PALMETTO -- A local community activist and minister will hold an event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday he hopes will unite the Hispanic and African-American communities against crime in the Palmetto area.
Herman Cadena, who hosts a Christian radio show on WWPR 1490 AM, invited more than 100 people to the Palmetto Youth Center.
He said he will broadcast live from the youth center at 501 17th St. W., interviewing young participants in center sports activities.
"The interviews are going to be open. We want kids to know that we are there," he said. "We really need all races to be accustomed to being around each other."
Cadena and his group will wear plain white shirts Saturday while patronizing food vendors, conducting interviews and watching
the football games.
He said the Sept. 21 shooting at the youth center sparked an urgency in him to host an event promoting unity and peace in the community.
Cadena, pastor of Yahveh's Abundance, said he wants to show the Black community the Hispanic community will stand with them against violence. He said it's time to cross racial and ethnic boundaries to help reduce crime.
"We know the shooting took place there. We want to bring awareness and we are trying to do something about it," said Cadena. "We don't want to ignore this."
Commissioner Charles Smith, whose district houses the center, said he received many calls after the shooting and is happy Cadena wants to promote the center. He said people need to know it's safe to come there.
"The deed he's doing, I fully support it," said Smith. "He wants to put youth on the radio live to let them speak to the public and let them know it's safe at the center."
Smith plans to attend the event to help deliver the message the youth center is safe.
"That's powerful because we are brothers and sisters. Their issues are our issues," said Smith. "We have to take action against those who don't want to do right."
Cadena said he plans to do this event on a regular basis and eventually host a similar community event in Bradenton as well.
For more information email Cadena at HCadena02@gmail.com.
Janey Tate, city of Bradenton and Palmetto reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter at Janey_Tate.