NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Wednesday November 22nd 2017

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The Alley’s Roving Reporter at the August 13 Bridging Event: What are examples of “Bridging” you have experienced in Phillips?

Muriel Simmons:

“We worked on building bridges in the neighborhood; between the community and the police;  between corporations and neighborhood organizations; and between young people and older people.”

Back then, drug dealers called police on me, that’s when I knew I had their attention.  Respectful relationships were formed with the police.  Our home just about became a community center.”

Back then, we started knocking on doors – asked people, are you aware of the crime around here, do you want to join the block club?  We invited people into our home, we didn’t have much but made it clean and comfortable.  People began to trust me.  I gave myself a birthday party and invited everyone, including the police.” We created a “Seniors walk” on Friday nights.   They were scared but we wanted to take our sidewalks back.  We practiced looking people in the eyes.  It was like a bridge, people coming out of their homes into the neighborhood.  We knew we were successful when we started seeing wheelchairs and walkers out in the neighborhood.”

We know who the “downtown people” are now.   We have thoughts and ideas and know to whom to bring them.  Before, we didn’t who was in power.”

Jim Cook Phillips resident and businessman 

“I wanted to extend the skills that I developed working as a manager for IBM to the community.  I want to help Phillips residents use their experience to have a say-so in what happens in our community.”

Jack Harris (tutor at the Franklin Learning Center) Quote

“I’m a retired school psychologist from Hopkins. I saw an ad for tutors at the Native American coffee shop and decided to get involved.  I remember grammar that I learned in school but have found that the best way to learn is by teaching—English has so many exceptions to the rules.”

Which parts of today’s events did you participate?

What is one aspect or thing that you have enjoyed that you will take away with you or that had special significance to you?

Why was that significant?

Dee Williams

“I came today to do “flower bombs.”  I was intrigued by the idea of taking seeds wrapped in soil and paper and then dropping them around the neighborhood to create flowers and beauty.”

Christy Cross

“I participated in the “Drum Circle,” made an umbrella to represent who we are, and walked in the parade to the Somali Village Market.  The favorite activity was enjoyment of sitting in a circle with friends and neighbors singing about making change.”

Bridging Roving Reporter  will continue next month

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