Benjamin Crump, known to many as the attorney that represented the family of Trayvon Martin as they sought justice for his fatal shooting at the hands of George Zimmerman, will keynote The Conference on Family 2014 in Memphis on Friday (Feb. 28th).
Temple Church of God in Christ is hosting the three-day conference that will stretch through Sunday (March 2nd) at the church at 672 South Lauderdale. Attorney Crump will speak at 7 p.m.
The goal of the conference is to bring people together in a common forum to discuss today's problems and challenges of families, including how to deal with juvenile delinquency, aging parents, unwed mothers, and the social and emotional stresses of poverty.
"The family is important to society at every level," said Bishop David Hall Sr., pastor of Temple COGIC. "In the black community, family is under attack. Black people are having more and more babies out of wedlock and are burdened by other social problems and we as a church have to do something about this."
Crump, who is known for taking on cases with civil rights implications, will address the audience on violence in the African-American community and the effects of violence on the family.
"We are killing the family with black-on-black crime," said Hall, noting that Crump also is expected to address what Hall referred to as legalized lynching.
"Unarmed black youth are being shot dead because someone is scared of them and we most address this," he said.
In a recent interview, Crump said he was excited about visiting Memphis and discussing how violence has an impact on our children.
"Our children's dreams are just as important as other children's and we must stand up and speak for the children," said Crump. "We most answer the bell when no one is looking. We must let America know we demand equal justice."
On Saturday at the conference, a panel discussion will focus on the strength of the church and how the church can help families. The panel of pastors will include the Rev. Dr. Kenneth T. Whalum Jr., the Rev. Reginald Porter, the Rev. Kenneth Robinson, and the Rev. Oliver Williams.
The conference is envisioned as the start of a discussion for a call to action to strengthen African-American families and save the children. During the weekend, the COGIC is expected to announce new efforts to engage youth in the communities where their churches are located.