From Missouri to Ohio to New York to California to Texas, the last two years have provided far too many examples of black lives lost during questionable police actions, further eroding our trust of those who protect and serve -creating a backlash of crime. The complex issues of race, effective policing, safety and freedom in our communities continue to play out through the new transparency of social media. As a result of these incidents, the focus of the narrative has necessarily shifted from individual behavior to foundational change in policing strategies and interactions with the people they serve. Time and again, we have heard examples of how community policing can make a difference. Recent research has shown a clear correlation between community policing actions, and a better level of trust in law enforcement.
“These conversations are always so tense, so painful. People are defensive. We want to believe we are good. To face the racisms and prejudices we carry forces us to recognize the ways in which we are imperfect. We have to be willing to accept our imperfections and we have to be willing to accept the imperfections of others. Is that possible on the scale required for change?” -Chris Rock speaking about the isolating experience of being a successful black American with Frank Rich for New York Magazine.
Here at Home
As Fort Worth recovers from the recent protests that emerged after a viral video showing a white officer wrestling a black mother to the ground, more community groups are clamoring for the implementation of community policing programs to help drive change. Jacqueline Craig, the mother arrested after calling the police to report a possible assault against her 7-year-old son, later said she would, “teach her children not to lose faith, because with police officers, as with all human beings, you have some good and some bad.” Community Policing programs seek to bring a better understanding to the human experiences faced on both sides of the system. The Stop 6 Projects is were some the participants of Writing for the Soul Workshop ™ call home. Mr. Charleston White, Founder and CEO of Hyped About Helping Young People Excel gave our Program Developer a tour of the Stop 6 Projects. H.Y.P.E is the premier program provider of our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ and some of their participants live in these projects. Here is the video footage from that day:
In order to bring this understanding alive, Helping Young People Excel (H.Y.P.E) Youth Organization in Fort Worth is collecting short stories, poems, and essays from youth attending Writing for the Soul Workshop™ as well as officers in the Fort Worth Police Department. ‘Stories of Hope: Walk a Mile in My Shoes’ will showcase these different voices in order to provide a better understanding of the core emotions and issues that will need to be addressed to ensure lasting success in community policing efforts.
H.Y.P.E is an organization whose nucleus consists of minority men and women who are dedicated to enlightening adolescents and youth about the consequences that mischief can cause at an early age, and desire to assist with deterring juveniles from facing the same pitfalls that all of them experienced in their youth. Through their participation in Writing for the Soul Workshop ™, youth in the program will not only have the opportunity to share their stories, they will also experience writing as therapy, and have the opportunity to gain financial independence through the publisher’s Affiliates Program. A program that empowers these youth with the training and resources to earn money promoting the book right from their smart phone. This project will also allow, H.Y.P.E. to donate a portion of the book sales to the Fallen Officers Fund.
There is no easy solution to the social problems faced by our communities today, especially problems that lay deeply rooted in ignorance and systemic injustice. These problems cannot be addressed without understanding the different human experiences our current system has spawned; an understanding that cannot be achieved without sharing our personal experiences with the legal institutions, policies and people who make up the criminal justice system today. It will only be through this dialogue that we will find a better way to secure the safety of ALL individuals in our community, regardless of color or class. Please join us in this important conversation.
What’s your story?
We all have a story to tell. Let us help you tell yours. All ages are welcome to participate. Who knows …your story just may impact someone else’s life. Submit your short story, poem, music, and art to be included in our project for inclusion in the release of: ‘Stories of Hope: Walk a Mile in My Shoes’.
Please do not submit manuscripts that contain any of the following: obscene or explicit material, unnecessary profanity, vulgarity, or inappropriate or graphic love scenes. Any material considered for publication that is found to be graphic will require a mandatory edit of the material and may result in a rejection of the material.
Please note that we do not publish graphic material. Therefore, you may be asked to remove graphic material or language.
Submitting your story is easy! Simply use the Contact Form below, or send your story to our publisher via email at: email@example.com. Everyone who submits their story will receive a complimentary Stories of Hope eBook for participating.
About Stories of Hope:
Stories of Hope is a compilation of heart wrenching, and liberating short stories written by youth participating in Writing for the Soul Workshop™ around the world. Through a unique structure offering both engagement -and reward, this workshop brings education and passion together in a way that offers permanent life changing impact. As noted in the forward by educator Sarah Lankford, these unique and amazing individuals have received a rare opportunity to share a story they needed to share … and develop a love of writing as a result.
Page Count: 158 pages
Click on the book cover to download the eBook. Read it from your favorite device! Stay connected with updates about our writing program in Texas on Facebook at: Writing for the Soul Workshop™ in North America