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From Milwaukee's inner core city within a city w A.J. the University of Wisconsin presents another in the series of programs examining the problems people and conditions of our inner cities. Today Ralph Johnson of WAGA radio talks with Jimmy givings and David chancer Milwaukee's north Cott neighborhood house. Mr. givings is the executive director of North got first explains what the North Cod neighborhood house is a lot of kind of social. Policy and community. Spaces being one of providing social services to the community. Those services as you know are cots philosophy relates to community may vary depending on what the community feels. I think the basis of our program you know is find out what the community wants to give our program to that. Now what do you mean by that community. Well I mean the locale that we're at. AS. A social work agency we feel that it's important that we
respond to the needs of that community. So what I relate to the community I mean that this black community and of course no one. I. Don't want to have run into yet in my work area in the paint box. What are some of the other special projects you have going on. Maybe this would be a good question for David Nasser seeing how he's OUTFRONT tonight. They tied in with the paper. It's one. Part of a group program the group work program takes place at three different sites. If you were at the paint box you notice it was located in the basement Olding in the housing project. Now in that same basement many many different clubs age range from 6 and 8 to the early teens 14 15 sometimes 16 take place in that locale class in a building and that is a teen lounge and in their teens
once or twice a week the upward bound students meet I don't know if you're familiar with your home or maybe some of your listeners. Explain a little bit for those I mean during the. Somewhere between the junior and senior year students have an intensive training course on a college campus in this case our students went to the repair center with Wisconsin and during the year we follow up with tutorial programs and meetings and extra curricular activities for the students. In this case a teenager is used twice a week for the upward bound students. It's also used for. Activities that are not terribly structured where it's a group work program would be more structured the program goes to other locations in the ghetto to change
locations one of them right around the corner from where we are right now and another let's say in the south west corner of the ghetto on twenty first and land. The group or program includes a lot of activities such as Camp weekends at Sydney come on for the kids. We try to orient it in a way that's a little bit different from the traditional kinds of group work program and that is there's an emphasis on black identity and emphasis of the positive values of being black. There will be more more of that when the and I'm getting into another area of program the student union develops the extra educational project and. I might comment that there are now in graduate social work students assigned to the north to do field work trade.
Excuse me. We refer to this is a student unit supervisor that comes with his student unit who is employed by the university but spends much of her time here. And the students. Broken up into different areas in turn. Here there are signs of different parts of our program. Two of them are assigned to the group work. Part of the program. Two of them to the Head Start part of our program. Two of them to community organization another two are assigned to the Urban Day School which is a new concept in urban education here in Milwaukee which we are not directly related to but our students are working with the parents of the students of the day school and. That I might mention that we have a head start program that is run through
nor funded by the government through Ojo. But we do maintain a relationship to it. The staff works as closely as possible with time. And operates pretty much an art as much as a cat America license fee and that is serving the needs of the community. Finding out what they are and acting in such a way to meet these needs. Sounds like a very impressive effort to me as a director. Let me ask if you are logistics Why does all the money come from for this operation. It's all federal money operates on very little federal funds and we have a program that David mentioned. That's our only federally funded program at this time although last summer we did operate. Two other federal funded programs. What about the remaining needed funds as a city or state or private gifts or what.
Well basically narcotic is a Methodist funded agency along with funds that we receive from UCSC one community centers. How long has this operation been going north. Neighborhood House North has a. Six year history now and how long have you been left the group. Two years. What do you know six years in particular the two years that you have been directly associated and what are some of the major accomplishments that you've made you think well two years ago in my cart. Was instrumental in the creation of a lot of the organization of organizations which spearheaded the fight for proper representation of poverty people on the governing body here which would be the Social Development Commission. Since then we've remained very active in community organization because we feel that that's one of the needs in the community that we have to respond to. Another project I know I got
started on he was the OIC program. I'm another project has been the Northcott Legal Defense Fund which provides. Bail money and fines for cases that are involved in civil rights or civil liberties. There are many other things that we can talk about the no archive here organizing community for that. Unity. But I think that. Generally. It's been knockouts. Role to respond to whatever kinds of needs we see you know arising and like I said earlier primary in the area of community organization there's been a concentrated effort by an archive to work with and organize youth from Milwaukee. The Organization of American blacks living you called Better known as a board is a youth organization organized around the concept of community organization. These are some of the efforts that we can speak to.
