In the coming month, the relationship between citizens and the people entrusted to protect and serve the city will be under intense scrutiny as the inquest into the shooting death of JT Williams by Seattle Police officer Ian Birk gets underway. In a process designed to improve that relationship at its earliest stages, Seattle student groups are organizing a conversation with SPD officials about police-youth relations in Seattle to be held here in the Central District at the Garfield Teen Life Center next Wednesday, January 12th. More about the Students Against Violence Everywhere and Seattle Youth Commission event, below.
Organizers are asking that attendees pre-register. You can contact Jerome Welch at 206 504-0961 or via e-mail: [email protected]
BUILDING BRIDGES- Youth initiate a positive step in police-youth relations.
On January 12th, 2010 at the Garfield Teen Life Center, local youth, in partnership with the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, Seattle Police Department, Students Against Violence Everywhere, and the Seattle Youth Commission, will be hosting “Building Bridges,” a forum to discuss youth and police relations. The event will include a panel of officers, community members, and teenagers, as well as breakout discussion groups where everyone attending (police, youth, and community members) will be able to share and listen to each others’ concerns.
This youth-led forum aims to find positive solutions to the overall disconnect between youth and police by providing an environment to discuss problems and ask questions.
The idea for the forum was youth-initiated, and youth will act as facilitators for the discussions. “With all of the attention on the problems in our community with youth and police, we thought it was time to start focusing on how to improve the situation for everyone and that Seattle youth needed to be part of that discussion,” said high school Senior Emerson North of Students Against Violence Everywhere. And according to Issac Pearson, a spoken word artist and high school Junior who’s a member of the Seattle Youth Commission, “Youth have a lot to say that can be constructive, if people will listen.”
The forum will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 pm; free food will be available to all participating youth from 5:00 – 5:30, and there will also be door prizes.
Garfield Teen Life Center is located at 428 23rd Ave, Seattle 98122
Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) is a student- led program working to spread awareness about alternatives to youth violence throughout the Seattle community through youth led initiatives. www.seattlesave.org
The Seattle Youth commission is a group of 22 Seattleites aged 13-19 from all over the city who are appointed by the Mayor and City Council to connect youth to their elected officials.