A Yale Law research project titled "The Criminal Justice Dialogues" brings strangers from across the country together to discuss issues inside an air-conditioned "golden portal." Gordon Tokumatsu reports for the NBC4 News.
Recently, groups of residents from Milwaukee and Newark, New Jersey met to share ideas and strategies they use to reduce violence in their respective communities. The conversation gave the groups — both from low-income, mostly black neighborhoods — an opportunity to delve into some weighty topics like prisoner re-entry, and share a few laughs in a face-to-face setting, all while remaining more than 700 miles apart.
It looks like a shipping container, but it's so much more. This gold painted portal is allowing people in Milwaukee to connect with portals in 29 countries. On Friday, thoughts on crime prevention were exchanged. Conversations in the Milwaukee portal are being recorded. The dialogue will be shared with researchers at Yale University, who are trying to better understand the public perception of police.
What do Newark, New Jersey, and Milwaukee’s Amani neighborhood have in common? They’re both high-crime, high-homicide and highly policed, and right now, a public park in each is hosting a gold-painted shipping container designed to facilitate conversations between the two cities about criminal justice and incarceration.
NEWARK — It's the one shipping container that can travel across the world without leaving New Jersey.
The "portal," a repurposed container that was installed as a temporary exhibit in Newark's Military Park last month, is part of a global artist initiative to connect strangers around the world. The container is equipped with technology that allows users to video chat with people in similar portals that have been placed in other cities around the world.