FLINT, Michigan—Nine Flint residents will serve on the recently created Community Advisory Task Force to the Flint Police Department. The group is being chaired by Pastor Jeffery Hawkins of Prince of Peace Church and has a diverse group of members, including some who have been working toward social justice for decades and others who are new to the fight.
“This task force will serve as the voice of the people to help bridge any gaps between the community and law enforcement,” said Pastor Hawkins, who was recently appointed to the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “We are blessed to have such a strong and committed group of volunteers willing to serve their neighbors and their community.”
The Community Advisory Task Force was one in a series of actions taken by the City of Flint in response to the tragic death of George Floyd. Created by Mayor Sheldon Neeley, the task force creates the seat at the table that residents had been seeking.
“Together, we will continue to positively move this community forward,” Mayor Neeley said. “We will continue working hand in hand with those fighting for equality and justice.”
Members of the committee are:
- • Chair: Jeffery Hawkins, pastor of Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church and member of the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards
- • Vice chair: Dr. Debra Furr-Holden, an epidemiologist who serves as dean of Public Health at MSU, co-director of Healthy Flint Research Coordinating Center, and co-founder of African American Council in Baltimore City Police Department
- • Ralph Arellano, former member of Flint City Council, former member of the Civil Service Commission, director of the Hispanic Technology and Community Center, and a social justice leader in Flint for 50 years
- • Mario DeSean Booker, a Flint native, minister, volunteer and activist
- • Brandon Ray Jamison, a radio host on Club 93.7 FM and event promoter
- • Sherri Miller, a social worker and juvenile justice specialist
- • Adrienne Nilesans, a former after-school site coordinator, Title I parent specialist and participant in Undoing Racism workshop by the People’s Institute
- • Holly Underwood, a neighborhood block club activist and senior center board member
- • Estephanie Ward, a graduate of UM-Flint and Mott Community College
Individuals with questions or concerns can contact the committee at [email protected].