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Occupy the corners

ELINOR TATUM Publisher and Editor in Chief | 8/23/2012, 12:58 p.m.
The corners of our neighborhoods used to be the places people congregated to get the...
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The corners of our neighborhoods used to be the places people congregated to get the news of the day. Morning and evening there were people from those corners who knew all that was going on in the neighborhood: everyone's coming and goings, who did what, who got into college, who got a new job, who had a baby, who got married, who died.

But now, those corners that were the height of social interaction in our communities are some of the most terrifying places. The corner is now occupied with danger, and people are afraid to leave their apartments.

Now something is being done about it. We are taking back the corners, taking back the communities. This week, the Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network called an emergency meeting asking citizens to occupy the corners. New York City's top elected officials, community leaders and clergy came together to help bring this idea to fruition. And beginning Aug. 17, from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night for four consecutive weekends, community activists, politicians, church leaders and the like will stand on corners talking to residents and taking back the communities.

Obviously, this not a panacea, but it is a significant first step in trying to bring our communities together with a feeling of safety.

There will be more information soon about how you can take part on Occupy the Corners. We all need to be there. We all need to help make our communities safe again.