Presented by Rob Thomas
Rob will explore what it is, why it’s needed and his responsibilities as the Community Liaison.
The RJC came together after the shooting of Michael Brown (Ferguson, MO) and Eric Garner (Staten Island, NY) in 2014. Since then, Asheville has made National headlines for the shooting of Jerry “Jai” Williams in 2016, the beating of pedestrian Johnnie Rush by an APD officer in 2018, and data that shows Asheville has the worst racial disparities in traffic stops and the worst achievement gap in the state (indicating a real correlation of the school‐to-prison pipeline).
Robert Thomas, a 33-year-old native of Asheville, was named WNC’s 2020 Peacemaker by WNC 4 Peace, Veterans for Peace Chapter 099 and other local peace activists. An experienced Community Leader by the inequities of the Criminal Justice System, he is a former Justice involved individual himself and understands the negative impacts and disparities faced by people of color in the carceral system.
With over 10 years of direct experience, Rob has now narrowed his focus to racial justice, decarceration, and activism around police accountability that was recently brought to the attention of residents this summer following the killing of George Floyd and others this summer.
In addition, Rob is the newly named Community Liaison for the Racial Justice Coalition of Asheville and a partner of a minority-owned Equity Consulting Firm. Recently he was Among the finalists to fill the City Council seat vacated by Council Member Vijay Kapoor.