NOLA AFSC IN ACTION

NOLA AFSC IN ACTION

Peace by Piece Slide Show

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

My name is Austin smith this is my second year returning as an AFSC intern. I've become more invested in our work this year and I have grown as a person throughout this new semester. I intended to use my new found knowledge and apply it to real life and that's what I did. If you asked me,“ what was one thing that I learned here this year?” I would tell you that I learned taking action to change the use of violence and oppression in society is important because it will have an ever lasting effect.
Just like it has many years before us. I've grown to realize if you get involved in situations because you haven't personally dealt with it, doesn't mean it doesn't effect what goes on around you. I really started expressing myself and to became more observant.
At first I didn't agree with being nonviolent myself but the idea of it is great. I just figured with the society I live in, you can't be nonviolent. It was just the way it was, and I didn't see anything wrong with that.
Then I realized that is the reason why this work is important.
If we continue to just let it slide and go with the idea that society works in that way, we would never do anything to change it. I feel though that I’m working better with achieving the goal of being a nonviolent peace leader. We've dealt with issues promoting nonviolence and increasing the peace within communities. and helping them be aware of what’s going on. We’ve been doing many events and through each event I’ve found that my opinion does matter, no matter how much I think it doesn't.
My name is Jerrica, and I am a Haitian woman. I speak 3 different languages (French, Creole, and English). I am an undergraduate student in New Orleans, and I will be graduating this semester with a bachelor degree.I am involve a lot in school. I am a UNO Ambassador Leader, which is student who work with the school president; I am in Phi Alpha Delta organization, which is student who are pre-law and planning to go to law school one day, I am Pi Sigma Alpha, which is a political science honor society, and the list goes on. After I graduate this December, I am going to get ready for law school. As for my personality, I am easy going and a positive person. I am very ambitious,smart, focus,anxious, bossy, dependable, critical, and goofy. Most of the time, I study a lot, read political books and articles, and do research on my career. I work hard and play less. I am a very busy person, but when I do have free time, I listen to some R&B songs, write poetry, go to a theater to watch a movie, or play with my siblings. On Sundays I teach a class full of 40 children from 1 year old to 13 year old, and I am also the President of the Children Department of the Sunday School at my church.

My name is Kendall D. Santacruze and I am an intern at American Friends Service Committee in New Orleans. I’m a singer, rapper, an outstanding dancer, and a well rounded individual. I do my very best to critique and perfect my talents. I have performed all over for some of the biggest events in New Orleans to college events in Florida and Washington D.C. around the White House. I am now in the midst of performing with several different dance crews, two music groups. I learned so much from AFSC.  I learned how to do more efficient computer work, how to MC an event and how to build a great resume. I feel ready to take on the issues hurting my community with the knowledge that AFSC has taught me. I’m looking forward to doing the internship again.

 




Transforming Oppression: 

The Third Annual Youth Fashion Show

The New Orleans Peace Building and Conflict Transformation Project recently hosted its Third Annual Transforming Oppression Fashion Show Saturday, November 26, 2013 at Christian Unity Church.  This year’s show included twelve models and performances by seven local youth artist acts.  Staff and interns chose three themes for this year’s show:  Vortex of Violence, Lost Generation and Living Wage. 

Traditionally, Peace by Piece has invited youth and young adults to participate in the Fashion Show by issuing them white t-shirts and asking participants to transform the shirt to tell a story about how social issues such as violence, poverty and poor education (to name a few) impact their lives.  The white tee, to which it is often referred, is a clothing item that is targeted by authority figures because of its popularity among young African Americans who don the casual apparel as a simple fashion statement. 

Designers adorned their shirts with illustrations reflective of this year’s themes.  Models wanted to use their designs to demonstrate the connection between poverty, violence and the untimely deaths of their peers.  Participants attended a workshop where they got a crash course in the definition of oppression and the manifestations thereof.  They also did visioning where they imagined translating their experiences w/violence, loss of young lives and lack of employment opportunities into rhetorical images to be displayed on white tees and hoodies for the show.

