The Hatch Center—the policy arm of the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation—hosted a virtual symposium on Race & Civility in America with special guest Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). In his keynote remarks, Senator Scott outlined a path forward for reducing police violence and empowering minority communities through economic opportunity.
The Senator then joined a panel discussion with business and policy leaders for a discussion on the state of race relations in America, which was hosted by Hatch Foundation Executive Director Matt Sandgren. Below is a statement from Matt Sandgren, as well as highlights from Senator Scott's remarks.
“Over the last several decades, our country has made significant strides on civil rights, yet we clearly have much further to go,” said Sandgren. “At today’s symposium, Senator Scott and our guest panelists outlined concrete ideas for improving race relations in America—from policies that Congress can adopt to curb police brutality and strengthen economic opportunity to business best practices that can help improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace. True to the Hatch Foundation’s mission, this event brought together leaders from both sides of the aisle to work toward the same goal: building an America that lives up to its Founding promise.”
Senator Scott on Police Reform, Opportunity Zones, and More
In his remarks, Senator Scott spoke to the prospects of police reform passing this year: “If it doesn’t happen between now and next week, it probably does not happen before the election,” said Scott. “And that would be a shame, in my opinion.” During the Q&A portion of the program, Senator Scott explained in detail the conversation he had with President Trump after Charlottesville and how instrumental this meeting was in advancing opportunity zone legislation that has brought $75 billion in earmarked private-sector funds to struggling communities.
Before concluding his remarks, Senator Scott paid tribute to the late-Representative John Lewis and explained how his relationship with Lewis helped shape his approach to police reform. During the Senator’s first month in Congress, Rep. Lewis sat down with him and said, “No matter what happens to you in life, Tim, do not let it make you bitter.” Senator Scott—who as an elected official, had been stopped by police seven times in one year—has embraced this motto in his efforts to build bipartisan support for the JUSTICE Act.