Over the last few months, the Columbia NAACP has been leading a series of community engagement meetings on the topics of policing, equity, and civility. In between NAACP leaders have met with the police chief and City Manager for additional dialogue. This Tuesday, May 22, from 7 to 9 pm the NAACP will again be hosting a forum at Second Missionary Baptist Church (407 E. Broadway).
At Tuesday’s forum you will hear an update on community policing and on the implementation of recommendations from previous meetings. After the initial presentations, break out groups will discuss and make recommendations on specific community topics including mental health, racial profiling, minority jobs and entrepreneurship, and civility and accountability.
Join in, share your thoughts and help make Columbia a better place!
WHAT: Community Dialogue
WHEN: Tuesday May 22, 2018, 7 to 9 pm
WHERE: Second Missionary Baptist Church, 407 E. Broadway, Columbia, MO
Twenty-nine people, including two police officers, joined us at Battle on May 4, and you can review the notes of the discussion here. As with our prior dialogue, the National Issue Forum guide on Safety and Justice was used to spark conversation, and the dialogue was one of the ones reported for this year’s national “A Public Voice” initiative. Although there were divergent views on strategies and how to best proceed, some clear and common themes emerged throughout the discussion. These included the importance of building a sense of community; the need for mutual respect, empathy and compassion; and the importance of clear, ongoing education and dialogue. In the closing portion of the session one of the youth expressed appreciation for the officers sharing their perspective and stated next time he saw an officer in the coffee shop or at a gas station he was going to try saying hi. Several of the adults who were present expressed appreciation for the leadership showed by the youth in arranging for these dialogues. At the end of the evening two of the youth raised with one of the officers the possibility of a joint youth-officer training session on Youth Mental Health First Aid, using a curriculum supported by MU Extension. Winter break was identified as a time that might be possible. We are recording that idea here so it can be picked up and planned for next semester, and not lost over the summer!
Join us today in Battle High’s media center for further dialogue on safety and justice. Meet and greet at 4:30, dialogue starts at 5 pm. Hope to see you there!
A fourth community dialogue has been scheduled, following up on the work done by the Mayor’s Community Violence Task Force, appointed in 2013, and its recommendations, published at the end of 2014.
The dialogue will be held on Monday, Jan. 25 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall, 701 E. Broadway.
The dialogue will be an open forum for discussion of the Community Violence Task Force recommendations and the progress of facilitating those recommendations.