The nonprofit community organization Safe & Sound celebrated its 20th anniversary and honored four of its partners on September 13, during “A Night to Unite: Celebrating Neighborhood Champions” at the Italian Community Center.
The event honored Sojourner Family Peace Center’s Carmen Pitre, Judge Derek Mosley, and Milwaukee residents Betty Gaines and PrincessSafiya Byers. Proceeds from the gala will provide critical operating support to ensure that Safe & Sound is able to continue improving public safety in targeted high crime, low-income Milwaukee neighborhoods.
“Tonight, we come together from different sectors – corporate, nonprofit, government – to support a vision we can all get behind: a safe neighborhood for everyone in Milwaukee.” said Katie Sanders, Executive Director of Safe & Sound. “Tonight, we unite.”
Carmen Pitre, President & CEO of Sojourner Family Peace Center, is dedicated to transforming the lives of those impacted by domestic violence in Milwaukee. About three years ago, Carmen Pitre spearheaded efforts to found the Sojourner Family Peace Center by bringing partners together to restructure the domestic violence services in Milwaukee. In 2016, the Sojourner Family Peace Center helped 307 women and 269 children escape violence.
“Carmen is dealing with one of the most challenging issues that we face as human beings, and she wrestles it with grace, charm, empathy and love for others. I have been inspired by that,” said Cecelia Gore, Executive Director, Brewers Community Foundation. “She has made a lifelong commitment to women and families in this community, giving it her all. She serves others with a level of passion unlike others.”
Judge Derek Mosley’s fair and balanced judgement serves the residents of Milwaukee and directly correlates to stronger and safer communities. Judge Mosley, also known as “Your Friendly Neighborhood Judge,” actively engages with Milwaukee neighborhoods on and off the bench by volunteering his time to organizations including Safe & Sound, Fatherhood Initiative, Urban Ecology Center and YMCA.
“Judge Mosley really understands that no one person can make this community better on his own,” said Sheldyn Himle, Chief Court Administrator, Milwaukee Municipal Court. “It takes a lot of people coming together toward a common goal, not just to create change, but also to maintain it. He’s tireless in that effort.”
Betty Gaines is a Sherman Park resident working diligently in her neighborhood to improve the safety and quality of life on her block. She regularly attends events and meetings in the neighborhood, bringing a positive attitude and engaging personality.
“She really is inclusive, and she tries to get her neighborhood to work together,” said Deborah Adams, Sherman Park Resident. “She’s very good about bringing neighbors together for a common goal.”
PrincessSafiya Byers is an excellent model of youth leadership in the Amani neighborhood. She is a “go-getter” that is happy to volunteer to improve her community with a wonderful attitude. PrincessSafiya has also been an active youth voice in the Amani neighborhood through the Neighborhood Ambassadors program and the “Amani Voices” podcast. Currently, PrincessSafiya works at the COA Goldin Center and is a junior at Marquette University.
“She’s so positive. I always see her with a smile on her face,” said Clifton Agee of Northwest Opportunities Vocational Academy (NOVA) Middle & High Schools. “You can’t get anything done in the 53206 ZIP code if you don’t have a positive attitude. She’s well deserving for this award.”