Edward L. Palmer Sr.
Pastor| Mentor| Certified Diversity Trainer| Social Justice Advocate
The 2019-2021 National Chair of
The Coalition For Juvenile Justice
MEET THE MESSENGER
Pastor Edward L. Palmer Sr. is a co-pastor with his wife Elizabeth Palmer for The Sign of the Dove Church International located in Radcliff, Kentucky.
He is a Certified Diversity Trainer and works to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities within the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. He most recently became a certified Racial and Ethnic Disparities Capstone Project Fellow through the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University. He chairs the State Inner-Agency Council’s Diversity Standing Committee, Chair of the National Coalition for Juvenile Justice(CJJ), and member of the Kentucky Juvenile Justice Advisory Board (JJAB). Pastor Palmer is currently serving his fifth term as a Radcliff City Councilman.
His recent awards include, the 2017 Kentucky Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award, and the Courage for Kids Award from Kentucky Youth Advocates, and the 2018 System of Care Champion Award, and the 2019 Thurgood Marshall Award presented by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.
Pastor Palmer operates with unyielding passion!
“On behalf of the entire Kentucky National Guard, I would like to thank you for the fantastic training you provided to our team of equal opportunity professionals and senior leaders. Becoming aware of our biases and understanding cultural differences that impact our effectiveness as a military force are critical for leaders at all levels. Your teaching approach allowed many who were skeptical to accept new ideas and challenge their world view. As we address the issues of race and bias in our Nation, you provided relevant and timely knowledge on the issues of the day that we can translate into practical policy changes and new ways to lead that will make our organization more equitable and inclusive. Additionally, the training has inspired us to build implicit bias and cultural awareness training into the very fabric of our professional military education. We look forward to working with you in the future as we formulate our strategic plan to address diversity and inclusion throughout the Kentucky National Guard. Again, thank you for equipping our leaders with tools necessary to ensure that we represent the best of America!
Charles M. Walker, Brig Gen, KYNG
Chief of Staff – Air
“As a certified diversity trainer, Pastor Palmer has mobilized his leadership and expertise to engage my statewide staff in an often-controversial conversation around dis-proportionality and disparity with an overarching goal of providing equitable outcomes for all youth. His strategic approach has mobilized our efforts to challenge the status quo by assessing and improving various agency policies and procedures; addressing barriers as well as strengths; and, leading systemic improvements to ensure equitable outcomes for youth of color. He has provided this guidance through training, data analysis, strategic planning, and technical assistance. This work has also required him to work collaboratively with legislators, judges, advocates, providers, and community partners to gain support for child-serving system improvements.”
Rachel Bingham, Executive Officer
Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts
Department of Family and Juvenile Services
"Implicit bias training is quite an eye opening experience. It helps one recognize many different types of bias that are normally subconscious. The training also demonstrates how people see things very differently. The training should be a requirement for everyone!"
Jefferson County District Judge Gina Calvert
"Pastor Palmer is doing a great service for the commonwealth. He is bringing to all of our attention issues regarding racial bias in our justice system in a calm and data driven way! The data speaks for itself! The challenge is how we respond!!"
Christian County District Court Judge James Adams
"Pastor Palmer’s Implicit Bias training was, hands down, the most effective and informative racial training I’ve attended. His information was founded in research and his stories both funny and shocking. I left the training more aware of my own bias and motivated to change myself and my community. Pastor Palmer is a gifted messenger with a crucial message."
McCracken County Family County Judge Deanna Wise Henschel
"It makes you think and consider how your mind categorizes and processes things. We act on impulses of which we are not truly aware. This training causes you to examine your inner wiring so that we can consider bias that have been there since childhood."
Hardin County Family Court Judge Brent Hall
"I recently attended the training in Fayette County, and was very impressed with the presentation in general and with Pastor Palmer in particular. This training challenged my assumptions, my biases, in a direct, yet gentle way, so that I could safely reflect on how we got to this divided place, consider my own responses, and look carefully at my own behavior. This is a vital topic for discussion within the court system, and particularly for judges, as our biases can result in devastating results. I believe that this program should be required for all judges as part of our judicial college curriculum."
