Rev. Bernadette Hickman-Maynard, Racial Justice Organizer, ECCO
We are halfway through an initiative that is building Beloved Community in the Greater Lynn area - one conversation at a time.
Since January 30th, 58 people from St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart Churches, Zion Baptist Church, Bethel AME Church, St.Stephen’s Episcopal Church and other congregations had barrier-breaking, eye-opening, bridge-building and power-generating one-on-one conversations with 101 Lynn Police Officers during the Police-Community Conversations In-Service Training. These early morning Wednesday out-of-the-box in-service training sessions for every member of the Lynn Police Department are making a difference. And we’re not finished yet!
We pause midway to celebrate courageous leaders who worked through feelings of fear and anger to share painful stories of police brutality and corruption, and were willing to listen to and see the humanity in the officer before them. We honor the leaders with no personal stories of negative interactions with the police who stood in solidarity with others in the community and shared their experiences so that they, too, could be part of a movement to improve community-police relations. We are grateful for everyone’s thoughtful engagement, challenging questions, and hopeful reflection as we build the trust and generate the power necessary to bring to fruition the Beloved Community in Greater Lynn through better, community-oriented policing.
We also want you to know that it is not too late. The last Police-Community Conversation In-Service Training Session is Wednesday, May 1st. You can still be part of this important work! Reply to this message and let Rev. Bernadette know that you are interested in participating. Whether you think you have a "story to tell" or not, your willingness to sit down with a police officer and be part of a solution to improve the relationship between the Lynn Police Department and all of the community members it serves, speaks volumes. You can be part of the larger story that is being told - the story about a community that is daring to tackle big problems one conversation at a time.
Onward, in peace and power!