The 20-week campaign seeks to connect and support residents in five Milwaukee neighborhoods.
Black Love Matters, a community task force associated with the Safe Zones initiative, marched down Lisbon Avenue with about 40 residents of Washington Park on Saturday. The march was part of a “20 weeks, 20 blocks” campaign to raise awareness of black-on-black violence with the goal of “[eradicating] violence in the Black Community.”
Ald. Ashanti Hamilton, activists and community partners gathered near 27th and Atkinson to announce the beginning of a “Safe Zones” initiative to address violence, neighborhood conditions and other issues within the black community in the city of Milwaukee. The initiative, which employs the idea of H.O.O.D. ambassadors (Helping Others Obtain Direction), will launch four initial “Safe Zones” at 23rd and Brown, 1st and Keefe, 27th and Center and 52nd and Hampton. Partners are seeking funding through the federal “Promise Zones” program.
Attorney Verona Swanigan, organizer Corey Kirkwood and Craig Stingley, father of Corey Stingley, stand together before Monday’s press conference at the District 5 Police Station. Community leaders and members, organizers, activists — accompanied by a number of local, state and county politicians — held a press conference Monday afternoon at the District 5 Police Station calling for the City of Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Police Department to support protesters in exercising their fundamental right to freedom of speech. The event was planned by local organizers — Khalil Coleman and Corey Kirkwood — who police had, reportedly, been searching for, with the intent of turning themselves in. Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor, former supervisor and State Representative David Bowen, Alderman Ashanti Hamilton and Alderwoman Milele Coggs were also in attendance. There were no arrests made, as the police alerted Attorney Verona Swanigan, who is representing some of the protesters, that they would conduct further investigation before taking any action.