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From the Land of Emmett Till; Juneteenth Delta Tour and Blog StartsThursday, June 16

Juneteenth Tour of the Mississippi Delta; From the Land of Emmett Till

Tomorrow morning, June 16th, Friends of Justice will head east to Mississippi for a nine-day civil rights tour. After picking up civil rights legend Margaret Block in the Delta, the group will head east for a two-day memorial of slain civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman.

On Sunday afternoon Dr. Alan Bean, author (Taking Out the Trash in Tulia, Texas), historian and civil rights advocate, will be talking about the contemporary Curtis Flowers case as it relates to the troubled history of the Magnolia State. Dr. Bean covered the recent Flowers trial.

Then the group heads to the Delta where Dr Bean will visit with Curtis in Parchman prison and we will conduct civil rights tours with school children from Cleveland MS.

You can show your support for this life-changing adventure by donating to Friends of Justice now.

You can follow this blogging journey HERE.

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What a tremendous way to learn some contemporary civil rights history. Dr. Bean, founder and director of Friends of Justice, is a well-regarded historian and author. Margaret Block was part of the modern civil rights movement, as well as her late brother, Sam Block.

It certainly is quite a kick-off for Juneteenth!

Friends of Justice is a nonprofit organization that works to uphold due process for all Americans. Our goal is to build a public consensus for ending mass incarceration and respecting human dignity in our criminal justice system.

Friends of Justice formed in response to the infamous Tulia drug sting of 1999 in which 47 people, 39 of them African Americans, were rounded up based on the false testimony of an undercover agent. Friends of Justice emerged as a coalition of defendant’s families and other concerned citizens who believed the defendants were being prosecuted on faulty evidence. Because of the work of Friends of Justice, the Texas Legislature passed the Tulia Corroboration Bill, which has led to the exoneration of dozens of innocent people by raising the evidentiary standards for undercover testimony.

Learning from our experience in Tulia, Friends of Justice started organizing across Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi. We launch narrative-based campaigns around unfolding cases where due process has broken down, and empower affected communities to hold public officials accountable for equal justice.
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More about Alan Bean: Alan Bean: Executive Director, Board President, and Founding member. Since the spring of 2000 Alan Bean has been the Executive Director of Friends of Justice, a criminal justice reform organization that specializes in narrative intervention.

Dr. Bean was serving a Methodist church as an interim pastor when 46 people were arrested in Tulia, Texas on the uncorroborated word of a corrupt undercover officer. Dr. Bean’s articulate public protest transformed him into an advocate for criminal justice reform. In 2006, Dr. Bean’s work led to the exoneration of a Louisiana family convicted of running a crack cocaine ring on the perjured testimony of convicted drug dealers.

Dr. Bean researched the story of six juvenile defendants in Jena LA, bringing public scrutiny to Jena and creating the biggest civil rights protest since the March on Washington. He is now working on a murder case in Mississippi that has gone to trial six times. In the fall of 2008, Alan’s unique brand of advocacy was featured in Taking on the System: Rules for Radical Change in a Digital Era, a book by Markos Zuniga of the Daily Kos.

Alan’s book Taking out the Trash in Tulia, Texas, an insider’s account of the role Friends of Justice played in reversing one of the most egregious injustices in recent American history, is now available in paperback.

Susan