Brooklyn, NY, – Over the past 10 weeks (since March 7, 2016), six high school students from NYC TOGETHER and Usher Raymond IV’s Usher’s New Look Youth Leadership Organization have worked with officers from the 90th Police Precinct and a professional artist to create a shared vision of positive police-community relations for a mural located in front of the 90th Precinct station house in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The finished mural, will be unveiled in a ceremony in front of the 90th Precinct on June 10, 2016 at 4:00pm EST. The mural will a backdrop to a community garden that is funded by Open Space Alliance and the Citizens Committee of New York City.
Students and officers participated in five weeks of interactive workshops in addition to five weeks of art-making sessions, in order to help develop their artistic vision, while also providing a platform for police and youth to learn from one another in an informal, positive setting. Topics covered included, the School to Prison Pipeline, Disproportionate Minority Contact with the Justice System, The History of Mass Incarceration in America, Gun Violence in New York, The War on Poverty, The Cycle of Unemployment and System Involvement in Low-Income Communities, Community Policing and Solutions to Make Communities Safer and Stronger for All.
Collaborators and supporters of the mural project include, artists Elle Sauer and Anne Joyce, Councilman Antonio Reynoso, Councilman Stephen Levin, Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna, Brandi Barber & Anthony Katagas, Frances Perkins Academy, Williamsburg Pizza, Jimmy’s Diner, the Grand Street Boys Association, ConBody, and Brooklyn North Chief, Jeffrey Maddrey.
According to a report by the US Department of Justice, the most effective way for police to change community perception for the better is to increase their informal visibility in neighborhoods by increasing their participation in community events and interaction with community members. The mural is a response to the increase in national and international media coverage of negative police-youth interaction. Join us to see the impact.
Click HERE to follow the mural’s progress in pictures and video!
About Usher’s New Look
Usher’s New Look, founded by Usher Raymond IV in 1999, is on a mission to develop global youth leaders by equipping them with the necessary tools to shape their futures, solve their challenges and build stronger communities. UNL’s peer-to-peer program model and curriculum provides Access, Awareness and Empowerment to youth in underserved communities, in order to guide them on a pathway to leadership and help them make educational and career choices that match their passions. Today, UNL has served over 32,000 youth across the U.S and Internationally.
About NYC TOGETHER
NYC TOGETHER is a comprehensive alternative-to-suspension program for students facing school disciplinary action in North Brooklyn. The program emphasizes accountability while providing resources to support young people in developing into self-sufficient, thoughtful adults. In lieu of traditional disciplinary measures, students involved in the TOGETHER program participate in skill-building sessions and community service projects. NYC TOGETHER hinges on positive informal police/community interaction. The program, in partnership with the NYPD 90th Police Precinct and local public high schools, offers police officers the opportunity to work with young people from their communities as peers, collaborators, and mentors.
About the New York City Police Department
The mission of the New York City Police Department is to enhance the quality of life in New York City by working in partnership with the community to enforce the law, preserve peace, reduce fear, and maintain order. The Department is committed to accomplishing its mission to protect the lives and property of all citizens of New York City by treating every citizen with courtesy, professionalism, and respect, and to enforce the laws impartially, fighting crime both through deterrence and the relentless pursuit of criminals.