IMAGE: Youth show unity at the Sept. 25 Unity in the Community kickoff event. Photo by Eric Bond.
PHOTOS • ERIC BOND
OCT 7—The Unity in the Community “block party” was the kickoff event intended to improve police/community relations in Takoma Park. Meaghan Murphy, co-owner of Capitol City Cheesecake initiated the idea. She was joined by Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart and Takoma Park Police Captain Tyrone Collington. The three expanded Murphy’s idea from a one-day event to a continuous program.
The September 25 kickoff featured opportunities for police, youth and other community members to meet one another. There were icebreaker “Getting to Know Each Other” forms with questions such as “Find a police officer, ask their name and what their favorite hobby is,” and “Find a community member you do not recognize and ask them their name and why they came to the event.”
Police and residents played basketball with and against one another in the court set up behind the venue, Capital City Cheescake cafe on Carroll Avenue, which was blocked to traffic for the event.
There was a long line for burgers cooked by police officers, and for facepainting. Several city and county elected officials attended, and some made speeches, as did event organizers.
All agreed it was a well-attended, successful event, a good start for more serious community discussions, big and small, about issues that divide the community.
Read the Sept. 9, 2016 Voice article, Mom Seeks Unity in the Community.
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