The SFPD will join Glide Memorial — the Tenderloin-based, all-inclusive church with a Methodist bent — in hosting a "Reflection and Reconciliation Session" tonight. The first in a series of communal forums around queer-rights, these two-plus-hour conversations will offer the city’s police the chance to directly hear from the LGBTQ+ community that they serve.
The event, landing on the 53rd anniversary of the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot of ‘66 that occurred three years before the more famous Stonewall Riots in NYC, will feature an in-discussion forum and panel talk, giving the city's LGBTQ+ community the chance to share their stories and offer constructive criticisms on how the SFPD could better serve (and represent) them.
Join us on Monday, Aug 26, 2019 @GLIDEsf for a Reflection and Reconciliation Session on the 53rd Anniversary of the Compton's Cafeteria Riot that inspired the #LGBTQ liberation movement. Visit the link for more info -> https://t.co/mfeXBdmjFi. #SFPD #SafetyWithRespect pic.twitter.com/exwBgMc8z9— San Francisco Police (@SFPD) August 20, 2019
This evening’s event will serve as the kick-off for a series of “listening sessions.”
In part of a news release published by SFGate, the SFPD says insights garnered from this session — which, too, will have Police Chief William Scott and members of SFPD command staff in attendance —and others will help "move the department forward in ways that emphasize respect, safety, and diversity."
Clair Farley, the director of the SF’s Office of Transgender Initiatives, has gone on record stressing the need for the SFPD to proactively listen (and aid) the city’s LGBTQ+ cohort.
"Glide is joining SFPD to hold this public forum to acknowledge the harm done to LGBTQ communities ranging from Compton's to raids to profiling and excessive force," Farley wrote in an email to the Bay Area Reporter earlier last week, highlighting the damage previously done.
However, she also penned on how critical it is for both the SFPD and the city's LGBTQ+ citizens to move forward, both cooperatively and constructively.
"This is an important first step, yet we know that strategies for community safety need to come from the community," Farley added. "Systems of safety for our communities are about building economic empowerment, reliable healthcare, and stable housing. It involves a holistic approach centered in LGBTQ people's experiences."
Monday night's session is slated to go from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., inside the Glide sanctuary (on the 2nd floor) at 330 Ellis Street in the Tenderloin; enter through (and/or have your Lyft or Uber drop you off) at the Taylor Street entrance.
Can’t make the first iteration in this listening series? This one will be streamed live on the SFPD's Facebook page, later being broadcasted on SFGovTV.
Watch this video for further details on the series.
Photo: Courtesy of Fancisco Gonzalez, via Flickr