The People Speak, December 19, 2014
PAMELA MEANES - President of the National Bar Association addresses the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. Ms Brown explains her organization's stance on the matter, the attempt to change laws regarding police misconduct, and the general situation regarding police violence and conduct throughout America.
KATE HOWARTH - Author of Ten Hail Marys will speak about her autobiographical book that helped bring a spotlight on the horrible adoption practices that adversely affected aboriginals for decades and resulted in the Australian government reviewing and recommending an apology to all those adversely affected by such policies.
Pamela J. Meanes is a partner in Thompson Coburn LLP, the largest law firm in St. Louis. She was the first African American in the firm's history to be elevated from associate to partner. Since joining the firm in 1996, she has represented clients such as Furniture Brands International, Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, Metro/Bi-State Development Agency, Monsanto Company, and many others. In addition, she played a significant role in the land acquisition for the extension of the MetroLink passenger rail system in Illinois.
Pamela received her formal education from the East Saint Louis Public School system. She has an earned: Bachelor of Arts in English and Education from Monmouth College, Monmouth, IL; Masters of Arts in African African American Studies from Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA; and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA. In addition, she holds an honorary Doctorate in Divinity from the New Freedom Bible College.
Pamela is the current President of the National Bar Association (NBA), having been sworn in as the organization's 72nd President on July 31, 2014. In addition, she has served as Vice President of the NBA (2011-2013); Regional Director of Region VIII of the NBA (2007-2008 and 2009-2011); President of the Mound City Bar Association, a Missouri affiliate of the NBA (2006-2007); and co-chair of the ABA Section of Litigation Legal Service Delivery Committee (2008-2011). She also serves Vice President of the Mound City Bar Foundation of Missouri. Finally, she is a former board member of the Greater East St. Louis Community Fund, Inc., Legal Services of Eastern Missouri and MERS Goodwill.
She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Award of Merit from the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis; the Saint Louis University Black Law Student Association's 2008 Outstanding Attorney Award; the Washington University of St. Louis Black Law Student Association 2008 Outstanding Achievement in Public Service Award; a St. Louis Business Journal's "40 under 40" recipient; selection to the Missouri Lawyer's Weekly "Up and Coming Lawyers," list; the St. Louis Business Journal's Most Influential Minority Business Leader; the YWCA Leader of Distinction Award; the Women of Achievement Award; the 2012 Sister to Sister Award and the 2014 Missouri Lawyer's Weekly Litigation Practitioner Award. In addition, she has received numerous NBA honors including the 2013 Outstanding Officer's Award; 2012 NBA Special Presidential award; 2012 & 2011 Women Lawyers Division Chair's Award; 2011 & 2010 Presidential award, 2011 & 2010 Region of the Year; the 2010 NBA Young Lawyers' Hon. A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. Award; and the 2007 Affiliate Chapter of the Year
STATEMENT OF THE NATIONAL BAR ASSOCIATION ON GRAND JURY DECISION NOT TO INDICT OFFICER DARREN WILSON:
The National Bar Association is questioning how the Grand Jury, considering the evidence before them, could reach the conclusion that Darren Wilson should not be indicted and tried for the shooting death of Michael Brown. National Bar Association President Pamela J. Meanes expresses her sincere disappointment with the outcome of the Grand Jury's decision but has made it abundantly clear that the National Bar Association stands firm and will be calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to pursue federal charges against officer Darren Wilson. "We will not rest until Michael Brown and his family has justice" states Pamela Meanes, President of the National Bar Association.
President Meanes is requesting that the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri not allow this decision to cause an unnecessary uproar in the community that could lead to arrests, injuries or even deaths of innocent people. "I am asking for everyone to remain as calm as possible and to join in solidarity as we continue to support the family of Michael Brown and put our legal plan into full effect" says President Meanes "I feel the magnitude of the grand jury's ruling as Ferguson, Missouri is only minutes from where I reside", adds President Meanes.
Over the last couple of months, the National Bar Association has hosted Town Hall meetings informing attendees of their Fourth Amendment (Search & Seizure) constitutional rights, whether it is legal to record police activity, and how citizens should behave/respond if and when they interface with police officers. "The death of Michael Brown was the last straw and the catalyst for addressing issues of inequality and racial bias in policing, the justice system, and violence against members of minority communities," states Pamela Meanes.
The family of Michael Brownrequested that District Attorney McCullough step aside and allow a special prosecutor be assigned to the investigation to give the community confidence that the grand jury would conduct a complete and thorough investigation into the tragic shooting death of 18 year old Michael Brown. The grand jury's decision confirms the fear that many expressed months ago - that a fair and impartial investigation would not happen.
"The National Bar Association is adamant about our desire for transformative justice. While we are disappointed with the grand jury's ruling, we are promoting peace on every street corner around the world. The only way to foster systemic change is to organize, educate, and mobilize. We are imploring everyone to fight against the injustice in Ferguson, Missouri and throughout the United States by banding together and working within the confines of the law," states President Meanes.
The People Speak has evolved over the years with many great guests who have been interviewed by some very fine hosts.
We are a 55 minute show airing every other Sunday between 5-6pm Pacific/8-9pm Eastern. The show features a guest interview from any number of realms of interest (entertainment, science, philosophy, healing, spirituality, activism, politics, literature, etc.).
The guests share their stories, lives, strategies, books, philosophy, films, music, or whatever it is they use as a vehicle for making a difference for the better.
The radio show name, The People Speak, is based on the idea of allowing our audience - the People - a chance to interact with the guests during the hour, and we take phone or text questions from them during the interview.
Past guests include such notables as Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the late Howard Zinn, Nobel Laureates Mairead Maguire, Shirin Ebadi, Kathryn Najimy, Oliver Stone, Jesse Ventura, Richard Belzer, Cynthia McKinney, Cindy Sheehan, Scott Horton, Joan Jett, Willie Nelson, George Galloway, Roseanne Barr, Ed Asner, Chevy Chase, as well as various reps from Amnesty International, UN World Food Programme, and many others.