About thehecklist

CEO of the New York Peace Institute, Adjunct Professor at New York University's Center for Global Affairs. On twitter @NewYorkPeace.

more heartache.

baton rougeAnd now, three police officers from Baton Rouge have lost their lives, with three others injured. Sending lots of good energy to the loved ones of the fallen, and hopes for a speedy recovery to the survivors.

Looks like we can’t go a single day anymore without violence and tragedy. We’re training our next cohort of NYPD officers this week — which is both poignant in light of today’s news, and a reminder of how important and necessary this work is.

Peace to all,

Brad

 

spring is coming whether you like it or not.

nerudaThought I’d whip up this sketch in honor of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s birthday.

Game of Thrones is all about winter coming, and I write this, I’m most displeased with the New York City summer humidity. Nevertheless, what a swell quote: you can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.

I’m choosing to read this within the context of all the discord, division, and violence we’re seeing and feeling here in the US and across the word. I want to think that with every beautiful flower that gets lopped off, we’re still somehow propelling toward a brighter future.

This video, which y’all have probably seen by now, reinforces this hope — look what happens when two opposing protest groups in Dallas agree to talk.

Peace to all,

Brad

a few thoughts.

brad brain

As a white male, I strive to be aware of the privilege I have at the expense of others. As a social justice advocate, I long for an end to oppression in all forms, in particular against people of color. As a mediator, I endeavor to see that the world is nuanced and complex. As a trainer of police officers, I want to shine light on the cops who are community peacebuilders. As a human being of middling intelligence, I struggle to reconcile all the above.

This weekend, I watched  Black Lives Matter protesters peacefully express themselves while NYPD officers — who were mainly people of color  — peacefully protected their right to protest. In the midst of all this, we continue to train NYPD officers in mediation and communication skills. I’m humbled to play small role in healing police-civilian relationships, and applaud the efforts of all who are tackling this issue from other angles and perspectives. It’s at once the most challenging and yet needed time for this kind of work.

Here’s a short feature on NBC News NY about two of the officers we trained, and the work they’re doing to build relations in their community:

Peace to all,

Brad