The Agenda and How Sessions Work

NOTE: Building the Wall will begin BEFORE RootsCampLA starts this year. The link for submissions to The Wall is here: The Wall session submission formDeadline to submit is March 19th.

Friday – March 26th

  • 5:00-8:00pm – Opening Session, Panels, and Breakouts – Oh My!
    • 5:00pm Opening Session 
    • 5:30-6:30pm – Panel Discussion: “Define Defund” – The phrase “Defund the police” is a lightning rod for advocates and opponents of Law Enforcement budgets. It invokes a visceral reaction from persons across the entire social political spectrum. It is a rallying cry for the “Liberal Left” and a call to arms for the “Conservative Right”. Everyone has adopted their own meaning of the phrase.  Proponents for “Defund the police” are advocating reductions to police budgets and the funding and relegation of certain police responsibilities to other organizations.  Opponents of “Defund the police” are in favor of maintaining or increasing budgets for Law Enforcement to combat crime. But even within the movement to defund the police, there is no simple unified definition of what it entails- and not everyone endorses the phrase.  What is your definition?  Join the panel discussion on this provocative topic at RootsCamp 2021 Virtual Conference.
      • Moderator: Councilman Gerber Porter of Alexandria, LA and SPAN Co-Founder/ Treasurer
      • Panelists:   
        • Curtis Davis, Decarcerate Louisiana
        • Sade Dumas, Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition
        • Councilmember Tammy Morales of Seattle, WA and member of Local Progress
    • 6:30-7:30pmBreakout Session Block 1 (Sessions defined by attendees via The Wall)
  • 7:30-Until – Virtual RootsCampLA After Dark  – We will be #SocializingForSolidarity with the return of The Shameless Plug over libations.

Saturday – March 27th

  • 8:30-9:00am – Welcomes and Housekeeping
  • 9:00-10:00am – Panel: “COVID-19 Disparities” –  Few events in American history have highlighted the shortcomings of our fragmented national healthcare system and social safety net programs more than the COVID-19 pandemic.  At the same time, not all within those systems are equally affected.  The COVID-19 pandemic is racialized at every possible level, from infection to prognosis to the long term social and economic impact.  Race determines who can be tested and treated quickly and how close to home, who survives with or without long-term complications, and how likely someone is to lose their economic stability.  In this panel discussion, we will examine these disparities at all levels and discuss the opportunities that this pandemic presents for anti-racist, equity-focused reforms in our institutions- including what advocates should be strategically pushing for.
    • Moderator: Alicia Cooke, SPAN Board Member
    • Panelists:
      • Earl Nupsius Benjamin-Robinson, Governor Edward’s COVID-19 Health Equity Taskforce
      • Maxwell Ciardullo, Director of Policy and Communications, LA Fair Housing
      • Keneshelia Smith, President of Alexandria Regional Black Chamber of Commerce
  • 10:00-10:55pm – Breakout Session Block 2 (Sessions defined by attendees via The Wall)
  • 11:00-11:55pm – Breakout Session Block 3 (Sessions defined by attendees via The Wall)
  • 12:00-12:55pm – Panel: “Louisiana for Sale” – Progressives often speak about equity, inclusion, and fairness.  But what do those terms mean?  And can those things exists if certain goods necessary to life and general well-being are owned or influenced by the “invisible hand of the private market?”  Meaningful conversations around the issue of public goods versus private good in the Progressive community are long overdue.  Where do Progressives stand on the issue of public goods versus private goods and whether there are times the two should never meet, especially as it relates to Education, Healthcare, and Prisons.
    • Moderator: School Board Member Dawn Chanet Collins, SPAN co-founder and member of Local Progress
    • Panelists:
      • Healthcare – Dr. Thomas Durant
      • Education – Maria Harmon, Step Up Louisiana
      • Prisons – Checo Yancy, Voice of the Experienced
  • 1:00-1:55pm – Breakout Session Block 4 (Sessions defined by attendees via The Wall)
  • 2:00-3:30pm –  Closing-out Roundtable: “The Power and Potential of Restorative Justice”  – During this event, The Louis A. Berry Institute for Civil Rights & Justice at Southern University Law Center in alliance with The Restorative Center (TRC) and Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project at Northeastern University School of Law is hosting a roundtable discussion on the power and potential of Restorative Justice. Also co-sponsoring Northeaster Law, and SULC student groups: Criminal Law Society, Women in Law, and Patent Law Society.  The roundtable will explore:
      • What is Restorative Justice?
      • Power, communities and the circle process
      • Can Restorative Justice offer a framework for race reckoning in America?
      • What is the potential for restorative justice in criminal justice reform
      • Roundtable Panelists:
        • Shailly Agnihotri – Advocate for Restorative Justice
        • Deleso Alford – Professor of Law at Southern University Law Center.
        • Jennifer Cameron – Law student at Southern University Law Center
        • Ada Goodly – Director of the Louis A. Berry Institute for Civil Rights and Justice at Southern University
          Law Center
        • Dr. Becky Meriwether – Advocate for Restorative Justice
        • Keith Morse – Formerly incarcerated advocate for Restorative Justice
        • Jose Pineda – Formerly incarcerated advocate for Restorative Justice
        • Artrice Pray – Juris Doctor candidate at Southern University Law Center
        • Vanessa Westley – Former Officer with the Chicago Police Department
        • Raymond Wilkes – Legal Fellow with the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project (CRRJ) at
          Northeastern University School of Law

 The Virtual Wall

setting up sunday

Yes, we’re doing things a little differently in this virtual year!

The RootsCampLA “unconference” model is one in which the activists who register to attend the event create the majority of the agenda.  The tool we use to do this is called The Wall with designated time slots and rooms for presenters to choose from.  We usually “build The Wall” on the day of the event.  However, this year, we are doing it a little differently.

This year, attendees will electronically submit their session in advance of our event using this link: The Wall session presentation submission form.

Our interactive Wall will be published online for attendees to view approximately one week before the conference.  If there are time slots remaining on the day of the event, folks can sign up for a time to present during the event.

Click here after March 14th to view The Wall.