John Jay College will launch Bridging the Divide: Re-imagining Police-Community Relations, in the fall of 2015. Over the course of the 2015-2016 academic year, the college will utilize various mediums of engagement including student organized theatre and performing arts productions, demonstration workshops, seminars, and several student-led events culminating in a one-day conference to be held May 6th, which engages the broader community in public discourse on these issues. The initiative will leverage the power of digital and social media to provoke thought and continue critical discussions beyond our physical spaces.
In an effort to promote sustainability, the initiative will marshal the resources of the college, infusing Bridging programming into campus wide activities, and partnering with various administrative departments for support and implementation. Faculty and administration within the Department of Marketing and Communications, the Lloyd Sealy Library, the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, the Office of Undergraduate Research and various academic departments have all come forward to generously lend their support to the initiative.
The Bridging Initiative seeks to:
- to model an approach for engaging varied stakeholders in dialogue, within an environment which is safe, if at times discomfiting
- to inform and serve as a repository for research and data relating to race and policing
- to engage a diverse body of stakeholders from various disciplines and backgrounds in a multidisciplinary analysis of best practices for policing
- to build alliances and partnerships with local, national and international stakeholders
The Bridging the Divide initiative embodies the commitment of the John Jay community to engage itself in pursuit of a justice system that is fair, effective and based on mutual respect. This initiative will seek to develop a road map for reimagining a criminal justice system guided by the principles of justice upon which our institutions are predicated.