Becoming A Bridge

Rev. Ben McBride -- Fefruary 10, 2019

Scriptures for today:
Psalm 138 | Luke 9:51-62

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Rev. Ben McBride is a native of San Francisco and a longtime activist for peace and justice in the Bay Area. In 2008, he relocated his family to a difficult neighborhood in Oakland called the “Kill Zone” to understand and respond to the epidemic of gun violence, firsthand. During this tenure, he served as Executive Director of Cityteam, a non-profit providing rescue, recovery, medical, financial and educational opportunities to hurting and homeless people in Oakland for 7 years. In 2012, Ben was an instrumental component of relaunching Oakland’s first successful iteration of Operation Ceasefire, a data-driven, communication strategy to reduce gun violence. This strategy has contributed heavily to a near 40% reduction in homicides over the last four years.

Ben founded the Empower Initiative in 2014 to provide faith-based technical assistance concerning public safety and training for religious community members around the intersection of race and faith. Over the last 3 years, he has contributed to training over 100 departments and law enforcement executives, while in partnership with California’s Department of Justice.

Ben currently serves as Co-Director of PICO California with a focus on training and leading the Trust through Reform Project, a statewide initiative in 14 cities, to address the community-police relationship.

Ben has received many honors including the FRED Scholars Award, The Oakland Police Foundation's Neighborhood Champion Award and the ASIS Community Policing Award.

Ben & his wife Gynelle have been married for 19 years and have 3 daughters. They reside in Oakland, CA

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