On Saturday, June 4, community partners who share a passion for justice joined with the Pennsylvania Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) group to hold a workshop to help youth and law enforcement better understand how the other half lives.

Erika Stallworth, Director of the LaPorte County Juvenile Services Center, Mary Lake, Chief of Staff for the LaPorte County Prosecutor’s Office, and Kris Pate, Director of United Way of LaPorte County, joined with the PA DMC group to present useful information to teenaged participants and members of the local law enforcement community, and to have participants engage in role-reversal exercises to better see the challenges faced by the other. Police Chief Dion Campbell addressed the group and helped bring this to fruition with members of the Michigan City Police Department, including Assistant Chief of Services, Jillian Ashley, and other police officers from MCPD.

Several community partners had participated in an earlier training last September, and Saturday was the first time that the event was accomplished with youth and police. Trainers present included the above community partners, as well as Pastor Bill Fine, who hosted the event at St. John’s United Church of Christ, Pastor David Ashley, Pastor Kimberly Williams, Esther Moore-Stiles of Swanson Center, and Toni Osowski, Teen Court Coordinator.