Three presidential hopefuls will participate in a forum on criminal justice issues at Allen University later this month, organizers said.
Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson and Democratic aspirants U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley have agreed to participate in the Nov. 21 forum, said Brandon Andrews, a spokesman for the 20/20 Leaders of America, a sponsor of the event.
The group is made up of African-American business, legal and government professionals from across the country that formed this year to push for the inclusion of criminal justice in the presidential debate.
The group formed, in part, in response to the racially motivated shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, Andrews said.
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“It is our desire to change the way that the political system treats these issues,” Andrews said, adding the organization is in talks with other presidential candidates about joining the forum.
Columbia City Councilman Brian Newman is a co-chair of the group.
In August, the club hosted O’Malley, a former governor of Maryland and mayor of Baltimore, for a “listening session” in Columbia.