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Block Builderz of Tulsa and Dream Corps Justice will join forces on March 2, 2021, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.,  for their third annual Day of Empathy. The event offers virtual and live formats on Facebook and Zoom, connecting the 100 years since the Tulsa Race Massacre to the injustices marginalized Tulsans continue to face.

On Empathy Day, participants will hear stories from people with first-hand experience of the injustices within the criminal justice system.  This event will explore the steps needed to get away from the “tough on crime” mentality. Communities should move toward a restorative justice system that promotes healing, according to a press release from Block Builderz.

Diverse groups will hold a discussion with elected officials toward reimagining a justice system that heals. The groups range from formerly incarcerated people and community leaders to advocates and activists.

Recently, the Black Wall St. Times interviewed Judge Carlos Moore to understand his approach to restorative justice and why he feels the practice should be adopted nationwide. Moore, who broke barriers when he became the first African-American Municipal Judge Pro Tem for Clarksdale, Mississippi in 2017, also represents the National Bar Association as the president-elect.

I believe that by giving the young people unexpected choices or alternatives to jail or a fine I can have a bigger impact on their lives and futures. I really favor rehabilitation over pure punishment,” Judge Moore says.

This system of mass incarceration destroys families by tearing them apart. Waiting decades to overturn convictions often results in the loss of innocent childhoods. later. “Oklahoma has ranked 7th in the nation for wrongful convictions since 1993,” the release stated.  

When parents sit endlessly in jail due to lack of bail, Children face being lost in the system.  More than 96 percent of cases never go to trial, the press release cited. And many people – even those who are innocent – accept plea bargains to get back to their families and their jobs. Block Builderz believes freedom should be free. The group called on community members to join the event to learn how to build Empathy in Action!

View their Facebook page for more information and event registration.  Empathy Network advocates and organizers across the nation will gather in Tulsa on March 2nd. The event will explore the role of empathy in changing existing policies and procedures. 

block builderz tulsa empathy day
Block Builderz, a direct-service and outreach organization in Tulsa (courtesy Block Builderz)

Mike Creef is a fighter for equality and justice for all. Growing up bi-racial (Jamaican-American) on the east coast allowed him to experience many different cultures and beliefs that helped give him a...