What Makes a Safe Community? - Detroit Opera

Welcome to Michigan Opera Theatre’s newest discussion series! As MOT looks toward our September 2021 production of BLUE, we have convened a series of virtual conversations to explore the question “What Makes a Safe Community?”, inviting community leaders, policy makers, members of law enforcement, and community advocates to discuss safety, policing, community mental health, restorative justice, and more. Check back each week for more conversations in this series, and for more information on BLUE, visit michiganopera.org/season-schedule/blue/.


The views opinions expressed in these conversations are those of our guests and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michigan Opera Theatre.

Week 4: Activism and Alternatives

What Makes a Safe Community? John Sloan III of Detroit Safety Team

John Sloan III discusses restorative practices, building new, equitable systems around safety, and moving away from police reliance.

Week 3: Social Service and Community Organizations

What Makes a Safe Community? Sean de Four and Linda Little

Linda Little, President and CEO of Neighborhood Service Organization, and Sean de Four, President and CEO of Southwest Solutions, discuss the impact of health and housing on community safety, and the need to “give voice to the voiceless” in order to achieve greater equity.

What Makes a Safe Community? Staff of Black Family Development

The staff of Black Family Development discusses their work in supporting families of color and the importance of partnerships and collaboration to meet community need.

Week 2: Law Enforcement

Former Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee, Jr.

Former Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee, Jr. discusses the impact of George Floyd’s murder on the structures and practices of police work, and the “double marginality” experienced by officers of color.

Detroit Police Chief James White

Recently appointed Detroit Police Chief James White addresses DPD’s new commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and disrupting the pipeline to prison.

Week 1: Policymakers

Senator Stephanie Chang

Sen. Stephanie Chang discusses MI Senate Bill 481, her role on the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, and her goals for safety in Michigan.

Representative Rashida Tlaib

Representative Rashida Tlaib on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and the importance of investing in education, affordable housing, and transportation.

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