Virtual Town Hall with Ahmaud Arbery's Mother and Sister

Joining youth in Brunswick, GA and Madison, WI to discuss racial disparities

Original Article Madison 365

Wanda Cooper and Jasmine Arbery, the mother and sister of Ahmaud Arbery, will join several teenagers and young adults, and the CEOs of  the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County, Coastal Georgia Community Action Authority and Madison365, for a 90-minute virtual town hall meeting on Friday, May 15, 2020 at 12 pm EDT to talk about social justice issues, racial disparities and the criminal justice system in the United States. 

“I am thankful that these young people from both states and around the country are speaking up during these challenging times and we hope through this process youth voices are heard,” said Wanda Cooper, mother of Ahmaud Arbery. 

The town hall meeting will be facilitated by Zerik Samples, a resident in Brunswick Georgia who has been working with Ahmaud Arbery’s family and Henry Sanders, CEO and publisher of Madison365, one of the nation’s largest media outlets focused on people of color. The town hall meeting will challenge and encourage young people from across the nation to start similar conversations to lift up their voices. Jasmine Arbery, the sister of Ahmaud Arbery will kick off the discussion. 

The meeting will be streamed on Facebook Live on The Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Authority, Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County and Madison365 Facebook pages. 

“We are so excited to host this virtual town hall meeting. As Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, ‘an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.’ It is important that the youth have a space to voice their concerns regarding racial disparities in their lives and local communities,” said Tres Hamilton, Community Action Chief Executive Officer. 

Below are the young people participating in the town hall: 

Jasmine Arbery is a graduate of Albany State University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Upon graduating, Jasmine was recognized for having the highest grade point average in the Psychology department. Currently, she is pursuing a master’s degree specializing in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, with hopes of becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor. Jasmine grew up in Brunswick, Georgia and is the sister of Ahmaud Arbery. 

Noah Anderson recently graduated from West High School and was the President of the Black Student Union. Noah was placed in the national spotlight after organizing thousands of high school and college students to protest the termination of his father after he asked a student not to call him the N Word

Sirena Flores graduated from East High School in Madison Wisconsin and is a senior in college studying political science and sociology. She was a close friend of Tony Robinson who was killed by a Madison Police Officer. After his death she became an activist. She began a movement, led protests and participated in social justice conversations and poetry slams. 

Terjuan Short was the 2018 Boys & Girls Club of Dane County Youth of the Year. He has spoken to the Wisconsin Legislature on numerous issues impacting young people and is currently an honor roll student at the University of Wisconsin. 

Karl Henderson, Jr., a Detroit native, currently residing in Bellevue, Washington, completed his Bachelor of Engineering degree in Computer Science at the University of Michigan, College of Engineering in 2015. He serves as the Product Manager for Microsoft Maps and A.I. Experiences. 

James Woodall is a native of Riverdale, Georgia, and an alumnus of Georgia Southern University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Religious Studies. He also is an 8-year veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve, having served as an Intelligence Analyst. At 26 years old he serves as the State of Georgia NAACP President. 

Eden Schlough-Gbedey is a graduating Senior at Madison La Follette High. She was an executive on the La Follette’s BSU team and will be attending Norfolk State in the fall.

Nataysha Woods, President of Youth Speak Justice, is a Brunswick High School 2020 Graduate who will be attending the University of Georgia this Fall. 

Zerik Samples is Chief Development Officer of the Coastal Georgia Community Action Authority. He grew up in Brunswick, Georgia and has worked with BGC of Dane County on past relief efforts between the two cities.

Henry Sanders is founder, CEO and publisher of Madison365.

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