Unfortunately I was not able to hear the presentation given by William Bratton on his recent visit to Trinidad and Tobago. However, last week while at the Harvard Business School I had the distinct honour of hearing a first hand account by Reverend Jeffrey Brown, one the integral players of the “Boston Miracle” that occurred under Bratton’s watch. In the 1990’s inner city youth violence and crime was strangling and threatening the way of life of the residents of South Boston. In fact they had one of the highest crime rates in the entire US. There was enormous racial tension between the predominantly Irish Catholic police force and the predominantly black inner city youth.
1. Establish 405 church cluster-collaborations which sponsor “Adopt-A-Gang” programs to organise and evangelize youths in gangs.
2. Commission missionaries to serve as advocates and ombudsmen for black and Latino juveniles in court.
3. Commission youth evangelists to do street-levle one-on-one evangelism with youth involved in drug trafficking.
4. Establish accountable, community-based economic development projects that go beyond “market and state” visions of revenue generation.
5. Establish links between suburban and downtown churches and front-line ministries to provide spiritual, human resources, and material support.
6. Initiate and support neighbourhood crime-watch programs within local church neighbourhoods
7. Establish working relationships between local churches and community-based health centers to provide pastoral counselling for families during times of crises.
8. Convene a summit meeting for black and Latino men and women to discuss the development of Christian brotherhoods and sisterhoods that would provide alternatives to violent gang life.
9. Establish rape crisis centers and services for battered women in churches.
10. Develop an aggressive black and Latino curriculum, with an additional focus on the struggles of women and poor people.
These men sacrificed their entire lives for this programme, jeopardizing their health and family life to ensure its success. This model has been replicated with success throughout the world. Could we do the same in Trinidad and Tobago?
Fulbright Scholar in Economic
Harvard Business School Alumni