This year hoodies were added to the Fashion Show line-up.  The same concept applied; transform the hoodies to tell stories of injustice and oppression.  The hoody is another wardrobe feature made popular by a certain race, class and age demographic and a symbol of how vulnerable to bigotry one becomes when wearing it.  The term “hoody” has been propelled into the American English lexicon as a result of the death of Trayvon Martin.  New Orleans, like many major cities, has its own catalog of victims whose young lives have been lost to violence.  Hoodies and white tees are emblematic of the profiling and violence consistently encountered by the Black community, particularly Black youth.  The show raises audience awareness of such violence and allows young people to creatively frame their stories using fashion and art.  

The Fashion Show has become a staple of the New Orleans Peace Building and Conflict Transformation Project.  The program is preparing to leverage the event to have an even greater impact on crime in the city.  AFSC New Orleans wants to see a reduction in the murder rate and will continue to build programming that addresses the extraordinary levels of crime that consume youth culture.  In 2014, Peace by Piece will produce an anecdotal log that chronicles the murders of people ages 0-24.  The log will be used as a tool to raise awareness and engage youth, families, activists, school and city officials in solution-based dialogue that addresses and presents alternatives to violence.  Peace by Piece will continue to produce its annual fashion show to give young people a platform to design their own freedom one young person at a time.

  






















Thursday, October 3, 2013

Sampson Park Night Out Against Crime






Sampson Park Night Out Against Crime

Presents

“Turn Up and Get Active”

Date: October 15, 2013

Location: Sampson Park
New Orleans, LA 70126

Time: 5:30-7:30 pm

There will be performers, guest speakers, a brass band, a softball game, and snacks will be provided


All ages are welcomed!!!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Reflections from Peace-by-Piece Summer Intern

My Summer Experience


                The few weeks of summer that I worked with AFSC has been beyond rewarding. I worked with kids at camps in the Desire community as well as in Gentilly.  Each day we met with them, we had a creative art activity for the children that was centered on the theme of “Dare to be you”. It was not only fun to create new art, but also to get to know new personalities along the way. The most memorable moments were definitely seeing the excitement on the kids’ faces and seeing how anxious they were to learn. This involvement with the kids really opened my eyes and heart, for which I am truly thankful for. It was a great experience in preparing me for a career in social work and family advocacy I plan on going into after college.
                                      - Antoinette





Check out some photos from some of our summer programs below:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k499/asglover/Peace%20Art%20Summer%20Program%202013/DSC00374.jpg










Peace by Piece Intern Overview: Briana O'Neal


 
I have been with Peace by Piece from the beginning stages. Peace by Piece(PBP) is a nonviolence youth group made up of students ages 17-24. We formed this nonviolent youth group to help fight the problem of violence among youth in New Orleans. As a PBP youth leader, I have participated in violent acts before deciding to adopt a nonviolent lifestyle.

From the moment I was told that there would be another internship cycle I knew I had to be a part of it again. 

During this internship cycle, I have gained more self-worth through the workshops we have attended and the trainings we have taught. The first event we did was the Desire Park Day. I left the park feeling like I made a difference. I was also reminded of the chaotic surroundings these youth had to face every day. Despite these issues the youth were attentive and active in everything we did.  It felt good to see them listening to our list of peaceful tactics to deal with their anger and to see them apply these tactics to their lives. I enjoyed helping them make their peace t-shirts that they wore so proudly the rest of the day.

The Cultural Organizing Workshop was our first workshop of the cycle. The purpose of the Cultural Organizing Weekend in NOLA was to bring together various artists and organizers to discuss, share and teach different tools used in cultural organizing in our communities.

I love the fact that there was representation from the older generation and the younger generation in the same room and there wasn’t any conflict. We spent a lot of time talking about the way that our organizations used cultural organizing in our work and explaining the work that we have done so far. I felt there were a lot of stories that came up to show that there were many ways to use cultural organizing.

 I also liked how Breial and Austin, two AFSC interns, spoke on the cultural organizing discussion panel. I was also happy to see that the oldest lady in the room not only listened to them but she also took notes because she felt like she could learn from what a young person had to say.

Peace by Piece is always getting calls from all kinds of youth programs to get us to teach their youth about nonviolence. The Boys & Girls Club is one of those organizations that we have had the priviledge to work with.  It warmed my heart to know that the kids learned a lot and wanted to keep on learning about nonviolence with us.  Those kids were so smart that by the end of the day they knew what nonviolence was and ways to be nonviolent.

