At the January 17 Meeting for Learning, Mahal Burr - who grew up in Memphis Friends Meeting - emceed a panel of fellows from Brothers and Sisters Speaking Out for Change, Jada and Stanneisha. The panel explored three questions:
From your experience, what do youth and police relationships and youth violence look like in Memphis?
From your experience and insight, what do you see as the root cause of negative youth and police relationships and youth violence?
How do you think police, detention centers, schools, community, and churches could be part of helping get to the root cause of these problems?
In their answers the panel stressed the value of a mentoring and goal setting program they are part of - Project STAND at G.W. Carver College & Career Academy. They urged more programs like Project STAND as well as other afterschool activities. They also urged more opportunities for youth voices to be heard - in both public spheres and also in power-dynamic interactions with adults.
Many questions from Friends focused on the role of schools in setting youth up for entry into the criminal justice system. Here are some links recommended by Mahal for new models to break the school-to-prison pipeline: