OYPB Offering Know Your Rights Workshops
In late April, PUEBLO’s Oakland Youth Policy Builders kicked off our series of Know Your Rights Workshops at Merritt College, a school famous for playing a part in the history of the Black Panthers. And in May, they did a workshop at the East Oakland Youth Development Corp. in East Oakland.
In our workshops, we cover the over-policing of Oakland youth of color, how to navigate an encounter with an officer, and what to do if there is any abuse of power. We also inform youth of the policy that we proposed to the Oakland Police Department and which they approved: the Informational Business Card Policy, or IBC for short. This policy requires officers to provide a business card to a youth if they ask the youth for any personal information, even if the youth doesn’t ask the officer for a card. Additionally, an officer must give a card to anyone of any age who asks for one.
These cards not only identify the officer but also contain (on the back) information about how to file a complaint, or communicate a compliment. The aim of this policy is to increase the accountability of our officers to the public and to take a step in the direction of a community oriented, public service minded police force. A survey that PUEBLO conducted in 2010 of over 700 high school students in Oakland revealed that students were not comfortable asking an officer for his/her name and didn't know they could file a complaint, or how to do it. Our youth focus group came up with this idea to provide business cards in order to address these issues.
We currently have open positions for Oakland youth to participate in our work and we are scheduling workshops across Oakland. These positions with the Oakland Youth Policy Builders are available to youth between the ages of 14 and 24, and pay a stipend for consistent participation.
If you are a youth leader, teacher, or program coordinator and would like to schedule a workshop or get youth involved in this program, please contact us at 510-535-2525 or at email@example.com . We offer 1-2 workshops a week and our schedule and is filling up fast, so please, contact us soon!
For additional information, please visit the OYPB blog page:http://oypb.wordpress.com/