As part of President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, a presidential initiative to improve opportunities for young men of color, the city of Newark hosted a "Young Men of Color and Law Enforcement" forum on January 6th at Central High School. The forum, moderated by Mayor Baraka, brought together students, city officials and law enforcement in an effort to build a bridge between the disparate groups. The lively panel discussion, which included Eric Garner Jr. and which followed on the heels of a spate of nationwide incidents between young men of color and the police, served to help the cops better understand where the youth are coming from and in turn helped the youth better understand the challenges that a cop must deal with.
The event ended with the cops receiving a standing ovation from the room full of young men. The police responded in kind with a standing ovation for the young men. The event marked the first in a series of ongoing discussions to be held throughout the city.