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ARIEL FOUNDATION INTERNATIONAL CHANGEMAKERS ELDERS LEADERSHIP SUMMIT AT THE LOU WALKER SENIOR CENTRE PANOLA ROAD, LITHONIA, GEORGIA USA OCTOBER 2016


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This report is dedicated to Dr. Margo King for her 73rd birthday Report written by Carla Stewart (Chair), Connie Wilson (Rapporteur), Barbara Wagner, Tanya Carter and Winston Stall Wilma Byrd (Chair), Gladys Porter (Rapporteur), Bette Ferrell, Sarah Hemphill, Marjorie Raglin, Hope Morris, Dr. Margo King, Mary L. Davis. Rochelle E. Evans (Chair) Charlene Daise (Rapporteur), Omar Ali, Marie Phinser, Brenda Lovely, Allegra Burnette, Dr. Francisco F. Hall, Lena Jefferson Frances King (Chair), Beth Bernette (Rapporteur), Margaret Brown, Audrey Wilbern, Barbara Fleming, Gail Porter, Ir’faan Ahdul-Ahad, Jacqueline Scruggs

Edited by Frances King & Iman Nauman Front page designed by Iman Nauman Images provided by Dr. Ariel King Š Ariel Foundation International 2016 October 2016 All rights reserved ISBN: 978-0-9980092-6-1

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CONTENTS 1. OPENING STATEMENT

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2. INTRODUCTION

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3. HOUSING

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4. HEALTHCARE

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5. FINANCES

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6. CRIMES AIMED AGAINST SENIORS

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7. NATIONAL POLICING PRACTICES

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OPENING STATEMENT BY DR ARIEL ROSITA KING Older persons and the youth have much in common; they often see, speak and act for the common good! The elders act as the rock for building our future given their views and experiences of life. Our children use the rocks upon which our future will be built. This is our greatest asset as a nation. “They will be the leaders of our country, the creators of our national wealth, those who care for and protect our people.” Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, former Peace Prize recipient President of South Africa, and activist for human rights – Address June 1995 Older persons, elders in our world, just like young people have so much to contribute to their local, national and international arenas. Yet, rarely do we ask them, to use their life experience, education, intelligence, and passion to help to make our world a better place for us all. The AFI Senior Changemakers at the Lou Walker Senior Centre in the USA are a good example of millions of elders worldwide that remain actively engaged in the world issues of today and contribute to the discussions of their challenges and possible solutions. Our Senior Leaders in their summit and this publication do not only speak from self-interest, but from the desire to contribute positively to their fellow human beings and to be a part of the solution. I thank the older persons for giving their time, energy and expertise to this publication. All of these seniors are amazing authors of this rare and very first publication of older people meeting and working together to speak about issues and solutions for seniors not only in the USA, but worldwide.

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The late and former President Mandela said it best: “I stand before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining yeas of my life in your hands.� (Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Address on his release from prison, Cape Town, 11 February 1990) The United Nations has recognized that the elderly or older people are not only an important source of intellectual and practical knowledge, but they are also needed to help to provide solutions to our ever changing and interconnected world.

In 2014, the United Nations appointed Kornfeld-Matte as the first Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons (HROP) We thank all the authors of this report for their dedication to being the rock that children and youth can use to launch their actions for a better world for us all. Photo: Dr. Ariel Rosita King (54) with her Mother, Dr. Margo G. King (73) After the Summit

Dr. Ariel Rosita King President Ariel Foundation International Developer of AFI Changemakers www.arielfoundation.org and www.changemakers-un.org

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Background of the United Nations and Older Persons For human rights purposes, age is not merely a numerical designation, but a social construct based on custom, practice and the perception of the role a person plays in his or her community. The specific vulnerabilities of older persons can be the result of physical and mental conditions, but can also result from the obstacles encountered due to societal perception and the interaction of an individual with his or her environment. Population ageing constitutes one of the most significant demographic transformations of the 21st century. For the first time in history, humankind will reach a point at which there are fewer children than older persons in the world. Approximately 700 million people, or 10 per cent of the world’s population, are over the age of 60. It is estimated that by 2050, the number of older persons will have doubled reaching 20 per cent of the global population. All regions will be confronted by growing numbers, as follows: • The fastest increase will take place in Africa which is projected to reach 215 million persons aged 60 or older by 2050, an almost fourfold increase from current figures, doubling its proportion from 5 per cent of the total population in 2010 to 11 per cent in 2050; • While the population of Western Asia remains young, the region is ageing fast. The population aged 60 or older is projected to more than quadruple in the next 40 years, to reach 69 million in 2050. The proportion of persons aged 60 and over is projected to increase to 19 per cent by 2050;

