Faith & Blue Presents: Community and Police Relations
Faith & Blue, an initiative by MovementForward, Inc. presents: Community and Police Relations, a series of online forums designed to create a much-needed safe space for conversations between law enforcement agencies and leaders from the faith community, and the communities they serve, can convene to address difficult conversations about police-community tensions and begin working toward a more just and equitable society. These series of conversations will lead up to the Faith & Blue’s culminating event, National Faith & Blue Weekend, Oct. 8-11, 2021.
July Conversation: Where Do We Go from Here? Chaos or Community?
Only July 19, we hosted our first-ever Quarterly Day of Engagement. The Quarterly Day of Engagement is an opportunity for residents and leaders to connect every three months on ways to build safer and more inclusive communities. They are very much like “Mini Faith & Blue Weekends”, with a national activity that everyone can participate in and the opportunity for long activities as well. For the first Quarterly Day of Engagement, we will be holding a virtual roundtable on the topic “Where Do We Go from Here? Chaos or Community?” with a virtual livestreamed discussion on issues of use of force, race, officer safety, and reducing crime. Houses of worship will organize viewings and follow-up discussions among local faith leaders, activists and law enforcement officers. Thank you to our special guests: Dr. Robert Michael Franklin, Renowned Scholar & Author, Former President, Morehouse College; Tinisha Agramonte, Chief Diversity Officer, Motorola Solutions; Chief Bentrud, Waite Park Police Department, Past President, Minnesota Chiefs of Police; Janice Mathis, Esq., Executive Director, National Council of Negro Women, Inc.; Bishop Marvin Thomas, Second District, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and NAACP National Board Member and Patrick Yoes, National President, Fraternal Order of Police.
May Conversation: The Importance of Accountability & Transparency
On May 24, 2021, we hosted a much-needed conversation facilitated by Julie Yocca, manager or law enforcement and criminal justice programs, MovementForward, Inc. and Dr. Jonathan Lotson, manager of faith-based and community partnerships, MovementForward, Inc. with special guests, Al Hajj Imam Farid Ansari, Chaplain Adult Correction Facility Rhode Island and Chief Christopher Wagner (Ret.) Denville, NJ Police Department about ways law enforcement agencies can take accountability and be transparent to grow public trust and improve relationships with the communities they serve and how citizens can do their part to work with local law enforcement agencies to deepen community engagement and create safer communities. This conversation will be livestreamed on our Facebook and YouTube channels!
“Police-community tensions are at an all-time high. Without a doubt, America needs a resolution to address the systemic racism at the heart of many of society’s wrongs, including the racial inequities in our criminal justice system. Police reform will not happen overnight, and the long-term solution will require a substantial effort to address the grievances and negative perceptions civilians have about law enforcement. Collaborations between police agencies and local groups–especially faith-based organizations–are invaluable force-multipliers for creating safer and more engaged neighborhoods.”Reverend Markel Hutchins, lead organizer, National Faith & Blue Weekend; president & CEO, MovementForward, Inc.