A Tale of Two Cities: Police2Peace Called to uplift and heal Portland, Oregon and Pasquotank County, North Carolina

NEW YORKNov. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — After a year of violence in Portland and following a high profile shooting in Pasquotank County, North Carolina, the 501 (c)(3) organization Police2Peace was called in by leaders in these diverse communities to aid in efforts to unite, uplift, and heal them. Both are seeking grassroots solutions at the community level to systemic community/police tensions and mistrust. 

The Portland Peace Initiative launched on Sept 21, 2021, led by the Portland-based Interfaith Peace and Action Collaborative (IPAC). The Pasquotank County Peace Initiative began October 1.  While very different in size and geography, the two communities are committed to implementing new paradigms toward healing.

“There is a recognition that beyond merely addressing the problems at hand, it is time to invest in long-term programs, solutions and strategies to heal our communities,” said Police2Peace founder and executive director Lisa Broderick. “We’re honored to have been selected to partner with these communities on both the urban and rural ends of the community spectrum.”

The Initiatives consist of grassroots, professionally moderated listening sessions with community members. The intention is to tap the wisdom of the community about public safety and how they want to be served by the police so public safety is reimagined within and amid communities of color and other underrepresented groups. They are expected to last several months.

“More than ever, we need to understand how we can bring peace to the community,” says Rev. Dr. J. W. Matt Hennessee, Senior Pastor of Portland’s Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church.  “A welcome step in this journey is partnering with Police2Peace, a purpose-driven organization that was founded to help communities like ours understand the underlying dynamics that led to our current situation.”

In Pasquotank County, NC, County Manager Sparty Hammett adds, “Police2Peace offers an approach that we are looking forward to putting into motion in our community. Their micro-community listening sessions are about giving community members a voice as a first step to building trust and confidence in the sheriff’s office.”

Police2Peace addresses community dissatisfaction with the police by bringing these two parties together to create “Peace Officers” for culture change that is fundamental to police reform and unites them with their communities.  It is a trusted source of programs and policies for positive change in policing for departments, municipalities and communities throughout the U.S.

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