Fayette County Family Court Judge Lucinda Masterton
"Pastor Palmer's presentation on Implicit Bias is both eye-opening and informative. Without being confrontational, the presentation forces us all white, black or other to see the inherent prejudice in the system where we each live and work, participate and contribute in ways sometimes healthy and sometimes harmful. We share a bond of humanity, but after the presentation I became more mindful of each individual I encounter."
Daviess County District Judge Lisa Jones
"I found the Implicit Bias training valuable to my work as a judge in that it allowed me to start a meaningful conversation about what is or isn’t happening inside the juvenile justice system in my home county. Understanding the impact of implicit bias in our juvenile justice system is vital as we work towards true restorative justice."
Campbell County District Judge Karen Thomas
"The Implicit Bias training that has been provided to almost all of DCBS Central Office staff (last session is scheduled for 11/10/2016) has been extremely beneficial and is long overdue. The awareness raised surrounding the outcomes for those children and youth in our care and the beginning awareness that our own individual biases contribute to those results has already impacted internal conversations regarding issues of dis-proportionality and has already triggered conversations surrounding existing policies. I am extremely encouraged by beginning to witness these “courageous conversations” taking place among all levels of staff."
Department of Community Based Services Commissioner Adria Johnson
"Finally a training that explores the pink elephant in the room. We have needed this for so long. I am so happy are leadership sees how important this is."
Department of Community Based Services Director of Permanency & Protection Pam Cotton
"The Implicit Bias training impacts the participants on three levels: personal, interpersonal and professional. Personally participants are challenged to become more self-aware and examine largely unconscious messages that have developed throughout their childhood. Interpersonally, it strengthens participant’s ability to remove barriers to listening and communicating with others about issues of race and bias and developing empathy. Professionally, discussions of data directly related to the daily work enables participants to take a focused look at practice and begin exploring individual practice changes and suggesting system changes. I would recommend this training for anyone working with programs that serve children and families."
Department of Community Based Services Jackie Stamps
"The implicit bias training provided an informative presentation around the disproportionate number of youth represented in the juvenile justice system. Pastor Palmer provided us with eye opening data that made us aware of the underlying issues we have in Jefferson County. African American youth represent 26% of the total youth population in Jefferson County but make up 62% of complaints filed. We gained self-awareness towards our personal bias that may come out in our everyday work. "
Jefferson County Court Designated Worker Staff
"Pastor Palmer’s presentation on implicit bias was instructive and eye-opening. Even though I work with a great group of people, with what I believe to be unquestionably good intentions, it is important to review our actions with a critical eye to ensure that we are treating everyone engaged in our justice system fairly and equally. Pastor Palmer’s evidence-based presentation helps us do that. "
Christian County Attorney Duncan Cavanah
"Pastor Palmer is an engaging speaker and I found his presentation on implicit bias to be informative and thought provoking. The presentation made me conscious of how each of us can unintentionally contribute to racial and ethnic disparity in our society by choosing to view people and events only through our own cultural lens. Pastor Palmer also offered valid suggestions for systemic change to combat this problem in the criminal justice system. The presentation included a good mix of personal experiences and anecdotes, studies, data, and open discussion. I definitely think implicit bias training should be mandatory for anyone involved in the juvenile justice system and I would send my staff to any future trainings."
Louisville Metro Public Defender Elizabeth McMahon
"Pastor Palmer is helping lead the charge in the Commonwealth by bringing attention to racial bias in our criminal justice system. While utilizing factual data to emphasize the need for change, he focuses on helping those in leadership positions as well as citizens throughout Kentucky realize and understand how they too must play an active role in assuring that racial bias is eliminated."
Hopkinsville City Police Department Chief Clayton Sumner
"Pastor Palmer gave insight on the data across the state. The message is that we have to keep addressing these issues and continue to have the hard conversations so we can make the changes necessary to make all students successful."
