By Nyesha Stone
Technology connects us all because what someone has witnessed across the country can be seen within in minutes. There have been endless viral videos of police brutality, which intensified the strain between civilian and authority. For a community to thrive, all pieces of the puzzle need to fit together to create a bigger picture. In other words, for things to get better in America we must find a way to respectfully live together. It’s not just the civilian’s job to respect authority, but authority must return it as well.
National Night Out was created to bring the community and police enforcement together to promote community partnership. This day is held on the first Tuesday of every August, according to their website. Milwaukee is no different than the rest of the nation. The City deals with police brutality, authority issues and community’s lack of trust with police on a daily basis. It was no surprise that Milwaukee hosted their own Night Out because there are people in the community who want to fix these issues.
Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor took initiative and spearheaded this event with the help of a few partnerships: Supervisor Theo Lipscomb, State Rep. David Bowen, Supervisor Willie Johnson, State Rep. Jason Fields, Alderman Ashanti Hamilton, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Our Next Generation, Friends of Lincoln Park, the Inner City Sportsmen Club, and Milwaukee County Parks.
Sen. Taylor contacted owner of LogistiGal Event Management Alicia Washington-White to help run the event.
“I was honored,” said Washington-White. “I said let’s do it!”
Washington-White seemed to be in multiple places at once. Community members came up to say “Hi,” while vendors asked where they should set up. She had an answer for everything while holding a smile the entire time. Milwaukee’s Night Out was held a day before the National Night Out at Lincoln Park’s Blatz Pavilion from 4 p.m.to 9 p.m.
Not every family could afford to attend Summerfest or State Fair, which is another reason this event was held, said Washington-White. Everything is free for the community – food, music, activities, information and one-on-one conversations with authority. Horse rides were provided by Sliverado Trail Riders, but one of the main attractions was the line to the fresh off-the-grill corn on the cob. Lincoln’s waterpark was free to the public starting at 6 p.m. along with free roller skates provided by Whacky Wheels Skate Van.
Board member of Friends of Lincoln Park Sierra Taliaferro has been advocating for four years. Now she’s 25 and she’s trying to bring the community together. Friends of Lincoln Park is a volunteer based community organization that helps keep the Milwaukee parks clean. She wants to encourage the community to help with this effort because “a park is a community effort,” said Taliaferro. Milwaukee’s Night Out is “about communities and uniting the neighborhood,” according to Taliaferro.
Milwaukee’s Night Out is more than just bringing the community together. It’s about showing the city violence isn’t the best option. Instead, it’s better to build relationships and work towards safer neighborhoods for everyone.
It only takes one person to make a difference but when people come together a movement can be started—and movements push towards change. A change that is needed in the 414.