What are some of the I'm sure ever we all have them. There are some things that have fallen flat that you wished you didn't differently or that he had to do or you do it differently no. I think you would have to ask the community that are saying how is everything we've done we've made it a point. In effect giving that responsibility to the community. I can't think of anything right now in our kind of standard we would have done differently I think there are some things that we've done that we would have and have enjoyed having more time to concentrate on our for deeper effort but I think that basically our problem speaks for itself. The establishment being what it is and having a need to protect its own has naturally felt threatened by a number of the projects that no one has worked on. I would say generally that the attitude has been one of apathy on the part of the establishment and security on the part of the establishment. Prejudice lack of understanding on the part of the establishment.
I think that the program that we operated last summer with the Department of Public Welfare in Milwaukee which was our adoption or foster care program. Would be an example of some of the inadequacies that lie within the bureaucracy itself in the kinds of things that I kind of had to face. But nonetheless we contend that we were able to do this job even with the times of obstacles and difficulties that we face. Could you give me some specific examples or at least one of this kind of problem with a certain agency or a group. Well in the case that we just mentioned. It was quite often not many of the workers from the Department of Public Welfare had a very deep sense of prejudice. Very deep concept of prejudice and made it difficult for them to move in this community north of being able to deal with these stereotyped ideas didn't
move me and flexibly enough to get the job done. Even though we did have to deal with those kinds of obstacles that would be you know some of the kinds of things that I was talking about. But I wouldn't want to go into detail. I noticed on. The window to the you're building here there's a indication of what to do if you are arrested what your rights are and so on. This seems to be common in almost every agency and group that I've visited here in the court. Which would indicate to me that there's a real problem of police community relations. Would you agree to that. Most def most definitely the problem. Is that in many cases the community response to the claims of the police department without really knowing what their rights are. As a social agency Northcote along with ICP and many other agencies only and of course feel that it's our responsibility to at least try and inform the people of the community that we work with what their legal rights are.
You know this I think is just another way of answering a need that we see in the community. The. Police department. Has many times failed to inform people of their rights and we feel that they should know their rights so that in effect being poor doesn't negate the fact that you know Americans in this country and you do have rights. So we were responding to that. Is it more a matter of not being informed of one's rights on arrest and perhaps being held for two or three hours rather than. The more vicious kinds of things which one hears about from time to time. As far as police brutality is concerned. Well that's caught up in it too but that has. To have a. Certain degree of follow through. It can't be accomplished by just sticking a sign in the window. The recent. Hearings are held by the social development social development commission on. Police brutality and harassment in the city.
Is a result of a lot of hard work a lot of organizing a lot of pushing by the community to see that these hearings were held this in a way is tied into that a different level of dealing with that system. Hopefully this will be embarrassing for the walky police department. With this kind of pressure they'll eventually begin to see the need to really try and cooperate with the community. What are your plans for the next few years you have any new things and one. For the neighborhood. Well I'm sure we do. Our program director. Comes to North Platte with a high degree of sophistication in terms of program. I'm sure that this will be an asset. But even now we see some of the different variables in our program. We feel we still feel that it's important that the community is
able to relate to what the program is all about. But there seems to me to be a great difference at least in what might be called a public mind between the kind of positive programs which your group here is doing and what people might generally refer to as education by quote unquote black power advocates. How do you feel about the difference between these two kinds of efforts. Well I think the program. Is a positive program. I think that education is also a positive program. There we go. The kind of program it not operates presently in Milwaukee can be viewed as a positive kind of program. If this program Northcote presently operates we're operating in let's say New York during the summer of Detroit doing something that would be very serious question as to whether or not the residents of our areas of Detroit and Newark would consider our program positive. I think you have to start with where the people are
and move on from there. I view the concept of black power as positive I view the concept of agitation as positive. What about the concept of violence. I view the concept of violence as positive. It's my contention that if someone faces a violent enemy and he doesn't face a violent enemy with nonviolent weapons but he does in fact face the enemy with the kinds of weapons that the enemy respects and you know in talking with that. I think that. What we see happening today. In America is the answer to the Klu Klux Klan in the area of let's say the deacons for defense. I think that for every kind of concept that white America throws at the black community or the black man in America the black man in respond has the same concept. It's needless for black people to talk about nonviolence when in effect raps biting little children is violent when in effect a