Christian County Public Schools District Discipline Administrator Kim Stevenson
"The Implicit Bias training was very beneficial. I know this statement is used more than it should be so let me explain. The training is done with information national, state and local data which provides the foundation for the discussion. Pastor Palmer then helps the group to begin discussing the possibility bias in a manner which is safe for all. He uses his personal experiences to help people open up. Even when challenges come up they are addressed in a safe and respectful manner. I have heard so much after the initial training here in Jefferson County. People are asking for the next phase of the training. "
Restorative Justice Louisville Executive Director Libby Mills
"Racial sensitivity training has been taken a new direction, and perhaps to a higher level, by Pastor Edward Palmer. By focusing on the novel and somewhat newly explored concept of implicit bias, Palmer has helped us become more self-aware by addressing unconscious racial understandings with his data-driven presentations. His awareness training will be valuable to the professionals and volunteers involved in serving children and youth in out-of-home care."
Citizen Foster Care review Board’s Executive Board Chairperson Ed Staats
"Pastor Edward Palmer's recent presentation, is a particularly useful tool for everyone, especially volunteers who are members of a Citizen Foster Care Review Board (CFCRB). Through statistical data, Pastor Palmer illustrated that although black youth in Kentucky comprise a very small percentage of young people between the ages of one and eighteen, a disproportionate number of black children and young adults within this group reside in the child welfare and judicial systems. He reminded us that racial bias is a subject that must be discussed and though it causes discomfort, it is vital that we begin a path toward change."
Citizen Foster Care Review Board Volunteer Susan Taylor
"Pastor Palmer does a superb job at peeling back the layers to the subconscious level and exposing the bias that many did not realized exist. In order to begin to change, a person must acknowledge a need for change. Pastor Palmer's Implicit Bias training skillfully has a person look deep within and acknowledge that the bias does indeed exist without any conscious thought. Implicit Bias training can have such an impact on the outcome of events that it should be taught at the first sign that a child can comprehend the concept and refresher training throughout a person life. Without question, everyone that interacts with the public in any fashion should attend the Implicit Bias training. It will give you a moment of pause to reflect on why before making a decision."
Hardin County NAACP Branch 3087 President Marcus D. Ray
"The training helped me to recognize and understand micro aggressions as a part of implicit bias. As the session is titled "Starting the Conversation," I look forward to ongoing discussions that will help me to continue to explore, investigate, learn, and increase my awareness as well as to share this information with other leaders across the Commonwealth. It is a great beginning!"
Kentucky Partnership for Families and Children Director Carol Cecil
"The training on implicit bias is a conversation that has needed to happen. I think Pastor Palmer did an excellent job of getting to the core issues while making it non-threatening. The inclusion of state data was helpful as it provided facts to back up the premise of disproportionate treatment. KPFC plans to explore this subject further through our Children's Mental Health Day event this May 11."
Kentucky Partnership for Families and Children Board Chair and Parent Representative Maggie Krueger
The Kentucky Court of Justice Programs
Juvenile and Family Services
The Citizens Foster Care Review Boards
District, Circuit and Appellate Court Judge’s Colleges
Circuit Clerks Colleges
Pre-trial, and Specialty Courts
The Kentucky Department for Community Based Services
The Louisville Metro Police Department (1200 Sworn Peace Officers)
The Louisville Bar Association
The Greater Clark Foundation
The Shelby County School District
The Kenton County School District
Monroe County Elementary School
Northern Kentucky Children’s Home
The Kentucky Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)
The National Coalition for Juvenile Justice
The National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges
The Texas Homeless Project
Lowe's Companies Incorporated
J.C. Penney Company Incorporated
Crime and Justice Institute
The National Criminal Justice Association
The National Council for State Legislators
Tennessee System of Care Conference
Jefferson County Prosecutors
Jefferson County Circuit Court Judges College
Virginia State University
Louisville Bar Association
The Kentucky National Guard
The National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence (NCADD) of Central MS.
The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services
The National Association of Trial Lawyers
The Tennessee Commission On Children & Youth
The National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies
The Kentucky National Guard
After realizing micro gression's occurred in the retail industry by the reduction of black dolls and the placement of them on clearance. Palmer bought all the dolls out at one retailers clearance section and started giving away black dolls at the end of every training.
EDWARD L. PALMER Sr.
Certified Diversity Trainer