Wisconsin Idea In 1911 Milwaukee City Plan

1911 “Milwaukee City Planning” Document

  • 10,000 acres food production

  • agriculture school

  • urban homesteading

[From a Carriere manuscript]

Googling “1911 Milwaukee Planning Document” will take you to digital link.

Infrastructure not just brick and morter.

There’s a metabolic rift to fix.

Got to heal the people, heal the planet.

Bring urban and rural into natural and cultural balance.

Student intern apprentices flow within Detroit Chicago Milwaukee Wisconsin

Design middle ways and bridges to public private partnerships for people planet and profit

Milwaukee is a city with a hybrid economic history, ie The Progressives The Sewer Socalists And Entrepreneurial Capitalists

The Wisconsin Idea In A City Planning Document

Charles Whitnall’s Vision Embodied In Milwaukee County School of Agriculture and Domestic Economy

It was all a part of Charles Whitnall’s vision for how planning should develop in Milwaukee. His thoughts on this informed the creation of the Milwaukee County School of Agriculture and Domestic Economy, which opened in 1912….

Milwaukee Chicago Detroit Conversations: New Work for STEA+M Homes In Beloved Communities

Yes! embrace, as Boggs solutionaries have advanced…

  • new work

  • community production

  • grow our souls

  • create caring, beloved, healthy communities as increasingly autonomous zones


Social Capital
Cultural Capital
Natural Capital
Soul or Spiritual Capital

Green dollar capital as necessary and appropriate

The vector sum of these 5 capital I have been thinking of



New work creating Flow!

Outside, increasingly, the job economy.]

Out Forward Our Agenda

STEA+M Homes and Hamlets In Rainbow Commons

To science, technology, engineering, and math add

Alliance Design

Course Credit and Doctoral Dissertations Transforming Foreclosed Homes and “Blighted” Nbds Into STEA+M Homes of Beloved Communities

Marry blue collar skill building with art, design, and agriculture projects in our high schools, community colleges, and universities. Course credit for transforming foreclosed homes and empty lots into micro farms, workshops, and homes/gardens as art. 21st Century Milwaukee Chicago as city of homes as STEA+M skill incubators, adding art, agriculture, artisanship, architecture, and alliance building to STEM hands on pedagogy.


Emmanuel Pratt and I have shared to 10,000 youngs and olds our debt to the Boggs Center, source of our syntax and grammer. We are astonished by how far ahead of history’s curve are our brothers and sisters of Detroit in theory its dialectical and chaordic weaving in with practice.

A series of simple email exchanges that aim to sum up our discoveries and provide a preliminary sense of what is to be tried my vote for next step.

Hoping Emmanuel will share “Designing for People, Planet, and Profit” with us. And Jia Loc Pratt “The New Normal.”

Hallelujah grateful,


An Appeal To All Baptized Catholics and Friends of Nature To Support The Jesuit Pope

I hope anyone baptized Catholic or friends of baptized Catholics will reache out to their high school classmates and inspire them to discover and harvest the Spirit Force that is embodied in the Pope’s encyclical Laudato Si, which marries ecological with social justice. Here is one of my appeals to my fellow alums.

Dear All,

The fact that we are baptized Catholics with Jesuit educations and on line connectivity makes us a potential resource for many good causes congruent with our foundational values.

Baptized Jesuit Trained Catholics

An ecumenical group of many “persuasions,”
but inescapably possessed with a foundational identity, I would say, an indelible mark, as a

Baptized Jesuit Trained Catholic

There are several million baptized Jesuit trained Catholics in the world…an inspiring, potential spirit force for the greater glory of God, healing the people and the planet, as we become increasingly digitally and actually connected.

A cause I hope a few of the SLUH Class of 63 will consider supporting is to enlist the support of Jesuit trained Americans in D.C. leadership positions, to assist the ecumenical Synodal Process to share the inclusive theology of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si encyclical.

Here is the essence of this vision, shared by Fr. Sean McDonagh:


Entire appeal here:



Back to top

DeStigmatizing Mental Health Challenges At Year Round Garden Places

With mindful mental health professionals

With artists capable of Rainbow Contemporary Iconic supports(this one good for Catholic EAs of a certain kind)

At SEED Gardens growing Health.


Why not?


Back to top

Native Wellness Garden Renaissance Moment

One Of 8 Seed Gardens!

Dennis Lukaszewski, Unsung Hero of Milwaukee Renaissance

Dennis Lukaszewski and Ryan Schone are unsung heroes of Milwaukee’s renaissance via our inspiring food and beverage industry, organizing Seed Garden access to 1,000 growers in 50 acres of rich county soil.

