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January 15, 2005

Renford Reese

I had the distinct pleasure this morning of meeting Dr. Renford Reese of Cal Poly Pomona. He gave a brief accounting of some of his work in multicultural interaction at Ofari's Saturday morning roundtable. I really love his attitude.

In 1996, Renford Reese received his doctoral degree from the University of Southern California's School of Public Administration. He conducted his doctoral research on ethnic conflict and intergroup relations at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development in Geneva, Switzerland. He received his Master's degree in public policy from the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies in 1990. He received his Bachelors of Arts degree in political science from Vanderbilt University in 1989. He is the founder/director of the Colorful Flags program and teaches in the political science department at Cal Poly Pomona University.

Reese has a couple of books out and he sold every copy of American Paradox that he brought with him. Although much his talk today was about the Colorful Flags program, I'm really interested to hear what he has to say about the LAPD which is the subject of his latest book, Leadership in the LAPD: Walking the Tightrope. I took a moment to find out whether or not an old rumor that I heard was true, and Reese didn't think that there was much to it. This was that when the Christopher Commission had assembled a list of rogue cops that ought to have been fired, demoted or disciplined that Mark Fuhrman was on it. This was among the things known about Fuhrman by Marcia Clarke and Chris Darden, and while Johnnie Cochran decided to trounce him about the N-word, this was other incriminating evidence. Of course going to public events and schmoozing with folks is a great way to find out crazy stories like these, (and some like these) and it's not very often you get to check them out with people who make it their business to know better.

Reese, by the way, is the man who was assigned to mentor Rodney G. King and has some extensive contacts with roughnecks in prison education programs. As well, he has collaborated with Jim Brown through his Amer-I-Can program. But what impressed me most about him was that he has a personal touch and a personal approach to problems of race that are simple, thoughtful and powerful. He's a great storyteller, and which is something I aim to be.

I'm looking forward to hearing a lot more from and about Renford Reese.

Posted by mbowen at January 15, 2005 04:19 PM

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I have also had the honor of meeting Dr. Renford Reese...He is a very brilliant man...I truly believe he is a "Black Leader" in his own right...Not to mention he speaks over 30 different languages...All I can say is Renford R. Reese for President..."One Man One Truth".

Posted by: Anonymous at January 29, 2005 10:23 PM