RUNNING REBELS HELPING THE COMMUNITY FROM WITHIN

Dear Running Rebels Community Organization Families and Stakeholders,

Running Rebels Community Organization is committed to ensuring the continued good health and welfare of the youth and families we serve, our staff, and partners within the community. Therefore, we are taking important and necessary steps to protect against the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. At this time, we will be suspending our after school programs at both locations until further notice.  No in-person services will be provided at either of our locations.  For youth who participate in one of our specific programs outside of general recreation, we will be making program-specific adjustments that will be communicated directly to the youth and families involved. 

We are equally concerned about the social and emotional well being of the youth we serve during this confusing time.  It is for this reason that our staff will be developing ways to stay in communication with youth through Facebook, phone calls, and other remote methods that will ensure the youth remain connected to the support and encouragement they have grown to count on.

We will continue to monitor all new developments and provide programming and other updates here as well as our website. 

COVID-19 RESOURCES

A Positive Alternative Outlet for Milwaukee Youth!

In 1980, at the age of 19, Victor Barnett saw many of the young people of Milwaukee being pulled into the street life of gangs, crime, and violence. He used basketball as the tool to engage, mentor and guide youth towards an alternative path that would ensure their future success. From this vision and action, Running Rebels Community Organization was born. Today Running Rebels is a mentoring organization that serves 2,500 youth annually.

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Running Rebels Timeline

  • 1980

    1980

    Victor Barnett saw Milwaukee gang leaders recruiting youth from the neighborhood and became concerned. In response, he utilized the sport of basketball to mentor youth in the community to keep them away from gangs, violence, and other negative influences.

  • 1980-1995

    Early Years

    For 15 years, Victor was a mentor and coach to hundreds of youth, funding his efforts by selling t-shirts out of his car. He made sure the youth were successful not only on the court, but at home, school, and in the community.

  • 1996

    Non-Profit Status

    In 1996, RRCO became a 501(c)(3) non-profit. This allowed RRCO to scale its mentoring work and interface with the child welfare system.

  • 1998

    MKE County Partnership

    In 1998, Milwaukee county engaged RRCO to provide service to youth involved in the Juvenile Justice System. These partnership programs emphasize mentorship, employment, accountability, and positive decision-making.

  • 1999

    Permanent Home

    In 1999, RRCO moved into its W. Fond du Lac location; purchasing the Lindsey Heights building in 2005. This location allowed RRCO to fill a critical gap in quality after-school programs in the area.

  • 2016

    2nd Location

    RRCO’s new location in the Harambee Neighborhood allows us to serve more youth and expand programming.

Running Rebels Our E.P.I.C. Mission

The Running Rebels Community Organization engages the community, youth, and their families, prevents involvement in gangs, drugs, violence, and the juvenile justice system, intervenes and guides youth by assisting them with making positive choices, and coaches youth through their transition into adulthood. We accomplish this through building relationships with youth and providing the resources and skills necessary for them to become thriving, connected, and contributing adult members of our community.

Running Rebels Goals

  • Create safe after-school and summer environments for Milwaukee’s youth
  • Prepare youth for future careers and businesses
  • Improve academic performance through tutoring and mentorship
  • Avoid negative police contact and involvement in the corrections system
  • Provide youth with a sense of belonging and unity within their community

Running Rebels Philosophy

Our philosophy is to develop young people’s potential and to reduce violence, drug usage, and gang activity by:

  • Keeping young people involved in beneficial, safe, and fun recreational and employment activities
  • Encouraging each youth’s hopes and dreams while supporting youth to achieve them
  • Underscoring successful academic achievement as essential for responsible adult citizenship
  • Employing supportive, caring adults who inspire trust and model the values, skills, and morals that we want at-risk youth to develop

Running Rebels Staff

Victor Barnett
Executive Director & Founder

victor.barnett@runningrebels.org

Dawn Barnett
Co-Executive Director
dawn.barnett@runningrebels.org

Rolunda Dixon
Senior Director of Operations

rolunda.dixon@runningrebels.org

John Rakowski
VFZ Program Director/Development
john.rakowski@runningrebels.org

Stacey Lindsay
Director of Targeted Monitoring Programs

stacey.lindsay@runningrebels.org

Donta Holmes
Director of Workforce Development

donta.holmes@runningrebels.org

Traci Amos
Director of Mentoring Services
traci.amos@runningrebels.org

Derrick Shoates
Violence Free Zone Director
derrick.shoates@runningrebels.org

Cozette McLemore
Event Coordinator / Mentoring Assistant
cozette.mclemore@runningrebels.org

Running Rebels Annual Reports

2016 Annual Report
2017 Annual Report
2018 Annual Report

Running Rebels Board of Directors

JILL M. BOYLE
BOARD CHAIR

DELBERT WILLIAMS
VICE CHAIR

VICTOR BARNETT
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

DAWN BARNETT
CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

GWENDOLYN HORTON
SECRETARY

CLIFTON PHELPS

CAROLYN GARSKI

ERIN MILES

BRANDI PATTERSON

FRED TABAK

MICHAEL COYNE

JESSE LEE BROWN

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