Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Brownsville Leadership Project x John Jay College: Hand In Hand

The Brownsville Leadership Project was selected by the Community Outreach department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, to take part in an event where current issues would be addressed through conversation between Police and Brownsville Youth. 

On April 30th, 2015 an event called Hand in Hand launched its first of many to come. The event kicked off right above John Jay's 'Jane Walk' view, with 3-4 youth, 2 officers, and a facilitator at each table. Conversations covered racial issues, economic issues, and the myths that both police and youth share about one another. Brownsville Leadership Project youth, took the first steps to becoming change agents for their community. This round-table mixer event helped to open the minds of  youth who participated, by providing them with a different perspective on what officers go through on a day to day. Police officers also learned more about the deep rooted challenges and issues young people face in small urban communities such as Brownsville.

Brownsville Leadership Project Members were presented with a plaque for their participation and work in the community. 

The Brownsville Leadership project collectively developed questions a month prior to the event. Those questions were distributed to each table, where 8-10 minute conversations were held before a bell rang, and officers were instructed to switch tables. The two hour event ended in food, awards presented to the youth for their participation, and free giveaways. The efforts of both the Youth and Police Officers fostered an extremely successful event. Both sides walked away knowing that although this may not change the world, it is a great start to changing the communities they live and work in.

Round table exercise. Leader Kimora Brown (left) voices her opinion to Police Officer. 

A full room of Police Officers and Youth ready to discuss issues, and create solutions! 

Brownsville Leaders pose with the Police Officers, and are excited about the new relationships and understanding built! 

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