Youth forum in Oakland aims to create dialogue between teens and police


OAKLAND (BCN) — Students attending a forum in Oakland Thursday will get a chance to give their recommendations to some local police chiefs on how to improve relations between the community and police departments.

Starting at 5 p.m., 150 young people attending Oakland Leaf’s Peace Camp will participate in the Youth Empowerment Forum to discuss their ideas with Oakland police Chief Sean Whent and San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr, according to the Oakland Unified School District.

Also in attendance at the forum will be Oakland Unified School District police Chief Jeff Godown and Oakland City Councilwoman Anne Campbell-Washington, school district officials said.

In addition to the discussion with the police chiefs, students will also present a proposed policy change to support improving relationships between young people and police to Campbell-Washington, according to the school district.

The forum takes place at Bret Harte Middle School, located at 3700 Coolidge Ave.

The forum is part of the Peace Camp’s Summer Expo.At the expo, students will also unveil a school mural and present storytelling performances, as well as creative writing readings, school district officials said.

The Peace Camp, which is put on by the organization Oakland Leaf, is a free four-week summer camp for children 10 to 18 years old that specializes in teaching students about art, social justice and science, according to Oakland Leaf’s website.

“After the year our country just experienced, from Ferguson to Baltimore, it is pivotal that we give students a safe and empowering outlet to voice their concerns while creating a positive dialogue with figures of authority,” Oakland Leaf’s executive director Odiaka Gonzalez said in a statement.

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