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Are the Blue lights in your neighborhood?

Dear Englewood Community,

My name is Brandon Alston and I am a current Doctoral student in Sociology at Northwestern University. I hail from North Philadelphia, where personal and familial experiences with the police helped develop my commitment to studying the ongoing plights Black men experience with police. My current study focuses on how Black men (18+), from working class communities interact with police and technology. For this reason, I am writing to ask if I could possibly interview some of the Teamwork Englewood attendees (perhaps from the African American Male Initiative) that qualify for this study: “Police, Technology, and Renewal.” Eligible participants include Black men ages 18 and up, English speaking, who reside in the Southside of Chicago and can attend an in-person interview.

All qualified participants will receive $20 for their time. Additionally, all interviews will be confidential and will be conducted in a private setting. This study focuses on how Black men interact with police, police technologies and use technologies, such as video cameras, to manage interactions with the police.

One of my goals in conducting this study is to chart the social relationships between Black men, the police and police technologies, resulting from the Black Lives Matter Movements. Or more specifically the lack of indictments for police induced deaths, which had video evidence. This is tremendously timely, but also important study that will expose how technology operates in police interactions with Black men. Given Teamwork Englewood’s steadfast involvement in this study’s target communities, any support you could provide with recruiting Black men for interviews, would greatly assist in the execution and success of this study.

As I stated above, my dedication to working class and Black communities, motivates this project with the hopes of revealing the complexities of policing against Black men. Finally, this study is funded by the Department of Sociology at Northwestern University and has been approved the Institutional Review Board (IRB Number: STU00205358). I look forward to speaking with you further. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail or phone. E-mail: Phone: 267-693-8074


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