We Build The Block is a New York City-based organization. Its mission is to build a future of public safety in the community. According to their website, the organization advocates for the reduction of violence, replacing over-policing, and supporting local youth in those communities.
We Build The Block’s Call to Action
Shortly after the pandemic hit, We Build The Block started moving full force. This is a direct outcome after the founders noticed the racism that was happening in communities of color during the pandemic. With people of color being disproportionately ticketed over social distancing regulations, the murder of George Floyd that shook the nation, and the Black Lives Matter movement pushing to action, We Build The Block rapidly gained its momentum.
Now in 2022, We Build The Block is currently accomplishing its goal of building a public safety ecosystem that doesn’t center around the police department but rather centers on the community and its needs.
Community leader Dana Rachlin and one of our own, Shani Kulture, are the co-founders of this program. The two sat down with Ebro in the Morning to discuss their plan of action earlier today (August 25).
Initiatives & Strategizing For the Future
During the interview, Rachlin explains how the two already have implemented initiatives in the community: “We work with a crew that was in the height of a gang war and put those boys into group therapy”. She continued, “And guess what? They stopped. The shootings stopped”. Shani Kulture then goes into detail about the importance of building a community that would have each other’s back to prevent dangerous situations.
In addition to initiatives like this, We Build The Block also stresses the significance of the relationships between police officers and students. As a result, the police are not only learning about the community through the students, but their perceptions of the kids are different. Officers who are not from the community are seeing kids from the block as people, not as perpetrators.
Late co-founder of the organization, Michael Kenneth Williams, also came out with his newly published memoir “Scenes of My Life” where he discusses his journey of love and healing.