Manni Marquez, director of the Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative (CSNI), was recently selected as the 2011 “Mi Comunidad” award winner. The award recognizes an unsung hero in Milwaukee’s Hispanic community each year. Marquez has been active in the Clarke Square neighborhood for more than 15 years.
Manni Marquez, director of the Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative (CSNI), was recently selected as the 2011 “Mi Comunidad” award winner. The award, sponsored by local television stations MY 24 (WCGV) and CW 18 (WVTV) along with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin (HCCW), honors an unsung hero in Milwaukee’s Hispanic community each year.
“Manni’s efforts stood out to us; he’s making a big difference in the revitalization efforts in the Clarke Square neighborhood,” said David Ford, general manager of WCGV and WVTV.
Marquez, born in Milwaukee, began working at Journey House as a gang intervention specialist in the 1990s. He said the award is a culmination of all the hard work that everyone has done to revitalize the neighborhood.
“The award is a reflection of the collective efforts of the Zilber Family Foundation, Journey House as the lead agency of the CSNI, and all our volunteers and business partners,” Marquez said.
Clarke Square was one of the first two neighborhoods selected to participate in Zilber Neighborhood Initiative, a comprehensive effort to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood.
Marquez added that the Clarke Square neighborhood used to be known mostly for its high-crime rates and low employment opportunities, but things have changed since the revitalization efforts began a few years ago. He said he hopes that the award sheds even more positive light on the neighborhood, encouraging investment and increased community involvement there.
Marquez will receive the award on Jan. 21, at the HCCW’s 22nd annual gala at the Potawatomi Casino Expo Center.