‘Storytelling Brutality’ research study highlights Black History Month activities

By Faith Pitsikoulis
February 7, 2021

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Flyer graphic for Storytelling Brutality. Photo by leadership and organization development department.
The Lived Experiences of Black Men in the Face of Police Excess Use-of-Force and Abuse of Power

The leadership and organization development department and National Institute for Applied Behavioral Science are sponsoring a research study on police brutality and abuse of power.  The event will take place Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 2 p.m. over Zoom.

Storytelling Brutality: The Lived Experiences of Black Men in the Face of Police Excess Use-of-Force and Abuse of Power “furthers the stories that we are becoming accustomed to in the media by exploring the stories of police harassment and brutality that do not necessarily lead to death or near-death, but of the day-to-day experience of Black men in their interactions with law enforcement throughout the lifespan.”

Four presenters will lead the study:

  • Dr. Anton Shufutinsky, faculty of organization development at Cabrini University
  • Brandy Shufutinsky, doctoral candidate at the University of San Francisco
  • Toni Johnson, doctoral student at Cabrini University
  • Maj. David Johnson, executive officer, Laboratory Sciences US Army Public Health Command, Europe

Cabrini is holding ongoing activities over the next month as part of a campus-wide effort to highlight Black culture during Black History Month.  The effort is led by the Office of University Diversity Initiatives (OUDI), Black Student Union, Student Engagement and Leadership (SEaL), the Holy Spirit Library and other departments.  Black art, music and literature will be examined throughout the month while maintaining focus on faith and social justice – Cabrini’s mission of educating the heart through Catholic faith.

“Understanding American history is one of the most powerful tools we have to combat the inequities of the present moment,” José Rodriguez, director of Student Diversity Initiatives, said.

“I’m proud of this wide range of programming produced by our Cabrini community to encourage a better understanding of the contributions of our past and present members from our Black/African American communities.”

Some other events will include the showing of “Just Mercy” – a biographical film of Bryan Stevenson’s experiences as a lawyer defending disadvantaged clients.  A week of service will begin on Feb. 22, and those participating will pick up packets from the Office of University Diversity Initiatives to make blankets and scarves for local shelters.  

“Cabrini’s faculty, staff, and students are engaged in conversations to promote the healing that needs to happen in the country, particularly after the events of last summer and the impact of COVID,” Dr. Chioma Ugochukwu, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said.

“Black History Month has always been seen nationally as an opportunity to shed light on the challenges and struggles of African Americans, but beyond that, this month is also important to highlight the achievements of African Americans,” Ugochukwu said.

Storytelling Brutality will provide detailed accounts that will help social action organizations understand how to plan interventions and further the knowledge of the Cabrini community from a social justice perspective.

If you have any questions prior to the event, contact Dr. Anton Shufutinsky at as4363@cabrini.edu.

Faith Pitsikoulis

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