MADISON (WKOW)-- The shooting of Tony Robinson escalated tensions in Madison, but now Robinson's family wants to bring the community together with a celebration of life.
“There's a lot of anger, and one of the ways to break the anger, would be to dance and to celebrate and to have joy, and just to bring it down a notch,” said Sharon Irwin, Robinson's grandmother.
So on Sunday, Irwin and other members of Robinson's family, are holding a celebration in memory of the teen. The goal is to unite the community even amidst protests over the shooting of Robinson.
“We have to understand that we are a community,” Irwin said. “And it's not black and it's not white, it's an us thing.”
Sunday's celebration will include music and food vendors. Irwin says most of those people are donating their time, and she says the entire community is welcome.
“I even invited the police,” Irwin said. “I invited them, said take of your uniforms man and come.”
Irwin says it's important for the community and police to interact and get to know one another as people.
“We all live in this world and it's getting smaller and smaller and if we don't get along, all we're gonna have are guns,” she said.
Irwin adds that she appreciates all those supporting her family and has attended demonstrations in Tony's honor.
But she does have something she wants everyone to keep in mind if they are acting in her grandson's name.
“If you're gonna do it for Tony Robinson, you do it with honor and respect and peace and love because that's how we're walking,” Irwin said.
The celebration is from noon until 7 Sunday at James Madison Park. It's free but donations will be accepted in order to get a headstone for Robinson's grave.