Increase the Peace in Milwaukee

The timing of the Truth Booth was impeccable when reaching Milwaukee. Only five days before, riots ensued in the north side over a fatal shooting by police of a Milwaukee resident, 23-year-old Sylville Smith. Of the summer, I think Smith marked the third police shooting while we started this tour, but it seems as though events like these just keep repeating.

What the media doesn’t cover enough, however, are the attempts the communities are making to “increase the peace.” Families like the Brooks in Milwaukee are exemplary. Demetrius Brooks and his record label, Dollarz Millionz Billionz, aims to contribute to the music industry with socially charged lyrics and festivals that promote positivity.

This hip-hop festival that he and his record label were initiating for their neighborhood would be their first annual festival, and it would have everything for everyone, including a talent show and backpacks with school supplies for the kids, as well as a bar and after-party concert for the rest.

Although not a lot of people showed up for the Booth that day, the team and I got really close to the Brooks family and their inner, supportive circle. Hours passed, stories shared, Instagram handles and email addresses exchanged. We became part of their efforts to increase the peace by standing for truth.

Andrea, Tacarra, Rebecca, Shanti, Demetrius, Mylee, Mario…you are all no longer ambiguous Milwaukeeans without names, but members of my supportive circle.