Issuing the Pledge
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and Cities United work alongside My Brother’s Keeper Alliance to support the participating cities. Founded in 1950, The Leadership Conference is dedicated to expanding opportunity and fairness, fighting discrimination, and protecting and advancing both civil and human rights for every person in the United States. Cities United is a network of mayors and elected officials committed to reducing violence and creating supportive communities for Black men and boys. Both organizations have a long history of advocacy and regularly create and share resources related to policing, public safety, police violence, and supporting Black youth. As participants in the Reimagining Policing Pledge process, both organizations tracked and reviewed cities’ progress and connected cities with opportunities to learn about public safety reform.
"You can have all the best policies on the books, but culture eats policy for lunch. And so, without training at the front end and accountability at the back end, none of these policies will make a difference."
—Vanita Gupta, President and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
The Leadership Conference and Cities United worked with My Brother’s Keeper Alliance to create programming for city leaders and share best practices for engaging the community, collecting data, supporting law enforcement leaders, and maintaining focus on meaningful reform. The three organizations hosted an initial five-session workshop series for participating cities as the centerpiece of their ongoing support. The workshops educated participants on persistent problems in policing and accountability, additional frameworks and options for public safety, and advice on how to implement best practices in using data to drive reform. They were also spaces where city leaders, members of law enforcement, and advocates could speak directly and honestly to one another. City leaders were also invited to engage more deeply on their unique challenges through one-on-one sessions with The Leadership Conference and Cities United.
"What are the meaningful insights you actually derive from the data? It's not enough to just have it and then release it to the public or to whomever but what are you actually learning from it? And that's where I think some interesting tools like visualizations can be really helpful."
—Merisa Heu-Weller, Senior Director, Justice Reform Initiative, Microsoft
Cities that took the Reimagining Policing Pledge also committed to track and report their progress through the four phases. Of the 335 pledged cities, 39 submitted progress updates after multiple requests. The MBK Alliance monitored cities’ progress by collecting stories from communities in pledged cities, media monitoring, and compiling reports from city leaders. The MBK Alliance and the Obama Foundation also shared updates on cities’ activities, progress, and best practices via social media and the Obama Foundation website.
To date, there are 335 cities that took the Reimagining Policing Pledge. These cities represent 43 states and the District of Columbia. There are participating cities in every region of the United States and some of the nation’s most populated cities are committed to the process. Crucially, the mayors who signed the pledge represent more than 13 million Black people across the country.