We ended our internship with an event that I had the honor of naming, ‘’Sampson Park Turnt Up.’’ The point of this event was to get kids to understand school closures and the “Stop -N- Frisk” laws by having them do fun activities that allowed them to personally understand that what is happening to them isn’t right. I believe that most of the kids picked up on the ideas that we were trying to spread to them. It shows that we’re making an impact on their lives and also making progress with getting communities involved in issues around them.

I feel that my fellow interns and I made an impact on the lives of the young people who attended our events, as well as, everyone who we came across during this internship cycle. I’m now happy to call all of the other interns my friends. I feel like The American Friends Service Committee is an organization that I could see myself working with for life because they believe in the worth of everyone. This means a lot to me because I’m coming from a society that devalues young black people.
BRIANA O’NEAL
A-K-A
MZ.W.T.POOH

Check out my powerpoint overview of this internship:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/3p9yb7q05tbo27i/BRI%20POWER%20POINT%28ag%20edits%29.pptm


 
 

Peace by Piece Intern Overview: Asia-VInae Palmer


I used to wonder why I had to encounter difficult situations growing up. I tried to always see the bright light no matter how dark my circumstances were and I had a feeling that I was supposed to do something important one day. Growing up, I went through a lot, and know now that I’m involved in my community, I see how my own experiences are useful tools to relate to the kids I’m reaching out to. I know how powerful of an influence people made on me when I was younger when they simply said “I’ve been there.” Now I’m that person, and it feels wonderful!

I found out about The American Friends Service Committee through my old poetry coach. She sends emails about youth opportunities all the time so I was interested to see what this one was about. When I was reading the credentials I got excited because it was like the email was describing me! As an artist, poet, low key activist, and with a passion for youth, this was clearly the place for me. I came in to this organization expecting to be an expert just because I’ve done a few things around the city, but I had and still have a long way to go before I become an expert.

In these past few months with AFSC I’ve been on a learning overload and embracing this feeling of enlightenment. The first thing I learned was that this organization is not about non-violence, but nonviolence. The hyphen is what separates a person that choses to take non-violent paths from time to time between the person that lives a nonviolent lifestyle. Nonviolence was a tactic passed down from Martin Luther King Jr., who happens to be part of the inspiration of the organization, and of whose quotes are all around the office.  I would say that I’ve always been a fan of King, but until now, I didn’t know much about him besides the few paragraphs in history books and random repeated information on his birthday or during Black History Month. As the weeks progressed, I started to realize that I don’t know much about anything really. It also dawned on me that I haven’t been living up to my potential. The internship’s activities and assignments required us to become more socially aware, so I was learning more about the world around me and the injustices in that world; injustices I was oblivious to.

If someone would’ve asked me last year if I consider myself a cultural organizer, I’d probably say that I’m not sure exactly what they mean. I thought I knew what culture meant. My idea of culture was limited to race and music and food, but culture is everything around you. Culture is the houses in Treme, it’s the choice to wear black Chuck Tailor Converse, its language, and the way you eat dinner with your family. I learned that being a cultural organizer requires you to be able to use an aspect of culture to teach someone. The workshop was exhilarating. I had to step out of my comfort zone because there was a lot of singing and holding hands and sharing, but the way I saw it was, why not open up? What’s the worst that will happen? It was a giant circle; full of positive spirits all working towards uplifting our people.

 I also thought I had a very open mind. At least until the Undoing Racism workshop with The People’s Institute. The first thing they asked us to do was connect nine dots with four straight lines without lifting the pen from the page. It hit me that although I’m ahead of some people, I am still stuck in a box that I need to break out of in order to move forward. Since I grew up in a small southern town, I already knew about racial tension, but once again, I was reminded that I don’t know everything. I had no idea that I was taking part in my own oppression by continuing to unconsciously submit to the white race. Simple things like defending my white friends incase my black friends make them feel uncomfortable when black people have to feel uncomfortable every day of their lives, or being able to recognize white privilege where things I hadn’t even thought about.

