Councilmember Desley Brooks continues to garner national attention for her work in helping found Oakland’s Cannabis Equity program. Brooks was invited to speak at Harvard’s Kennedy School last week at the 14th Annual Black Policy Conference.
Brooks was one of three national leaders on a panel entitled “Cannabis Legalization: Implications for Health, Criminal Justice, and Economic Opportunity in the Black Community.”
In inviting Councilmember Brooks, Khadijah Tribble said, “We believe your work on Oakland’s Equity Permit program is the kind of legislative win to hold as a gold standard of what is achievable in a responsible and equitable cannabis environment.”
The goal of the conference was to prepare participants to engage with communities and facilitate educational dialogue on relevant policy issues, becoming advocates for civic participation.
The conference brought together youth, students, and professionals to participate in panels and workshops designed to mobilize and inspire individuals in the Black community.
Panel and workshop topics included education reform, gentrification, innovation in healthcare policy, careers in defense and diplomacy, and algorithmic justice, among others.
“The equity legislation we passed in Oakland has started a national dialogue, and influenced the legislation passed by Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Boston to name a few,” said Brooks.
Oakland cannabis equity program is designed to create opportunities in the cannabis industry for individuals and communities that have borne the brunt of the war on drugs.
Congressman Cedric Richmond kicked off the conference and Donna Brazile keynoted the plenary session.
The conference was closed out by Cornell Brooks, former national President of the NAACP. The conference was attended by students from Harvard and Boston University.