From September 16 – 18, 2016, youth from several IEL-created programs will share positive social media messages and host community events to provide safe spaces for young people and those who care about them, address recent occurrences of violence in our nation, and share creative solutions to strengthen their communities.
Participants across the country can join IEL’s Youth Action Council on Transition (YouthACT), Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP), and Right Turn Career-Focused Transition Initiative (Right Turn) by using the social media hashtag #UnityWeekend for this youth-led discussion.
IEL works in communities affected by tragedies from recent violence and recognizes the inherent trauma that comes with police-community relations in neighborhoods where marginalized citizens live, work, and love each day. IEL will continue to insist that the fight for equity and against institutionalized bias in all its forms are integrated into our work, especially in our work with youth. Going forward, IEL intends for #UnityWeekend to be an opportunity for youth to speak up and will occur on a quarterly basis.
Download a short list of Resources for Discussions with Youth about Racial Disparity, Violence, and Police Interactions.
Read IEL’s statement on recent racial divides and tragic violence.
Examples of #UnityWeekend Activities
Right Turn Houston at Goodwill Houston will be partnering with its local constable to convene the 2nd annual Building Bridges Teen Summit. This is an event geared toward improving relationships between Law Enforcement and Youth. Those attending will have the opportunity to engage in up-front conversations with local officers, and gain community service hours.
RAMP Albany at Families Together New York State/Youth POWER! will participate in a 'pop-up BBQ' and outdoor movie hosted by the Albany Police Department. The police department will be cooking hamburgers and hotdogs and then join the community for an outdoor viewing of “Horton Hears a Who” on the large inflatable screen. The Albany Police Department hosts these events to promote neighborhood camaraderie and police-community relationships.
Right Turn Nashville at the Oasis Center and Transition Program will be partnering with its Juvenile Court and the Metro Student Attendance Center to raise attendance awareness and community unity. There will be a block party where youth and the community will get to enjoy food, music, and arts, as well as spend time with former Tennessee Titans football players.