COMMUNITY VOL. XXXIX Number 37 April 15, 2015
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W I S C O N S I N ’ S L A R G E S T A F R I C A N A M E R I C A N N E W S PA P E R
Girls’ Day at City Hall stokes young Alderman Ashanti Hamilton womens’ interest in public service careers outlines need for “Safe Zone” initiative More than 150 young women with an interest in public service recently took advantage of the opportunity to meet and be inspired by a number of local leaders and role models during the fifth annual “Girls’ Day” at City Hall hosted by Ald. Milele A. Coggs (shown above, fifth from the left, with some of the participants). “The women who came together to act as role at this event are truly some of the best that Milwaukee has to offer,” Coggs said. “But to see them interact with and inspire the next generation of young women in public service is the most rewarding part of this great event.” Among the activities were two panel discussions on the journey to public service and the role of women in politics. An interactive workshop was also held focusing on leadership development. (Photo by Yvonne Kemp)
Surrounded by members of a coalition of community organizations involved in the betterment of the city’s Black community, Ald. Ashanti Hamilton (shown above at the microphones) unveiled a “community organizing strategy” that will create “Safe Zones” that will operate in several neighborhoods of the central city plagued by crime, violence and disorder. During a news conference at Garden Homes Park, located at North 26th Street and Atkinson Avenue. “MPD has repeatedly called on community members to take a more active role in stabiliziing their neighborhoods, and in our most challenged areas, unfortunately there are few residents willing to answer that call,” said Ald. Hamilton in a press statement. In an effort to change that, Hamilton and the 14 organizations and individuals also unveiled an approach to address the crisis called “H.O.O.D. (Helping Others Obtain Direction) Ambassadors” who will operate the Safe Zones across certain troubled neighborhoods. (Photo by Yvonne Kemp)
Brewers begin quest for playoffs!
Milwaukee Brewers star Khris Davis prepares to take his at bat during the Milwaukee Brewers opening season game against the Colorado Rockies. The Brew Crew haven’t gotten off to a good start. But fans are hoping the team will play well this season and make the playoffs. (Photo by Yvonne Kemp)
PULSE OF THE COMMUNITY Photos and question by Yvonne Kemp
QUESTION OF THE WEEK: “What is your prediction for the Milwaukee Brewers 2015 season?”
MICHAEL RANDOLPH: “The Brewers will make the playoffs! Go Brew Crew!”
FRANCIS RANDOLPH: “The Brewers will not make it to the playoffs!”
Photo A: State Sen. Lena Taylor listens to activist and educator Jeanette Herrera talk about the problems that Gov. Walker’s 2015-17 “cut and borrow” state budget will create for various social service agencies and institutions the community depends on during a state budget listening session at Brentwood Church of Christ, 6425 N. 60th St. Photo B: Former Green Bay Packer Star Ahmad Green (second from left) was one of the speakers to address the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute’s 2015 Minority Health Month: “Breaking the Silence: Facing Dementia in Communities of Color” Breakfast Dialogue. With Green are (left to right): Stephanie Sue Stein, director of Milwaukee County Department on Aging, Viola “Vi” Hawkins, chair of the Department on Aging; and Bashir Easter, a Dementia Care Specialist with the department. Photo C: Volunteers “Temo” Rodriguez (on the left) and Antonio Moore (on the right) recently participated in the Center Street Marketplace: Business Improvement District 39’s (BID 39) spring business district clean-up along Center Street. The cleanup focused on improving Center Street’s appearance. Center Street Marketplace (BID 39) helps to change the negative perceptions of crime and safety on West Center Street between North 34th and North 58th Streets. Photo D: Mounted Police officer Sargent White of the Milwaukee Police Department and his horse Prince watch over a MPD squad car loaded with food for needy families in some of Milwaukee’s most challenged neighborhoods during the annual “Stuff the Squad” event at a central city Pick n’ Save, which helps to reduce crime and hunger.
JARED MCGEE: “I am a Brewers fan! I believe if the Brewers stay healthy this season, they have a chance at the playoffs!”
MATTIE REDMOND: “I am a true Brewers fan! My prediction for the 2015 season is they are off to a slow start now, but our Brewers will pick up speed and go all the way! And they will be in the playoffs! Go Brewers!
ing), we have to understand that the majority of individuals who go to prison will be released back into mainstream society. Do we really want the place that was intended to be a correctional institution to merely be a housing detention center that makes people angry, bitter and more criminal minded? I have worked inside of the Department of Corrections, with men and women, juveniles and adults, minimum to maximum security. I have worked, closely, with and observed individuals with very good hearts that made very poor decisions. Yes, there are a few psychopaths that have serious psychological is-
is what can we do right now for our brothers and sisters that are locked up, locked in and seemingly out of luck. For the past three days, I have repeatedly watched the movie “The Mack,” starring Max Julien. When I first watched this movie as a teenager, it made we want to be a cold-blooded, smooth talking, pimp walking player that the men feared and the ladies adored beyond reason. As, I watch it today, as a married man and father of daughters, I view it in a totally different fashion. I now see the underlying messages of the writer and directors that I was not savvy enough to detect when originally watching the film.
Feeling the PULSE of what’s going on in YOUR community! Photos by Yvonne Kemp
MEN MEN Locked Up, Locked EMPOWERING MEN MEN In and Out of Luck! By Dr. Ramel Smith, “The Blaquesmith”
Too many of our brothers are locked up, locked in and out of luck. The belly of the whale with razor wire sharp teeth has eaten up our country men at an alarming rate. Since 1984, our prison population, as a nation, have increased over 400 percent; and, our Black brothers are locked up 6.5x’s faster compared to our White brothers. The purpose of prison, in theory, is threefold: 1) to punish the criminal behavior; 2) deter other members of the citizenry from anti-social behavior; and 3) for rehabilitation. We can illuminate on the obvious ills of this system or we can use our
energy towards solutions that can be implemented today and tomorrow. Prison has the ability to be a wonderful reformative tool if used correctly; but, it should be a tertiary project and not the initial starting point for an intervention program. I understand that some people at this point are pressing the buzzer to get off the bus. However, before you get off this ride and stop reading, please hear the argument in totality. One, I am not a fan of criminal behavior. Two, I do not want to be soft on crime. Three, if one does the crime, one should do the time and pay their debt to society. Pragmatically speaking (and think-
sues that need to be locked away for the protection of all; but, beloved this is not the case for the average inmate. Truth be told, many of these people are our family members, friends and neighbors. Hell, it could even be you! We know these individuals, more importantly, we know the conditions and situations that led to their, seemingly inevitable, incarceration. In the weeks to come, we will talk about preventative ideas, suggestions and programs that can be implemented by families, educational systems, business districts and our government to improve the lives of the citizenry. However, the thesis of this article
Dr. Ramel Smith
The main character, Goldie, was an intelligent man who lost his father early in life. He was very intelligent, but used those skills in a negative fashion to help provide and support his family. For these acts, he went to prison for
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