Delinquency Division, Gordon H. Weekes, Jr. Esq., Chief Assistant Broward Public Defender-Head of Juvenile Division; Colonel Al Pollock, Broward Sheriff’s Office; Anthony Williams, Assistant Chief of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department; Amalio Nieves, director of Diversity and Cultural Outreach-School Board of Broward County and Cassandra Evans, Circuit 17 Chief Probation Officer for the Department of Juvenile Justice. Special guests in the audience included the Honorable Judge Kenneth Gillespie, 17th Judicial Circuit Court Juvenile Dependency Division; Nadine Girault-Levy, Chief Assistant Public Defender-Early Representation Unit and Marsha Ellison, president of the Fort Lauderdale Chapter of the NAACP.
Commissioner Dubose fielded questions to the pane-lists regarding their views or positions on civil citation for first-time misdemeanor offenders. This new process helps law enforcement officials spend more time and resources on serious and violent crimes, reduces costs for state and local government law enforcement agencies as well as parents and other available community resources. Moreover, the process reduces the likelihood to re-offend by having the first-time misdemeanor offender participate in obligated interventions.
Afterwards, panelists answered fielded questions from the audience. Participants learned and were armed with a wealth of new knowledge on civil citations for first time youth offenders.
International Connection Committee, through its local chapter’s connection committees, ensures that communities are made aware through forums and workshops of new legislation affecting youths and adults politically, socially, and economically.
Sorors participating in the event included: Barbara J. Thomas, president; Josetta B. Patterson, Connection committee chairman; Sherri Cooper, Gwendolyn D. Bush, Alana DaSent, Paula Edwards, Cassandra L. Evans, Gracia Curee-Gordon, Michelle Green, Vanessa Hargray, Adrea C. Hightower, Candace Kennedy, Ann B. Lee, Carla Navarro, Veronica E. Phillips, Lisa M. Smith, Tscharner Miller-Strapp, Dione Trawick and Malikh F. Williams. Evaluations from panelists, participants, Iotas and sorors evidenced this forum provided needed, valuable and helpful information for the community in knowing the rights of first-time offenders who commit misdemeanors. Moreover, it should be presented on a larger scale for young Black males. Following registration, participants received coupons and those with correct numbers received door prizes. Light healthy refreshments were served.