Serve & Connect facilitates sustainable police–community partnerships to improve community safety, resilience, and well–being. By involving community and law enforcement in the process, Serve & Connect is offering an alternative to divisive discourse and one–size–fits–all solutions that negatively impact citizens and police officers.
Kassy Alia Ray, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Serve & Connect, delivered her Stand at Stand Together Foundation’s March Catalyst Summit, hosted at Mobile Loaves & Fishes’ Community First! Village in Austin, Texas.
Greg’s death came at a time of increasing divisiveness in the country. In particular, there were growing divisions between law enforcement and the people they serve. Kassy knew her husband and his colleagues cared deeply about the communities they served. She told Stand Together Foundation’s Catalyst Summit that kindness was Greg’s “superpower.” Even though she had lost her “stability and her future,” she felt called to promote healing.
Serve & Connect was born out of that calling. The organization offers an alternative to divisive discourse and one-size-fits-all solutions that negatively impact both citizens and law enforcement. It achieves this mission by facilitating sustainable police-community partnerships that improve community safety, resilience, and well-being and by convening intentional engagements to identify problems and develop collaborative action plans.
As part of its efforts, Serve & Connect hosts a block party series in neighborhoods that have been long-neglected. The series brings together law enforcement and citizens to share meals and music. Serve & Connect’s Community Closet program works directly with neighborhood leaders to identify and support people impacted by poverty. During the 2021 holiday season, Community Closet helped a mother recovering from substance use to move into an apartment with beds for her children, new kitchen appliances — and even the yellow Crocs the mother specifically requested for her oldest daughter.
“We don’t believe in ‘us’ versus ‘them,’” Kassy told Stand Together Foundation’s Catalyst Summit. “We believe that together we are better and that when we work together, we create a better tomorrow for us all.”
The Stand Together Foundation Catalyst Program has equipped Serve & Connect leaders with new tools to deepen its impact and expand its reach. As part of the Catalyst Program, Serve & Connect has access to principles-based management coaching, leadership development programs, operational support, and a community of entrepreneurial peers, influential philanthropists, and business leaders. That means more communities can become the safer, stable places people like Kassy, Amy, and their children need to live happy, fulfilled lives.