It’s a party designed to help people better their lives.
After a two year pandemic-related interruption, 98.3’s The Gathering was back on last weekend promoting health, wellness and beauty.
“We’re trying to entertain and educate at the same time,” says LaTonya Lucas, who organized the event.
It's aimed at Milwaukee women of color, and LaTonya hopes they’ll take advantage of all the resources.
“There’s a little bit of everything here, there’s banks here, there’s schools here, there’s people here looking for employees,” she says.
A lot of the booths at the event were health related. Tonnie Boston, senior manager of community relations and advocacy at Versiti, says Black people are underrepresented as organ donors.
“Obviously the more people that we can get to be registered donors, the more opportunity there is to save lives through organ and tissue transplants,” Tonnie says.
On the other side of the room, nurses from the UW Milwaukee College of Nursing offered free breast cancer screenings and information. Doctor Sandra Millon Underwood says African American women have a much higher chance for the diagnosis.
“We are here to support our community and do all that we can to affect a positive change,” Dr. Millon Underwood says. “We are nurses affecting change in southeastern Wisconsin.”
But other groups cast a much wider net. Jeff Roman, Milwaukee’s chief equity officer, says the Office on African American Affairs tries to connect people with whatever resources they may need.
“Whether it has to do with housing and mental health services, if it has to do with navigating through our criminal justice system and our courts, connecting people recreationally through our parks, through our cultural centers, through our Milwaukee County Zoo,” Jeff says.
Getting all that help into one room helps build a stronger community.
“We are stronger together and we work collaboratively in implementing programs,” says Dr. Millon Underwood.
“Because then we can take that from this place, back to our community, back to our family members and we can share the facts that we learned here at an event like this,” adds Tonnie.
And that’s the type of sharing LaTonya says makes The Gathering a success.
“I’m a woman and I just think that women should support each other,” she says. “That’s what The Gathering is all about, supporting women.”