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Local Waco organization hosts first annual Night Out block party

The organization is trying to provide resources for the black community in Waco and change the idea of public safety

WACO, Texas — One organization in Waco is trying to change the perception of public safety for the community.

Blaccent is a black-led group focused on providing resources for the black community in Waco. One of the ways they're doing so is by putting on the Night Out block party on August 2.

"It's the community telling [Waco] how we can be saved rather than the law enforcement telling us how we can be saved," Blaccent Co-Founder Tneyah Thomas said.

The Night Out event was inspired by the National Night Out idea that started with the Ella Baker Center in California. Now Blaccent is trying to build on that idea and paint a different picture of what public safety looks like here in Central Texas.

"I believe two of the key things that our people need is awareness and knowledge," Co-Founder Vincent Thomas said. "Because that's two of the things that we lack on when it comes to just getting more equity and equality around our peers."

The Night Out event will be free admission and have performances from local artists, prizes and will have resources on sight for the community to plant the seeds for liberation.

Thomas says there is much more to public safety than law enforcement being in the community. There are other aspects that help create an equal community.

Blaccent says they hope this event will be the first of many. They want to inject positive events into the community rather than uniting to compensate for trauma.

"We're trying to call it the first annual Night Out for Public Safety and Liberation Block Party because this is just the first. Next year we want to do it, the year after that, like we want to just continue to do stuff like this."

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