USC Forum on Black Identity Extremism

Media Contact:
Dr. Erroll Southers


Rep. Bass to discuss the FBI and Black Identity Extremism with Homegrown Violet Extremism (HVE) expert Dr. Erroll Southers

The USC Safe Communities Institute and the USC Bedrosian Center on Governance invite you to a conversation on the ramifications of the FBI assessment on Black Identity Extremism (BIE). Thursday, December 21st 6pm to 7:30pm at Ralph & Goldy Lewis Hall, USC, room 101

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University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California (December 21, 2017) – In an ongoing mission to improve our communities through research, education, and community engagement we invite you to attend an open discussion on the possible civil and law enforcement consequences of the recent FBI assessment of Black Identity Extremism (BIE). The FBI determined that “[it] is very likely Black Identity Extremist (BIE) perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence.”

This assessment could have far reaching ramifications in the realms of law enforcement and counterterrorism used by the government against citizens. This FBI designation makes racist generalizations about police brutality protestors, potentially threatening the civil liberties of all Americans.

Rep. Karen Bass, Second Vice Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, confronted U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the November 14th House Judiciary Committee DoJ oversight hearing, and advocated “that the Bureau retract the report because of the harm it causes young activists and the lack of proof that Black Identity Extremism exists.”

Dr. Erroll Southers, Director of the USC Safe Communities Institute says, “This assessment minimizes the academic complexities of the nature of violent extremism, while suggesting this alleged ‘identity’ is the basis for attacks on law enforcement officers, despite empirical data to the contrary.”

“It is important to recognize the bias, both implicit and explicit, in this assessment. We have often seen a backlash from authorities when citizens call for institutional reform. We hope this open conversation about specific civic needs and representation can help us all work toward safer communities and better governance,” says Aubrey Hicks, Executive Director of the USC Bedrosian Center on Governance.


About USC Safe Communities Institute:

SCI engages in research, interdisciplinary education, and collaboration to advance sustainable public safety strategies, policies, and programs. The Institute’s mission is three-fold: To reach people with a new understanding of public safety that hinges on education, awareness and research, and community engagement; To advance violence prevention strategies, policies and research; and To contribute to global security in a time of increasing threats. To learn more, visit:

About USC Bedrosian Center on Governance:

The Bedrosian Center serves as: A focal point for the discussion of pressing issues the nation faces regarding how the public sector can work better; A conduit to best practices and cutting edge thinking about managing institutions and implementing policy are made known broadly; and A center of education for public sector principals and staff with the goal of improving government effectiveness in implementing policy. To learn more, visit: