MILWAUKEE — More than a dozen young professionals got together Saturday afternoon to speak to young men at the “Be THEE Village” community chat at the Sherman Phoenix.
The purpose of the event was to teach kids about the importance of mentoring and protecting the our youth.
“We want everybody to come together as a community and celebrate our young kings. Because that’s what they are. Kings,” said Dana Perry, organizer of the event.
As-is, it was a day fit for a king. Free food, crowns and entertainment. However, the most important message in Saturday’s event came from the time spent with positive role models.
“While we have so many things going on in our community that is hurtful, wrong. Today, is about celebrating our youth,” Perry said.
Singers, poets, firefighters and other young professionals showed up for the event to interact with the kids in attendance. State Representative Kalan Haywood was also one of the mentors at the event. As a 20-year-old, he is the youngest elected official in the state.
“If they can see me be elected at 19 and a lawmaker at 19, they can see themselves doing the same thing,” Haywood said.
For Perry, the timing was right. On the heels of several tragic events involving young Milwaukeeans, she said it was time to do something positive.
"When we're talking about mentoring, it's not just for the parents. It's not just for the adults. It's for the kids. They must step in. They're a part of the village," Perry said.
Be THEE Village events will continue in the coming months and years, according to Perry.