The history of the police advisory board in the city of Philadelphia will be the topic of discussion at the next Conversations on Race and Policing at Cal State San Bernardino.

What Is Accountability?: A History of Philadelphia's Police Advisory Board,” a talk by Aaron Bekemeyer, a lecturer in modern U.S. history at Harvard University, will be presented at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, on Zoom. The program is free and open to the public, will take place on Zoom beginning at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28. It can be accessed from a PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android at

In 1958, Philadelphia created the nation's first civilian advisory board, where city residents could report cases of police abuse and seek redress. Bekemeyer’s presentation explores the rise and fall of the board over its decade-long existence, showing how it became a flashpoint in larger debates about policing and helped launch the local police union to greater prominence, and reflecting on what its story says about the nature of democratic control of the police.

In addition to his teaching duties, Bekemeyer is a historian of labor, politics, social movements, and citizenship, and he is currently writing a book on the history of the police union movements and its impact on policing and politics.

Conversations on Race and Policing, also known as CoRP, began in the aftermath of the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd while in the custody of four Minneapolis, Minn., police officers. A video of the incident posted on social media led to widespread protests, the firing of four police officers, the arrest and conviction of one officer on a second-degree murder and related charges, the other three on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder – and a spotlight worldwide on race and policing.

The series has featured scholars, journalists, law enforcement officers, lawyers, activists, artists, educators, administrators and others from throughout the nation who shared their experience and expertise on issues related to race and policing.

More than 50 forums have taken place, and video recordings of the sessions are posted online on the Conversations on Race and Policing Lecture Series Archive. 

The fall lineup of Conversations on Race and Policing, each at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, include:

The series is organized by CSUSB students Marlo Brooks, Zoralynn Oglesby, Evelyn Jimenez, Jade McDonald, Jaime Castro and Connie Cornejo. Along with the students and Texeira are Jeremy Murray, CSUSB associate professor of history; Robie Madrigal, public affairs/communication specialist for the CSUSB John M. Pfau Library; and community member Stan Futch, president of the Westside Action Group

For more information, contact Robie Madrigal at or Jeremy Murray at

Also visit the Conversations on Race and Policing webpage.

Conversations on Race and Policing event, Oct 5