Conference Panels / by Rajiv Sinclair

“How Youth See Police.  How Police See Youth.” — Friday, April 24, 2:45 p.m.

Countless interactions occur daily in urban America between Black youth and police. An encounter between a police officer engaged in a legitimate investigative mission and a teen innocent of any wrongdoing can be fraught. It can go wrong in a variety of ways, often with major consequences for the individuals involved and for community-police relations. What do these encounters look and feel like?  How are they experienced by youth? How are they experienced by police? How do they shape the ways each sees the other?

“How it Makes Me Feel—Youth.” — Friday, April 24, 4:15 p.m.

How do these encounters, and the contexts in which they occur, shape the attitudes and identities of African-American youth—the way they see themselves and their place in the world? How do these encounters affect their orientation toward law enforcement? How do these encounters affect their personal development and their ability to navigate public space?

“How it Makes Me Feel—Police.” — Saturday, April 25, 9:00 a.m.

Every day we put police officers in what often feels like an impossible situation: Get gangs, guns, and drugs off our streets. Keep us safe from violence. At the same time, there is widespread criticism of the practice of stopping and searching Black youth as a crime-fighting tactic. How do police experience this apparent catch 22? How do youth/police encounters impact law enforcement?

“They Have All the Power.” — Saturday, April 25, 10:45 a.m.

Why does police accountability matter in this context? How does the knowledge that severe abuses—brutality, sexual assault, false arrest, even death—have gone unpunished inform and shape encounters between youth and police? What are the costs and harms of the absence of accountability? How does the lack of accountability affect the relationships between youth and police? How does it impact our effectiveness in addressing crime and violence? How could improved transparency and accountability affect youth/police relations?

“I Can’t Imagine Anything Different.” — Saturday, April 25, 1:30 p.m.

Many view strained relations between police and minority youth as difficult if not impossible to change. They see the status quo as intractable. What is the impact of such attitudes? Is there reason to believe that relations can improve? What do constructive youth/police relations look like?  How can police and youth work together to build better relationships?

“Where Do We Go From Here?” — Saturday, April 25, 2:45 p.m.

The final panel, in which all panelists and the audience will participate, will be devoted to a discussion of next steps and prescriptive strategies for addressing the issues explored in the course of the conference.