Critical Conversations


Inspired to address critical issues around racial and social justice during the summer of 2020.  Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford, partnered with the Detroit Police Athletic League (PAL) to organize the program, create discussion topics, and encourage participation from local youth. Detroit Youth ages 10-18 were invited to a live virtual community forum.  The weekly topics reflected the serious nature of the program.  Session topics included:  Community Perspectives of Police, Social and Cultural Norms, Police Brutality and Harassment, Social Media’s Role, Fact vs. Fiction, Maintaining Positive Contact, Roles of Police Officers and Social & Cultural Norms Escalation/De-escalation.  The goal of the program is to improve relationships between police officers and the communities they serve through positive interactions with youth. Builds rapport with communities and positions officers as leaders and mentors built on following PAL’s G.R.E.A.T. model principles: Goal setting, Resilience, Embracing Healthy Lifestyles, Accountability and Teamwork.

On June 6, 2022 in Detroit, MI Ford Motor Company and the Detroit Police Athletic League (PAL) are announced the national expansion of Critical Conversations – a unique program designed to foster improved relations between law enforcement and youth in communities of color. Ford and Detroit PAL are working with PAL affiliates in Buffalo, N.Y., Houston, TX and Memphis, TN to adopt and kickoff Critical Conversations programming in their communities this year.

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