by Diondra Clements
Central Connecticut hosted the “Stay Woke: Racial Profiling Fact or Fiction” conversation where they took on the issue of racial discrimination in the state.
The conversation was led by Ken Barone, a CCSU alumni, and political science professor William Dyson. The conversation was held to inform students on the research work Barone does on racial profiling.
Barone introduced himself by letting students and faculty know that he worked for the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy located at the Central downtown campus building in New Britain.
Barone’s main focus at the event was his project he had been managing for five years that looked at racial disparities in Connecticut.
The topic focused on police traffic stops. The conversation started with the explanation of why this study was needed in Connecticut. From then, he explained how the CCSU IMRP came to be involved with this work in 2013, the cities they have done the research on and what they found.
“I always think a stable discussion does vary on the ability to have facts and have people in front of them who can answer questions,” Andrea Giachino, an advisor at Student Activities, said.
The cities Barone used as examples were West Hartford, Hamden, Newington and Waterbury. The study looked at why minorities were being stopped at a higher rate than their white counterparts and if it was considered racial profiling.
Barone discussed each town racial disparities and curbed issues such as drugs, weapons or drunk driving, only to see that there were no results.
“You have some very thoughtful police administrators in this state that are progressive, they’re forward thinking, they get the issue. They’re the minority,” Barone said.
The work that has been done in some towns so far has seen some changes and has been helpful, while other towns mentioned they did not want to change their practices.
Henry Myers, chairman of the Mosaic Office, shared his own personal experience of being targeted based on description given to an officer with similarities of race.
“Today’s information was very alarming being a resident of Hartford,” Myers said. “But having an opportunity to discuss these facts is definitely a key for college students in ever town.”