FJEC group

In response to recent violence being perpetrated against people of color, the Franklin Justice and Equity Coalition is having its second Facebook Live session of 2021 Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Titled “Let’s Talk About the Elephant in the Room,” the program airs just a couple of weeks after six Asian Americans and two others were killed in a mass shooting in Atlanta and during the week of the trial against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who has been charged in the death of George Floyd last May.

“The conversation will be among a very diverse group of people,” Pastor Bryant Herbert of New Birth Seventh-Day Adventist Church said by email, adding that the panel will consist of two Asian Americans, a Hispanic, Trinidadian, Caucasian and an African American.

“We will be discussing the rise of racism and hate crimes against people of color. We also aim to educate and understand each culture.”

Herbert founded the Franklin Justice and Equity Coalition with Pastor Walter Simmons of Empowerment Community Church, not long after Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died as Chauvin pinned him with his knee for more than eight minutes during an arrest.

The FJEC has had a series of Facebook Live sessions addressing various aspects of racism, equity and diversity, including one last summer on law enforcement in Williamson County, another that featured Williamson County Schools Superintendent Jason Golden and Franklin Special School District Director of Schools David Snowden, and a third that looked at Christianity and Confederate monuments.

The nonprofit’s first Facebook Live program of 2021 was in February and focused on Black history and the Black church.

Simmons said not long after the group was formed that it stands on five pillars of impact: education, law enforcement, housing, economics and mentoring. 

“Our vision is simple,” he said then. “The FJEC exists to ensure justice for current and future generations in Franklin and Williamson County.”

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