Walk With Me – Ep 5: El Puente

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For the last year, I have been the community organizer at The Brotherhood/Sister Sol. Partnered with the Game Changer’s Project, we decided to launch a film campaign focused on the issue of stop & frisk as well as other injustices within policy and policing. I led multiple workshops with our young people and met with countless members of the diverse New York city community who’ve been working towards social change. I decided to use my love for spoken word poetry to relay this message.

Back in 2006, after the murder of Sean Bell, I attended an event called “50 Artists for 50 Shots”. All types of performers and visual artists came out to commemorate this young man and the life that had been taken from him by the NYPD. After performing, I was approached by a father who had lost his son to police brutality and wanted me to share my poem during his memorial day. I was then introduced to the Stolen Lives coalition, a group of people (mostly family members) who made it their calling to honor the lives unjustly taken by law enforcement and work towards justice together.

In this video, I speak much about perception. There is a false narrative going around the country that because you are a black and brown boy or man, that you are the embodiment of violence, crime and all social ills. When in fact, those existed long before you were born and, in many ways, were thrusted upon you and your community by historical and systemic disenfranchisement. Ultimately, my message is one advocating for human dignity, respect of civil rights and a deep deep reflection at how unconstitutional practices of policies affect legitimacy within our communities. Peace.