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.