Our events reminded me that although I have some experience with kids, I still have a lot more to learn and I have room to grow. I’ve gotten experience with teaching kids through my socially aware art presentations

Now that the internship is over, I already find myself still involved. I’ve kept in contact with different organizations we’ve worked with. The want to change the world has always been inside of me and now that I see other people passionate about the same thing I feel like taking advantage is a must. This internship was just the push I needed to begin applying myself. As I’ve been becoming more socially aware, I’ve been becoming more and more passionate about changing the injustices of my community and the world. The educational system, as we all know, it screwed up and although I understand that we’ve been trying to change it for years, it needs to be changed. It needs adjustment from the books to the teachers to the barbed wire around the fences. I didn’t even know that only schools in low income areas have barbed wire. I assumed they were everywhere. The sad thing is that they cage up who they want to cage up and liberate who they want to see liberated. I want to liberate my people. It hurts to see kids running around dirty, or reading with kids with low reading levels, or kids that are drowning from their environment. I understand that the world won’t change overnight, and I can’t do it alone, but through this internship I see that there are a lot of other people with the same overall goal and together we can change the world Peace By Piece.


Asia-Vinae Palmer

The digital story that I made about a community organizer that I admire:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/wnnnibbnrp2pm8v/Asia-Vinae%20Photo%20Story.wmv

My reflection on my digital story:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/b9jm64kjzpey1uc/Asia-Vinae%20Video.MP4

My powerpoint overview of this internship:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/1t3ywm0ax9adi20/Asia%20Portfolio%20PP.pptx

Peace by Piece Intern Overview: Breial Kennedy


 
Looking back over this semester, I feel accomplished. I’ve grown in many ways in terms of my character and my intent for my community. Through this internship I’ve gained a better understanding of the mission statement of American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and some of its partnered institutions such as People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB). Briefly, I’d like to discuss some of my thoughts and experiences.

Initially, walking into the office space was a lot different than I expected it to be. It was more of a culture shock than I could have ever thought it would have been. The other interns I’ve had the opportunity of working with have really made this experience much more enjoyable because they are so unique in what they bring the table. Ultimately, their willingness to share themselves with me helped me to truly bring myself in wholeness out into the community for our youth events; youth events that promote peace and nonviolence awareness.

Through several different trainings I think I’ve acquired a definition of what the terms nonviolence, cultural organizing, undoing racism, and community mean. Nonviolence, in my opinion, is remaining reasonable in even the most hostile situations. The ability to talk and think something through shows maturity. Secondly, cultural organizing, to me, is the way in which we engage and bring the community together using art techniques established by the culture of a specific or even a broader locality. Thirdly, undoing racism is the way in which we go about creating equal social and economic statuses. Finally, I’d describe a community as a group of people who are interdependent on one another.

In terms of AFSC, this internship has helped me on a more personal level in reference to a community issue that I have invested interest in. Being civically involved has put me in a position to analyze my community thoroughly and seek issues that need immediate attention. My community issue of choice is leadership. As I go out into the community as an AFSC intern disseminating important information about the principles of nonviolence, I witness some of the youth listen but at the same time I witness some youth that rebel and reject the information. Now, it didn’t disturb me at first because, naturally, not every person you speak to is going to be genuinely interested in what you’re saying. But it touched me once it appeared that the youth who were disrespectful and not really listening to me and my fellow interns had more of an influence on the other youth. So I realized that the community doesn’t lack leadership, it lacks positive leadership. If we could reach those youth who have the greatest influence on the community we could make a much greater impact on the community as a whole.
 
Check out my power point presentation detailing my intern experience:

 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Piece By Piece Internship Overview: Austin Smith

         

