21 Pillars Heartland Tour: Empowering Communities to Redefine Public Safety

21 Pillars Heartland Tour
Friday, January 14, 2022
9:00 am
In Person Event
Online Event

Due to heightened COVID-19 concerns and travel complications for participants, this event has been postponed at the request of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City. We are closely monitoring developments and will reschedule.

Almost 20 months after the killing of George Floyd by an arresting officer in Minneapolis, our country continues to struggle with police violence and efforts to reform a criminal justice system fraught with racial injustice. Communities across America – Black communities in particular – still see and fear threats to their freedom, to their safety, to their lives. 

In an extraordinary community forum, local leaders and national experts examine the troubling patterns of violent discriminatory policing and how, through collaboration, we can build a more restorative justice system. Presentations and discussions revolve around the 21 Pillars for Redefining Public Safety and Restoring Community Trust drawn up in the past year by the National Urban League

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and Donald Cravins Jr., the National Urban League’s executive vice president and COO, offer remarks ahead of two panel discussions: 

  • Holding Police Accountable: Uprooting and Reforming the Culture from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Moderated by Jerika Richardson, the National Urban League’s senior vice president for equitable justice and strategic initiatives. Panelists are Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker; Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree; Georgetown Law Professor Christy E. Lopez, former deputy chief of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division; and Gwen Grant, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City. 
  • Redefining Public Safety to Include Community Voices from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Panelists include Damon Daniel, the president of Kansas City’s Ad Hoc Group Against Crime; the Rev. Dr. Vernon Percy Howard, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City; and Ryan Sorrell, publisher of The Kansas City Defender and co-founder of the local activist group Black Rainbow 


The National Urban League’s 21 Pillars range from the revision of divisive policing policies, including bans on chokeholds, no-knock warrants, and shooting at moving vehicles, to the creation or strengthening of independent, all-civilian review boards to raise police accountability. They “will move us closer to a world where community safety is real, and not aspirational,” National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial says.