ACA Presentation Licht 2013






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ACA Presentation Licht 2013 ACA Presentation Licht 2013 Presentation Transcript

  • U.N.I.T.E. YOU AND I TEACH EACH OTHER Uniting Law Enforcement and Youth through Environmental Engagement Erica Licht United States Fulbright Fellow Lagos, Nigeria 2012-2013
  • Overview • United States Fulbright Fellow in Lagos, Nigeria • September 2012 – June 2013 • Research on the efficiency and social value of environmental education as an alterative to incarceration • Background work and research interests in urban environments with a high rate of violence and large population of young adults • Developed and directed U.N.I.T.E. Youth Justice and Environment Program • 3 target communities: 30 per site, 90 youth total • 4 month duration; weekly sessions • Developed and hosted Justified Nature radio show on UNILAG FM
  • Objectives of U.N.I.T.E. • Break down barriers between youth and law enforcement • Create shared experiences in the natural environment • Teach environmental experiential learning principles applicable to urban daily life • Develop outlets for future improved communication and collaboration between youth and police • Engage community beyond participant group
  • Brief Overview Total Population of Nigeria: 168 million Total Population of Lagos: 21 million Total Population of Young Adults (below age 30) in Lagos: 14.7 million ~ 70% total *CIA World Fact Book, Nigeria Population Bureau
  • Various socio-environmental spaces of justice: Recreational room with a Ghandi quote, Ikeja Boys Correctional Center Barbed link wire fence at Kirikiri Prison Sign posted at Ilupeju Police Station
  • Emulating the Environment
  • The Environment Dictates Our Actions
  • U.N.I.T.E.
  • Bridging Justice and Nature UNITE Criminal Justice Education Environmental Education
  • Criminal Justice & Environmental Education Criminal Justice Experiential Education Natural Environment Life Skill Curriculums
  • U.N.I.T.E. Community Sites • Ojota • Organization Partner: Ogudu Senior Grammar School • Site Partner: Mrs. Bridget Unegbu, School Guidance Counselor • Youth: Secondary School Students, Age 14-17 • Meeting: Wednesday, 2:00-3:00pm. • Ajegunle • Organization Partner: Gifted Generation, NGO • Site Partners: Churchill MacHenry & Onyedika Efobi • Youth: Young Adults, Age 20-27 • Meeting: Thursday, 3:00-5:00pm. National Youth Council Hall, Chidi Street Ajegunle. • Lagos Island • Organization Partner: Central Lagos Island Police Station, Adeniji Adele • Site Partner: CSP DPO Monday Agbonika • Youth: Community Youth, Age 22-35 • Meeting: Saturday, 3:00-5:00pm. Central Lagos Island Police Station, Adeniji Adele
  • Sustainability • Program tied to three local NGO’s • Seeking funding to ensure program’s needs are met • Curriculum documented, and adaptable to further communities and countries
  • Components of U.N.I.T.E. • Community Building – through discussions, team building activities, and personal development. • Yoga – Inside the police station, with youth, police officer, and superintendent participating • AVP – Alternatives to Violence Project – group discussions and exercises around communication and conflict transformation • Environmental field excursions – incorporating group dynamics, yoga, and sharing of meals. • Community Forums – to engage peers and community stakeholders in dialogue.
  • Community Building: Gathering in a Circle
  • Breaking Down Barriers Between Youth and Police Officers
  • Building Trust
  • Communication
  • Interactive Exercises
  • Equalizing Power
  • YOGA
  • YOGA
  • YOGA
  • Environmental Excursions
  • Benefits of Nature • Equalizing platform – strips people of their titles, power, roles and responsibilities • Exposes raw personality – by removing: • constraints of the social/urban environment • including social media and technology (Phone, Facebook, etc.) • social responsibilities • including roles of being a mother/father, daughter/son, family member or member of a peer group • Provides the space for adequate personal space – for breathing, relaxation, physical movement and agility • Demonstration • Of Harmony, co-existence and balance – seen and found in nature • Preservation of the natural land – and infuses a lessons in maintenance and protection • Youth are able to develop hard skills in the context of the removal of social distractions and the platform of adequate and clean space. • Leadership – of a peer group • Communication – with others • Responsibility – of taking care of yourself and the environment • Interpersonal skills – it is just YOU and the GROUP • Challenging yourself – new/”scary”/different experiences – outdoor activities, climbing, camping, being in a remote area
  • Bringing Nature “Inside” • All of these benefits demonstrate the effectiveness of utilizing nature education in youth community and justice programming • In communities • In juvenile/adult corrections
  • Environmental Excursions Balance Exercise
  • Environmental Excursions
  • Ogudu Police Station Meeting and Tour with DPO Police Tours
  • Ajegunle Police Station First Youth Group Visit for DPO
  • Benefits of Youth-Police Interaction • Youth: • Learn how the police function and what their “real” policies are • Learn about the legal system • Share experiences of living in the community • What their interactions are like with police • What their expectations are of police • Police: • Share what their views are of youth • Hear from the voices of youth • Present their intended procedures and legal practices as dictated by policy Outcomes: • Police surprised by the degree of negative views by youth of police • United by their common interest in promoting community peace and safety • Agreement in wanting assist each other in promoting the above process • Through communication • Forums and dialogues – planned and sustainable • Community vigilante groups – community policing groups • Community events of joint support
  • Community Forums
  • Community Forums • Address the “community” importance of reducing community violence • Youth and police share their experiences in U.N.I.T.E. • Recognition (through speeches and attendance) of program and efforts by dignitaries • Participation from audience of peers, elders and stakeholders • Stakeholders: Religious, Civil Society, Tribal, Political Leaders and Members • Inclusion of community voices in continuing the process of joint police – youth – community relations
  • See External Video
  • Successes • Youth-Police Relations • Positive interaction and relationship building between youth and police • Creating an equal platform through emulating nature • Successful visits of three program groups to local police stations, and meetings with Superintendents • Community Buy-In • Forums with attendance of 100+ • Youth Skills Acquired: • Job readiness and civic skills and practices of organization, communication and leadership. • Personal skills including stress management and relaxation.
  • Impact • Youth participate in positive programs and personal development that deter them from crime and theft • Youth develop realistic understanding of the justice system, legal and societal repercussions for their actions • Youth develop appreciation for the natural environment and become local stewards • Police and youth develop positive means for interaction and become a cohort for addressing community violence • Police Officers curtail community actions and procedures to youth needs and benefits • Police acquire better practices for stress management
  • Potential for Implementation in U.S. • Community Programming: UNITE style program in target urban communities : In cities with a high rate of youth violence and history of stressed relations between youth and police; such as South Bronx, NY and Oakland, CA, etc. • Inside Correctional Facilities: Corrections officers take part in joint sessions combining dialogue, yoga and AVP • Re-entry Programming: Connect with green job training programs and green building sector
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  • Thank You.