The Ontario County Justice Coalition will host their first annual dinner on Friday, May 3rd 2019 at Club 86 in Geneva, NY at 6pm. The event will honor President of the United Christian Leadership Ministry, Reverend Lewis W. Stewart III, and will bring together interfaith and law enforcement leadership with members of the community to create a stronger, more unified city and county.
Reverend Stewart, the keynote speaker, co-founded the United Christian Leadership Ministry (UCLM) in 2013, is a board member of the Greater Rochester Community of Churches, and serves as co-chair of the Rochester Coalition for Police Reform. He also serves as a member of the Mayor’s Judicial Screening Committee, and has been working as what he describes as a “liberationist” since the 1970s.
The event will be emceed by Reverend Donald Golden of Geneva’s Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church. Speakers will include Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes Dr. Ellen Wayne, attorneys Michael Bersani, citizen journalist Jim Meaney, Lentory Johnson of the UCLM, and Geneva mayoral candidate Mark Pitifer.
“The very thing that has torn our city apart is the very opposite thing that can bring us to together,” says Juanita Aikens, founder of the Ontario County Justice Coalition (OCJC). “Simply put, hatred tore us apart, and love can unite us all together.”
The event will set the stage for the first Ontario County Police-Community Summit that will take place on September 21st, 2019 in the Vandevort Room on the Hobart William Smith campus in Geneva. The Honorable Frank P. Geraci Jr., chief judge of the US District Court for the Western District of New York, will be the keynote speaker, and panelists will be available to discuss questions presented to moderators. “The first step that needs to be accomplished is the recognition that problems exists within the legal systems,” continued Aikens. “Each person should be treated with dignity and respect regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, disability, income or the notion of being privileged as a friend or family to law enforcement or the court system. The long term goal is an independent police accountability board that has disciplinary powers.”
The public is invited to attend the May 3rd event. Tickets are $25 and include dinner, and can be obtained by contacting Juanita Aikens at 315-290-2082. The public is also invited to attend the next monthly OCJC meeting on May 4 at 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church (70 Clark Street, Geneva).