DALLAS - Community leaders and supporters of a man killed in his own apartment by a now-fired Dallas police officer came together for a summit on racial unity.
The event was hosted by the Dallas West Church of Christ, where Botham Jean attended before his death. His mother, Allison, attended the event. It focused on helping to enhance spiritual across lines of race.
Botham Jean's parents traveled from St. Lucia to be at the event in Dallas on Wednesday. Allison says this is exactly the kind of work he'd want to be doing were he still here today.
“In his life, he created an impact,” Allison said. “And in his death, he created an even greater impact.”
Allison says this is what her son would have loved to have been involved in: a racial unity leadership summit in his name and held at his home church in Dallas.
“He always spoke out against racism,” Allison said.
The Jean family started the Botham Jean Foundation after he was shot and killed September 6 by former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger, who was off-duty but still in uniform. She says she confused his apartment for her own and thought he was a burglar.
Tryce Prince works with the Carl Smith Center on Race Studies and Spiritual Action. He says how Jean died is part of the reason why this is a summit on racial unity.
“Because he was a black man who was killed. Who lost his life,” Prince said. “And we obviously are going to let the trial run its course, but we believe that Botham lost his life when he shouldn’t have.”
From Wednesday to Saturday at Dallas West Church of Christ, spiritual leaders will talk about developing spiritual practices to combat racism in the criminal justice system, education system and at church.
“It doesn’t erase the emotion and the grief I still feel because he’s not here,” Allison said.
The summit continues through Saturday. It's free and open to everyone.