going above and beyond
- Feb 9, 2001
In recent days, we have been flooded by requests from Americans asking what we all can do in our day-to-day lives to take on our challenges and maintain the unity brought by grief.
Is there anything more American than that -- ordinary citizens from every corner of the country asking what they can do in their communities? As the President said in Dallas, that’s the America I know -- an America that’s never seen a problem it can’t solve.
Yesterday, the President brought together law enforcement officials, civil rights leaders, activists, faith leaders, academics, and state and local elected officials to discuss these challenges and how we can all take steps together to build trust and ensure justice for all Americans.
And tonight, President Obama will keep the conversation going about the challenges we face -- from racial inequality to how we build trust in our communities.
The President will host a town hall where he’ll hear from officers, parents, students, and families affected by the violence of recent weeks. Participants will raise important questions, search for answers together, and most critically, seek to understand the different realities each of us face. We will all be able to learn a lot from their example.
You can watch the town hall right here -- or on ABC News or ESPN -- tonight at 8:00 pm Eastern.
The conversation and work must continue after the town hall -- and there are a number of things that YOU can do to answer the question we’ve heard so often: "How can I help?"
First, bring back to your community a set of straightforward steps that you can take, right now, to make a difference. There are some solutions outlined by the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. We can honor the courage of our police officers and see the truth of our criminal justice system’s racial inequities – and these solutions are a critical part of that work.
Second, become a mentor. A huge part of our shared work is ensuring that every young person in America knows that as a country, we believe in them.
Third, keep the town hall’s conversation going in your community to build bonds with new people, seek out new viewpoints, and share your stories and examples. As the President has said, "Listen. Engage. If the other side has a point, learn from them."
But as the President also said yesterday in Dallas, the work of healing these divisions requires that we open our hearts to each other, and "see in each other a common humanity, a shared dignity, and recognize how our different experiences have shaped us."
We hope you’ll tune in tonight with an open mind, and bring back ideas to your community. This is going to take all of us.
Thanks for all you do,
The White House
The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111