By Dylan Deprey
Five years ago, if someone asked Min. Byron Marshall Jr. where he would be today, wearing a mask while hosting community events and mentoring the youth on video chat would probably not have been in the top five answers…maybe even his top 20.
During his time as a field organizer for the Obama campaign in 2012, Marshall Jr. saw gridlock politics and polarizing viewpoints, as he tried to make a change at the polls. His experience within his community eventually pushed him to create his own nonprofit grassroots organization that directly benefited the people.
For the past five years, Community Huddle has been promoting peace, endorsing educational equity and civic awareness, all while trying to create an overall better quality of life in Milwaukee.
From advocating peace and civility through events and gun violence prevention, to reducing recidivism and mass incarceration through prison and juvenile outreach, there are no breathers or time outs for Community Huddle.
Whether it’s mentoring at-risk-youth to help close the school-to-prison pipeline, or providing food and clothing programs for the economically disadvantaged, the mission has always been to uplift and excel.
“Community Huddle vision is a better quality of life in the community, where peace and opportunity abounds,” Marshall Jr. said.
While the COVID-19 pandemic, has upended any chance of anything being “normal,” Community Huddle has managed to adapt its programming and even move its headquarters to a new Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. location just in time for its anniversary.
Community Huddle will be celebrating its five-year anniversary at 11 a.m. on Sept. 26 at its new headquarters.
Usually, the group has a “community huddle” every other Saturday of the month to catch up on events, but for the special occasion they’re changing the playbook.
“We’re breaking protocol to mark our five years together,” Marshall Jr. said.
Along with a Mayoral proclamation for their community work, longtime Community Huddle board members, Pauline Grant-Jones, chair and treasurer, and Ethel L. Parnell, board secretary, will also receive awards for their service.
“Five years, it’s exciting, but there is always more we can do,” Marshall Jr. said.
With the Presidential election almost a month away, Community Huddle will be hosting their “Dear November” campaign, a non-partisan voter registration outreach effort to turnout the vote for the 2020 election.
Community Huddle has continued to keep the community at heart. After five years, it doesn’t look like it will be slowing up any time soon.
“We’re working for a fairer, just, and equitable world for all of God’s children,” Marshall Jr. said.
For more information visit: www.communityhuddle.org or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org