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PO BOX 4512 / WALNUT CREEK, CA 94596
May 7, 2015


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How public policy segregated the East Bay and what we can do about it

The Project Peace Speaker Series is pleased to partner with local agencies and faith based groups, to discuss how public policies have segregated the East Bay. How can we as people of faith engage in this topic and be a part of a community-wide solution? How do we as citizens and people of faith work together with the broader community? We will explore this topic with a featured keynote by Professor Richard Rothstein and Ben McBride followed by a panel discussion and exhibitors’ fair.

David Rothstein

Professor Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and senior fellow of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at the University of California (Berkeley) School of Law. He is the author of Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap (2004), Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right (2008), The Way We Were? Myths and Realities of America’s Student Achievement (1998). From 1999-2002 he was the national education columnist of The New York Times. For the last five years Mr. Rothstein has been researching and writing about residential segregation, uncovering a largely forgotten history of how federal, state, and local policy, with racially explicit motivation, segregated our metropolitan areas. He has been advancing the argument that because it was government policy to purposefully segregate neighborhoods by race, government has a constitutional obligation to take aggressive action to integrate metropolitan areas. In the fall of 2014, he published a report, The Making of Ferguson: Public Policies at the Root of its Troubles, illustrating these themes.


Reverend Ben McBride is a native of San Francisco and a longtime activist for peace and justice in the Bay Area. As an advocate for youth, he served as a member of the crisis counseling team for West Contra Costa Unified School District and as Program Director for Global Education Partnership, empowering at-risk youth through entrepreneurship. Ben has a history of spiritual leadership beginning as a youth pastor and continuing through his years as collegiate pastor for Greater St. Paul Baptist Church and Shiloh Church. He served as Executive Director of Cityteam, a Christian non-profit providing rescue, recovery, medical, financial and educational opportunities to hurting and homeless people in Oakland for 7 years. Ben founded Empower Initiative in 2014 to provide faith-based, technical assistance around public safety issues affecting the urban core. He is beginning a new journey as Director or Clergy Development with PICO California in June, 2015. Ben has received many honors including the FRED Scholars Award, ONGB Non-Profit Leader of the Year, and the Oakland Police Foundation's Neighborhood Champion Award. Ben & his wife Gynelle have been married for 15 years and have 3 beautiful daughters. They reside in Oakland.


Amy Fitzgerald, Sandhya Jha, Reginald Lyles and Richard Rothstein

Participating Organizations:

Empower Initiative, East Bay Housing Organizations, Oakland Community Land Trust, Oakland Community Organizations, Oakland Leadership Center, Project Peace East Bay


Mazzarello Media & Arts, Matt Beardsley Photography, and Park Boulevard Presbyterian Church