The Arts Greenhouse Project and the Hear Me project at Carnegie Mellon University have teamed up to highlight and raise awareness around the importance of Youth-Police Relations within the city of Pittsburgh. The role of police in the community is a topic that has become a flashpoint due to recent cases that have captured national attention and has become a constant topic of discussion among youth in the Arts Greenhouse. The City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police has also launched several new initiatives in recent years to build positive interactions between police and youth and the Community Relations officer has expressed interest in collaborating with more youth, like the Arts Greenhouse students, to expand these initiatives.
We believe the first 100 Days of the new administration provides an opportunity to develop a unique approach to youth-police collaborations that has to potential to continue the dialogue and improve relations city-wide. We plan to have three youth-police dialogues within the first 100 days. The first meeting will center around sharing personal experiences related to youth and police interactions, with the goal of building empathy and respect. The second meeting will allow for each group to ask questions of the other, to share information, and address concerns. The third meeting will allow both youth and police to express themselves creatively through spoken word poetry, music, or other creative genres. These discussions and creative performances will provide a unique opportunity for both youth and police in our city to expound upon their lived experiences and perspectives with a view to improving relationships.
The goal of this collaboration is to create a multimedia work of art that brings together the voices of youth and police and can be shared with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and the public. Based on feedback from these events, we can plan future work responsive to issues identified by youth, police, and the public.