Dear Cleveland, It has been about two weeks since we, the EYEJ Impact 25 Youth Council, presented our proposed solutions to Chief of Cleveland Police, Calvin Williams, and a host […]
I’d like to take you back to our presentation day. We stood in front of a crowd of over 100 guests at the historic League Park, mustered as much courage as we could, and presented our process and proposal of solutions. As a reminder, we were a group of young people from around Cleveland who discussed the issues we saw and faced daily, and after six months of difficult conversations, research, listening, and deliberation, we came up with methods of remedy and prevention for the traumas we were most passionate about with the focus on figuring out a win-win solution for all involved.
Our proposal included asks for:
We proposed that these solutions be tested in three high schools for three years, in order to change proposed solutions in any way necessary. At the conclusion of this presentation, there seemed to be much verbal support from the audience. Many people asked how they could help and what could be done going forward.
Of all the experiences that I have had from growing up in Cleveland, to working with youth here daily, to collaborating with EYEJ and the youth council has helped to inform the discussions that created this proposal. I took part in many informative sessions, such as speaking to police officers many times to inform our understanding of their roles and the trainings that officers go through. I took part in discussing the problems between younger generations and older generations that cause mistrust of the police in the general population. The solutions that were reached, were the result of much compromise on both sides. Our council saw the resulting proposal as a middle ground which both parties might be able to reach.
Many of the council members, as well as the Executive Director; Mai Moore and EYEJ, are looking to make sure this proposal is put into practice. We are trying to fundraise as quickly and efficiently as possible to be able to get our ideas off the ground, as we need to start preparing for the new 2018-2019 school year. We hope to fully support and implement this proposal as the deadline is July 1, 2018. It takes more than our ideas to create change. With proper funding, we can move forward to collaborate and make positive change.
EYEJ Impact 25 Youth Council Lead