Just 3 weeks after the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd, protests were still going strong and it was still a tense time in the nation. In the middle of this, The Hetty Group convened a virtual conversation over Zoom between college students and young adults from the National Millennial Community and law enforcement executives to talk through the historic moments unfolding before us. It was a private conversation between 40 young people representing 25 states and the U.S. territory of Guam and 5 law enforcement officials from across the country.
The question and answer session between the two groups revealed the human side behind the badge, debunked myths about how policing works, gave young people an opportunity to feel heard, and opened up an honest, thought-provoking dialogue about the changes needed in the policing profession. We would submit to you, that some hearts and minds shifted as a result of the session. And a glimmer of hope was seen on both sides, as both young people and law enforcement executives saw how simple connections and talking "face to face" could break down walls and create more open-minded attitudes toward facing the hard road ahead when it comes to rebuilding trust between young people and police.
The Hetty Group was proud to convene and host this virtual conversation. It provided us with hope as well, as we continue to work on delivering community engagement initiatives that ultimately lead toward building safer, stronger communities for all.
Below are the faces of the young people and law enforcement officials that came together for honest conversation.
In response to nationwide protests shortly after the death of Mr. George Floyd, The Hetty Group quickly pulled together police foundation leaders from across 18 cities in the U.S. to discuss how best to navigate the crisis that was unfolding. During a climate where anger and emotions were running high and anti-police sentiment was wide-spread, it was a difficult time for leaders of police foundations, who typically serve as the bridge between communities and police departments. It was imperative to be sensitive to the pain, anger and frustrations expressed by protesters and the nation. It was also important to support their police departments during this challenging time. It was also important to communicate with donors and board members. Through Hetty Group's Police Foundation Partners initiative, we convened resources and experts to help police foundation leaders across the country keep perspective as they led their organizations through this trying moment in history.