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TCAC Hosts First Neighborhood Outreach Event

A group of people stand behind a white table and giving out food.
Robbie Gaffney
TCAC members serve food to residents living along Holton Street.

The Tallahassee Community Action Committee (TCAC) tries to advocate for the city's underserved residents. But this is the first time they're hosting a neighborhood outreach event. TCAC members set up big white tents and served grilled hamburgers outside an apartment complex along Holton Street. TCAC's leader, Trish Brown, says it's a way to engage with the community.

"It's about time that all organizations start engaging with the people that we're fighting for—so the fights need to start from the neighborhoods. The discussions need to start in the neighborhood," Brown says.

She hopes to teach residents about TCAC and get them involved in legislative issues and local government meetings. But the people WFSU spoke to didn't know what TCAC was or that they were the ones throwing the event.

16-year-old Karlik Glenn lives in the area. Glenn said he didn't want to be involved in advocacy and didn't go over to get food, but there is something he cares about:

"It seems like every other day we always [are] on the news dead or locked up. And it hurts me to my heart to see other Black people locked up because I know how it feels," Glenn says.

A young Black man smiles at the camera.
Robbie Gaffney
14-year-old Joydan Watson says there's too much crime going on in the local area.

Crime is something that also hits home to 14-year-old Joydan Watson. His cousin was shot and killed in July.

"It kind of scares me because I see that my brother is kind of doing a similar type of lifestyle, and I don't want the same thing happening to my brother," Watson says.

When asked what lifestyle he means, Watson responded:

"You know, like a hood lifestyle."

He says the event organizers seem like they have a good heart because not many people try to reach out to his neighborhood.

"Some people probably are afraid to come out here because they feel like they put their life in danger. So it's very rare when people come out here," Watson says.

And Trish Brown from earlier says her group will keep coming out.

"So this won't be the last one we do—this is going to be hopefully a regular routine thing done quarterly if not three months to four months, you know, quarterly throughout the year," Brown says.

Brown also hopes to expand her group's outreach events throughout the city in places like Frenchtown.

Robbie Gaffney graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Animal Crossing, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.