Act Now


ACT NOW Programs

ACT NOW Values and Approach

ACT NOW believes collaboration between police and communities can make powerful change. “Community safety” goes beyond old definitions of “public safety.” It promotes justice and the rule of law, and also addresses the root causes of poverty, systemic racism and inequity.

ACT NOW gathers together citizens, local leaders, civil rights activists, law enforcement, government agencies, faith organizations and others from diverse communities.

We recognize our partners may have experienced trauma, oppression and/or disempowerment. And so, we take special care to create safe spaces for collaboration through human-centered programming. Our programs are co-designed, co-implemented and co-evaluated by our community partners. We believe this is necessary to build capacity and civic engagement.

ACT NOW Programs

Our approach builds on three program pillars: small group Listening Sessions, community-wide Breaking Bread Events, and organized local action groups called Justice Circles. ACT NOW provides the framework and tools these groups need to work together.

Listening Sessions

Listening sessions give voice to those most impacted by policing

practices and identify areas for dialogue. These are kept relatively small to ensure every person has an opportunity to share. They are held with grassroots community members and rank-and-file officers. 

Each community has unique challenges. Listening sessions help surface the topics and issues most relevant for their community.

Breaking Bread Events

Breaking Bread events bring diverse groups into close

proximity to share a meal and tell one another their stories.  They establish a broader platform for community engagement with marginalized populations. They create a safe space for inclusion and dialogue.

These events help establish higher levels of awareness, empathy, and trust. They help a community build the ‘will’ to tackle broader issues of injustice, inequality and quality of life. These events lead to consensus about issues of concern in a community.

Local Action Groups

A Justice Circle consists of citizens, local leaders, civil rights

activists, law enforcement, government agencies, faith organizations and others seeking to reimagine their communities.

The issues they address are informed by listening sessions and Breaking Bread events. These groups receive support and tools from ACT NOW. They focus their efforts locally and also become a part of a nation-wide network that shares best practices.

ACT NOW Community Outcomes

ACT NOW Sites are making meaningful change in their communities. Each site is unique and addresses issues most important in their community. Below is a sampling of what local action groups have been up to…

Oklahoma City is tackling gun violence from a public health perspective, addressing jail reform, and leveraging technology to improve traffic stop safety.

Martin County, Kentucky is embracing trauma-informed policing and deflection to treatment with extended transition support. They are leveraging opioid settlement money to support activities.

Chicago, Illinois People’s Commission has built partnerships with professional sport teams and enabled youth-driven safety plans.

Dallas, Texas has held intensive police-community dialogues with police cadets and their Together we Dine model is becoming a permanent part of cadet training.

Washtenaw County, Michigan held a Summit on Community Violence Interventions.

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe in Tucson has focused on the school to prison pipeline and transitioned their department from BIA. 

Wind River Reservation is focusing on murdered indigenous women and is providing technical assistance on policing tactics to improve trust and legitimacy. 

Nashville, Tennessee is creating joint police/community partnerships to address community needs.