August 9, 2016
Recently, the Greater New Orleans Civil Rights Working Group (GNOCRWG) sponsored and facilitated a youth engagement seminar for the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church’s youth camp, located at 2515 Franklin Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70117. Through this FBI community outreach program, FBI agents and community leaders educated local youth about important issues in our communities.
The seminar was attended by approximately 65 youth. The seminar utilized an interactive presentation format with law enforcement, community leaders, and participating youth solicited to volunteer to participate in scenarios portraying law enforcement’s engagement with community youth. The seminar’s syllabus focuses on the following topics to provide youth with information regarding their rights when confronted by law enforcement: street stops and searches; arrests and interrogations; and custody and court processes. The seminar also made provisions for the youth to provide feedback regarding their encounters with law enforcement in an effort to assist law enforcement with developing best practices towards engaging youth in a more positive way.
In the latter part of 2015, through continued FBI community outreach engagement with New Orleans community, faith-based, and non-profit organizations as well as with civic leaders and law enforcement officials, the FBI New Orleans Field Office established the GNOCRWG. This FBI-led working group, with membership from the executive ranks of federal, state, and local law enforcement, was formed as a mechanism to create an open dialogue with local communities and the residents in the Greater New Orleans area.
The mission of the GNOCRWG is to establish a network and work within the assembled body to foster solutions collaboratively developed and implemented to build trust between law enforcement and the community.
Since its inception, the GNOCRWG has collaborated on various topics of interest associated with bridging the gap between law enforcement and the community. As a result of strong community interest, the GNOCRWG has grown to have a current membership of approximately 70 dedicated members.