Grammy-nominated SaulPaul brought his Be the Change festival to Buncombe County to promote a community that works together so everyone has a voice to make positive change. SaulPaul is a musician with a message and has conducted TEDx Talks that promote a "restorative ecosystem." This is where communities come together with local organizations like nonprofits, government, private industry, law enforcement, faith communities, schools, and more to work on the specific problems each community faces. Some specifics associated with a restorative ecosystem in Buncombe County include:
- How our law enforcement agencies can learn to build trust and strong relationships with communities to heal past harm.
- How educators can increase parent participation while given tools to help build relationships and inspire the youth towards successful futures.
- How local governments can learn to address cultural understanding, race, equity, and to break down barriers.
- How faith communities can help facilitate between communities and law enforcement and advocate race and equity issues.
According to SaulPaul, while learning techniques about a restorative ecosystem are important, it's mostly about getting everyone to the table to have their voices heard. He and his team spent the week before the Be the Change Festival visiting local schools and even spent two days at the Sheriff's Office conducting professional development training. This training empowers attendees from multiple organizations to development the mindset, learn the skillset, and build the partnerships that are needed to create a restorative ecosystem within the community.
SaulPaul’s visit to Buncombe County came in part through a partnership of the Sheriff’s office, Buncombe County Government, Buncombe County Schools, Asheville City Schools, the Buncombe County Justice Resource Advisory Council, and Western Carolina Rescue Ministries. Learn more about the Be the Change campaign by visiting saulpaul.com, and learn more about our Justice Resource Center by visiting buncombecounty.org/jrc.