When I wrote last week about “Purpose” I did not yet know of the tragedy in Minneapolis . So when I saw on Facebook my friend Amy Johnson’s new purpose, I just felt the need to share. Amy has been the Executive Director of several non-profits we have worked with, Gresham Barlow Education Foundation and Michael Allen Harrison’s Snowman Foundation. Her passion has always been helping others so when she married a Police Officer, it was just natural that she would see a need and try to find a solution. The non-profit she started over two years ago is call Face-to-Face Portland.
Face-to-Face Portland is committed to a vision of Trust Between Police and All Communities. As with all great ideas, it begins one person at a time, one step at a time and literally one family at a time They have begun with a “Liaison Family Program” (LFP). Participation in LFP is completely voluntary and no compensation provided to anyone participating in the program. LFP is not a government program; it is operated by volunteers from Face-to-Face. It has been particularly useful with new officers relocating to Portland. Of course a Face-to-Face interview must be done with a family before participation begins. However, the first 30 plus families that have participated all have great, positive stories to tell and lifelong friendships have been forged. When families invest in our community and our police officers, they play a powerful role in creating a greater community. They can be the anchor and voice for our public servants, and that benefits us all.
Face-to-Fact has also participated in a trial program at David Douglas High School where a group (10-12) students had many conversations with Police Officers about all kinds of life topics – the takeaway – a greater appreciation of how much we are more alike than different no matter our ethnicity, cultural background or gender.
No one has all the answers but this is certainly worth some investigation. If interested or would like to donate to their efforts please call Amy Johnson at 503-318-3582 or www.facetofacepdx.org, or www.facebook.com/facetofacepdx.
“Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong”. – Muhammad Ali