On Monday March 19th our organization, formally known as Heroes In Blue, expanded it’s vision to focus more fully on police and community partnerships that drive improvements in well-being and community resilience. Along with it, we changed the name to better reflect our commitment to these partnerships. We are now called Serve & Connect. This shift reflects our core belief: when we police and community work together, we change lives.
We want to thank everyone who made the launch an outstanding success! Thank you to our speakers, South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy Director Jackie Swindler and Hate Won’t Win Founder and CEO Alana Simmons, for their incredible speeches. Thank you also to Ryan Alphin, Board Chair and Executive Director of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association and SC Police Chiefs Association, for his moving words and for the powerful video from Dr. Soma Stout, Vice President of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Executive Lead for 100 Million Healthier Lives.
A special thanks to By Farr Graphic Design, Professional Printers, Sound & Images, In-Design Firm, JTK Visuals, Rosewood Market, and Party Reflections for your work in launching this important movement! We also want to thank Richland Mall and the City of Forest Acres for helping us to redefine a space of tragedy to a symbol of strength.
Serve & Connect is grounded on the belief that we have a tremendous capacity for improving lives when we come together. We are driven by hope for a better future and a country more united. This week, we dove right into the hard work to turn this hope into a reality. Our efforts included meetings with:
- United Way of the Midlands to discuss how to best support the homeless population
- Fort Jackson Leadership Training Brigade to explore how we can best support police as they encounter trauma on a daily basis
- Clemson’s Youth Learning Institute to partner to help at-risk youth
We are excited for the diversity of opportunities and partnerships ahead!
“Hope is not wishful thinking. It is risk and action and the courage to undertake both.” – Debra Dean Murphy
We invite you to enjoy photos taken by JAC2 Photo from our launch.