Cleveland Job Corps Center

Cleveland Job Corps Hoopin For Justice

July 3rd, 2019

Saturday, May 4, 2019, the Cleveland Job Corps hosted a community basketball game, Hoopin’ for Justice, with the Black Shield Police Association and firefighters from the Vanguards, Famicos Foundation, ICONS, AirCuts & Day Spa and the local community. The Cleveland Police Foundation and the City of Cleveland’s Community Relations Board partnered with the Cleveland Job Corps Center, to create this event to improve the interactions between our youth and police.
We all have a role to play. We need the police to play their role. We need our boys to be trained as men to protect our community. We need both players to give their all, for us to win that “game” in our community.
ICONS stands for Individuals Collectively Overcoming Negative Situations, and specializes in conflict resolution, gang intervention, youth re-entry, and life skills. When asked why Hoopin’ for Justice was important, Hank Davis, Executive Director of ICONS responded, “It creates an opportunity where the kids and the police no longer look at each other like foes. They have to rely on each other to win. It’s the same in life. The game is a reflection of what our community should look like. We all have to rely on each other.”
Cleveland Job Corps students and staff, Cleveland Police Department police and youth from the community played a friendly game of basketball. After the game, everyone had lunch and engaged in a dialogue about toxic masculinity and how to improve the community together. Youth leaders from the Cleveland Police Foundation’s youth movement, Our Voices Matter, facilitated the dialogue. Rather than focusing the dialogue on youth-police relations, youth leaders chose to have the youth and police find common ground in a topic to help improve the role of men in strengthening their community. Events like Hoopin’ for Justice offer an opportunity to encourage respectful interactions and open dialogue among our youth and the police.
“Our relationship with the Cleveland Division of Police has allowed us the opportunity to bridge the gap between each other through an open dialog and transparency about the issues our students and communities are facing,” said Cleveland Job Corps Business Community Liaison Harriet Hadley. “This is the second community basketball game that the Cleveland Job Corps has partnered and hosted with the 5th District Neighborhood Police Department. It is a wonderful experience to see the friendships and trust being developed during these events.”