NOLA AFSC IN ACTION

NOLA AFSC IN ACTION

Peace by Piece Slide Show

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.

Turnt Up Performance-Steppin Ladies

Four dedicated young ladies from the 7th Ward Street Libraries group learned an inspriational step routine to share with their peers at the Sampson Park Turnt Up event. Their chant which stated, "I am beautiful, I am worthy, I am a gift to the world!," was created to combat the messages of unworthiness and suspiscion that "Stop-N-Frisk" laws often impose on youth of color.
 


Not only do they go hard while practicing, but they also go in when the time to shine arrives as well. So give it up for these hard working powerful young women.


Sampson Park TURNT UP Reflection- Isaiah


It was hot. Sweat built on my brow and poured out of me like an overflowing glass of water to drip down my entirety—as Breial said, “Dude you sweatin’ bricks.” Yes, in fact I may have been able to build a house at the rate that I was going, burning along the way as well. But those are simply the minor details of weather and the unfortunate happenings that come with wearing inappropriate clothes. The event itself was rather lively in its own way, very physical and artistic. The physicality of the event I feel also helped to reinforce the impact of Stop-N-Frisk because that law itself is very much about the body. To say what that is, go on a journey with me. Imagine that you’re at the corner store getting a cold drink with your peeps and then while walking home the cops roll up on you and tell you to stop. They then get all up in your face and space, potentially saying things about you that aren't true, just in general violating you and not telling you why and moving on—they might even take you to jail. This is not the bee’s knees and should not be happening, because at the end of the day this is just profiling off of stereotypes and a legal way to enforce quotas and harassment of specific segments of the population. On top of that we also explored the closing of schools in New Orleans and other cities and how those instances also are attacks on very specific areas and populations.

During the event itself I was covering the “Community May I” game and two art activities. During the game I could feel my awkwardness creep out of me while reading through the activity, but I stumbled through and finished out somehow still alive—even though I did mess up a few times. The art stations were easier for me to handle because they were more up close and personal with the youth there participating. It made me glad to see people coming over and putting painted hand prints on the white board and red and blue hands on the black board expressing themselves positively and enjoying the actions. Closely tied in with this was one of the more memorable moments of the day for me. A little girl who came over to the boards wanted to do the Stop-N-Frisk board, but when I asked her if she had ever been angry or confused she giggled and said no to both feelings. I found this to be a wonderful moment and it made me contemplate how lovely it would be for her to not have to feel those emotions at least in the ways that are negative and tear people, families, communities apart like Stop-N-Frisk does. Her innocence gives me inspiration and hope for the future to improve the world so people like her have something more to look forward to.

Isaiah

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Asia and Bri spreading good words

Asia interacts with the crowd passing out some numerical knowledge and asking questions to stir minds.




And then Bri comes at 'em with a good story.