Cops, Community, Clergy Gather to Improve Community-Police Relations

Categories: Press Releases

Diverse Faith Leaders Meet Friday to Call for Cops, Community, Clergy Sabbath Weekend
Gathering aimed at intentional police-community dialogue in houses of worship

Contact: Joey Longley, 419-953-5495, jlongley@uts.columbia.edu

NEW YORK, NY—As protests continue to spread across the country in the wake of the deaths of unarmed black men and women by law enforcement, a diverse group of faith leaders, law enforcement officials, and community members will gather on Friday, May 22 at 8:00am to call for a “Cops, Community, and Clergy Sabbath Weekend.” The weekend, planned for June 12-14, aims to be a time for intentional dialogue between police officers and members of the community.

“As faith leaders, we are committed to the hard work of reconciliation,” said Union Theological Seminary President Serene Jones. “This year has exposed the deep and tragic racial divides that plague our communities and our country. While dialogue alone won’t fix this problem, it is a necessary step to bring healing and hope to communities that have been the most hurt by unjust policing.”

The weekend is being co-sponsored by diverse faith groups including Union Theological Seminary, Auburn Seminary, the Interfaith Center of New York, the Micah Institute at New York Theological Seminary, the Riverside Church, and the Drum Major Institute.

“As massive protests across our nation bear witness, the relationship between police and many of the communities they are entrusted to serve has past the breaking point,” said Rev. Karyn Carlo, PhD (NYPD Captain, retired) and Founder & Director of the Micah Institute’s “Clergy, Community, Cops Project”. “Changing this will require large scale, systemic reforms, but it will also take localized healing of relationships on a block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood basis.”

This breakfast is a continuation of other gatherings, including a breakfast featuring Martin Luther King III and protestors from Ferguson followed by a “die-in” and a breakfast featuring Rev. William Barber of the North Carolina Moral Mondays Movement.