Showing posts from 2021

Policy Analysis of Greater Cleveland Public Safety

Policy Overview Policing in the United States has a long, often troubling, history (Anderson, 2016).  With law enforcement being tasked with the bulk of what is broadly defined as “public safety,” officers are said to “protect and serve” the public-at-large.  The harsh reality, though, is that Black and Brown people are targeted more often by the police, resulting in generations of community trauma and escalating violence between the two “sides” (Sakala and La Vigne, 2019). What’s true, too, is that these public safety trustees are called to serve functions that go outside of typical police officer training or common expectation of their duties (Vermeer et al, 2020).  This combination of implicit (or explicit) racial biases/tensions and the undue stress of calling the police for matters that they are not equipped or needed to handle has resulted in unnecessary violence and death, both of residents and sworn officers (Kahn, 2018).  In 2020, the murder-by-police of George Floyd, Breonna

Multiple-Stream Analysis of Greater Cleveland Public Safety

An Introduction of the Policy Issue The dialogue on how best to approach policing and public safety has ramped up significantly since the murder-by-police of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others over the course of 2020.  While egregious and often racially disparate police violence is far from a new phenomenon in the United States, the amplification of Mr. Floyd’s murder, especially, by the Black Lives Matter social justice movement catapulted the issue of law enforcement violence against Black and Brown people straight into the public eye.  Not only was murder-by-police a commonplace occurence, it came with with little-to-no consequences for the involved officers, their supervisors, or on up the chain of the command (Sakala and La Vigne, 2019).  Indeed, this sort of violence appeared to be publicly sanctioned by the powers-that-be as the results of these instances of assault and murder continued without any move to change the systems that enabled such behavior (Anderson, 2016).

You Can’t Tell a Story Without Using Your ABC(D)’s

 You Can’t Tell a Story Without Using Your ABC(D)’s By Sarah Wolf, MFA, MSSA Candidate Community Innovation Network Graduate Student Research Assistant I have been thinking a lot about ABCD as a method of recognizing and healing community trauma. ABCD, in this case, stands for Asset Based Community Development, a strengths-based approach to community engagement.  Where many other approaches enter with a deficit perspective -- what is wrong here that needs to be fixed -- ABCD enters with a surplus attitude that asks folks to self-identify what skills, talents, and assets are there to utilize in the work.  This framework empowers everyone involved to recognize their potential to be a change-agent, to be an active participant in the process, and, as a result, a co-creator of a more equitable playing field where resident voices hold as much weight as institutional ones. It might sound aspirational.  It might be aspirational.  But it’s a framework that invokes hope.  It’s a framework that

Analyzing Community Trauma Through Junior’s Eyes

Introduction Sherman Alexie’s 2007 novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian shares the often overlooked or untold experience of indigenous populations in the United States of America.  Hundreds of years of systemic oppression have resulted in generations of native people trapped in cycles of poverty, violence, health disparities, and more.  Burnette and Figley (2016) report that there are around a thousand native community cultures that are largely ignored by the rest of the country.  As such, the gap between the dominant culture and the indigenous populations grows wider by the day with no clear signal that change is coming.  Alexie’s text  provides insight into the historical trauma indigenous communities have endured, the manifestations of that trauma, and the mechanisms that hold it in place.   Historical trauma perpetuated against Junior’s community To begin, a working definition of historical trauma is useful. Historical trauma is a heaping of traumatic events over