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Tomorrow Talks | Know Your Rights: Community Awareness When Interacting with Law Enforcement

Wednesday, March 20th,| 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Tom Tom Foundation, 100 W. South St.

Continuing a conversation from April’s Society & Justice conference, this workshop with Martize Tolbert, the National Director of Client and Community of the Fountain Fund helps provide a framework for all citizens when they interact with law enforcement.

Empowering the public with knowledge of their rights is a crucial endeavor, fostering a collective ability to protect one another and oneself. By not only understanding your rights but also articulating them effectively, you gain the ability to make informed decisions and advocate for fairness and justice within society. This understanding serves as a foundational element for ensuring equitable treatment throughout a community.

As a cofounder of Charlottesville’s Peace in the Streets organization, and active mentor to many local youth, Martize brings his personal experience to bear on these important issues and shows how being well-versed in your rights opens avenues for active participation in the democratic process. An informed community will exercise their freedoms and have clear and de-escalating communication with authorities, thus creating a safer atmosphere for everyone. When individuals hold each other accountable -- including authorities -- this accountability paves the way for genuine equality and fairness to be obtained.

This workshop will help you:

  • learn how to communicate to police if you are ever stopped or detained

  • learn when to speak and when to stay quiet when interacting with law enforcement

  • learn how to share this information with friends, family members, and your community

All tickets are donation based on a sliding scale ($15 - $35). Please pay what you can to support the series.


Martize Tolbert is the National Director of Client and Community Engagement for the Fountain Fund, bringing resources to formerly incarcerated individuals. Martize is active in the community, serving on the steering committee of the Albemarle-Charlottesville Reentry Council and the advisory board of Network2Work. Through Redemption Mentoring Services, he mentors at-risk kids in Charlottesville and surrounding counties. Martize also volunteers at his church (Mt. Zion) and participates in multiple local youth organizations, such as Peace in the Streets, which he co-founded in 2020.

Paul Beyer is the founder of the Tom Tom Foundation and Tom Tom Festival, and in his role as executive director, is responsible for its strategic vision and community partnerships. Beyond Tom Tom, Paul works on a variety of gatherings and events ranging from festivals, dance parties, dinner series, meditations, men's groups, conferences, seminars, and concerts.


The Fountain Fund program model provides low-interest loans and financial coaching to formerly incarcerated people, helping them build credit and achieve their self-determined goals. The Fountain Fund also advocates for public policy that increases economic opportunities and reduces obstacles for formerly incarcerated people.


This year-long series picks up critical themes from our April Festival and continues the conversations to create an impact in Charlottesville. Each Tomorrow Talk session is facilitated with an emphasis on participation, connection, and new collaborations.

Tomorrow Talks begin with a connection exercise or meditation and proceed into a presentation and breakout activities. They aim to impart knowledge that is practical and relevant to people's lived experience; combining academic or theoretical insights, alongside pragmatic tools, and experiential and somatic learnings.


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