Although their organization’s primary mission is to provide solutions through sports and health-related programming, The BALL Foundation (Bridging Athletic, Learning and Life-skills) wanted to do something about the nation’s string of killings of unarmed Black men by law enforcement officials. That’s why in 2015, the organization planned Honor the Line: Bridging the Gap Between Young Men and Law Enforcement. Hosted at Triumph Church in Detroit, the event featured open forum-style discussions with civic leaders and sought to provide tips for youth to follow when dealing with police officers and trial appearances.
Working with BALL Foundation President Randy Henry, media placements were secured before and after Honor the Line. Henry was invited to speak on his organization’s event on WDIV 4’s Live in the D morning show. Second, in order to secure Chief Craig’s appearance at the event, the BALL Foundation delivered a compelling letter which emphasized the impact his appearance would make on the city’s youth. Third, pre- and post-event surveys were distributed to attendees which sought to measure their attitudes towards law enforcement according to their zip code. Finally, on event day a wide range of media outlets came out to cover Honor the Line including the Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, WXYZ 7 and Huffington Post Black Voices. In addition, a five-minute phone recorded interview was coordinated between Chief Craig and CBS Detroit Radio.