Are you a police officer who is passionate about community engagement?


Word is Bond is a local nonprofit with an inspired mission; build positive relationships between young Black men and law enforcement. Each summer, Word is Bond hosts a six-week summer internship program called Rising Leaders. Rising Leaders is a leadership development experience for young Black men where they build leadership skills and work to improve relationships between police and their communities. The theme for this summer is I am somebody. Word is Bond is seeking officers passionate about community engagement to participate alongside our cohort of youth leaders in the challenging and empowering work of reframing how young Black men and police engage in our communities.

Program Highlights

Officers first meet the youth participants, known as community ambassadors, in the second week of programming on a ropes course facilitated by our partners at Northwest Outward Bound School. The relationship building starts here; working on challenging, team activities where the community ambassadors and officers step out of their comfort zones and complete activities together. Throughout the next five weeks of the program, officers join youth participants for “Engagement Days” where they participate in workshops that focus on story sharing, listening and relationship building. Each Engagement Day, youth and officers get to know each other more and build up towards more challenging discussions on race, history and trauma. The program concludes with a community showcase where youth present their video projects and discuss their experiences along with police participants to family, friends, and community, who are all invited to join in a celebration of this powerful six-week experience.


Rising Leaders Calendar, Summer 2019

June 20: 
Program Orientation, 5-8pm

July 1:  Ropes Course, 9-3pm

July 2:  Engagement Day 1, 10-1pm

July 9:  Engagement Day 2, 10-1pm

July 16:  Engagement Day 3, 10-1pm

July 23:  Engagement Day 4, 10-1pm

July 27:  Overnight Camping Trip

July 30:  Engagement Day 5, 10-1pm

August 2:  Community Showcase, 5-7pm

I thought Word is Bond did an impressive job of creating an environment that encouraged young Black men and law enforcement to share their perceptions on their complicated relationship and to speak openly about their experiences and beliefs. I thought it was a great way to give each other some context as to why we may have the views we do, and it was incredibly worthwhile to learn how those views shape our interactions. This is an important and hard conversation to have but it seems the more we listen, the more we learn about our similarities and appreciate, not fear, our differences.
— Clayton, Lake Oswego Traffic Lieutenant


Q: What is the total ask of the officer?

A: Word is Bond is asking for a 50-hour commitment over six weeks which includes orientation, the ropes course, five engagement days and the overnight camping trip.

Q: Do you have to be available for all the dates on the calendar to participate?
A: Yes, the time necessary to build real, meaningful relationships, requires officers to be participate in all dates of the program. The WIB Law Enforcement Leadership Team works with the supervisors of each participating officer to arrange their schedule so they can fully participate.

Q: What types of officers are we looking for?
A: Rising Leaders is open to sworn officers from all backgrounds and walks of life, but we are particularly interested in white officers and officers in units with high youth contact.


Connect With Us

If you are a police officer interested in participating in the 2019 Rising Leaders Program, please contact:

Sgt. Steve Collins (PPB)