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2007.11.21 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@mail.unomaha.edu

One Heart, One Community: A Dialogue on Police Reform

Omaha - OLLAS (The Office of Latino/Latin American Studies), Native American Studies and the Black Studies Department at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), along with the support of various student organizations on campus, will co-sponsor the first of several forums to address community concerns over unwarranted police force in the Omaha metro area and, particularly, among communities of color.

The panel discussion will take place in the Chancellor’s Room of the Milo Bail Student Center Monday, Nov. 26, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Panelists will review the recent events involving the Galvan-Pekas family, Reinaldo Rodriguez and Alejo Clark. Members from the Latino, African-American and Latino communities have been meeting regularly with members of other sectors of the Omaha community and police-community relations experts. 

“In each case, juveniles and/or women were the victims of police aggression and, as a result, suffered physical and mental injury,” said Sheila Rocha, a spokesperson for the group.

According to Rocha, members from the three communities of color affected by these recent events will discuss the implications of misused authority by the Omaha Police Department. Panelists will also discuss strategies surrounding the appointment of a police auditor and additional police training which, among other aspects, should include a human service component.

A public forum will follow to talk about ways in which a peaceful climate of abuse resistance by the Omaha community can effectively oppose abusive tactics.

Panelists include Willie Hamilton of Omahans for Justice Alliance; Ben Salazar, editor of Nuestro Mundo newspaper; and Moses Brings Plenty of the Strongheart Civil Rights Organization. Rocha, community member and victim advocate, will moderate.

Contact Rocha at (402) 346-2499 or srocha@mail.unomaha.edu for more information on the panel discussion.

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