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Hundreds Gather for Community Forum Focusing on Social Justice Issues

Discussion Topics included ICE Detention Center and Santa Barbara Gang Injunction

PODER Townhall Meeting

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Concerned community residents joined together to voice their concerns at a community forum to address the ICE Detention Center, the Santa Maria Jail Expansion and the Santa Barbara Gang Injunction. They believe several recent issues could lead to racial profiling and other social injustices against minorities here in Santa Barbara County.

The forum was hosted by a group called P.O.D.E.R, or "People Organized for the Defense & Equal Rights of Santa Barbara Youth," a group lead by a broad coalition of community residents.

Gabriela Hernandez, a leader of P.O.D.E.R, said "I think what we are trying to get accomplished is how these 3 things, the Gang Injunction, The Ice Center and the jail expansion, could target specific people."

Daniel Ramirez, CAUSE Action chair, said "It's important having an event like this for the community, on this day, to help educate the people about what is going on."

There will also be additional forums on April 1st - Spanish Forum/Film Screening at Franklin Center 6:30-8:30pm -1136 E Montecito and April 10th - Spanish Forum/Film Screening at West Side Community Center 6:30-8:30pm - 423 W Victoria St.

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