Building relatiionships between inner city youth and police
Mark Murray grew up black in Brixton and that’s not easy because if you’re a young black man in a gang-orientated community people assume, often quite wrongly, that you’re a criminal.
You are stereotyped. Stop and search is the order of the day and before long bitter resentment and peer pressure can send you plummeting into a world full of hatred. Hatred for anyone who you feel disrespects you and hatred for the police and authority in general.
Through sheer strength of character and a Christian faith Mark managed to escape that vicious spiral and realised that, just as he had found himself stereotyped negatively as a young black man, he too had developed a stereotype of the police who, as he puts it, were not my friends.
Gradually he realised that police are human too and some of them are actyually great people.
Today he works to build relationships between the police and local communities. In this film put out by the Difference Movement - part of Archbishop Justin Welby’s Reconciliation Ministry - he talks about how we can learn to respect, understand and even like the people we once saw an adversaries.
And how through round tables - sitting with others exchanging views - we can learn about each other and make progress in society.
This strategy - long promoted by groups like Tutu Foundation UK - has already made tremendous strides to healing trensions between youth and police in some of London’s toughest inner city areas.
Check out Mark Murray’s story and find out more about the Difference movement at https://vimeo.com/373869523/9c40179070