Using drumline to encourage peace in Sherman Park

Using drumline to encourage peace in Sherman Park

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88Nine Radio Milwaukee
Nei Phi Neph performs after weekend unrest

In the days following the unrest in Sherman Park, we hit the streets to find out how residents are moving forward.

On the corner of Sherman and Burleigh — just a few feet away from the burned out BP station — we met a man using an unusual healing tool.

Keep scrolling to hear how he’s using drums to encourage peace in Sherman Park.

Music is Anthony Hibbler’s gift.

And the last several years, he has been using drumline to reach young people.

“Drumline helps because its more than just the drum you see,” he said.

And teaching drumline — it’s a new direction for him.

Nei Phi Neph Co-Founder Anthony Hibbler.Makenzie Boettcher

Nei Phi Neph Co-Founder Anthony Hibbler.

“I was police officer,” he said, taking a pause. “I gave up my job, not for someone to pat me on the back, but because these kids are out here dying.  And these kids are my future, your future, and everyone’s future who is sitting letting them be on the front lines.”

So, he left law enforcement and started a nonprofit.  It’s called Nei Phi Neph and teaches young men and women how to play the instrument, but it also instills a sense of purpose and discipline.  They rehearse regularly and perform all around Milwaukee.

IMG_9296Makenzie Boettcher | 88Nine Radio Milwaukee

And all Anthony expects is one thing.

“The thing is you have to say you want to do it, then show you want to do it.”

“You can’t be out here saying one thing then living a total ‘nother, because it makes you become a hypocrite.  And we don’t want to be raising hypocrites.  We want to be raising young men and young women who are going to be positive and are going to give back to society.”

IMG_9301Makenzie Boettcher | 88Nine Radio Milwaukee
IMG_9268Makenzie Boettcher | 88Nine Radio Milwaukee

As we stood in on the sidewalk surrounding the urban green expanse that is Sherman Park, I asked Anthony a question — one that seems to be on peoples’ minds all over Milwaukee.

Can things get better?

“Not if parents don’t stand up and do what parents supposed to do.  Not if citizens don’t stand up and do what citizens supposed to do.  Not if the alderpeople who get elected don’t do what they’re supposed to do.  Many people are at fault for this, but I’m not one about playing the blame game.  I’m about playing the get it together game.”

For more about the work of Nei Phi Neph, or to support the work of the nonprofit, visit its official website.