'Keep that positivity going:' Community cleanup 'protest' hits 3 Milwaukee neighborhoods

MILWAUKEE -- Communities in Milwaukee came together to help clean up three neighborhoods Saturday afternoon, in an effort to provide an additional way for residents to call for change and social justice across the city and nation.

Alderman Russell Stamper’s #WeWork Initiative highlights three neighborhoods in the 15th District by organizing a neighborhood cleanup and beautification initiatives from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 6.

“This is another form of protesting,” said Rayhanio Boynes, of the Creative Corridor. “We are taking ownership of our neighborhood and we’re encouraging others to take ownership of theirs. Through all of these efforts--the marches, the protests, the cleanups--siloes are being broken down, bridges are being built, and change is happening. Sometimes it takes great tragedy to create change.”

The cleanup began at 13th Street and Fond du Lac Avenue, an initiative led by Running Rebels. The cleanup then continued to 17th Street and Walnut Street, an initiative led by Johnson Park Neighborhood Association. To end the protest, participants helped clean up 32nd and Center Street, watching local artists paint murals and enjoying live music.

"With the team members we have here -- they're from all walks of life, all cultures, we have our people out there fighting, protesting, and we know change starts in a clean environment so we want to keep that positivity going," said Darlene Rose, who participated in the cleanup.

That initiative is led by the Creative Corridor. The effort partnered with local businesses, organizations, youth groups, nonprofits, creatives, City of Milwaukee DPW and the Milwaukee Urban League.