HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- All week the Emancipation Park Conservancy is hosting community conversations leading up to this weekend's Juneteenth celebration.
On Tuesday night, social justice and communities of color were the topics at hand.
The event at the cultural center brought together a diverse group including activists, academics, a judge, and Houstonians interested in justice and creating a safe community.
PJ Floyd spoke at the event. He's George Floyd's brother. He became an activist after Floyd's murder in Minneapolis. PJ talked about the challenges and roadblocks that have come up against police reform since 2020.
Howard Henderson, Ph.D., and Whitney Threadcraft, Ph.D., offered insight into how research and data can help steer the community toward solutions. They talked about using metrics to hold elected leaders accountable and funding for intervention programs that can keep people out of the criminal justice system.
Judge Tonya Jones works within the justice system and explained how she and others in her position can create change from within. Panelists said it's important to have this conversation leading up to the Juneteenth celebration.
"These newly freed people fresh off the face bondage knew we needed a dedicated space for community and service. Emancipation Park continues that tradition. We are excited to still be a hub for people in the community. It really is just a natural extension of that lineage of support of the community," Jones said.
Wednesday at 6:30 p.m, the cultural center will host another conversation. The topic is art and community redevelopment. ABC13 is the official media sponsor.
For updates on this story, follow Briana Conner on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.