In the wake of an extremely violent year — in which American law enforcement officers killed 963 people and black males accounted for a disproportionate 33% of the unarmed people killed — community organizations around the country have been holding workshops to teach black youth about how to survive encounters with law enforcement. According to a Washington Post report, over 225 of these workshops, put on by churches, fraternities and sororities, and civic organizations, took place in 2016 and organizers say they have more events planned for 2017.
These events bear names like "Race & the Law” and "Surviving The Stop," and parents who were interviewed for the article mentioned that it can be hard to tow the line between standing up for what's right as a citizen and making sure their kids stay alive as parents. "Unfortunately, particularly for black and Latino kids here in New York City, that’s an experience that is neither uncommon nor easy to forget,” Lauren Frederico, director of Organizing Campaigns at the New York Civil Liberties Union, the New York chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, told the Post.
The ACLU has been holding kid-focused workshops on civil rights and law enforcement for at leas the past decade. "Our position at the ACLU is that knowing your rights is patriotic. Our goal has never been, we do not go into classrooms and say ‘all police are bad.’ But we do acknowledge reality,” Frederico said. The Post reports that, since the election, requests for such workshops from school and community groups has gone from two or three a month to multiple every day.
Read the full report here from The Washington Post.