Gender, Race and Justice: The Future of American Policing

October 1, 2021

Gender, Race and Justice:
The Future of American Policing

Photo of Panelists
Panelists at the “Gender, Race and Justice: The Future of American Policing” discussion on Thursday, September 23rd. (L-R) Dr. David Corey, Heather Rice-Munis, Ganesha Martin, and Dr. Sheryl Victorian


On Thursday evening, September 23, Baylor Law and Baylor University’s ‘Baylor in Washington’ program, hosted a special event to discuss a variety of current and future issues within the American policing system. Panelists at the “Gender, Race and Justice: The Future of American Policing” discussion included Dr. Sheryl Victorian, the current chief of police of the Waco Police Department; Ganesha Martin, a public policy expert on police reform and accountability; and Heather Rice-Minus, senior vice president of advocacy and church mobilization at Prison Fellowship, the nation’s largest Christian nonprofit serving prisoners, former prisoners, and their families.

Chief of Police Dr. Sheryl Victorian
Chief of police of the Waco Police Department, Dr. Sheryl Victorian, makes a point during the discussion

Moderated by the Director of the Baylor in Washington program and professor of political science, Dr. David Corey, the panelists discussed necessary reforms to the policing system, police training, specifically training in de-escalation efforts, accountability, and the promotion of better community engagement efforts by police. The panel also discussed the need for increased diversity within police departments, with a special focus on improving female participation in the police force. Chief Victorian specifically mentioned one focus of her philosophy of relational policing using the acronym TREAT, “Transparency, respect, engagement, and accountability, all build to the last ‘T’ which is trust.’

“It is of tremendous benefit to Baylor Law School to be part of this program,” Stated Richard Alpert, a seasoned prosecutor who serves as an advisor and adjunct professor in Baylor Law’s Criminal Law Program. “Observing a diverse panel discuss topics that have proven to be ’conversation enders’ in other settings is something that all students, particularly those who aspire to careers in the criminal justice system, need to hear. It is also a conversation they will one day, as criminal justice professionals, be called upon to lead.”

“As future Baylor Lawyers, our students must be prepared to advocate in all settings, from community conversations to courtrooms, for a fair criminal justice system,” stated Baylor Law Dean Brad Toben. He added, “it is imperative that we continue to have these sometimes-difficult conversations marked by civility and a common purpose to seek justice.”

The event is available for viewing, here:

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Established in 1857, Baylor University School of Law was one of the first law schools in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,600 living alumni. It is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Baylor Law has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide upon a career in public service. The Law School boasts two governors, members or former members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, U.S. ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and members of the Texas Legislature, among its notable alumni. In its law specialties rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor Law's trial advocacy program as one of the top 5 in the nation. Baylor Law is also ranked in the top 50 in the magazine's 2019 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools." The National Jurist ranks Baylor Law as one of the "Best School for Practical Training," and in the top 15 "Best Law School Facilities" in the country. The Business Insider places Baylor Law among the top 50 law schools in the nation. Baylor Law received the 2015 American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award, making it only the third law school in the nation to be honored with the award since the award's inception in 1984. Learn more at

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Learn more at

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