Conversation on Community Self-Determination

On Thursday, August 17, Southern Anti-Racism Network (SARN) will host a Black August event to bring attention to the principle of self-determination and the use of community wealth. The event will be held at the Columbus Public Library Auditorium, 3000 Macon Road, 6:00-8:00pm.

(August 17 is also known as Marcus Garvey Day. Marcus Garvey, August 17, 1887- June 10, 1940 was founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association-UNIA)

Public records of all Crime Prevention grants awarded for fiscal years 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 were requested by SARN from Columbus Consolidated Government and received in early July. A report on the top 5 grantees for each fiscal year will be presented on August 17. The community will begin the examination of the effectiveness of Crime Prevention grants in actually preventing crime in Columbus.

Theresa El-Amin, SARN regional director, has charged that the Crime Prevention grants are incestuous and not strategically focused. She declined to accept a $13,000 grant award from Crime Prevention after appealing to the chair of the Crime Prevention advisory board and the full City Council for the adequate funds needed for the Strong Parental Involvement in Community Education (SPICE) program. The SPICE request was for $22,000.

Grantees receiving the most funds from Crime Prevention over the past 5 years will be invited to talk about their programs and how their programs had an impact on preventing crime.

Seth Brown, Director of the Crime Prevention Department of the Columbus Consolidated Government (CCG), has been invited to attend and answer questions about Crime Prevention grant making.

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson has also been invited to provide her perspective on the state of public safety in Columbus and what needs to be done to reduce crime.

Light refreshments will be provided. The event is free and open to the public.

Contact: Theresa El-Amin, 762-821-1107 or