When I started as fresh new intern with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), I originally thought it would be different than what I’ve experienced. I thought I was going to be filing papers and etc., like on television. Soon I realized I was in the wrong place. Not to say I entered the wrong building but to say that I entered a place where they did’nt push papers, but instead they went out into the community to make a difference within that community. I realized in this internship that you have to be outgoing and be able to find your voice. I was the quiet guy that sat in the corner and didn’t say much. I could not be that guy in this internship! I learned that you have to realize that you have a voice and the power to make a difference within your community.
I believe I have grown as a person throughout this semester as an intern. I intend to take what I learned here and incorporate it into my future life. If you asked me,“ what was one thing that I learned here?” I would tell you that I learned to take action to change things now, instead of not caring. I’ve learned that if you dismiss something because it doesn’t relate to you, it can still happen to you. As a person I’ve grown to express myself and to become more analytical. At first I did'nt want to speak much. I liked to stay to myself and not talk to many people. Now I’m opening up more with my peers.
 I’ve become more understanding with situations that I have never dealt with. I always felt that if the issue didn’t pertain to me, I didn’t have to concern myself with it. Overtime I’ve realized that it can happen to me one day. So why shouldn’t I make it an important issue to handle before it happens to me?  I also see that being involved is beneficial to my education and safety in the streets. At first I didn’t agree with being nonviolent but in time I have swayed more towards its path. I still feel that if I need to stand up for myself, I will, even if it results in violence. Now bear with me, I try hard to maintain a focus of peace, but it is hard to remain nonviolent. I feel though that I’m working better with achieving the goal of being a nonviolent peace leader. We deal with many issues like this one that I have mentioned. From promoting nonviolence and peace to working with communities and helping them be aware of what’s going on. We’ve been doing many events and through each event I’ve found that my opinion does matter, no matter how much I don’t think it does. Honestly through all the work that we do with other organizations, I feel that we uphold what we say we’re going to do within the community. For example, when we work within the 7th and 9th Ward, we make sure that the kids enjoy themselves but as someone who lives in the 9 Ward I would want to see more good things being done in my area.  From my time in this internship I’ve noticed that AFSC is pretty much on the level that they say they’re on. AFSC does a good job promoting their nonviolence policies among young people by doing these events.
We worked so hard learning to make a difference in our communities that we attended multiple training meetings. One of the meetings was The People’s Institute’s Undoing Racism training. At the training, we spoke about different issues within the community and how they related to racism around us. We also talked about different issues that happened to us and how they related to racial discrimination.
Another mandatory meeting for training was the Cultural Organizing Workshop. This meeting was intended for us to team up with different organizations in a closed space and discuss the issues we dealt with and better ways to help get more people involved in cultural organizing.
One community issue that I would like to get involved with would be to help clean up the streets. The people who work to fix streets and make the communities look nice don’t really focus on smaller areas. There are many places that get over looked and need to be landscaped and cleaned. I want to help make these eye sores go away. The people who live in these areas don’t want to see them, and neither do I. That’s what I would like to help with outside of this internship.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Peace and Justice Internship Overview:Isaiah Jones


While at the internship I have learned about a diverse array of subjects and delved deeper into them challenging my personal beliefs and pushing me to expand my understandings. In particular some of the points I have contemplated are nonviolence, cultural organizing, undoing racism, the mission statement of AFSC and issues in the community that I have passion to change.


As a person I find myself inclined to straying away from acts of physical violence but I am aware that I have participated in verbal sparring that can be equally if not more harmful depending on your perspective. I have worked on this and I find that reigning in the lashing out in defense is a hard battle, but in the end it is worth it to keep the peace and find a more positive solution to the situation. For those who are more body oriented I can only imagine that this task is monumental as well. Because of both of these lenses I cannot accept the opinion that nonviolence is anything less than a dedicated courageous lifestyle. It is something that we incorporate into our lives and work on every day, a continuous meditation to be powerful and find the higher path.  While walking down this road I have been into the community and learned to organize from within.


By organizing within I mean that I have had to learn what all effective servants know: the community already knows what it needs and wants. Under this reality the challenge is not how you personally can change everything, but more of an exchange between all those involved to shape the power already there to do what you want it to do. Your job is to be so productive that you are not needed in the position that you arrived in. If you are not performing to that standard then re-evaluation is indeed necessary. In my own life this has shown up as having to acknowledge all of my multiple identities and how those energies individually and collectively effect and interact with all the identities of others in the spaces that I enter, work in and exit. One door that I wish I could leave through and close firmly is racism.

