The Root of Reform

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Join Us

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Reflecting on the state of race and policing, one year after the murder of George Floyd


While Congress debates police reform measures, we will be hosting a Zoom forum on Tuesday, May 25, the eve of one year post George Floyd’s death, from 5-6:30 pm to discuss what New Jersey can do to reform police policies and enhance public safety.

The Event will be co-hosted by the Galleries at Kean and will take place via Zoom Virtual ConferencingSpaces are limited, so be sure to sign up today. 

Join The Movement

Join the Lesniak Institute and the Galleries at Kean in discussing how the senseless murders of Black Americans are reshaping the way we approach law enforcement. 

For years, it has been clear that there is a major problem. Black Lives Matter may have been given a platform last year, but the killing of George Floyd brought to the surface harsh truths that have been dismissed for much longer. May 25th, 2020 ignited an urgency for systemic change that must be sustained until true reform is implemented.

It is important to remember that convictions do not mean justice; the protection of Black Americans does. Join us as we discuss the progress that we have made in one year and the priorities for the future. We will examine passed and pending New Jersey legislation, a community based policing model that has already yielded success, and a deep look into the history of the systemic problem.


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Our Panel

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Peter Harvey

Independent monitor, Newark Police Department


Appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice Consent Decree, Peter Harvey serves as Independent Monitor for the Newark Police Department. His combination of civil rights/criminal law experience along with a rich history of law enforcement leadership transformed the NPD into one that prioritizes safety and equity for all Newark residents. NPD did not fire any shots in 2020 due to the reforms.

Senator Linda R. Greenstein

 NJ District 14


Senator Linda Greenstein serves as the chair of the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee, where she has led productive hearings on police reform throughout New Jersey. Some of her priorities for reform include: updating the state’s use-of-force policy, creating a statewide professional licensure program for police; and enhancing police training.


Senator Sandra B. Cunningham

 NJ District 31


Having been involved in New Jersey state politics since 2008, Senator Sandra Cunningham has sponsored key legislation to improve our criminal justice and education systems. She is currently the Chair of the Education Committee, where she prioritizes equity. As a champion of criminal justice, Senator Cunningham is combatting mass incarceration.


Brennan Sumner

 Graduate Student, Montclair State University


Brennan Sumner is a student at Montclair State University, where he is pursuing an M.A. in Law and Governance. He is currently conducting his thesis research on police militarization and the impact it has on our communities. Through his work, Brennan has been able to deconstruct societal perceptions about the source of police brutality to reach conclusions that will make the development of lasting solutions more attainable.

Moderated By

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Lynette Zimmerman

Executive Director Liberty Hall Academic Center & Acting Director, Galleries at Kean


As a thought leader and change maker, Lynette Zimmerman connects the Kean Community together in meaningful conversations about historical and current events. Recently, Lynette organized and moderated a panel discussion with artists, change makers, and students to discuss the ability of art to portray the stories of systematically oppressed groups.

Submit a Question

Leave a question below to be read during the open discussion portion of the event. 

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

   Margaret Mead

The Lesniak Institute for American Leadership is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and qualifies for maximum charitable contribution permitted by law. Our Federal Identification Number is 83-3629808.