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• The Asia-Pacific region was home to 59 per cent of the world’s elderly population in 2010. It is estimated that the number of older persons in this region will triple in the next 40 years, from 414 million in 2010 to 1.25 billion by 2050. The proportion of people aged 60 and over in the total population will more than double between 2010 and 2050, from 10 per cent to 24 per cent; • Similar trends are found in Latin America and the Caribbean where the proportion of persons aged 60 and over will more than double between 2010 and 2050, from 10 per cent to 25 per cent, reaching 188 million persons;

• Europe had the oldest population of all regions in 2010, and is expected to reach 236 million by 2050. Europe will continue to have the oldest population in the world, with a proportion of older persons that is projected to increase to 34 per cent in 2050. (Source: Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, E/2012/51, 2012)

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INTRODUCTION SENIORS IN THE USA – CHALLENGES AND STRENGTHS The seniors in the African American History class invited elders at the Lou Walker Senior Center to list the issues faced by older people of American (and African) descent. The seniors then ranked them in their order of importance. In deciding our four major concerns, we realized that we could combine many of the least voted on issues within our four main topic areas. We then divided into four groups to discuss each of the topics separately. The four topics with the most votes were: 1.

Housing - 22

2.

Health care (cost, dental, prescriptions, prescription abuse) – 22

3.

Financial (pensions, taxes, school taxes, living trusts/ wills) – 21

4.

Criminal behavior (scams, mail, computer and telephone fraud)- 20

These will be discussed in more detail below. Other voted on issues were as shown below: Legal representation - 15 Transportation – 15 Elderly abuse physical & emotional, spousal abuse and sexual harassment - 12 Poor diet – 13 Education - 8 Family Abandonment – 8 Isolation - 8 Reparations – 8

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(I) HOUSING Group: Carla Stewart (Chair), Connie Wilson (Rapporteur), Barbara Wagner, Tanya Carter and Winston Stall

Major housing concerns were as follows: - There is a lack of affordable housing for seniors. - The need for better living conditions (neighborhood and home environments) - The need for reduced or eliminated taxes for seniors once they reach a certain age so that they can keep their homes. - Most seniors agreed that they would like to live in their homes as long as possible. Some Medicare Advantage plans help them to stay in their homes, but sometimes those plans are not enough. Other problems that many older people face regarding housing are: - Live on fixed incomes once they retire, and often cannot afford increased taxes with the possibility of losing their homes - There is an expectation and possibility of having to depend on nursing home care, and that it might not be affordable for seniors (even those with assets) or that it will not be made available for them. - Many seniors are on the street without housing but there are a lack of statistics The three top issues to address are: 1. To build more communities with affordable housing 2. To provide more affordable alternative care and homes 3. To eliminate taxes for seniors, depending on income levels.

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SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS TO ADDRESS THE HOUSING CONCERNS OF THE ELDERLY: i.

Government intervention to build or create more affordable nursing homes

ii.

Better monitoring and better trained health care providers

iii.

Better pay for nursing home health care workers

iv.

More affordable Medicare and Private Advantage Home Care plans or programs for seniors to enable them to stay in their homes.

v.

Design Home Care plans to include winterizing homes and providing resources to make home repairs (including new roofs).

vi.

Design homes to make them livable for seniors such as putting bars in bathrooms, providing easier access to homes (wheelchair ramps, wider doors, lower kitchen counters and shelves, etc.).

vii.

When seniors need or want to move from their homes (downsizing or unable to afford) there needs to be more affordable housing for them.

viii.

Governments (local, state and national) need to help with affordable programs for fixing seniors homes. Social Security can be mandated to help.

ix.

There should be more housing for people with both mental and physical disabilities.

x.

There should be more assistance with healthy foods so senior can afford to pay for other expenses in the home.

xi.

There should be more access to financing for better food (example stamps) for all seniors.

