In an effort to build trust with law enforcement and to get opinions of the current climate in America, Pine Bluff Interested Citizens for Voter Registration (PBICVR) Inc., in collaboration with Pine Bluff High School and supporters, conducted a “Let’s Talk About Our Dreams” workshop.
Held June 24 in the PBHS media center, the workshop used social distancing guidelines to conduct conversations with students. Pine Bluff Deputy Chief Kelvin Hadley and Deputy Chief Shirley Warrior were among guests, according to a news release
Students were engaged in a conversation on how to respond when stopped by law enforcement. Hadley emphasized the following: 1. Comply; 2. Be respectful; 3. Be honest.
The workshop included a simulated stop by police with three passengers or friends in the car. It was explained to the driver what he should do if stopped by law enforcement.
During a conversation of ideas with students and law enforcement, questions were addressed such as:
“What education degrees are needed to become a police officer?”
“Do you think the system is corrupt?”
“How much de-escalation training do officers receive in the police department/academy?”
Also during the program, nonviolent protester posters were developed by students and a demonstration activity took place on the sidewalk in front of the media center.
Other workshop conversations were on the power of the vote, community issues such as overgrown lots, rough streets, and how are these things fixed.
Seneca Village, a 19th-century settlement of mostly African American landowners in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, was an African American history discussion.
Lunch was served following the workshop with each student participant receiving a certificate of graduation.
PBICVR is a national partner with the Federal 400 Years of African American History Commission and PBHS is one of five city schools chosen to serve as institutional ambassadors for the National Park Service and the commission, according to the release. Additional 400 years of African American History conversations will be announced soon.