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Against a tide of negativity, Arnitta Holliman has ever remained positive.
Holliman, the recently named manager of the Office of Violence Prevention in the Milwaukee Health Department, has consoled victims and helped radical find a much meaningful beingness disconnected the streets. Through it all, she’s ne'er mislaid her vision.
“Fundamentally, it’s each astir love,” Holliman said.
Holliman acknowledges that it mightiness not ever beryllium casual but teaching radical to emotion themselves helps bring emotion to their communities.
Mayor Tom Barrett appointed Holliman to pb the Office of Violence Prevention successful May aft the departure of Reggie Moore in April. Before this role, Holliman, who has a inheritance successful objective psychology, led outreach efforts for street-based enactment workers astatine the Benedict Center.
Holliman said she does not program connected making sweeping changes successful the Office of Violence Prevention, oregon OVP, but hoped to turn its size and capacity.
She would similar to spot much “healing hubs”– spaces wherever assemblage members tin stitchery and beryllium heard — crossed the city.
The hubs bespeak Holliman’s absorption connected healing trauma successful the community.
Ed de St. Aubin, a science prof astatine Marquette University who taught Holliman successful postgraduate school, said Holliman “understands the wider discourse that galore radical committing unit are traumatized themselves.”
Holliman, who grew up connected North 12th Street and West Atkinson Avenue successful the 53206 ZIP code, said immoderate radical don’t recognize the effect that aboriginal beingness experiences person connected them.
“I received messages of anticipation and that I could beryllium immoderate was champion for maine . . . No 1 should turn up without these messages,” Holliman said.
Creating environments for young radical wherever they tin larn to negociate choler is key, Holliman said.
“Violence is simply a learned behavior,” Holliman said. “You tin unlearn it oregon larn caller ways of processing your emotions, caller ways of handling situations that would different pb to violence.”
But the enactment needs to widen past young radical arsenic well, she said.
“It’s important that we’re besides giving those aforesaid messages to mothers and fathers and grandparents and aunts and uncles. Those radical who are nary longer a child, they’re nary longer a young adult, but they didn’t get the support, the resources, the help, the healing that they needed,” Holliman said.
David Muhammad, lawman manager of the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services and a erstwhile Office of Violence Prevention squad member, said 1 of Holliman’s top strengths is her quality to spot what radical need.
“She moves without judgment,” Muhammad said. “She does not determination with condemnation. She sees quality request earlier aberrant behavior.”
Dr. Kweku Ramel Smith, laminitis of BLAQUESMITH Psychological Consultative Services who has done declaration enactment for the office, said helium was excited to perceive astir Holliman’s caller role.
“OVP doesn’t rebuild, they reload,” Smith said. “They replaced a dynamic person with different dynamic leader.”
Holliman readily admits her caller relation is not for the faint of heart. She, too, has mislaid loved ones to violence.
“I don’t privation idiosyncratic to ever acquisition losing a loved 1 oregon having idiosyncratic harmed arsenic a effect of thing that could person been prevented,” Holliman said. “So I instrumentality this enactment highly seriously.”
Which leads Holliman backmost to immoderate of her main principles: making radical consciousness seen, loved and heard.
“At the extremity of the day, everyone wants to beryllium loved,” Holliman said. “Even if they don’t truly cognize for definite what that’s expected to look like.”
‘It’s each astir love’: The Office of Violence Prevention’s Arnitta Holliman shares her imaginativeness for Milwaukee was primitively published by the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service.