BRIDGING DIVIDES, BUILDING COMMUNITY
‘I AM Unbroken Communities.’
Rev. Jeffrey Brown was one of the key architects behind the “Boston Miracle,” which saw the violent crime rate among youth plummet by 79% over a decade. Today, he works with faith groups, cities, government, and police to stop gang violence as the president of RECAP and co-founder of My City at Peace. He speaks on “collaborative leadership,” community building, and what it takes to institute real change in organizations. “I do what I do because…I love people. And I love the individual that I am working with, or the family that I am working with. I do it because of the love within me that I am able to spread, states Rev. Brown.
Listening to make change is just one of the many leadership strategies Rev. Brown has picked up along the way. “You have your African-American ministers involved, but you also have your white ministers involved. I think that’s an interesting feature about this community; doesn’t mean that the community doesn’t have problems with race or class, but what it does mean is that there are some folks who are willing to cross lines.” Recently, Reverend Brown spoke to several Rockford Police Leaders, the Rockford Police Officers’ Union, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department, Loves Park Police Department, and the FBI, along with State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato and representatives from the 17th Judicial Circuit Court, who were in attendance at the luncheon which was facilitated by Transform Rockford.
Rev. Brown advocates “for mixed-use communities, made up of market-rate, affordable, and Section 8 housing: Communities of greater class integration, harmony, and co-operation, and more meaningful communication and leadership across all sections of society.”
He wants people to see the growth and healthy flourishing of their own neighborhoods, and see these new eras of peace sustained. Rev. Brown states, “You have people who are in communities, and are struggling for whatever reason. Some of the wealthiest cities we have in our country, we have some of the poorest people. Rockford is no exception to that.”
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