MSP students host event to foster collaboration between law enforcement and the community

group of police officers and event attendees smile for the camera

Students in the Sustainable Peacebuilding program work in a variety of ways to help communities thrive. They accelerate at transforming conflict through empathy, reflective practice, and resilient thinking. Their fieldwork ranges from student to student, and it is always inspirational to see them develop into future change-makers.

One group of current Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding (MSP) students (Cynthia Chirinda, Segun Daniel Okeowo, Sabaa Abdulrazzaq) recently held a police-community dialogue event in collaboration with Nia Imani Family. They provided an overview and a reflection of this event in their own words.

Event Overview

The Police-Community Dialogue event, held in collaboration with Nia Imani Family, served as a pivotal platform for fostering understanding, empathy, and collaboration between law enforcement and the community. As graduate students enrolled in the Master in Sustainable Peacebuilding (MSP) program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, our involvement in this dialogue event aligns seamlessly with the core principles and objectives of our program. The facilitation event was a partial fulfilment of our course requirements for Course MSP 771: Holistic Peacebuilding Practice: Foundations of Facilitation, instructed by Dr. Sarah E. McDonald.

photo of a room with a group of people conversing

At its essence, the dialogue aimed to address the systemic barriers and challenges within police-community relations, particularly in the context of Milwaukee. By creating a safe and inclusive space for open discourse and exchange, we sought to facilitate constructive conversations that would lead to actionable steps for trust-building and addressing underlying issues.

As MSP students, we recognize the importance of engaging diverse stakeholders in the peacebuilding process, including law enforcement, community members, and advocacy groups. Through this dialogue, we aimed to promote dialogue, mutual respect, and collaboration among these stakeholders, with the ultimate goal of building sustainable peace and social cohesion within our communities.

group of people sitting in a circle conversing

Furthermore, our partnership with Nia Imani Family underscores our commitment to community-based peacebuilding initiatives. Nia Imani Family’s mission to empower individuals impacted by generational poverty, domestic violence, and early childhood trauma resonates deeply with our program’s emphasis on addressing root causes of conflict and promoting social justice. The event was held at Nia Imani Family’s Umoja Community Center to reflect the commitment to the organization’s goals of unity, engagement, and courageous conversations.

By bridging the gap between law enforcement and the community, we believe that we can contribute to building a more just, equitable, and peaceful society. Through dialogue, empathy, and collective action, we can work towards transforming police-community relations and creating safer, healthier communities for all. This event exemplifies our dedication to applying theory into practice and making a tangible impact on the ground.


Reflecting on the Police-Community Dialogue event hosted in collaboration with Nia Imani Family, it was truly a transformative experience for all involved. The dialogue provided a vital platform for fostering understanding, empathy, and collaboration between law enforcement and the community. Through open and honest conversations, we explored the complexities of police-community relations and identified actionable steps for building trust and addressing systemic issues. As graduate students in the Master in Sustainable Peacebuilding (MSP) program, this event exemplified our commitment to community-based peacebuilding initiatives and our dedication to creating positive social change. We are grateful for the opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue and look forward to continuing our efforts to promote peace and justice within our communities.

Learn more about the Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding program, or contact us with questions!