The League of Young Voters

Building Community Despite Adversity: Youth of Color in Portland Come Together
July 4, 2009, 12:18 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

For More Information:
Katie Diamond, The League, 772-3207,
Jackie Okot, The New Generation, 332-8753,

On Thursday, July 2, the Portland Police Department released a video of incidents that occurred over 2 months ago in Kennedy Park. The League of Young Voters and The New Generation are concerned about the content of this video and how it affects youth throughout the city, and undermines community conversations that are currently underway. By focusing on specific communities in Portland and altering police tactics to be specific to those communities, the Police Department is taking on a form of profiling. Heightened tactics are not the best way to work with and for a community—and these types of actions affect youth of color throughout the city.

“Our efforts to heal over many of the bad things that have happened over the past year have gone back to square one—we hope the Police Department comes back to the table to continue working with us and speaking with us, instead of speaking to the media and giving us a bad image,” Mohammed Dini, a community member, said. “Releasing such a video is a political statement.”

The League and The New Generation, along with other youth groups and community leaders, are slowly gaining momentum throughout Southern Maine to work to create safe, educational programming and events for youth of color in the Greater Portland area. By working with young people, these groups are working together to build community, grow youth leaders, and educate young people.

There will be a Press Conference in the next week to highlight the positive contributions youth of color have made in the community, and to create a strong and unified community.


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