Providing facilitated dialogue and consultation services to the community and law enforcement in Memphis, Tennessee
In March 2017, the Memphis Police Department (MPD) requested facilitated dialogue and consultation services from CRS following reports that community groups planned to stage protests amid racial tensions in the community and nationally.
The protestors sought to bring public attention to social injustices in the community, and the possibility of a larger protest was anticipated. In 2016, Memphis experienced a massive protest that resulted in the shutdown of the Hernando de Soto Bridge on Interstate 40. With tensions high in the region, MPD Police Director Michael Rallings requested CRS’s assistance in ensuring that the MPD had a productive dialogue with the community.
CRS provided technical assistance to the MPD as it prepared to host a public forum to address policing concerns expressed by African American community members. The event was designed to give the community an opportunity to provide input on solutions and strategies when interacting with police officers.
The forum took place in July 2017 and approximately 120 community members attended. CRS facilitated a dialogue between the community and the forum panelists, which included members of the MPD, state government, faith-based groups, civil rights organizations, and community youth.