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Olivia's Story

A year ago, I received a phone call from Olivia, whose thoughtful outreach brought tears to my eyes. I was captivated by her extraordinary outlook on life and drawn to her resolute desire to provide her children with the experience and tools to be the most outstanding citizens they can be.

Olivia told me, "I am a Black Egyptian Muslim, married to a white, Christian man. We want to offer our children every chance to navigate the world positively. I want my children to form their opinions about police officers based on their own relationships and unique experiences."

She’s helping achieve this narrative by her choice to be a Liaison Family. Olivia and her family have built an authentic connection with two young police officers. "It immediately felt like they belonged here," she told me of the first meeting, despite the awkwardness of social distancing. An instant bond formed when they acknowledged their commonality: a desire to learn and grow together in circumstances where everyone’s challenges are diverse. The two officers—people of color and brand new in their positions— are the future of public safety. By placing their trust in Olivia and her family, they’ve anchored themselves in the community they have chosen to serve.

Olivia is un-apologetically vulnerable: as a mother, as a woman, as a human being. From the first day I met her, she has inspired me to be more fearless in the vision of Face-to-Face Portland. She trusts me to lead her to love-centered solutions in a time when we’ve both watched others drowning in hate. Olivia expects Face-to-Face to continue its mission of creating vital connections in a fractured period.

The reality is, we cannot do this work alone. It takes considerable effort to reach and inspire people to help meet our vision of Trust Between Police and All Communities. In a year when there is a demand for trusted, genuine relationships, our friends and neighbors have stepped up, reached out, and are determined to make a difference in positive ways. Olivia, thankfully, is not the exception.

Face-to-Face can continue to make a significant difference. We must help people build trust during a time when confidence in each other will initiate the positive, long-lasting, real change that we expect. Your gift will support the growth of our Liaison Family Program and assure that more families and more police officers have the opportunity to build imperative relationships.

Invest in us and help us invest in each other. Donate today.

In love, solidarity and hope,

(The) Amy Johnson
Executive Director and Founder
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