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HOW WE CAN IMPLEMENT THESE SOLUTIONS: - More assisted living places with reasonable rents should be built or made available through renovated buildings, houses, etc. - Affordable assisted living places for elderly should be made available closer in-town so that seniors will not be isolated in cheaper housing far from their homes, communities and families. - Seniors should make themselves aware of the names of their local governing representatives to put pressure on representatives to address their issues with affordable housing as has been done with regard to affordable health care. We should have them come to our communities, senior centers, and home or condo organizations to hear our concerns. - A Place For Mom -the name of a free agency that helps seniors with information on housing problems and referrals for elderly parents. It is also useful for finding assisted living and affordable places. - Transportation to local businesses, churches, county offices, etc. should be improved or made available for seniors to keep them selfsufficient and mobile for as long as possible. Transportation issues include parking problems, sufficient handicap spaces, and public buses and trams. 11


(II) HEALTH CARE Group: Wilma Byrd (Chair), Gladys Porter (Rapporteur), Bette Ferrell, Sarah Hemphill, Marjorie Raglin, Hope Morris, Dr. Margo King, Mary L. Davis.

Major health concerns for seniors were as follows: - Many seniors lack education and an understanding of health costs such as Medicare, Medicare advantage plans, Medicaid and other insurance programs and policies. - Seniors are often ignorant about their illnesses with preconceived and/or wrong ideas about their causes, effects and treatment. - Many seniors also have a variety of superstitions, taboos, and issues of embarrassment/shame in discussing certain areas of their bodies and bodily functions. - Some health care facilities and practitioners refuse to accept Medicare/Medicaid patients while others take advantage of them through over-scheduling visits, and/or over prescribing treatments and drugs. - Many medical facilities (doctors’ offices and drug stores) are unavailable in poor neighborhoods. - Many seniors are ignorant about symptoms and treatments (diagnoses, medications, and causes) of mental health issues, as well as issues concerning emotional and physical abuse. 12


Challenges regarding health care are: - Providing health personnel and programs for elderly patients who depend solely on Medicare/Medicaid to cover their insurance needs. - The sharing of patient information among and between health care providers should be required and practiced to avoid unnecessary and often expensive procedures, exams, laboratory screenings and testing. - Seniors often cannot afford the high monthly cost for adequate insurance plans. - Many prescriptions are too expensive for seniors so they do without necessary medications and further damage their health. - Some elderly patients are over medicated, keeping them in a forced stupor and/or risking their untimely deaths. - Many seniors are experiencing, some for the first time, a marked increase in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

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SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS TO ADDRESSING THE HEALTH CONCERNS OF THE ELDERLY INCLUDE: i.

Seniors should take or assume responsibility for their own health

ii.

The community, including seniors, their home health care providers (family &/or paid nursing aides) need to develop a cultural tolerance for mental and emotional health issues.

iii.

Seniors need to be educated about the symptoms and causes of Sexually Transmitted Diseased (STs) and what to do to prevent becoming infected.

The Three Top Issues to address were: 1. Education 2. Costs and Availabilities 3. Politics of health care

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ADDRESSING HEALTH CARE ISSUES - A lack of understanding regarding mental health issues is a real problem. The mentally ill have chemical imbalances that are treatable with medication. However, the medication often has unpleasant side affects which causes the mentally ill to not take them. - The elderly can be and often are delusional. We should call our local Police Precinct (not 911 Emergency) for assistance with a mentally ill person (young or old). The police sergeant at the precinct knows how to contact or assign a crisis team trained in dealing with mental health issues. - If there is no local Crisis Team in our community/neighborhood, we should establish one. This could save many lives and prevent untrained police from killing/wounding mentally unstable individuals who pose no real threat to anyone other than themselves. - We need to be educated about issues (from reading materials, word of mouth, talking with medical and social workers, friends and others about the following facts: - Businesses, like dialysis centers and homes for the elderly, either assisted living or total care, depending on the individual’s physical and mental condition, are often exploitive of the elderly, especially those on Medicaid. They use false practices like over charging, over billing, over scheduling, over crowding, etc. Responsible and reliable caregivers, such as family members, should carefully monitor, review and read billed procedures, medications and office visits.