Sadly we live in a country, even a world, where a great enemy of human worth exists. Racism is an oppressive force purposely institutionalized to divide people in order to maintain the status quo.  On top of its own sickening qualities, it is further exacerbated by the way that all oppression is intersectional thereby multiplying its power every time a new characteristic is introduced into the fray (gender, sex, sexuality, class, etc…). The best way to undo this unfortunate situation is to have real conversations even when things get uncomfortable so as to find our authentic selves and free us from this prison. Liberation would further empower the uplifting spirit of love over hate and heal us of these festering wounds within our minds, bodies and souls. Luckily for me I work in an environment that has a powerful mission, vision and values that it strives towards.


The views of the American Friends Service Committee are something that I am entirely grateful for and privileged to be surrounded by. I have found them to be the practical interpretation of faith, positivity and love working for social change that I resonate with acutely. I am fortunate to have been introduced to them so young and I can even say that because of them and the organization that stands upon them that I am a better person and gained a clearer idea of what I want to do with my life. I understand these tenets as acknowledging the humanity of all and actively engaging to fight against the injustices preventing a total realization of potential and denying people’s legitimacy for dignity, respect, compassion and more. But when one is fortunate more is asked of them and because of that I was also asked to ponder issues that I personally care about in the community.

As a person who uses poetry as a way to creatively express myself, I have found that literacy is very important to me. How we read, write and speak are all connected and all play roles in shaping how we construct reality and relate to the world around us. But for me this is not a matter of prioritizing a specific way of engagement over another and more an opportunity to embrace a fuller palate than the one that we are currently working with. In the majority of the current educational system we only acknowledge the presence of one manifestation of intelligence and in that forceful denial of multiplicity we limit our power. According to Howard Gardner there are many ways to be intelligent. In fact there are, if not more, at least eight manifestations (linguistic, naturalist, kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, logical mathematical, musical and visual). And that is not to say that these forms are exclusive as persons may have more than one or a combination of any and all. However, what is popularized as legitimate seems to primarily be logical mathematical with narrow adaption from linguistic to provide for the memorization of information. This limited perspective is problematic because not everyone is the same and therefore not everyone learns the same. For example, in New Orleans there is a large amount of people who are musically brilliant and across the board artistically inclined and magnificent. But because they do not fit into the box they are told adverse messages which are harmful. So we must deconstruct these messages from the core and change the way that we engage people so as to foster growth in all of us.

Check out my visual aide to go with this story
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1BAqF3eFFwkvKywgzz71XDmKD9h54TijipeFOQXV4hOg/edit?usp=sharing

Also check out my video to you called "My Acceptance Poem"
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_SA6uR1YJvhdWVjaEtiVWFXSXM/edit?usp=sharing

Isaiah Jones





Monday, May 6, 2013

Sampson Park TURNT UP Reflection: Asia-Vinae


There we were
standing in the middle of the field staring at the children

it
is
about
to
go
down

We were at Sampson Park for three reasons, inform the kids about the school closures, inform them of Stop & Frisk, and do it all while having fun. A lot of people aren’t aware that New Orleans currently uses a social profiling tool called Stop & Frisk. Stop & Frisk is what New Orleans Chief of Police calls “a valuable law enforcement tool” which allows police officers to stop “suspicious” civilians whom fit the profile of someone that “looks” like they might break the law. When asked to define the term suspicious, he was unable to do so. People also often assume that school closures are normal and think they don’t have the right to object or fight for their schools to stay open. We brainstormed what kind of activities we could plan in order to teach them about the issues without leaving them bored. We used the childhood game “Man Overboard” as an example of Stop & Frisk. I served as one of the friskers and had to stand like monkey in the middle in order to try and catch the “suspicious” kids. It was pretty fun as they ran for whatever stereotype they related to. My most memorable moment of the day was my end of the event recap when I got to talk to the kids about Stop & Frisk. The day was definitely a success.



