The Maryland Catholic Conference is convening a virtual town hall on police reform in Maryland with Washington Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, State Delegate Darryl Barnes (D-25) and other leaders on Tuesday Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m. The discussion will be streamed online on Facebook and YouTube. The links will be posted at www.mdcatholic.org/townhall

Parishioners and students are encouraged to send questions to [email protected] in advance or during the event.

The Oct. 6 event is one of two virtual town halls that the Maryland Catholic Conference will be convening to discuss police reform and racial justice in Maryland, in partnership with two members of the Maryland House of Delegates Workgroup to Address Police Reform and Accountability, Delegate Darryl Barnes (District 25, Prince George’s County and chair of the Legislative Black Caucus) and Delegate Samuel “Sandy” Rosenberg (District 41, Baltimore City). 

The town halls will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m. (virtually hosted by Bishop McNamara High School, Forestville), and on Monday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m. (virtually hosted by St. Bernardine Parish, Baltimore). 

Panelists for the Oct. 6 town hall are Washington Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory; Del. Darryl Barnes, who in addition to serving on the Maryland House of Delegates Workgroup to Address Police Reform and Accountability is also the chair of Maryland’s Legislative Black Caucus;  William Milam, the vice president of the Maryland State Fraternal Order of Police; and Renee Mortel Joy, chief of the Public Integrity Unit, Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office and member of the Prince George’s County Police Reform Work Group.

Dian Carter, the principal of Bishop McNamara High School, will give the opening prayer at the Oct. 6 town hall. The closing prayer will be given by Msgr. John Brady, who at 91 is the oldest priest of the Archdiocese of Washington and who is retired and in residence at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Clinton, Maryland.  

Panelists for the Oct. 26 town hall are scheduled to be Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori; Delegate Sandy Rosenberg; State Senator Jill Carter (District 41, City of Baltimore); and Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael S. Harrison.

The House of Delegates’ Police Reform Workgroup is holding hearings, reviewing policies and procedures, identifying best practices for reform and accountability, and making recommendations prior to the January 2021 General Assembly session. 

Maryland is home to one million Catholics. The Maryland Catholic Conference is the statewide public policy entity for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Archdiocese of Washington, and Diocese of Wilmington. 

In June 2020, the Maryland bishops released a letter on racial justice that called for “…healing, harmony and solutions that recognize that every person has been created in the image of God and that every person possesses human dignity. …We pray that God will guide us during these difficult times and give us the courage to act with conviction in our duty to seek racial equality, heal divisions, and build bridges of understanding and hope.”