A panel of sociology and psychology experts discuss the issue of police bias, and the law enforcement perspective of black men and boys.
Phillip Atiba Goff, PhD, of the University of California, Los Angeles, is a leading researcher in social psychology and co-founder of Consortium for Police Leadership in Equity. Through CPLE, he has worked with police departments around the country to develop protocols for identifying and addressing bias within police departments. In this panel, he and Chiefs of Police from East Palo Alto and Salt Lake City will explore research findings about perception, the use of police force, and police work around black men and boys. They will also talk about the successes and challenges of implementing new ways to identify and address bias among police populations.
Moderator Alexis McGill Johnson, Executive Director, American Values Institute leads a panel with Phillip Atiba Goff, Executive Director of Research for the Consortium for Police Leadership in Equity & Assistant Professor of Social Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, Chris Burbank, Chief of Police, Salt Lake City, and Dr. Tracie Keesee, Captain Denver Police Dept., Executive Director Operations for the Consortium for Police Leadership & Equity.
Chief Burbank has been with the Salt Lake City Police Department since 1991. Appointed to the position of Chief of Police in March 2006, he became the 45th Chief of the Department.
In January 2013, Chief Burbank was selected as one of six Police Chiefs in the nation to meet with President Barack Obama to discuss the Administration’s plan and direction concerning gun
violence in America.
Chief Burbank has been an outspoken opponent to the cross deputization of police officers as immigration enforcement agents. He has participated in several national conferences regarding
the issue, including the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division’s 2009 Title VI Conference. In May 2010, Chief Burbank and nine other Police Chiefs met with Attorney General Eric Holder regarding Arizona immigration laws. During the last two years, he
addressed the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary regarding racial profiling and civil rights issues.
Chief Burbank was chosen by the Salt Lake Tribune as Utahn of the Year for 2011. The state’s largest newspaper cited his handling of several high profile protest incidents and stated,
“Burbank’s stature as a community leader, including a willingness to endure threats and criticism over his position on immigration enforcement, is noteworthy at a time of ebbing confidence in those elected to govern.”
Chief Burbank was honored for his work on behalf of the women and children who live, play and grow by the YWCA Salt Lake City as the 2010 Public Official of the Year. Additionally, in 2010, Chief Burbank was recognized by the Utah Minority Bar Association as their Honoree of the Year for his service to minority communities and dedication to diversity.
In May 2009, Chief Burbank received special recognition from the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah for work in protecting immigrant civil rights. In June 2009, he was recognized by the Latino Community Center for his dedication to community policing in building and maintaining a great foundation with the Latino community. Additionally that year, Chief Burbank received the Vicki Cottrell Community Hero Award from the Utah National Alliance on Mental Illness for assistance to individuals suffering from mental illness.
Chief Burbank was appointed a Venue Commander during the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games, also serving as a liaison to the U.S. Secret Service during the Games. He was recognized by Director Brian Stafford, United States Secret Service, for outstanding cooperation in support of its protective mission, by Utah Governor Michael Leavitt for his contribution to the
law enforcement volunteer program, and by Major General Brian L. Tarbet, Adjutant General, Utah National Guard, for exceptional meritorious service in support of the Games.
Chief Burbank serves as the First Vice President of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, an assembly of the 71 largest policing agencies in the United States and Canada. Chief Burbank has
a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from the University of Utah and is a graduate of the FBI’s National Executive Institute.
Phillip Atiba Goff (Ph.D., Social Psychology, Stanford University; A.B., Harvard University) is Executive Director of Research for the Consortium for Police Leadership in Equity and Assistant Professor of Social Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research examines racial discrimination and the intersections of race and gender. He is best known for his work exploring the notion that racial prejudice is not a necessary precondition for racial discrimination. That is, Dr. Goff’s research examines how contextual factors—even absent racial hostility—can facilitate racially unjust outcomes. Dr. Goff’s research has been recognized by the National Institute of Mental Health, the Ford Foundation, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the William T. Grant Foundation, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Russell Sage Foundation among others. Having served as an expert witness in several prominent regional and national cases, legal scholars have also recognized Dr. Goff as a leader in contemporary theories of discrimination. Most recently, Dr. Goff has been recognized as the leader in psychological research on race, gender, and policing. His research is the first to link psychological factors to an officer’s use of force history, creating the first empirical model for predicting police disparities in stops—and racial disparities in police use of force.
Alexis McGill Johnson
Alexis McGill Johnson is a thought leader and a bridge builder whose work spans politics, academia, social activism, and cultural strategies. Throughout her work, Alexis has explored the shifting paradigms of identity and race-based politics in the post-civil rights era, increasing civic engagement among youth and people of color, and the implications for demographic and ideological changes of these constituencies on national politics. Her career and philanthropy have always, at their core, focused on improving the lives of young people, with an emphasis on youth of color. She is a frequent commentator on FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, and in press.
Currently, Alexis is serving as the Executive Director of American Values Institute (AVI), a consortium of researchers, educators, and social justice advocates whose work analyzes the role of bias and racial anxiety in our society. AVI's goal is to develop and introduce a research-based, empirically supported set of interventions into today's racially polarized and fraught climate. Alexis is serves as Board member for Planned Parenthood Federation of America where she will assume the role of Chair this April.
Upon earning her undergraduate degree in Politics from Princeton, Alexis began her career in academia by enrolling in a doctoral program at Tale University. For six years, Alexis developed and taught several courses on race and urban development, power, poverty, and social movement theory at both Yale and Wesleyan Universities. Never satisfied with the insular boundaries of the Ivory Tower, however, Alexis searched continually for other venues and audiences to discuss the real life concerns and experiences of her generation. In March 2002, she found such an outlet in Savoy Magazine where she wrote an article about mobilizing the Hip Hop generation entitled: 'Can the Hip Hop Generation become the Next NRA?' An interview for that article with Russell Simmons, the legendary 'Godfather of Hip Hop,' created a unique opportunity to serve as Political Director of the Hip Hop Summit Action Network, Simmons's voter mobilization organization.
From July 2003 through the following year, she worked with Mr.Simmons and his national network of artists and cultural participants to devise the strategic plan for the HSAN. In July 2004, Alexis accepted an offer as Executive Director of Citizen Change, a nonprofit established by Sean Diddy Combs that educated young voters through grassroots and tailored social media efforts. During the 2004 election cycle, Alexis worked with Combs and his team at Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment on an unprecedented media and marketing campaign marked by the now ubiquitous slogan 'Vote or Die!' to educate, motivate, and empower young people about the process of voting. Mixing traditional grassroots mobilization with non-traditional consumer based marketing methodology created a new model for reaching young people and people of color that led to the most massive grassroots mobilization this generation had ever seen.
Since 2004, Alexis has remained a committed political activist and strategist for a variety of artists, organizations, and political candidates. That opportunity has allowed her to keep researching and testing various models of cultural engagement.
In addition to PPFA, Alexis also serves on the boards of Center for Social Inclusion, Air Traffic Control, and Citizen Engagement Lab, and is a Founder of The Culture Group. She previously served on the board of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
She and her husband, Rob Johnson, live in New York with their two daughters, Sara Jean (3) and Dylan Katherine (11 months).