Ben McBride

Ben is a native of San Francisco, spiritual leader and longtime activist for peace and justice in the Bay Area.

About

In 2008, he relocated his family to a difficult neighborhood in Oakland called the “Kill Zone” to understand and respond to the epidemic of gun violence, firsthand. During this tenure, he was an instrumental leader of relaunching Oakland’s first successful iteration of Operation Ceasefire, a data-driven, violence reduction strategy, contributing heavily to a 50% reduction in homicides over five years. In 2014 Ben launched Empower Initiative to support bridging and belonging work across the country

Ben is an expert at fostering belonging and serves as a national leader around reconstructing public safety systems and gun violence prevention work, including a background of training over 100 law enforcement departments and executives. Ben joined PICO California, the largest grassroots community organization in the state, representing 450,000 people across 73 cities, in 2015 and serves as the Co-Director. Ben founded the Bring the HEAT campaign, a peacemaking initiative to address police violence, and serves as the Co-Chair of California’s Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board focusing on ending racial profiling in California. Ben was featured in the Sundance Film Festival Award winning film, THE FORCE, focusing on his peacemaking work. Ben is also an experienced trainer around equity, diversity and inclusion; working with companies and values based organizations across the country.


 
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photo of Ben McBride

Agenda

Oct
19
Bridging Across Black Lives Matter: A fishbowl bridging conversation
Black leaders have lived at the intersection of protecting Black lives for longer than the hashtag’s lifecycle. The epidemic of police violence and community violence have long been lasting effects of structural racism and systemic inequity facing Black families. The question becomes, “How do we provide safety and security for Black people from the state and the conditions that fuel intercommunal violence?” Some leaders have led the call for public safety transformation, police abolition and a radical reimagining of security since the killing of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO.
Oct
19
Gathering the faithful and the secular: Cross-belief bridging for social justice and belonging
Faith leaders of many religions have long been at the forefront of movements for social justice, and yet are often overlooked in the stories and narratives we tell about those very fights. This is perhaps due to a longstanding discomfort and disconnect between secular justice leaders and those who are faith-based, despite the central role that religious belief and spiritual communities play in the lives of people of all backgrounds.