Break down "us" vs. "them" mindsets
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Tracie Keesee

Responsibility is reciprocal

By Brian Greene
Editorial team, TED

My favorite talks make this move: first they open your eyes to a new or unseen facet of the world, then they gift you a mental model to apply to situations in your own life. A good example of this is a stellar talk from Tracie Keesee, the co-founder of the Center for Policing Equity and a 25-year police veteran. 

The heart of Keesee’s talk is the concept of the co-production of public safety: essentially that both the police and the community can work together to make their communities safer. To illustrate, Keesee describes the "Build the Block" program in New York City -- a series of informal neighborhood meetings where the police and residents can interact outside of a law enforcement setting and create meaningful, productive and safety-focused relationships to better handle situations that, if left alone, could easily worsen.

As she says: "When you bring people [together] who come with separate expertise, and you also come with your new ideas and lived experience, you produce a new knowledge."

This concept -- that responsibility goes both ways -- may sound like common sense, but it isn't how many of our relationships work. Think about how many relationships you have that feel like a transaction or, worse, like it's "us" vs. "them."

Keesee's talk gets me thinking about how I can be more intentional in the relationships I have with others, and about how it's better to build the things that matter together, rather than in opposition to each other. 

Where else are we stuck in transactional or antagonistic mindsets, and how can we improve them through co-production? How can co-production help to break down those destructive "us" vs. "them" mindsets?

Watch "How police and the public can create safer neighborhoods together"
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