A Candid Discussion About Social Justice: Iris Roley, the Black United Front, and the History of Cincinnati’s Collaborative Agreement
In early April of 2001 I was growing up in the community of Glendale, a northern suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. I vividly remember the media coverage of the civil unrest occurring downtown in response to the killing of Timothy Thomas.1 The following interview with Iris Roley, member of the Cincinnati Black United Front, attempts to shed light on the origins of the rage felt in the city during that time period. Proactive steps have been taken since Cincinnati was placed in a national spotlight for its embarrassing race relations. Much work still needs to be done to ensure equity, but the energy of people like Iris Roley will most certainly push the City of Cincinnati towards progress. The disturbing tales of police violence caught on camera in recent years have deeply saddened many Americans, including those who have been shocked by the harsh exposure of policies and actions that, for them, have traditionally operated in the shadows. From the Black United Front to Black Lives Matter, the movement against police violence has been catalyzed. Everyone must remain bold in our continued fight against oppression to ensure that the words and actions about progress from people in power are aligned.