Aqueela Sherrill

[00:00:00] Aqeela: As I am Aqeela Sherrils. I’m the executive director of the Community Self-determination Institute a former member of the Grape Street Crips out of Jordan down housing projects here in Watts.

[00:00:34] Miae:So tell me what were you doing when the La Riots broke out?

[00:00:40] Aqeela: What I was doing during the breakout of The L.A. riots was actually working with an organization that we co-founded with Hall of Fame where Jim Brown called Amer-I-Can. And at the time we were actually organizing in the neighborhood the peace treaty the peace treaty happened a few days before the actual Rodney King verdict. So we had actually took about 250 275 gang members ex-gang members from seven different neighborhoods throughout the city of Los Angeles down to City Hall to make a presentation to let them know that we had formed a peace treaty that we were coming together to atone for the violence that was perpetrated on ourselves and against each other and that we were making a commitment to stop. And a lot of the killing in the city and I think the following day was the Rodney King verdict. And you know basically what we were doing in the neighborhood was trying to stop individuals from looting and robbing and burning down the stores and different things like that because we were trying to let them understand that this is our community. This is where we live. And so whatever we destroy here you know we lose. Read more...

Racial Profiling Then and Now Feature Piece

:55 I guess sort of reminded about whatever events are happening in the world and hopefully the events that happened 3 years ago, September 11. And I wanted to come here and feel sympathy and come here and celebrate that moment and pay tribute to all those people who suffered three years ago and are still suffering in Iraq and Afghanistan and all around the world, where ever there’s war torn areas. So that’s what brought me here.

All that and the fact that this is a good chance for people of different backgrounds and religious faith and races and all to get together and do the same thing and get acquainted. We hadn’t met before. But we find that we have some similarities and that’s what this is about, like the speakers said tonight. It was very nicely done.

:05 I’m sort of fortunate that the Japanese community came out the muslim community because I’m part of the American muslim community. And that the fact that they sympathized with some of the backlashes that the muslims were facing here when September 11 happened. And it was really nice to see how fast the J community came forward and were there to support us during a difficult time. It was a nice feeling to know that was happening. Not just the J community, but also other communities were coming and supporting the Muslim community. Because there was a lot of backlashes and stuff going on and it really helped out a lot. Read more...