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o There are differences between having Medigap (a Medicare insurance plan that limits care in nursing homes) and a Medicare Advantage insurance plan. Medigap patients get funneled back and forth between the hospital and nursing home when the allotted number of days for care in the home is exceeded and the elderly patient is not healed. The hospital then sends them back to the home once fevers and infected bedsores (a too frequent and recurring condition in nursing homes) are treated o Family and friends who visit the elderly in the hospital or nursing home, should pull back the sheets and make sure patients are being turned over, moved or made to be active to prevent and check for bedsores which cause serious infections and fevers. They should also check the patient’s possessions to prevent and or monitor thievery by personnel or staff. o Family and friends should also schedule impromptu visits to the home or hospital and visit as frequently as possible. A much-visited patient gets much better care! o More graphics (such as cartoons and understandable, attractive graphs) should be used in explaining insurance coverage and plans. Graphics aid in understanding, and visibly showing the differences between policies. Trying to understand insurance plans is unnecessarily difficult even for individuals with advanced degrees.

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o Simplify plans and define terms so that individuals can make wiser choices in health care. o Seniors should write (or enlist others to write for them) to their local representatives for help with health care issues. Letter campaigns are an effective means of lobbying for more and better facilities for our concerns.

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(III) FINANCES Group: Rochelle E. Evans (Chair) Charlene Daise (Rapporteur), Omar Ali, Marie Phinser, Brenda Lovely, Allegra Burnette, Dr. Francisco F. Hall, Lena Jefferson

Major financial challenges for seniors were: Families: • Adult children, and/or grandchildren, and other family members are often affected (negatively or positively) when their senior relatives (parents/grand-parents, siblings, etc.) decide to marry. • Adult children and/or grandchildren often request or depend on the financial support of their elderly relative(s). • Family members including the elderly often experience emotional stress from the lack of financial resources. • Financial stress or hardships can sometimes contribute to elder abuse

Community: • Seniors sometimes experience difficulty in paying taxes. Seniors should be exempt from paying school taxes. • More social workers should be provided for the elderly to assist in helping families resolve financial problems. • Seniors are often uninformed about financial resources, solutions, plans etc. and need to be educated on their available options. • Retired Civil Service Seniors cannot receive pensions and social security and suffer financial strains as a result. • The cost for medical prescriptions not covered by insurance plans &/or Medicare can contribute to financial stress for the elderly.

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Financial Reparations • Reparations for slavery should be paid to all those of African descent. • The United States would not be what it is now (in terms of accumulated wealth) had not the slaves provided free labor. • African Americans built Washington, D.C. • All other American nationalities that have suffered abuse at the hands of the United States have received reparations (i.e. Jews received back their stolen art work) • Wrongfully imprisoned Japanese Americans have received some monetary compensation. • There is a document dating back to slavery times that quantifies labor and the value of it all. The three biggest financial issues are: 1. Taxes 2. Reparations 3. Financial education

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ADDRESSING FINANCIAL ISSUES: o Political action is needed to push through the issue of reparations. o Seniors should not be too proud to admit to having problems. They should talk with others and learn about programs, outreach groups, and forms of assistance through word of mouth or church or community organizations. o Seniors should do research, if possible on-line, or at local libraries to learn about reduced taxes for the elderly; how to modify house loans, or learn about whatever programs are available to them. o Seniors should learn to change or adapt their life styles to their new situations, such as their diminished income, diminished physical capabilities, fewer available family members or friends, etc. o They should educate themselves about available resources through Directories for Seniors, AARP newsletters, books, hospital newsletters, church bulletins and magazines, the internet, etc. o They could learn to acquire information about Supplemental Insurance Plans, and talk to their Homeowner’s Association

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o They should avail themselves through various agencies (city, county, state and federal, as well as private) of the services of Social Workers who have expertise in dealing with domestic violence, mental health concerns, assistance with housing problems such as utility bills, increased need of repairs, increased cost of living issues, problems with insurance providers and provisions, etc. Social Workers will get you what you need to know through their connections. The Lou Walker Senior Center has a DeKalb County Social Worker on the premises once or twice a week. o If necessary, seniors can get help with credit card debt and school loans, also through knowing qualified social workers, or through friends and family and a network of other seniors such as offered in local senior centers. o The LWSC elderly also discussed a case for reparations. It was agreed that reparations would go a long way toward alleviating the financial difficulties of the elderly. It would help to educate our young and give us a more solid footing toward establishing and maintaining individual and group wealth. How to distribute the funds was an issue i.e. should we get a lump sum of cash or have it dispersed to us through a government agency. The amount to be awarded to individuals to be determined by a knowledgeable government official. o Some elder abuse occurs because of financial situations. The elderly can be abused physically and emotionally, and may be taken advantage of by their children, other relatives, care givers and criminals. Like other domestic violence issues, these circumstances are difficult to determine because of secrecy, shame and fear. The Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFACS) has a unit that deals with elder abuse.

