Inner City Communities and First Responders
I would like to invite you to join our new initiative “Changing 1 Life at a Time.”
On Saturday, April 10, 2021, we will be hosting a one-day event, focusing on relationship building using the game of basketball. During the career fair opportunity, we would like to introduce the kids to our local universities, Armed Services opportunities, and professional trades by exposing them to different career choices and much more.
The games will be played at four locations: Lilly Grove Baptist Church – 7034 Tierwester; Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church – 3015 North Macgregor; Haverstock Hills Apartments – 5619 Aldine Bender; and the Cuney Homes Apartments – 3260 Truxillo.
Experts say police reform has a different meaning in different neighborhoods. Transformation of police departments, their roles and their relationships in our communities will require a culture change, enhanced training and relationship building. Without these changes, inner-city community interaction with law enforcement and first responders will never change.
In 2020, the killing of Mr. George Floyd changed our country’s perspective on policing and the African American community. It focused our attention on the disparities in policing in different neighborhoods. As a product of Houston’s inner-city, we began to reflect and study ways to help change the culture of inner-city policing by “Changing 1 Life at a Time.”
Former Houston’s Mayor and Police Chief Dr. Lee P. Brown wrote the book “Policing in the 21st Century” – Community Policing”. This book presents concrete steps to establish a clear path to build trust and form positive relationships between police, first responders and our communities. We have finally acknowledged there is a problem, and we believe a good start to a lasting solution is to bring the impacted groups together.
The goal is to bring a racial and ethnically diverse group of police officers and first-responders to the inner-city to play basketball with children and youth from the surrounding neighborhood. The purpose is to allow the members of the community to interact with police and first responders in a comfortable and non-threatening environment so that new relationships can be formed that will lead to open and candid conversations in the future.
To accomplish this, we need your help and participation. With your support, we can begin to break down communications barriers and highlight career opportunities that can help to change the future of our inner-city neighborhoods “One Life at a Time.”
This event is also named after Lenora “Doll” Carter, at the tender age of 29, “Doll” Carter became the CEO of Forward Times Publishing Co. and as the Publisher and Editor and of the Houston Forward Times newspaper, the South’s largest independently owned and published African American newspaper, until her untimely death in April 2010. Former Houston City Councilmember Dwight Boykins has helped coordinate this outstanding event.
First Responder Partners include: African American Police Officers League (AAPOL), Houston Professional Firefighters Association (HPFFA), Houston Professional Black Firefighters Association (HPBFAA), Harris County Sheriff, METRO Police Department, Houston Police Officers Union, Harris County Constable Precinct 7 May Walker, HISD Police Department, Houston Community College Police Department, Texas Southern University Police Department, University of Houston Police Department, Harris County Deputies Organization and Harris County Constable Precinct 3 Sherman Eagleton.
We are thankful for the event sponsors: H-E-B, La Maison Midtown, Houston Forward Times, River Oaks Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram and the Houston Professional Firefighters Association.