As much of the nation was mourning from yet another act of violence against police in Baton Rouge, LA, hundreds of Wichita’s set out to unite their city. Earlier in the week, protesters planned a march through downtown Wichita on Sunday. After BLM organizers spent several hours meeting with Police Chief Gordon Ramsay going over the details of the protest, the two groups decided to do something unconventional instead.
They decided to have a bbq.
According to the Wichita Eagle, the idea sprung from a desire to open up lines of communication and build trust between the local PD and citizens. Instead of holding a press conference to address these issues, protest organizers and Chief Ramsay settled on the simplest of solutions – the city would sponsor a BBQ cookout to help humanize those on both sides of the blue line.
Nearly every conversation that took place that day was one of depth and understanding. Officers and people of all colours and backgrounds sat together and asked tough questions of one another. Even those who had felt brutalized by the police in the past where able to say their part. These conversations were encouraged by Chief Ramsay, “If you feel mistreated, I want to know about it.”
Check out the footage from this groundbreaking day in the video below.
By simply finding common ground and listening, we can help change the narrative.
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