First in series of youth forums “to educate … about rights and responsibilities when encountering police”

From Tama Brisbane, Stockton Poet Laureate and executive director of With Our Words:

“With Our Words is kicking off a series of youth forums designed to educate and empower them about their rights (and responsibilities) when encountering the police. Even a cursory glance at the news will underscore why this is critical knowledge to have. But that same cursory glance at the news will also underscore the equally critical need for some real talk about implicit bias on the part of the police.

” ‘STREET SMART: Using Common Sense, Knowing Common Law’ will address both subjects. WOW reached out to and has been blessed by the cooperation and participation of Stockton’s Chief of Police, District Attorney, members of the Public Defender’s Office, along with mental health professionals, educators, youth advocates and prayer warriors. This is an incredible opportunity for our young people to ask questions and get answers, to voice frustrations and suspicions, and be heard.

“Every youth who attends will leave with so much more than they walked in with. And it wouldn’t be a WOW initiative if there wasn’t a creative writing, performance and social activism opportunity for the youth. We will be creating an hour-long video from the entire Street Smart series so that Stockton youth voices will have an impact far beyond the discussion space.

“If you’d like to register your group, simply send me an email ( and we’ll gladly sign them up. It’s a pleasure to be working alongside all of you!”

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