Skip to main content

A Call to Step into One Another’s Shoes

Ben McBride, founder of the Empower Initiative in Oakland, California


“I don’t know what it feels like to walk in your shoes. I don’t know what it feels like to wake up every morning and kiss the people you love, knowing that your job can put you in grave danger. I don’t know what it feels like to be tasked with making split-second decisions that can change or end a person’s life.

“But I know what it feels like to walk in my shoes. And my hope is that I can talk to you about my shoes, and, in exchange, maybe you trust me to talk about your shoes; and we will find a way to come together on a journey that will connect us on a trusting path.”

This is the opening statement I’ve shared with more than a thousand police officers in my work to bridge the gap between law enforcement and communities of color. It hasn’t been easy; cynicism is high on both sides.

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. Read the full text here.

Ben McBride is the founder of Oakland's Empower Initiative. He spoke about community/police relations at the 2016 LISC Leadership Conference. See his LISC Talk here.

Posted in Community Safety

Stay connected

Stay up to date with news and events related to the Institute: