Newswise — Five years ago, amid the grief and outrage surrounding the death of Freddie Gray, Johns Hopkins and the rest of Baltimore sharpened focus on making the city more just and equal. And last May, George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police sparked a historic reckoning around race and inequality in America. Beginning Thursday, Aug. 20 at 5:00 p.m., The Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine will host a free online five-part series of discussions featuring many of the nation’s most important voices on this topic.

The “JustUs Dialogues” kick off this week with a panel discussion on police reform. Moderated by Alicia Wilson, vice president for economic development at the Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Health System, the first session features civil rights attorney Ben Crump, public health and gun violence scholar Shani Buggs and Billy Murphy, founder and partner of Baltimore law firm Murphy, Falcon & Murphy. “The Fourth Amendment: Use, Misuse and the Case for Police Reform” will take place from 5:00–6:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Aug. 20, and will be hosted on the Zoom platform: Webinar ID: 916 3475 1203, Passcode: 020659.

The free series is aimed at improving social justice and the health of our communities, especially America’s most marginalized residents.

“The healthy society we are morally obligated to create would treat all citizens with equal levels of care and compassion,” says Wilson. “Current inequities, however, levy a devastating toll on the lives of many people in America. These are difficult conversations, but we will embrace the tension in order to move toward a healthier society.”

The JustUs Dialogues will take place on these dates:

  • Thursday, Aug. 20, 5:00 p.m. – “The Fourth Amendment: Use, Misuse and the Case for Police Reform”
  • Thursday, Aug. 27, 5:00 p.m. – “Protecting Our Youth: Confronting Society’s Role in the Harmonious Development of Adolescents,” focusing on youth and their rights in the criminal justice system.
  • Thursday, Sept. 10, 5:00 p.m. – “Immigration Matters: Building Humanity within a Fractured Immigration Landscape,” exploring the impact of current immigration policies and potential reforms.
  • Thursday, Sept. 24, 5:00 p.m. – “Decriminalizing Mental Illness: Empathetic Approaches to Mental Health Supports,” focusing on mental health within the justice system.

All four sessions will be hosted on Zoom: Webinar ID: 916 3475 1203, Passcode: 020659. Promotional and replay information will be posted here.

The discussions will serve as a prelude to the “Road to Equity: Addressing Health Equity and Achieving Restorative Justice” symposium on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 3:00 p.m. This symposium will feature two panels: “The Path to Health Equity and Social Justice: Where Should We Begin, Where Should We Invest, Where Should We Go?” and “Restorative Justice: Repairing Harm, Finding Balance, Building Hope.”