mother being misused or being harassed by a source caseworker is violent when in effect the fact that black people cannot move where they want to that's violence. And I think that that violence has to be responded to in a violent manner. You think the end result of all of these kinds of confrontations and actions can be. An integrated. America in 10 15 50 years or something else going to have to happen. Very likely something else may have to happen I can't predict that. I can say only that. Meaningful integration in America is going to come not by. Black people begging or by black people asking but by the fact that black people will be respected that respect what common black people in effect can't look their oppressor equally in the eye and say to him I am no longer oppressed and I do have the power to affect change in
my own life. This power can come about to work North Platte heart feels to be the concept of community organization whereby black people and poor people are put in a position where they do make decisions that affect their own lives. Or this power can be in effect can be affected through violence if that violence is meaningful and directed in the right direction. I think that. The theology of violence was well demonstrated in India with Ghandi. And that was that even though many of the Indians were able to. Move in a nonviolent revolution. That it was the real violence that occurred in many points in many areas. They cause England to reverse its attitude toward the Indians and that in America the nonviolence of our civil rights movement has demonstrated the real concern that black people have have to work living in
America. More so than most white Americans. That was met with violence by Jim Crow and Clarkson What have you in the south and it's being met today by violence in the north. PBL. The other thing on channel we 11 recently that shows the kinds of weapons that the American people. Yeah I'm going to deal with negro riots in this country instead of them spending this time to produce the kinds of legislation to produce the kinds of situations that would allow black people to live as human beings in this country. So what they're doing in effect is the same kind of thing to me or my idea for 15 months he prepared himself to deal with a riot in Milwaukee instead of preparing himself for 15 months to stop a right you know walk where the situations and the legislation which you would like to see it is my contention that this country has enough legislation to last another 15000 years for black people but that until
black people have the power to in effect make that legislation meaningful then it's not going to mean anything to us. And what kind of power and how do you get it. What are you talking about. Examples being power like I mentioned before in a decision making capacity or power being. Being exemplified to protect one's own. His own land. His own family. His own household his own rights as a human being. Now that power may come in different forms. Are jobs and education some of the keys to that kind of power. Jobs and education will answer certain kinds of needs for black people. They will answer the needs of bread and butter on the table. The only answer the needs are of having hopefully a decent place to live. They will not answer the needs of dignity they will not provide the tools for pride for which the white Society of America has to respect that a black man does have. And that may have to come about through some other confrontation. It seems to me that the only time white America is
willing to move meaningful in any kind of direction in terms of its black population is once their black population has revolted and some kind of violent man. We see that and we see it in Detroit we've seen it what's there the government has felt that they've had to make some kinds of. Steps toward bettering the conditions because in effect the black people in that country are said I was not in the cities where they have said I will not live in this kind of manner. And what they've done to chills to do is to burn down debt which the way in many respects so much better structures of buildings. You know he doesn't seem to respect human flesh and blood. Davis program director for the. Neighborhood I was what do you think of this. Well first let me say that I began early in the movement in the nonviolent movement and was quite active. I. Joined a sit in demonstration in 1951 in Madison so matter of fact and the issue really enough and ironically enough it opened I can see it was at that time Senate bill 16 was
locked in Judiciary Committee. And since that time I have given workshops and violence etc. and was a firm believer in it. I say was because history forces me to agree with just about everything that Jimmy said that this country does not respond to human things so much as it does to material things. The man is not so much concerned with other people's lives and values that we might say are more spiritual than material values or human rather than serial. But he does respond to for example to me pointed out that Mayor Meyer was planning for 15 months to put down a rock. He made no plans to prevent a riot to remove those conditions which bring about riot situations as a result
of this. The creature to human needs of the people in this area were not tended to where as soon as the riots broke out as soon as few and few would indeed store windows was broken broken. If we compare what happened here to what happened in the work in Detroit and some other cities as soon as those few pieces of property got broken up in some way the National Guard was here and the National Guard was not here to protect life. It was here to protect property as a matter of fact it was I think quite prepared and will be in the future if they keep the special riot control training special riot control units will be quite willing I believe to sacrifice life or property. I agree wholeheartedly wholeheartedly. There's an appropriate word I think at this point but unfortunately let's say
I must agree with Jimmy that the value and property of material where there's much more important for the people who have power in this country than human values and we can look at today's Milwaukee Sentinel talks about the coming Council defeating an open occupancy law our ordinance which would be no stronger than the state law which is inadequate and useless as it is. You know given the attitudes that are maintaining as an equal opportunity when it comes to housing etc. I think we have a very sad and violence provoking situation as things exist. I take it then that you both agree that it was something positive came from this summer's disturbances. Yeah I think the state is considering bringing in one million dollars to mark you know that's positive. I think that the federal government is wondering what kinds of programs you can bring into this.
