Did you know that many of the misdemeanor laws were created in the Jim Crow era to target formerly enslaved people? And that they are still being used today to disproportionately arrest people of color and poor people, often with dire consequences to those arrested?

Robert Greenwald explores this topic in his documentary, Racially Charged: America’s Misdemeanor Problem, which the League of Women Voters of Santa Monica will screen in collaboration with Committee for Racial Justice, the Santa Monica Coalition for Police Reform, and the Human Relations Council Santa Monica Bay Area at 2p.m. on October 17.

Following the screening, Michele Wittig, convener, Santa Monica Coalition for Police Reform and LWVSM member, will moderate a panel discussion and Q&A session. She hopes that the video will “provide a springboard for a candid discussion of the ways we can address the vestiges of past moral wrongs that are present in our current misdemeanor system.

Wittig will be joined on the panel by Angela Scott, Santa Monica Public Safety Reform and Oversight commissioner, Committee for Racial Justice steering committee member and LWVSM member, as well as Natalya Zernitskaya, president of the LWVSM.

“Systemic racism is at the heart of most of the pressing problems facing us today, including issues with our criminal justice and public safety systems. We can see how the effects of our current criminal justice system have been harmful to people in our very own local community and we have an opportunity to support our community’s healing process by shining a light on what isn’t working so we can create a criminal justice system that truly provides justice for all,” Zernitskaya said.

This is a virtual event and will be hosted on Zoom. Please RSVP at https://bit.ly/AMP101721

Natalya Zernitskaya President League of Women Voters of Santa Monica