President Obama Hosts a Conversation on Our Criminal Justice System


This week, President Obama will bring together voices for a conversation on addressing racial disparities in our criminal justice system. Today, he took to Facebook to call on all Americans to be part of that conversation. Read the President's post, then submit your ideas above.

“Last week's tragedies in Dallas, Falcon Heights, and Baton Rouge shook our conscience and left us with more questions than answers.  It’s a week that laid bare some of our country’s toughest, most uncomfortable challenges.  

“But I reject the idea that these issues are somehow too big for us – that America is too divided to find common ground.  As I’ve said, I know that we can honor the incredible courage and service of our police officers – and also recognize the racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system.  There’s no contradiction there.  And if we are going to come together to solve these problems, we have to understand that.  So we’ll have to talk to each other.  We’ll have to listen to each other.  And we’ll have to see each other as equal parts of the American family.

“That’s why on Wednesday, I'll host a conversation at the White House to discuss how we can move forward together.  We’ll hear from individuals from around the country – civil rights activists, law enforcement, academics, mayors, and more – about ways we can both keep people safe and ensure justice for all Americans.  Because progress is possible.  That’s what we’ve seen through my Administration’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing – and so we’ll share solutions from communities that have already found ways to build trust and reduce disparities.  

“Going forward, I want to hear ideas from even more Americans about how we can address these challenges together as one nation.  That means you.  Whether you're a police officer working to keep our communities safe, an activist marching and organizing, or anyone else, you can share your story and ideas here: I hope you do – because that’s one way we can find common purpose and together, we can build a better America.”

Learn more:

Watch President Obama's statement on the attacks on law enforcement in Dallas, Texas.

Watch President Obama speak on the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.