March 20, 2018

Our show on March 20, 12:00-1:00 PM, EDT, will be the fourth in the series examining critical racial and social justice issues 50 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This show will focus on the issues of gun violence, gun control, racial justice, the Trump Administration’s response and voting rights for youth voters. We will discuss the historic fight for gun control over the years especially the leadership of African Americans in this battle. We will update our audience about planning for the upcoming March 24th, March for Our Lives and the National Commission for Voter Justice Facebook Live program on the Youth Vote, March 23, 7:00-9:00 PM and Regional Hearing on voting rights in Georgia and South Carolina, March 24, 4:00-6:30 PM, at the Central Presbyterian Church, 201 Washington Street, SW, Atlanta, Georgia.

Our guests will include Khalid Pitts, Principal Democracy Partners, former Political Director, Sierra Club and Campaign Director SEIU; Sharon J. Hill, Field Coordinator, Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda; Rev. David Kozad, Pastor, Central Presbyterian Church and students involved in the March. See guest pictures and bios at www.barbaraarnwine.com.

Following the tragic massacre on February 14th at affluent Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, in which 17 students and staff were slain by a gunman using an AR-15 rifle, there has been a national reinvigorated uprising of high school students who have organized marches and advocated for gun control throughout the nation and an end to politicians taking money from the National Rifle Association, the NRA. The NRA has led a very hostile campaign against the students. Already in a legislative showdown in Florida, the students were able to eke out an initial victory for tougher gun control laws in that state. The NRA has filed a lawsuit to invalidate this new Florida legislation.

After initial posturing some support for real gun control, President Trump has backtracked on tougher background checks, higher age limits for gun possession, and banning of AR-15s. Instead, President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have been promoting programs to “harden” schools including arming teachers, more metal detectors and hiring more school resource officers. Horribly, the Trump Administration has recently formed a Federal Commission on School Safety which has targeted repeal of the Obama Era Guidance on School Discipline as a goal. This guidance was designed to address the disproportionate use of discipline by schools against African American and Latino students. Black parents have pointed out that these proposals, especially arming teachers and repeal of the disciplinary guidance will put the safety and lives of Black students at risk.

On March 14th, over 1 million students throughout the nation participated in a 17 Minute School WalkOut. The response of some schools was supportive but many discouraged the WalkOut and punished students who participated. On March 24, there will be A National March for Our Lives in Washington, DC and regional March for Our Lives; and April 20th, National School Walkout on Anniversary of Columbine School Shooting.

That the American public has been motivated by the Parkland students has also raised issues of racial equality as Black youth have been advocating against gun violence on a large scale following the death of Trayvon Martin at the hands of George Zimmerman in 2012. Yet, the public has largely failed to embrace and support Black student and youth led movements.

Concurrently, the National Commission for Voter Justice is proceeding with its national hearings and voter assistance campaigns. As there will be a regional March for Our Lives in Atlanta, Georgia from 11:00 AM until 3:00 PM on March 24, the NCVJ has decided to coordinate with this March by holding the hearing nearby the Georgia State Capitol at 4:00 PM EST at Central Presbyterian Church.

The night before the March on March 23, 7:00–8:30 PM, the National Commission will hold a Facebook live event for national broadcast on “Voting Rights Now and For Future Generations.” In addition to an opportunity for students to speak out about their concerns, this broadcast will discuss the special opportunities for The 8 million,17-year-olds, who will turn age 18 by November 6th and for those who have already turned 18 years old, since the 2016 elections, to become registered voters and poll workers. Indeed those ages 18 through 35 years old will constitute the largest voting bloc in the nation. However, this group has historically not been offered opportunities to register and turn out at the polls in accordance with their numbers. The National Commission for Voter Justice program will discuss strategies for expanding and engaging the youth vote. To see flyer and more information see www.nationalcvj.org.

Questions to be examined include: What is the history of the fight for gun control in the 21st Century? What is different about the public response to the 2018 gun control movement? How will the punitive response of many schools to the March 14th WalkOut affect A March for Our Lives on March 24th? Can this new student led movement for gun control be sustained? Is NRA power over politicians waning? Given the great participation by Black students in the WalkOut, will there be more focus on gun control as it affects Blacks? What are the demands of A March for Our Lives? Will Congress act?; Can AR-15s be banned? On March 24th, how can people get involved? What are the plans for the Atlanta March for Our Lives? What are the major goals of the March? How will voter registration be conducted during the March? How will the work of the NCVJ be supportive of these efforts? What are the goals for the Facebook Live and Student Speak Out on March 23rd?; What can be done to make sure those newly registered will vote?; Why are student and Millennial activists key to this outreach and voter contact? What issues will be covered during the March 24th Regional Hearing for Georgia and South Carolina?; What can our listeners do to support these events?

You don’t want to miss this show!

Be sure to listen live on Tuesday, March 20, 12:00 to 1:00 PM, EDT, in the Greater DC Metro Region on WOL 1450 AM and worldwide on the Internet at www.BarbaraArnwine.com. You may call with questions or comments during the show at 800-450-7876. A podcast of the show will be available on Tuesday evening.

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David Cozad

David Cozad comes to Central from Shandon Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC where he was named interim senior pastor in January 2015. He is pastor […]

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Khalid Pitts

Khalid Pitts is a seasoned political strategist with over two decades of experience directing national political and legislative campaigns, executive management of non-profits and leading […]

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Sharon J. Hill

Sharon J. Hill is the former National VP of Development of National Women’s Political Caucus, NWPC, and NWPC Georgia President continually guiding the “Run to […]

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