Confronting Racial Bias in Policing: Breaion King’s Fight for Social Justice

Organizer: Institute of Urban Policy Research & Analysis (IUPRA)
Introduction: Kevin Cokley (IUPRA)
Panelists: Breaion King (Teacher), Shavonne Henderson (Assistant Director of Policy Research, IUPRA), Chas Moore (Austin Justice Coalition)

This panel session by the Institute of Urban Policy Research & Analysis (IUPRA) will examine the relationship between the Black community and Austin law enforcement, with a special focus on police brutality. The Oscar nominated documentary “Traffic Stop” featuring local educator and performer Breaion King will be shown with a panel discussion following the film.

Kevin Cokley, Ph.D. holds the Oscar and Anne Mauzy Regents Professorship for Educational Research and Development in the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a Fellow of the UT System Academy of Distinguished Teachers, Director of the Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis, and Professor of Educational Psychology and African and African Diaspora Studies. Dr. Cokley’s research and teaching can be broadly categorized in the area of African American psychology, with a focus on racial and ethnic identity and understanding the psychological and environmental factors that impact African American students’ academic achievement. Dr. Cokley studies the psychosocial experiences of students of color, and is currently exploring the impostor phenomenon and its relationship to mental health and academic outcomes.

Chas Moore is the co-founder of the Austin, Texas based -Austin Justice Coalition a grassroots activist-led organization aimed at demanding criminal justice reform and building community at both the local and national level.

An advocate for the underserved, Chas champions efforts that deliberately meet community needs like back-to-school drives, fundraisers for those who have been brutalized by police, feeding the hungry and pioneering programs for black youth, men and women.

Chas Moore believes that hope for equality and generational change must begin with the reshaping and reclaiming of a black community.

Breaion Shanique King, is a trail blazing, world shaking, woman, educator. Born to the late Kendra D. Middleton and James F. King on July 6, 1990, Breaion is the middle child of three. She is a proud graduate of Huston-Tillotson University, where she became a lovely lady of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. Graduating from HT as a first generation college student with honors, Breaion continued her education overcoming obstacles, adversities and barriers with a master’s from Texas State University in 2017.

As a company member of Ashe Arts Austin, she has been dancing her whole life starting in the church. Taking to the stage she performed through danced in Hands up Hoods Down (2015), Melanated Chrysalis (2016), and The Process (2017). Taking on a new challenge she began truly acting in The Ballot Eats the Bullet (October 2016), but sang in chorus of Queenie Pie (2009), sang and danced as a wife in Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat (2007), with a short performance at the Payne Awards (2017).

‘Traffic Stop’ star Breaion King used her consternation to become a voice and liaison for her “babies” students, her community and our people. She shared her story and was blessed with the opportunity to have her documentary nominated for an Oscar. Her story shook the Austin community and made both national and international news. She continues to be a voice for those who don’t have one, serving as an advocate for students on her campus as well as teachers. She serves as a mentor to the youth, teachers, and served as a mentor to young adults. Teaching young girls how to deal with their emotions in a positive way and how to use their voices to take a stand, she continues to strive for greatness regardless of the thorn in her side, knowing God is with her.

Shavonne Henderson is the Assistant Director of Policy Research for IUPRA and a Lecturer at the University of Texas School of Law.  In her role with IUPRA, she provides legal perspectives and analysis on IUPRA’s work products and  connects IUPRA with community members and policymakers. Her interests include the application of critical race theory to the law and reproductive justice. She has varied legal experience that includes private practice for national law firms and as an administrator in higher education. Licensed to practice law in Texas, she holds her Juris Doctor from The University of Texas School of Law. She also received a Bachelor of Arts in the Plan II Honors Program and a Bachelors of Arts in Government from The University of Texas at Austin.