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 NYC.
Students and officers participated in five weeks of interactive workshops in addition to 5 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 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.