photo by Sam Zomer

Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Kalamazoo hosted A Cultural Awareness Experience program for 19 cadets at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) Police Academy. The training was designed and facilitated by TRHT Kalamazoo Law Design Team Lead Stacey R. Ledbetter, a retired Public Safety captain. The program was the first of its kind at any of the 20 police academies in the state of Michigan.

"My goal is to bridge the gap between law enforcement and communities of color," said Capt. Ledbetter.

The cadets, and a diverse group of approximately 60 community members, spent the day together engaging through Racial Healing Circles led by TRHT Kalamazoo Practitioners, a U.S. History lesson and discussion over breakfast and lunch. Healing Circles are characterized by sharing individual truths and stories in order to reaffirm humanity and increase consciousness, awareness and empathy.

"I can honestly say that my perspective has been changed," a participant responded in the training feedback survey.

The focus for Ledbetter and the TRHT Team Law Design team is to review discriminatory civil and criminal laws and the public policies that come from them and recommending solutions that will produce a just application of the law. With encouragement from the cadets who participated, the TRHT team hopes to institutionalize this component for all future KVCC Police academy classes and expand the trainings statewide.

Learn more about TRHT Kalamazoo here. Get updates on events and programs by following TRHT Kalamazoo on Facebook.

This article was featured in the latest issue of our UPDATE newsletter. Click here to read the full issue as a digital magazine.