News | September 27th, 2023
Nation’s Most Powerful Law Enforcement Groups Partner in Movement To Bridge Police-Community Divides
National Faith & Blue Weekend 2023 set for October 6-9 in communities across America
WASHINGTON, Sept. 27, 2023 — Police and community leaders in every state in the U.S. are partnering to convene thousands of outreach activities during the 2023 National Faith & Blue Weekend (Faith & Blue) to help law enforcement and community members unite with mutual respect to build safer, more inclusive communities. The events will take place from Friday, October 6th through Monday, October 9th.
Faith & Blue is spearheaded by MovementForward, Inc., a national non-profit organization focused on protecting, promoting, and advancing human and civil rights. Amid rising violent crime rates, an increase in mass shootings, and fledgling calls to “defund the police,” the Faith & Blue initiative leverages local faith-based organizations to forge connections between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. MovementForward, Inc. continues the work of Faith & Blue year-round via its OneCOP initiative, and helps train law enforcement officers to improve police-community engagement via its Law Enforcement-Community Engagement Network and annual Professionalizing Law Enforcement-Community Engagement Training Conference.
The Reverend Markel Hutchins, civil rights leader, MovementForward CEO, and Faith & Blue lead organizer, says public safety and mutual respect are cornerstones of safeguarding social justice.
“The number one civil rights issue in America today is crime and violence,” Hutchins said. “We cannot hope to get crime and violence under control without healing the distrust, division, and disunity that has exploded during the past few years.” Hutchins continued, “The pathway to safer and more just communities lies in finding common ground and bringing people together for collective action.”
Faith & Blue’s partners include every major national law enforcement professional organization, more than 75 state law enforcement associations, and faith-based community groups of every religious tradition. Now in its fourth year, the movement has quadrupled in size and is the largest police-community outreach program in U.S. history. This year’s Faith & Blue Weekend is expected to include more than 4,000 community engagements in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and all major U.S. cities.
“Trust and collaboration between law enforcement and community members is critical for public safety,” said Thomasville, Georgia Police Chief John Letteney, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. “The faith community, with its wide reach and influence, is an ideal ambassador for this work.”
National leaders will officially kick off Faith & Blue 2023 at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. the morning of Friday, October 6 at 8:30 a.m. ET. The kickoff will be followed by 11 other “Marquee Events” in major cities, including:
Friday, October 6: Times Square Celebration, New York, NY
Friday, October 6: Candlelight Vigil in Norman Leventhal Park, Boston, MA
Saturday, October 7: Unity Breakfast and Panel Discussion, Chicago, IL
Saturday, October 7: Community Engagement Event, Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, October 7: Community Chill and Grill, Detroit, MI
Sunday, October 8: Unity Breakfast at Green House International Church, Houston, TX
Sunday, October 8: Peace, Justice, and Unity Walk, Philadelphia, PA
Sunday, October 8: Multifaith Resource Fair, Seattle, WA
Monday, October 9: Prayer Breakfast, Orlando, FL
Monday, October 9: Forum at First United Methodist Church, Dallas, TX
Monday, October 9: Weekend Finale, Atlanta, GA
The “Marquee Events” are designed to focus attention on Faith & Blue’s solutions-focused movement nationally while also propelling local news coverage of the 4,000+ individual law enforcement-community safety events that will occur across the country.”
As law enforcement officers, our mission is to protect and serve,” saidSheriff , president of the National Sheriffs’ Association. “Fostering positive relationships with the communities we serve is fundamental to that mission and should be a priority for law enforcement departments across the country. Sheriffs across America are proud to partner with Faith & Blue to build bridges into our communities and find common ground.”
“It begins with a conversation,” said, president of the Fraternal Order of Police. “We have to stop the dehumanization that has occurred on both sides. When each of us gets to know the other, and when we work together, there is not a single problem we cannot solve.”
Faith & Blue was created by MovementForward, Inc. and the United States Department of Motorola Solutions Foundation, FirstNet, Built with AT&T, and Wrap Technologies. For more information about National Faith & Blue Weekend, or to find events near you, visit www.faithandblue.orgof Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office). It is sponsored by the
ABOUT NATIONAL FAITH & BLUE WEEKEND
Sponsored by the Motorola Solutions Foundation, FirstNet, Built with AT&T, and Wrap Technologies, National Faith & Blue Weekend (Faith & Blue) is a collaborative initiative that builds bridges and breaks down biases through activities and outreach amongst law enforcement professionals and the communities they serve. Faith & Blue is based on the premise that strong communities are built on mutual respect and understanding. Law enforcement entities and faith-based organizations are both key pillars of communities, and when they work together, neighborhoods thrive.
Faith & Blue is a nationalization of the One Congregation One Precinct initiative (OneCOP), a program of MovementForward, Inc. which is a solutions-focused, social change organization based in Atlanta, Georgia led by noted human and civil rights leader, the Rev. Markel Hutchins. Faith & Blue organizers represent every major national law enforcement group and faith tradition in the United States of America. Visit National Faith & Blue Weekend at www.faithandblue.org or connect via Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. #FaithAndBlue #FaithAndBlue2023
Editorial Disclaimer: All blog posts are contributed by a member of the MovementForward, Inc. team in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed in the posts are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of MovementForward, Inc. or any other partnership associated with the organization.