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Coming together to create change: Brainstorming solutions to violence at “Heal the Hood” event

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Outrage from city leaders (including Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett) and Milwaukee residents after a 10-year-old girl is caught in the crossfire while playing on the playground. Little Sierra Guyton was seriously injured when she was shot near 28th and Clarke last week. This is the latest violent incident affecting the city of Milwaukee in recent weeks. During "Ceasefire Week," we saw an 11-year-old girl shot and injured -- and a triple shooting in which two people lost their lives. So what can be done to put a stop to all the violence? In Milwaukee on Sunday, May 25th, Alderwoman Milele Coggs invited residents concerned about the violence to the third annual "Heal the Hood" block party this weekend.

Taking back the streets of Milwaukee -- one community at at time.

Neighbors came together on Sunday for the third annual "Heal the Hood" block party on the city's north side.

Sunday's event took place from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. near 24th and Keefe.

The event included food, vendors, entertainment -- and an opportunity for like-minded neighbors to come together and brainstorm solutions to violence.

"We want to address economic disparities. We want address political misrepresentations, legal misrepresentation -- all these sort of things that cause poverty to fall so heavily among Milwaukee's inner city," Ajamou Butler, the founder of the "Heal the Hood" event.

Wendy Winston was born in the inner city -- and now she works to help those like her -- serving as a youth counselor.

She says she can't wait for people to seek her out -- saying that sometimes, people who need the most help don't even know it's out there.

"There are so many things that are available to our children, but we have to have that desire to get them in that," Winston said.

It is a message that continues to be spread to anyone who will listen. Violence is a sickness that can be cured.

"Our hope is people link up together to work together because we each have the power to make change to the conditions in this community, in our own households, in our families and our own blocks," Alderwoman Coggs said.

The founder of "Heal the Hood" says after three successful years on Keefe -- he wants to take the block party to other neighborhoods in the city.


  • dancing in the ruins

    why don’t the white, asian, and hispanic communities shoot up their playgrounds? maybe start by answering that question.

    • Lorea

      As a white person, I would recommend considering another line of reasoning. After all, people of our race are disproportionately responsible for serial killing and mass murders in public places like workplaces and schools. Maybe we should be asking the Black community how they have been so successful in preventing the same.

      • dancing in the ruins

        lorea is another person avoiding the real cause of the problem and looking to blame whoever else she can. if the issue here is inner city violence – not mass shootings, not civil war, not welfare fraud, or whatever else you want to use as a diversion.

        with people like you on this planet nothing ever gets resolved.

  • matt4235

    stop giving them handouts, without handouts they will be forced to work. problems occurs b/c these people have nothing to do all day except sit on their porches. you know what they say about idle hands

  • Driftless

    This effort – like all others – will fail because these good-intentioned people either don’t understand or aren’t willing to accept that there is not a quick fix to this problem. It goes way beyond slogans, vigils, cease fires, and excuses like ‘no jobs’. Those are nothing more than reactionary band-aids that don’t get to the root of the problem.

    That’s why these ‘efforts’ have always failed to stop the violence in the inner city and always will fail.

    • soulobigdaddy

      i bet its more than you are doing or even willing to do to help…not your problem until u become a victim

  • Lorea

    Seriously…why are we not organizing actual 24 hour neighborhood vigils, to be manned by responsible adults in shifts? The minute the watchperson sees something suspicious, they can report it immediately. It does require effort and sacrifice, so maybe thats why people dont discuss it as an option. And it doesn’t result in money or power for leaders (political and religious) so maybe thats why its never brought up by them. Honestly…churches.. if you teuly cared, you’d be keeping vigil for these neighborhoods. Isnt that what Jesus would do?.

    • dancing in the ruins

      so your answer to ending the vilence is 24 hour vigils? who are you, tom barret’s even more clueless twin?

      • Lorea

        Okay, buddy. Thats twice you’ve criticized me without any teal substance to your negativity. Lets get real. I am NOT a Barrett supporter. In fact, Im a conservative, libertarian leaning active citizen. My opinions are not formed from sitting on the couch, watching tv and blogging all day. I have real life experience with youth from all walks of life, from kids who are destined to be the CEOs of their daddies companies to those who struggle to stay safe in gang infested neighborhoods. Remember how I mentioned that I lean libertarian? Well guess what that means? It means that I don’t believe the answer lies with government…it lies with everyday people and the organizations/businesses that WE run. Im actually not sure why you mocked the concept of 24 hour community monitoring BY THE PEOPLE. It works. Its simple. Heres how freaking easy it is…Im awake at 9m. While I warch tv and give my baby his goodnight bottle, I keep an eye out my open window. If I see something suspect, I pay a little more attention, then determine if I need to make a call to law enforcement. How do I know this works? I live on the northside, on a street with plenty of private places to conduct criminal activity. There have been crimes in nearby locations, but none here. Why? Because everyone on my block does this. So, as is your right, feel free to mock me and this solution….but it works. Sometimes the simplest solution is the best.

  • dancing in the ruins

    so does looking out the window make these thugs change their lives and opt for a non-criminal and productive path in life and raise their children to do the same or does it just push the crime to another area where people aren’t looking out their windows?

    • Lorea

      lol. Is that the best you’ve got, dancing? Now you want to blame neighborhood watch advocates for “pushing crime to another area where people aren’t looking out their windows”? Looking at many of your past comments, I am left bewildered and confused. What exactly do you want? Do you want to prevent crime by addressing the criminal mentality? That would suggest a need for social programs, which you seem to be against. What is the solution that you think would work best….not the ones you think won’t work….the ones you think will work.

      • soulobigdaddy

        Lorea. Thanks for being a well educated and concerned citizen. It’s people like you that make the world a better place

    • soulobigdaddy

      you are so ignorant and judgmental. The funny thing is, your fellow white man helped to create these ghettos through discrimination and blockbusting. The ghetto gets horrible streets, horrible garbage service, plowing, and police service. That alone is enough to stir up bad attitudes. Here is a good question for you. …Let’s say everyone decided to “get off the porch” as you say, and get a job… Are there even enough jobs??? no because your greedy brethren decided it would be a great idea to send those jobs overseas for cheap (slave) labor

  • BigZee

    Lorea is partially right. Those people watching from window must be armed military stile and be allowed to stop and search anybody.
    Its called Marshall law. Resources? In 150 bases around the globe thousands of solders are loosing time and money…

Comments are closed.