Rock the Community

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COLUMBIA— Rock the Community returned for the second time at Stephen’s Lake Park on Saturday.

It is a non-profit organization founded in St. Louis that has a mission of creating unity amongst the community with an emphasis on breaking the cycle of poverty and creating a sustainable community.

The event included performances from local artists, poets, dance teams, a fashion show by Plus Appeal and Sistah’s Botique.

Students in a program called “BackTALK” displayed artwork, performed spoken word and song.

Rock the Community collaborated with local vendors, residents and businesses such as Columbia Power and Light and Job Point.

Each vendor provided information on promoting a more positive environment, along with ways to get involved.

 Sponsors included Heart of Missouri United Way who helped bring the event back to Columbia a second year, Columbia Police Department, City of Columbia and Boone County Department of Health and Human Services.

Founder Rita Renee said the event is aimed toward restoring the relationship between law enforcement and the community.

“We feel it was an important event for the community because after the Mike Brown incident and the situation with the Mizzou Football team, I felt that the kids in our community had become afraid of the police,” Renee said. “So this way, they get to see the police in a family setting and everybody gets to communicate, be happy and as one.”

 Attendee and Columbia resident Antonio Betts said the event showcased unity and talent.

“Today was a real good way to bring the town together without drama and giving people a chance to show their talent,” Betts said.

 The next Rock the Community event will return to St. Louis on June 11.

 For more information about Rock the Community and upcoming events, visit their website.