So you know Joaquin now it seems though everyone is excited about what they can do from the wacky as a result of the riots. And. My feeling is that my question very seriously whether or not any of this kind of action on the part of the the establishment is going to really help the community. It seems as though. They intend to as a matter of fact fragment more. The unity of the black community in Milwaukee but in effect totals all of these kinds of Rep programs that the black community will take a noble they've approached different agencies with different different ideas with different among different amount of monies. They've approached different community groups with different ideas and they continue to fragment and bite away at the black community. I do question very seriously whether this is going to help or change the situation of what we'll see at this point I don't think it will.
What you simply briefly what would be What's your formula for changing the situation on the law to provide for a better racial climate. Well I think that in order like I said earlier in order for any kind of meaningful cooperation between the black community. And the establishment to ever take place there has to be an established amount of respect and dignity for the black community on the part of the establishment. This can come about to me in a very meaningful kind of way. Will it affect the black professionals of the black communities all over this country bring to the indigenous poor and the grassroots of their communities their professional ability and their technical know how then through a coordinated effort on the part of the black community we can make certain kinds of appeals and approaches to the establishment. There is a unified voice to that establishment. We
can design programs that we feel will help the black community not the kind of program that the guy on the outside feels that the black community is a very serious question as to whether or not a man who's never been hungry can decide how to feed someone starved. And I'm saying that this effort has to take place within the community itself and it itself it is. Really it's happening. Coming to a group here in Milwaukee came together as a result of the riot to respond to what they knew would be the accusation against the black community. They came together they were effective in the sense that they could sit out and discuss this particular problem. There were no white people there. These were all black people that effect no white people were concerned about coming into being a part of the walk at that point. This is the kind of effort that's going to have to continue. These are the kinds of resources that are going to have to come together in order for us to have any kind of meaningful progress in this country at this time.
You have been listening to a conversation with Ralph Johnson of WAGA radio and Jimi givings and David chancer Milwaukee's North Com to neighborhood hos. This was another in a series of programs originally heard over w AJ at the University of Wisconsin. During that station's intensive week of broadcasting on Milwaukee's inner core city within a city next week we'll bring you an interview with one of the community workers in the inner city. The conversation focuses on the problems of housing and welfare with particular emphasis on the relationship between welfare recipients and caseworkers. I can almost speaking this is the national educational radio network.
The inner core: City within a city
Social Programs
Producing Organization
University of Wisconsin
WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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For series info, see Item 3596. This prog.: An interview with Jimmii Givings and David Chancer of Milwaukee's Northcott Neighborhood House dealing with the kinds of programs necessary to upgrade the inner city and touching on the issue of violence.
Social Issues
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Producing Organization: University of Wisconsin
Producing Organization: WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-34-5 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:27:44
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Chicago: “The inner core: City within a city; Social Programs,” 1968-10-03, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 23, 2024,
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APA: The inner core: City within a city; Social Programs. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from