Livingstone College, located in Salisbury,North Carolina. Photo: Livingstone College

Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump will lead a panel discussion at Livingstone College on Thursday, March 23.

The panel discussion focuses on national bail reform and over-policing. It starts at 1 p.m. in Livingstone’s Varick Auditorium.

The free one-day event is the first to be held in North Carolina and only the third in the country.

Moderators for the event include Eric Kowalczyk, a former Baltimore Police Department captain and crisis communications specialist, and political commentator Bakari Sellers.

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Gary McFadden and District Attorney Spencer Merriweather are two of several panelist speakers with ties to the criminal justice system. 

The full list of speakers are:

  • James Buie, retired Gaston County police chief and author of “From the Ground Up: How to Refine American Policing Now”
  • Gemale Black, Salisbury-Rowan NAACP president
  • Dr. Latarcia Barnes, chair, Livingstone College, Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology
  • JaPharil Jones, president of Black Lives Matter 757 (Virginia);
  • Melanie Reid, associate dean of faculty and professor of law at Lincoln Memorial University in Knoxville, Tenn
  • Rep. Joe Towns of Nashville, Tenn
  • Attorney Dominique Calhoun of Houston, Texas
  • Carleena Deonanan, a defense attorney of Raleigh.

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Jalon is a general assignment reporter for QCity Metro. He is a graduate of North Carolina Central University and an avid sports fan. (

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