Fit the Description Screening

Over 200 people joined us on Oct. 24th for our second #KnowJusticeHarlem event, Fit the Description. Circles of Support partnered with Inkblot Media to host a screening of their short film series, Fit the Description, a collection of filmed conversations about identity between black male police officers and black male civilians.

After months of preparation and collaboration, a crowd of Harlem community members - young, old, and every age in between - cozied up together in St. Philip's Church to escape the rain and join the conversation about police brutality and reform in communities of color. Following a screening of the videos, two of our Advisory Board members, Rahson Johnson and Thomas Edwards, shared stories of their own difficult past encounters with police. They were eventually joined by two retired detectives from the films - Harold Thomas and Clifton Hollingsworth, Jr. - to field questions from the audience. The entire event was moderated by Dawn Fraser of The Moth podcast, who previously hosted a workshop for some of our Raising My Voice participants!

There is no easy way to talk about urgent matters of justice, but the audience members and panelists alike shared thought-provoking questions and honest reflections. As our Advisory Board noted, the conversations we shared were a good first step, and there is much still to do.

We want to say a special thank you to the Harlem Justice Corps, who kept things running smoothly from start to finish by passing out t-shirts, sharing programs, and greeting guests with big smiles.  Thanks also to the Episcopal Churches and Charities of New York, many of which were well represented at the event. We were especially grateful to welcome Stephanie Spellers, canon to the Episcopal Presiding Bishop and a prominent voice in the Church's racial justice reform branch.

For more information and highlights from the event, check out our article in the Episcopal News Service, "NYC racial reform network lives out 'Beloved Community' mission."

Ana Olson