‘You are never alone:’ Families who have lost a loved one to violence come together in an effort to heal

Trinika Walker

MILWAUKEE -- They are often called "hidden victims," because they suffer almost as much as those who are directly targeted. Dozens of people on Milwaukee's north side spent Saturday morning, Jan. 26 working through their sorrow while trying to stop violence at the same time.

With a song from the heart, Trinika Walker worked to cope with the pain in her soul, connecting with community members who have gone through what she has.

"It started off rough, scary," said Walker. "Hurtful."

Walker became emotional thinking about her son, William Davis, who was shot and killed at Swing Park in August of 2018. She used her sadness as motivation for change -- creating the program Stop the Violence 53206.

William Davis

"I've gotten a number of people who are willing to fight with me, who are willing to take a stand with me in promoting peace and stopping the violence," said Walker. "I formed 53 youth members."

Those who have lost a loved one to violence came together for brunch Saturday morning -- to feed their bodies and spirits.

Rikeesha Tidwell

"We just want to bring great things to our environment and neighborhood," said Rikeesha Tidwell. "It's all about hearing out, helping each other and loving each other."

The brunch guests shared stories of grief as a way to uplift each other. Inspirational speakers also provided hope for healing.

"It's important to know you are never alone, and we are listening to you," said Tidwell.

Young people involved in this program work to help kids curb violence, so more people don't have to suffer.

"I feel like we need to stand up and become leaders, because there are too many followers," said Zechariah Wallace. "I volunteer at schools and stuff."

"It's the youth that's promoting it, and that is amazing," said Walker.

Officials with Stop the Violence 53206 have put together several teen summits and neighborhood rallies.

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