Sharpton to advocate for diversity on state courts in Wilmington

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Christopher Bullock will host a free dinner for Delaware residents in honor of Black History Month Monday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m., at Kingswood Community Center, 2300 Bower Street, Wilmington.

Pastor Dale Dennis II of Hoyt Memorial CME will lead a discussion on the lack of diversity on Delaware’s courts and its adverse effects on all of the state’s residents. The discussion will also focus on what can be done to “repair the institutional neglect of people of color in the Delaware,” as Sharpton stated in his first advocacy visit to the state in October.

Other speakers include Rev. Blaine Hackett, Rev. Alfred Parker, Bishop Albert Jarman II, Archbishop Albert Jarman Sr., Bishop Steven and Bishop J.L. Carter.

The dinner comes following the Delaware State Senate’s denial of Sharpton the opportunity to testify on the issue of diversity in the state’s judicial system at a Chancery Court chancellor’s nomination hearing.

In the past several months, Sharpton has visited Delaware calling for progress on the issue and even penned a letter to a leading law firm, calling for top firms to do their part in advancing people of color in the legal industry. While people of color make up over 60% of Delaware’s prison population, only four justices who serve on the three highest courts in Delaware are people of color.

“To say I was disappointed the Delaware State Senate would not even agree to hear testimony from myself on the matter of judicial diversity would be an understatement," said Sharpton. "But our voices cannot be silenced and I am excited to be joining my colleagues and fellow civil rights champions in the First State to celebrate Black History Month and rally around our cause: Delaware needs more black and brown judges and we need them now.”