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Milwaukee business leader on reducing crime and gun violence: 'It takes individuals that truly want change'

Posted at 5:24 PM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-17 19:45:22-04

MILWAUKEE — With what happened last weekend in Milwaukee and all year, there are lots of conversation being had on what needs to change to break the city's cycle of violence.

It is conversations that one well known Milwaukee businessman has all the time.

Every day, there are real conversations going on at Gee's Clippers.

"It takes us all. It takes individuals that truly want change," said Gaulien Smith, better known as Gee.

But every third Monday of the month, Smith hosts Real Men Real Talk at his business, Gee Clippers.

Five years of hard, honest conversations about life and being men.

"Sometimes they just need some guidance, they need an ear or shoulder from another man, " said Smith.

Smith is not new to the conversations. He's been having them for 25 years with customers and repeat clients.

When our conversation turned to last weekend's violence downtown and this year's record pace of homicides, Smith isn't giving up hope through all the heartache.

"I think the community leaders that I've spoken to, the business owners that I've spoken, they are open to ideas, open for things, how they can be involved, if you will," he said.

One change he's hoping for is a return to midnight basketball leagues as the summer approaches. They were prominent in the late 1990's.

"I think something that my good friend Skip Robinson did back in the days was midnight basketball," said Smith.

For now, he also believes one thing hasn't changed and it doesn't take more money or resources to get it done.

"This is a tough, tough hill to climb that we are experiencing right now...We know these kids need love. They need love."

If you want to join Gee's Real Men Real Talk conversations,they are every third Monday of the month at 5:30 p.m. at his business on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

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