Asia-Vinae Palmer




Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sampson Park Turnt Up Reflection- Breial


So last Saturday AFSC hosted a major event at Sampson Park called “Sampson Park Turnt Up: True, Uplifting, Real Neighbors with Talent Using Positivity” and it was amazing.  Essentially, it was an event to bring the community up to speed about some issues in both our schools and our law enforcement.  School closure is a local movement that is beginning to spread across the United States to other places such as Chicago. But on the other hand we have Stop-N-Frisk,  a law in New Orleans, that gives law enforcement officers the right to “stop and frisk” anyone who appears to be “suspicious.” However, AFSC again managed to host an amazing and uplifting event to inform NOLA’s youth.
In this event my role, to me, was to be a facilitator. We created several different activities teaching the youth about their rights when faced with the challenges of a school closing or being stopped and frisked. One of the games consisted of “Stop-N-Frisk Man Overboard.” While the youth were on “base” we called out different stereotypes that could easily fit them but could also, potentially, get them stopped by the police. If the youth fit the stereotype, they were to run in hopes that they would reach the other side of the field (base) without being caught by the police. Ultimately this taught them the different characteristics of what a suspect looks like. But it also gave them some insight as to how Stop-N-Frisk is perceived in the community. Community members are constantly running day in and day out to base (home) hoping they won’t be caught for their individuality.

To discuss my experiences in one word, I’d say the event was rejuvenating. I really enjoyed playing with and teaching the youth. They are so young and energy filled but they truly have great minds for understanding the importance of change and social justice. So to sum it all up, I had fun. I really did.

-BMK

Sampson Park Turnt Up


So last Saturday AFSC hosted a major event at Sampson Park called “Sampson Park Turnt Up: True, Uplifting, Real Neighbors with Talent Using Positivity” and it was amazing.  Essentially, it was an event to bring the community up to speed about some issues in both our schools and our law enforcement.  School closure is a local movement that is beginning to spread across the United States to other places such as Chicago. But on the other hand we have Stop-N-Frisk,  a law in New Orleans, that gives law enforcement officers the right to “stop and frisk” anyone who appears to be “suspicious.” However, AFSC again managed to host an amazing and uplifting event to inform NOLA’s youth.
In this event my role, to me, was to be a facilitator. We created several different activities teaching the youth about their rights when faced with the challenges of a school closing or being stopped and frisked. One of the games consisted of “Stop-N-Frisk Man Overboard.” While the youth were on “base” we called out different stereotypes that could easily fit them but could also, potentially, get them stopped by the police. If the youth fit the stereotype, they were to run in hopes that they would reach the other side of the field (base) without being caught by the police. Ultimately this taught them the different characteristics of what a suspect looks like. But it also gave them some insight as to how Stop-N-Frisk is perceived in the community. Community members are constantly running day in and day out to base (home) hoping they won’t be caught for their individuality.

To discuss my experiences in one word, I’d say the event was rejuvenating. I really enjoyed playing with and teaching the youth. They are so young and energy filled but they truly have great minds for understanding the importance of change and social justice. So to sum it all up, I had fun. I really did.

Sampson Park Turnt Up Reflection- Breial


So last Saturday AFSC hosted a major event at Sampson Park called “Sampson Park Turnt Up: True, Uplifting, Real Neighbors with Talent Using Positivity” and it was amazing.  Essentially, it was an event to bring the community up to speed about some issues in both our schools and our law enforcement.  School closure is a local movement that is beginning to spread across the United States to other places such as Chicago. But on the other hand we have Stop-N-Frisk,  a law in New Orleans, that gives law enforcement officers the right to “stop and frisk” anyone who appears to be “suspicious.” However, AFSC again managed to host an amazing and uplifting event to inform NOLA’s youth.
In this event my role, to me, was to be a facilitator. We created several different activities teaching the youth about their rights when faced with the challenges of a school closing or being stopped and frisked. One of the games consisted of “Stop-N-Frisk Man Overboard.” While the youth were on “base” we called out different stereotypes that could easily fit them but could also, potentially, get them stopped by the police. If the youth fit the stereotype, they were to run in hopes that they would reach the other side of the field (base) without being caught by the police. Ultimately this taught them the different characteristics of what a suspect looks like. But it also gave them some insight as to how Stop-N-Frisk is perceived in the community. Community members are constantly running day in and day out to base (home) hoping they won’t be caught for their individuality.

To discuss my experiences in one word, I’d say the event was rejuvenating. I really enjoyed playing with and teaching the youth. They are so young and energy filled but they truly have great minds for understanding the importance of change and social justice. So to sum it all up, I had fun. I really did.

-BMK


Sampson Park Turnt Up Reflection- Briana

(Youth writing ideas to create their "dream school.")


