Beyond the Uniform

Students and law enforcement officers seek solutions to creating more positive interactions within our community through service.

Photo of Shasta Looper
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Lately in our community the tensions between law enforcement and minority groups have been strained.  More than ever, there is a need to reestablish a positive relationship between police and our communities.  While change will not happen over night, steps in the right direction can be taken.  This project would create opportunities for students and other community members to interact with law enforcement officers in situations that did not begin as a conflict.   It will also provide an opportunity for law enforcement to build strong relationships based on positive behaviors and interactions with students helping to recreate their image for our students.  To begin, we would create opportunities for our students to interact with law enforcement officers in a classroom setting.  During this time, students, law enforcement officers, and other community members will participate in team building challenges that require clear communication and trust.  As relationships are built with students, the students and officers would replicate similar gatherings in local communities that would bring community members together.  During these activities, officers would not be "on duty" and out of uniform.  The hope would grow to having the officers, students, and others begin to serve the community so that in times of crisis, the relationships that have been built among the groups will impact the reactions.    This would be a model to students and other members of the community that relationships are the most effective way to enact change.  

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Photo of Gwen
Team

I love the clarity of this idea -- humanizing one another by having authentic experiences OUTSIDE of "role." I think I'm especially struck today because I'm right in the middle of reading The New Jim Crow.

Photo of Charles
Team

Tremendous. We have had some officers into the school in uniform, though the department has become cautious in the wake of the Tamir Rice killing. But the idea of doing team building activities and maybe service projects? Phenomenal. And with the holidays coming up, I'm going to jump on this. How do we keep communicating about ideas & progress?

Photo of Ellen
Team

Yay!! Such necessary relationships to build trust!! 

Photo of Ellen
Team

Shasta,
I"m excited to work with you on this idea!  How might we create deep, meaningful relationships to heal and build community connections with law enforcement?
Want to start a google doc with your basic outline/ideas so we can start to build out the idea.
Were you able to check out the link I put in a previous comment?  They had created a really meaningful program from what I remember.  Let's check that out for ideas.  Cheers!! :) Ellen

Photo of Shasta
Team

Spending time this morning watching the video that you shared.  Would love to start a Google Doc and get some ideas on paper :)

Photo of Ellen
Team

Check this out... saw this woman speak a few years ago. Might be some connections. http://www.bigideasfest.org/content/youth-participatory-action-research