SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A coalition of community-based organizations, enterprises, city agencies, and community partners have joined together to create and release, “Chop Shop: A Community & Law Enforcement Conversation”, a film documentary which facilitates and captures constructive dialogue between San Francisco residents of color and law enforcement agencies. The first airing of “Chop Shop” will take place February 16th, at 6:00 PM at the Brava for Women in Arts theatre in the Mission District section of San Francisco.
The “Chop Shop” coalition includes Young Community Developers (YCD), the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department (SFSD), Citizen Film, the 12th District of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated, nine barbershops and beauty salons, and a number of San Francisco residents of all ages. Funding for this dynamic project was provided by the San Francisco 49ers and facilitated by The San Francisco Foundation.
“This is a very positive first step in bringing our community residents and law enforcement together in true, mutually beneficial dialogue,” said Shamann Walton, Executive Director of YCD. “History, fear, and implicit bias are realities which influence all constituents. As a result of this work, we have an opportunity to collectively recommend and implement significant policy changes and initiatives to move our entire community, San Francisco residents and law enforcement, forward in a highly constructive and beneficial manner, improving mutual trust, respect, and safety.”
Filmed on location at a select set of local barbershops and beauty salons throughout San Francisco, the talks were aimed at increasing awareness of existing challenges, identifying critical areas of dysfunction, exploring potential solutions, and facilitating the process of creating policy recommendations and community initiatives to help improve relations and increase safety.
“When you sit down, face-to-face, with people as two human beings and you are talking about these issues at a barber shop or beauty salon, it is a non-confrontational setting conducive for constructive conversation,” stated San Francisco Chief of Police, Bill Scott. “In such an environment you can really get to the root of some of the issues. As law enforcement agencies, we look forward to continued discussions and, most importantly, working with community residents and partners to implement positive change.”
“The residents asked questions about trust, stereotypes and community engagement, which encouraged frank dialogue among law enforcement agencies and residents,” Sheriff Vicki Hennessy said. “In turn, residents learned the challenges law enforcement officers face when making quick decisions in high-stress situations.”
YCD has partnered with Citizen Film, a local media production group of experts, to create this insightful video documentary. In addition to Citizen Film, YCD employed five (5) local teens to work on the documentary, each playing a major role in the story boarding process as well as the development of questions aimed at increasing awareness of existing challenges and finding realistic solutions.
“Our hope is that through constructive dialogue, in which salient issues and concerns of both the residents of San Francisco and the law enforcement agencies are raised, officers and citizens will strive to make each interaction with one another safe and grounded in mutual respect,” said Jed York, CEO of the 49ers.
YCD will hold three (3) premieres of “Chop Shop” throughout San Francisco. On February 16th at 6:00 PM, YCD will host the premiere viewing in the Mission at Brava for Women in Arts. This will be followed by viewings on February 28th at 6:00 PM in the Fillmore at the African American Arts & Cultural Complex and on March 8th at 7:00 PM at the Bayview Opera House in Bayview Hunters Point. Admission is free but seating is limited.
About Young Community Developers:
Young Community Developers (YCD) provides a variety of employment training and support services to people residing in San Francisco and surrounding areas. YCD is committed to the preparation, placement, and preservation of Bay Area residents, resulting in each responsibly contributing to their personal and professional enrichment, the development of their families, and to the economic empowerment of their neighborhoods.
About 12th District of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated
The Massive and Progressive 12th District of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity traverses 4 time zones and covers 10 states to include California, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. Representing 40 chapters and over 1,000 members, the brothers of the 12th District live Omega Psi Phi’s four Cardinal Principles: Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance, and Uplift. The 12th District has been a beacon of light and aspiration for not only African Americans but all people of color, with Omega Men leading the way on many levels.