When a white suburban parent says we need to have “The Talk” they are referring to the birds and the bees. When a black urban parent gives their child “The Talk” it means something quite different.
“The Talk” for a black urban parent refers to how to protect yourself from the Police. You see, when a black child sees the police he or she doesn’t sense security but danger. Racial profiling is a thing.
There is a deep divide in the urban community when it comes to the police and law enforcement. As a clergy council in Downtown Los Angeles we are trying to bridge that gap by holding Trust Talks. The mission hosted our first one this past week and it was a huge success. It gave the police and the community an opportunity to humanize one another around a round table to discuss our problems and brainstorm possible solutions.
The good news is that a lot of people showed up, way more than we anticipated. There was also a lot of dialogue and listening going on. The overwhelming outcome was that we need to do more of these.
Check out this Facebook post from one of the participants who attended...
Kevin wrote: "The Trust Talks last Saturday was absolutely amazing. We focused on Skid Row this time and met at Union Rescue Mission. We had a great showing, way more than we planned for. We sat around a table of 10-12 and shared our stories and perspectives about the relationship between the police and the community. It was a powerful conversation. Our goal was to take one step of trust towards one another. Thank you to Deon Joseph and Deputy Chief Regina Scott for sharing your stories. Thank you to Daniel Marin Perez, that community engagement pastor at New City Church of Los Angeles, who led the coordinating team to put this together. Thank you to Pastor Antwone Sanford, the president of the Downtown Clergy Council, and Dan Anderson, the vice-president of the Council, for leading this effort. Thank you to Andy Bales for allowing us to use the URM's Chapel for this and supporting this effort. Thank you to the Institute for Non-Violence for facilitating the table discussions. Thank you to Delonte Gholston in DC for advising us. And thank you to everyone who came out and took one more step of trust."
Please pray for our urban communities where violence and distrust are significant issues and pray for us as ministers and missionaries to the city that God might create a movement towards understanding and respecting and trusting one another that we might live in peace so the gospel seeds can find fertile soil.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!