Meet Me @ The Bell Tower has become an opportunity for us as a North End Community to stand together. In Week 1- Stop The Violence, we had 40 people come out and we committed to bringing one person back next week. In Week 2 - Hands of Hope, approximately 100 people came together to lend their hands to our Stop The Violence initiative. We had drummers, speakers and artists lending their support to us as we rang the Bell, and marched to Salter & Selkirk to share our message. Our After party was hosted at Indian Family Centre and refreshments were donated by Robin's Donuts and the Champagne's. We shared some music as well, in the form of a drum group led by Chickadee & Ninoondawah and some live performances from Hip Hop artist Lorenzo.
We gathered at the Bell Tower @ 6pm and proceeded to converse. We had some coffee generously donated by the Robin’s on Salter & Selkirk and some stickers, courtesy of AYO!. All in attendance were given the challenge to place their HOPE stickers in a prominent place in the community. We began with some words from community members, and a moving speech from Councillor Ross Eadie, community leader Kelvin and many others as well. We were honoured to share some songs, our spirit and our culture, on the big Drum, led by Chickadee. From there, we took our group photo and marched, being led by some of our young community members to Selkirk & Salter where there was recently and act of violence happen. We marched, and as we did those standing by the Bell Tower, with the drum, found a way to ring our bell. We will find a way to ring the Bell Tower again next week too!
We then gathered at the Indian Family Centre (470 Selkirk Ave) and were able to sit in warmth and enjoy some lemon tarts donated by the Champagnes. We also listened to a few more community members share their stories, and then proceeded to do the Opportunity Sharing portion of the night where we got support for several community initiatives for North End Rising/The FWD (NECRC), Healing Still Continues (AYO) and a Ralph Brown/St. John’s Youth Group. We will be able to mobilize these groups in the future, and we will share our hope…through their hands! Then, we were treated to a special treat when Hip Hop artist Lorenzo shared his words of hope with all of us. Our evening concluded amazingly with another song from our guardian Drum and a commitment to return to the Bell Tower, next Friday with a friend.
Our next event is happening next Friday Dec 2nd 2011 @ 6pm at the Bell Tower and our theme this time is LOVE. We are going to take our community action another step further and begin to put together a North End strategy to deal with violence and crime. Please bring your ideas and we will begin to put them together so we can have a crime strategy that works for our community: a strategy made out of LOVE. You can get more info on the Facebook event, here!
Thank you to all 140 of you that have attended the first 2 Meet Me @ The Bell Tower events. We will Stop The Violence (week 1) using our Hands of Hope (week 2); and we will do it with LOVE (week 3).
See you Friday.