Date of Award
MA - Master of Arts
Tensions continue to run high between law enforcement and communities of color in the Twin Cities metropolitan area following multiple police-related deaths, including Jamar Clark and Philando Castile. Studies, both nationally and regionally, demonstrate an elevated level of distrust for law enforcement in the Black community and higher numbers of police errors involving the shooting of unarmed Black people. The author sought to create a project that would enhance perspective taking, address bias and stereotypes, and provide a safe space for healthy dialogue between the volunteers from the law enforcement and Black community using the arts. Photovoice is a technique that combines photography and narrative to create social awareness and has been used with oppressed or marginalized groups, such as sex workers, refugees, and former child soldiers. A modified Photovoice project was used to bring together individuals to present photographs representing their lived experiences and engage in dialogue together. A modified Photovoice project was chosen to facilitate this process with members of the Black community and law enforcement with the goal of seeing each other through a new lens and creating conditions for trust to be built between the two groups. This project highlighted the multidimensionality of identity for each participant, reduced tension, created the safety needed to discuss difficult topics, and provided the foundation for future relationships. Feedback from participants indicated a desire to share this project with the community and reproduce it in other communities and with other groups who have a history of conflict or are experiencing a lack of trust or engagement with each other.
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Hance, Danielle, "A New Lens Community Engagement Project" (2018). Expressive Therapies Capstone Theses. 57.
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