We held a youth event called Sampson Park Turnt Up: True, Uplifting, Real Neighborhoods with Talent Using Positivity on Saturday April 27, 2013 from 1-4pm. The “Turnt up” event was created to teach and inform youth while allowing space for self-expression in a peaceful way. The themes for our event were local stop-n-frisk policies and school closures. We chose these themes because they were making national news. However, the news reports were only talking about what was happening in New York and Chicago but these two topics have been a huge problem here in New Orleans for a long time. The New Orleans Police Department ( N.O.P.D)  has been using  stop-n-frisk policies on youth in the city daily and local youth didn’t even know that it was a law. I’m still trying to find out if it’s an active law here. We addressed the topic of school closures because they have been closing schools down like crazy here from 2006 until now, yet the closes we have gotten to national news coverage has been Oprah’s show about John Mac.
During the event I was responsible for making sure that the youth understood how the two topics were connected and how they deeply impacted the black community. I created a game called “The Change Starts Now” to show how the schools and the jails are the same but also let youth know that they have the power to change that. I also wrote a speech about the school to prison pipeline which is the pathway from the school system to jail. My speech brought out the real truth about the government and their plans to make money off the black community in new ways. 
This event was one of the smallest we had because it was also the first weekend of Jazz Fest, an international New Orleans music festival,  but we made the best of it. Peace by Piece worked great as a team. Everyone did a great job stepping up when needed and did their activities with good results. I liked the fact that my big brother Justice came to perform his “Better Tomorrow” song, right after leaving from performing at “Jazz Fest”. The kids were responding to him by saying the words along with him and this made the day even better.

Shout out to DJ Act Right! He kept us in a good mood with the music flow. I danced all day long.  The best part of the day was the “Man Overboard”game and “the 3 legged race.” It was nice to see the different aged kids interacting with each other in a peaceful and fun way.  They didn’t know it but they were learning to use team work to win so that they could see that there is power in numbers. This helped them see that if they used team/community work to reach their goals then they could change the way things were in their community. The thought of this new change coming just makes me smile from ear to ear. I know that there is still work to do but we are one step closer.  
Briana O’Neal

 

 

 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sampson Park Turnt Up Reflection-Austin


At the Sampson Event things were different from how I expected them to be but it was a good difference. The event turned out pretty great. We got everything done that was on the agenda with no issues to get in the way of anything. I feel that we made an impact on the lives of the young children who attended the event. When I was walking around, I overheard some kids speaking and they were saying some insightful things that let me know they were absorbing the message. The whole point of the event was to get kids to understand school closures and the “Stop -N- Frisk” laws by having them do fun activities that allowed them to personally understand what others go through, to a certain extent. I believe that most of the kids picked up on the ideas that we were trying to spread and that’s a good thing. It shows that we’re making an impact on their lives and also making progress with getting communities involved in issues around them.

I enjoyed working with the kids during the activities. I helped my other AFSC co-workers to set up for the event and help with three of the activities we had for the event. I hosted the three legged race event. This event was designed to teach kids about human rights and the correct ways to handle different situations dealing with security/police in schools. I read out some statements that said what was okay when dealing with police/security guards and the kids were to determine if it was right or wrong. It was quite funny watching the kids trying to run with their legs tied!

I really liked playing man over board. This game represented the "Stop -N- Frisk" laws. Ahman√© read out some phrases that were reasons why police officers chose to label youth of color suspicious and frisk them during stops. During the game,the children played  the role of the innocent victims deemed "suspicious" and my team and I were the cops. It was the most memorable part of the event. I was able to run around and have a little fun with the kids, which was cool. The last thing I helped with was the spray painting of positive symbols of courage on cardboard. This I enjoyed also because it was my first time spray painting. Anyhow the whole event went by smoothly from my point of view and I look forward to doing more events like it.
                      (youth lining up for the "3 legged race")

 

 

Man Overboard Remix

See them run hard and fast. 
 
We used the Man Overboard Remix game to discuss "Stop-N-Frisk" laws in the community. Youth were asked to run when prompted after they heard a general stereotype often imposed on youth of color in New Orleans. AFSC interns then posed as police trying to frisk these young people as they ran past them. The purpose of this game was to demonstrate the injustice involved in establishing "who is suspicious" during "Stop-N-Frisk" practices.