June 10, 2016
By Ashley Brycen Beam
A local community engagement plan called 500 UNIted NEWark, hosted by Divad Sanders and Shared Studios as part of the Newark Portal project in Military Park, intends to connect with the Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative’s project called 500 Fathers United on June 17th, 2016 from 12pm until 4pm in Newark’s Military Park.
Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative, 500 Fathers, has a mission to help raise awareness of and for men and fathers on the issue of fatherless households. Fatherless households, according to Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative, are impacted by incarceration, violence, financial crisis, and health. Local recruitment for 500 UNIted NEWark on June 17th, 2016 is an opportunity for the members of these public communities to speak on behalf of the immediate sociopolitical and economical problems.
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With a particular focus on those who live, teach, grow and benefit from the city of Newark, the organizers of 500 UNIted NEWark aim to assemble five hundred of the city’s inhabitants next weekend.
According to the event’s Facebook page, participants plan on working together to find those willing to utilize spaces for “solution based dialogues”, speaking specifically to systemic impasses with regard to crime, incarceration, education, familial relationships, violence and health.
The hosts, Sanders and Vega, describe 5 primary goals of 500 UNIted NEWark to those interested in the event’s mission:
- Decreased violence among men, women and children within the City of Newark
- Increased presence of fathers, mothers, children and families within the City of Newark
- Providing information and opportunities for participants to learn of current employment openings, educational outlets, vocational training, family help, health/medical assistance; in addition to those in need of legal assistance and guidance
- Strengthen communities by increasing presence of positive Resident and Law Enforcement relationships
- Increase open dialogue with community and faith based organizations, city officials and local leaders, creating bonds, which will help change ways we think about unification through communication within our City of Newark.
500 UNIted NEWark serves a similar purpose to a recent social project, sponsored by an arts and technology collective called Shared Spaces at Newark’s Military Park. According to ABCNews article “Experimental Installations Put the Social in Socials Science” by David Porter, the co-founder of Shared Spaces, Michelle Moghtader talked to ABCNews about how the cities of Newark and Milwaukee “are where there are police and community tension; [social projects are] a way for people to engage with peers who are facing similar challenges.”