In an effort to improve police-community relations, and empower young Black males to find their inner-strength and focus, Dwayne Bryant announced a two-part workshop titled “Journey to Success,” a workshop he describes as one of his most exciting yet. The workshop took place at Trinity United Church of Christ, 400 East 95th Street on December 13.
Since his own unique encounter with an Indiana state police officer, and over a dozen other encounters, Dwayne Bryant, motivational speaker, television personality, and founder of Inner Vision International, documented his experiences in his book titled The STOP – Improving Police and Community Relations.
Bryant would go on to educate both youth and officers about improving police and community relations in the current climate of distrust for law enforcement. Now, Bryant is taking his two-part, “Journey to Success” workshop to underprivileged Black youth on Chicago’s south side. In part one of the workshop, students see firsthand the importance of making sound decisions, choosing the right friends, respecting their teachers, gaining a knowledge of self, and being serious about their education and their future.
Bryant says he primarily focused this workshop for young Black males because they are one of the most marginalized members of our society. “Academics are the lowest for Black males yet their incarceration rates are the highest,” he said. “In any emergency triage situation, you treat the ones that need it the most first so they can still survive. This is why we empower, educate, and enlighten these young men.” By teaching the historical significance of the contribution of Black males, and touching on the relationship of police and community, Bryant believes his program will directly decrease the incarceration rate — and directly increase the graduation rate. “We are creating proactive contributors to this society,” said Bryant. “This is a social impact that will affect the entire nation.”
In addition to teaching better educational and behavioral habits, Bryant believes it’s important for young Black males to be educated about the realities of policing and understand they are human beings as well. “Our young men have the power to significantly help the outcome based on their words, their tone, and body language,” he said. “They will learn intelligent decision making tools. They will learn to respect authority regardless of the presence the authority gives off. They will learn today is the future, and we will connect their present to their future so they can learn who they are.”
At the end of the workshop, students will receive their personal copy of The STOP and The STOP Challenge Poster. Students will also have the opportunity to network with attorneys, law enforcement, judges, and engage with Bryant and Designer Elhadji Gueye.