Synopsis: Live Panel – Zoom
July 27, 2021
11:00 AM EST
Zoom Link (click on the title of the panel below to go to the live panel):
While Congress is closing in on landmark legislation to control police abuses, so far the proposals all have skipped what is essential for the reforms to make a difference: whistleblower protection. Without safe channels to bear witness, the new reforms may be an illusion. State reforms are also taking place, some of which represent the most sweeping law enforcement reforms in the last 50 years. This dynamic panel explores law enforcement reforms from a whistleblower, public health and safety, mental health, and civil rights perspectives. Panelists will include whistleblowers, activists and advocates with particularly compelling stories.
Michael McCray, ACORN 8 (Moderator)
John Hanlon, Former Director, Innocence Project (Illinois)
Dr. Anthony Williams
Reverend Lynn R. Mims
Dr. Ben Williams, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (Cobb County)
Matthew Fogg, Retired Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal
Michael McCray co-founded the International Association of Whistleblowers (IAW) and is the General Counsel for the Federally Employed Women Legal Education Fund (FEW-LEF), which champions equal employment opportunity. He is a member of the No FEAR Coalition, which promotes and supported the passage of the Notification and Federal Employee Anti-Discrimination and Retaliation Act (No FEAR) of 2002—the first civil rights law of the 21st Century. McCray is also the chief organizer for the Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival, an annual conference that takes place on Capitol Hill.
Michael McCray is a 2007 recipient of the “No FEAR Award” in Washington, DC. In 2008, Michael McCray received statewide recognition for outstanding work in peace and social justice when he was recognized by the OMNI Center For Peace, Justice & Ecology as an ARKANSAS PEACE & JUSTICE HERO in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Invite Michael to make a memorable contribution to conferences, events and conventions that welcome his “tell-it-like-it-is” style of storytelling and audience engagement. Learn more about his training programs, invite him to speak or contribute to your conference, or place orders for his breakthrough book RACE, POWER & POLITICS—Memoirs of an ACORN Whistleblower—today.
Michael McCray is a 2021 recipient of the Cliff Robertson Sentinel Award Recipient for his leadership and advocacy with the ACORN 8 from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).
Pastor Anthony Williams
After losing his 34-year-old son to violence in 2018, Pastor Williams successfully persuaded Illinois to declare violence as a public health crisis in 2020, resulting in a new law signed in April that targets high-violence areas by providing more state funding for health care, education, and economic development targeting the root causes of violence. Pastor Anthony Williams, leader of Chicago’s Martin Luther King Community Church, goal is to change how the nation looks at violence – to see it through a public health lens rather than a criminal justice lens – and adjust our response and resource allocations accordingly. Seizing on the momentum of the current climate, Pastor Williams led an eleven-day walk from Chicago on June 23, arriving in Washington D.C. on July 4, to raise awareness and take the cause to the people.
His timing is prescient: Here in New York, in the first of its kind in the U.S., Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order declaring Gun Violence a Disaster Emergency (details at https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-declares-first-nation-gun-violence-disaster-emergency-part-comprehensive).
H. Benjamin Williams, Ed.D
Dr. H. Benjamin Williams is a retired educator who provided more than three decades of service in urban public schools, higher education and community organizations. Prior to completion of his undergraduate studies, Ben worked as a fireman in the Philadelphia Fire Department. During his years as an active professional, he has served as teacher, principal, central office administrator, superintendent, clinical professor, president of a two-year liberal arts college, newspaper publisher and community organizer. Dr. Williams is active in local, state and national affairs, the Chi Gamma Gamma Chapter of the Omega Psi Fraternity, Inc., the 2nd Century Invictus Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Black males in their efforts to navigate the myriad challenges that threaten their opportunities to succeed, the Family Life Restoration Center where he supports the CEO in his efforts to help keep families together who are confronted with circumstances such as; unemployment, homelessness, food insecurity and basic medical services and the Cobb County Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference [SCLC] where he serves as President and CEO.
The foundation of Ben’s professional preparation was established at Cheyney State College, the world’s oldest HBCU, where he earned an undergraduate degree that prepared him for the practice of teaching and learning in urban school systems. His advanced degrees in the areas of social system theory, organization development and leadership were earned at Rhode Island College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] and Boston University. Dr. Williams has done post-graduate studies at UMASS Amherst, Harvard and Columbia Universities. He has also earned certification in applied politics from the North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership.