Breaking down barriers: Heal the Hood block party unites community to end violence

Heal the Hood block party 2018

MILWAUKEE -- Each year, Heal the Hood's outreach campaign pulls thousands of Milwaukee residents out of their homes and into the community. The event gives neighbors a chance to join together and break down barriers.

"This is a space where you can be you -- genuinely be you," said Ajamou Butler, Heal the Hood organizer.

Heal the Hood block party 2018

Heal the Hood Founder, Ajamou Butler, is paving the way for a stronger community.

Ajamou Butler

"When you look at what we started as, we had so much doubt. I doubted myself. The community doubted us," Butler said.

In its seventh year, the block party Saturday, May 26 was a slam dunk.

"I think when you have a passion, a genuine sincere passion for something, it can't die out," said Butler.

The same is true for King Juice, a mobile barber doing his part to help local youth one cut at a time.

Heal the Hood block party 2018

"Love is needed in all our communities and when it's not there you got violence and all this other lashing out," Juice said. "Kids they just know happiness and love. So if you're giving out one or the other -- it's going to work, it's going to help to heal."

Part of the healing focuses on violence prevention.

"Being able to have a chance to see kids come outside and play and not worry about being hit by a stray bullet or fights breaking out and things like that," said Jessica Butler, Heal the Hood organizer.

Heal the Hood block party 2018

Letting kids be kids.


"This is a special day that we can just enjoy our day outside," said Breuna, block party goer.

A day to set differences aside and find common ground.

"It's intergenerational. It's multicultural," said Butler.

"It's just so much hatred going on, so much war, so much negativity, people against each other. Now more than ever we need to come together," said Ashley Harrell, community member.

Heal the Hood is hosting another community block party on July 14, near 10th and Center Streets. For details, CLICK HERE.

Heal the Hood block party 2018