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o The retirement funds of the elderly are also subject to being stolen by family members as well as unscrupulous financial advisors (insurance agents, bankers, real estate agents, stockbrokers, etc.). o The elderly should also have living wills, written instructions on how and where they wish to be buried or cremated, etc. preferably drawn up by reliable and knowledgeable attorneys who usually deal with drawing up wills, trusteeships and death or terminal illness cases. o Seniors who belong to a particular church, congregation, or mosque should make use of available support systems.

o Seniors should practice selfmotivation

o Local politicians should disseminate information to seniors.

o Seniors should have an input when decisions about their needs and cares are being made regarding how their funds and taxes are being spent. o Seniors should attend stockholders’ meetings whenever possible. 22


(IV) CRIMES AIMED AGAINST SENIORS (SCHEMES AND SCAMS) Group: Frances King (Chair), Beth Bernette (Rapporteur), Margaret Brown, Audrey Wilbern, Barbara Fleming, Gail Porter, Ir’faan Ahdul-Ahad, Jacqueline Scruggs

Instruments and types of criminal schemes (also known as scams) used against seniors in the commitment of fraud. 1. Computers 2. Telephones 3. Legal and illegal advice 4. Housing (example: false or bad loans) 5. Medical 6. Financial 7. Door to door 8. Identity theft Language used to convince elders: 1. “I see you have diabetes.” (By way of gaining medical knowledge of intended victim). 2. “There is nothing wrong with your credit card...” (By way of obtaining the credit card number or social security number, etc. of intended victim). 3. “Do you own (or rent) your home?” (By way of obtaining personal information on the intended victim). 4. “We are soliciting donations requested for our local police...” (Another false way to obtain money from an elderly person. This approach uses a strong male voice to intimidate potential victims.)

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5. “ Hi, may I speak to Mary?” or “Is Mary home?” (Using friendly language to gain an advantage to an elderly, possible lonely elder). 6. “You are eligible for a loan...” (Another way to grab the attention and trust of an intended victim). 7. “You owe money in taxes..” (Another form of intimidation) 8. Telling a hopeful inventor, author, etc. how they can improve their product or book for a fee. 9. “You have won a free trip...” (Another lie to get money from a victim) 10. “ Our charity (such and such)...needs your contribution (a false charity) How criminals use computers against the elderly: 1. They falsely notify the victim that he/she has inherited money 2. They gain access to your computer by switching screens to make them look like legitimate businesses 3. Opening the wrong email can lead to a criminal accessing your private information (security numbers, id information, accounts, etc.) 4. Signal and response to frauds 5. Attach cookies (bits of information that follow your activities or sites visited). 6. Use Facebook (also to gather information about you for future fraud) 7. Introduce pornography often unwanted and with criminal intentions or attachments 8. Follow any children (who might visit your home) on their visited sites for criminal intentions.

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The top three criminal challenges facing elders are: i.

Door to door: False claims from alleged religious organizations or charities, incompetent or greedy car repairmen, a lack of security, and lying thieves who gain access with excuses such as :did you see my dog, my car broke down, etc.

ii.

Mental Health – Alzheimer, schizophrenia, depression from living alone, confusion, strange ways or behaviors, home health fraud

iii.

Shopping – elders become targeted victims by being thought of as fragile, or unaware and are robbed or pickpocketed. The following information is a summary of the results of two more sessions with the Seniors at the Lou Walker Senior Center. Our goal was to come up with solutions to the problems we outlined in our first session with Dr. Ariel King.

Our solutions included the following recommendations: • Block calls on our own phones • Do not answer the phone if you have caller ID and do not recognize the calling number. • Hang up the phone if there is no person or voice immediately available when you answer it. It is usually a sign that the call is an automatic, computer generated call, and not personal. • Place a “No Soliciting” sign on your front yard or door. • Have a safe in your home to guard against untrustworthy relatives, care workers, visitors or strangers. Make sure the key or combination is in an equally safe place. • Put a freeze on your credit through the Credit Bureau with a pin number for your private access. This assures that nothing on your accounts can be added or taken away without the correct pin number. This service is free through the Secretary of State, credit bureau report. 25


• Have a place or number where you can transfer suspected criminal calls, i.e. transfer call to 911 if possible. • Keep a record of all payments, call Better Business for references and/or be sure to get references from friends and neighbors for any work to be done on your property or possessions. •

Know or study self-defense tactics for protection against violent crimes. Examples: throw keys at criminal and run the other way; ask in-store greeter or grocery bagger to escort you to your car; make sure you place your purse into the car before you enter so it is not hanging unattended on your arm; lock your car when pumping gas, park in well lit areas and avoid shopping after dark.

