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SCLC to explore social justice issues Saturday

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Police-community relations, justice for girls and racial healing are themes that will be explored today during the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of New Mexico’s annual membership meeting in Albuquerque.

The meeting is set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Event Palace, 1413 Eubank NE.

Established in 1957, the SCLC is now an international organization made up of chapters and affiliates that offer programs that affect the lives of all Americans. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the first SCLC president.

A discussion about police-community relations will start about  9:30 a.m. That leads up to “Justice for Girls,” a workshop aimed at  raising awareness about sex trafficking, at 10:30 a.m.

Pamela Becknell, an official of SCLC’s New Mexico chapter and former first lady of Rio Rancho’s Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church, will lead the “Justice for Girls” workshop, a program developed in 2009 by Cathelean  Steele, first lady of the SCLC. The program is intended to keep young girls from being exposed to sex trafficking, which has been described by many as modern day slavery.

Gail Christopher of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Mich., will speak at the membership meeting luncheon following the “Justice for Girls” workshop. Christopher is the vice president for policy and senior advisor for the Kellogg Foundation. She will talk about racial healing and ways that communities can come together.

The workshop is free and lunch is free for all SCLC members with membership cards. Nonmembers are welcome to attend lunch for a $10  fee, which includes membership in the SCLC New Mexico chapter.

To reserve space at the luncheon, email Pamela Becknell at or call her at 505-459-9440.