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(V) NATIONAL POLICING PRACTICES AIMED AT AFRICAN AMERICANS The African American History Class at the Lou Walker Senior Citizen Center in Lithonia, GA decided that it is important to record our concerns for the safety and survival of our youth. They are the ones who are mostly (but not always) too often the victims of over reaching racial policies of police departments across the American landscape. Racial stereotyping, targeting, victimization and brutality have been an ongoing fact of life in African American communities, but our cries for justice and an end to police brutality have largely fallen on deaf ears. With the advent of modern technology, the private records of neighborhood businesses, private cell phones, police dash and body cameras, we are now showing to the public the truth about our local and national police departments. Outcomes in the administration of justice for police criminality, which have also been less than fair or just are now being publicly highlighted as the racist, classist, defective institutions of practiced injustice they really are. The unfair police practices are so prevalent in our African American communities that in a class of 25 to 30 seniors, at least half of us had experienced, or knew a close relative or friend who had experienced a negative encounter with a usually white, but occasionally black or brown police officer. These encounters have included being wrongfully and rudely targeted, stopped, questioned, searched, warned, and ticketed. Our suggestions for how our young black men and women should handle or avoid these potentially life-threatening encounters are as outlined below.

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OUR IMMEDIATE/ SHORT TERM SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO HELP OUR AFRICAN AMERICAN YOUTH: 1. Teach our youth to keep their mouths shut when stopped by police. 2. Teach our youth to speak politely to officers, but not to elaborate. “Yes sir” and/or “No sir” are sufficient answers. 3. Teach our youth not to run when approached even if they have committed a misdemeanor. They could be killed for nothing. 4. Our youth need more culturally relevant school subjects to give them a sense of pride and self-esteem about themselves. They need more after school programs to keep them busy and involved in beneficial activities. 5. Our youth need alternative groups to join, such as social clubs or community clubs to avoid becoming members of gangs, and to enhance self-esteem, cultural values, beliefs and behaviors. 6. Our youth need to know that they can be arrested for the company they keep.

OUR LONG-TERM SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVING RELATIONS BETWEEN THE POLICE AND AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE: 1. Develop national standards for training police officers. Reinvent police culture, policies and procedures. 2. Develop better ways to psychologically test police department trainees to eliminate racists, sadists, bullies, and individuals with issues of anger management and selfcontrol, and other damaged applicants.

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3. Teach police candidates to be culturally sensitive to non-white populations. They should learn to tell the difference between a hardened criminal, a proven gang member, a high school truant and/or a college student.

4. Cultural sensitivity can be learned if police are an integral part of the community. If they live in the neighborhood and know their neighbors and their neighbors’ children, shop owners, etc. they can recognize the real, dangerous criminals. 5. Cultural sensitivity would teach police how to speak to their neighbors, to see them as potential witnesses to crimes, and to being supportive of their efforts to curb violence. They need to become less disrespectful and unnecessarily suspicious, provocative and belligerent toward the black community. 6. Police should discontinue “broken window� policing. This form of policing has been harmful to black communities, permanently criminalizing our youth for misdemeanor offenses, hardening our attitudes toward the police, and further impoverishing the community with unnecessary and excessive fines, court fees, tickets etc.

7. If police learned to know black communities, they would be less fearful of them and therefore would be less likely to over-react to situations. It would benefit African American communities because police would then be less likely to shoot and kill innocents.

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8. Last, but not least, our black communities really need the police. We should be their partners in controlling crime and violence in our neighborhoods. We do not, however, need police who are afraid of us, who hate us, target us, prey on us, demean or rob us. We need police who respect us, listen to us, are willing to work with us and who care for us as they would care for their own.

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AFI Chagemakers Elders Leadership Summit - USA 2016  

The first AFI Changemakers Elders Leadership Summit was held in the USA ( Lou Walker Senior Center in Lithonia, Georgia). The issues that w...

AFI Chagemakers Elders Leadership Summit - USA 2016  

The first AFI Changemakers Elders Leadership Summit was held in the USA ( Lou Walker Senior Center in Lithonia, Georgia). The issues that w...