Images from Native Wellness Garden at 3675 S. 6th St include inspired visitor Anne J Koller, now living in Oakland, and garden workers who worked hours in yesterday’s rain with Ryan and Dennis.

Other SEED Initiative sights include Kohl Farm, 8300 W. County Line Road; Timmerman Seed Garden, 93rd and Appleton; Sherman Park, 4175 W. Burleigh; Moody Park, 2320 W. Burleigh; Clarke Square, 2125 W. Scott St.; Cupertino Park, E. Ontario and S. Shore Dr.(Jason Haas and Marina Dimitrijevic key to these and entire SEED County funded project); and Forest Hill, 2000 E. Forest Hill Ave.).

Seed Gardens have offered free horticulture and nutrition classes, harvest celebrations with music and feasting, and will be adding new feature, God willing, every year.

Dennis and Ryan have been greatly supported in the Seed Garden project by Director Eloisa Gomez. It is my honor and delight to begin sharing this story at the MilwaukeeRenaissance wiki magazine over the years.

Back to top

Dear Tim and Mikal,

With drum beats as background…Story sharing and growing…

Food garden playgrounds as art

Tim A Food Garden Mon w Ties to Mayor

Mikal An Artist Mon w Ties to Art Community and Ivy Networks

Fermentation Fest Flow—drum bus party expressed(Jahmes)

With Sara Daleiden of GMC Placemaking and Neuwirth Salinas of Wormfarm Institute

Offering each of you a bus ride Oct 9, 8 am to 8 pm, a lunch, a Fermentation Fest Tour, and a $20 stipend to brainstorm marriage of Agriculture and Art, in city country Flow! experiments.

You would be among 8 other story sharers
To be named as they commit.

Muneer Bahauddeen
Adam Carr
Ryan Schone
Francis Graf
Cleo Pruitt
Mark and Linda Keane

Are most probably among the

10 Story Circles
Of the Fermentation Fest DTour Flow!

Bus, lunch, tour, and $200 bricolage resourced Oct 9, 2016

A Milwaukee Chicago Reedsburg Cirque de Soleil Imaginal

You would be among the original charter story performers

Deserving as much!


Back to top

Become Empowered To Register Voters In Milwaukee!

It’s easy, and will make a difference, becoming a Special Registration Deputy(SRD) for the presidential election. SRD training by City of Milwaukee Election Commission staff will occur Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 6pm, at our NAACP office! We are in the BMO Bank building, 2745 North MLK Drive. Here’s a note on this from Cleo Pruitt.

Dear Members and Friends,

Our Milwaukee Branch is participating in a National NAACP led civic engagement campaign focused on connecting non registered voters to their fully voting citizen selves. You are needed to help us reach our goal to register up to 1800 new voters by taking part in our GOTV efforts now through an October 19 special registration deadline and later assisting voters to the polls November 8.

Even though your engagement is needed for several important tasks, none proved as vital in ’08 and ‘12 to increasing branch registration outcomes, as having Special Registration Deputies (SRDs) enlist people where they grocery shop, have their hair cut, in their neighborhoods and through the places that they worship.
Yes, we encourage you to devote some of your time to help out. If you want to have a high impact join us for the training that affords an ability to register others on the spot!

Fortunately, we are hosting a SRD training conducted by City of Milwaukee Election Commission staff Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 6pm, at our NAACP office! We are in the BMO Bank building, 2745 North MLK Drive, Milwaukee. Join us and become reacquainted with grass roots civic engagement that could help to make a difference in someone’s voting for life! We will serve light refreshments!

Let us know that you are coming! Please reach Cleo Pruitt at cleopruitt@yahoo.com or at 414.759.8084.

Sharing Fine Meal With Olympian Mensch

Spending an evening with Ryan Schone and Christopher Cox is one of the reasons the spirit of the Forest Gump awakens in me, shifting the place of my thought from my mind to my heart. In the way that I pray, I pray I am blessed with 29 more years as witness to and supporter of their respective hero quests, which make Joseph Campbell and Grace Lee Boggs howl with delight. They may be key reasons for Pope Francis’ visit to the Holy City of the Sweet Water Seas, celebrating the Milwaukee Chicago Nobel Prize for the beloved communities most highly expressing the manifesto of the 21st century, Pope Francis’ Laudato Si.

Back to top

Laudato Si Half Earth Sweet Water Fair Land Commons

That is why the actress Alison Sudol, an I.U.C.N. good-will ambassador, opened the plenary by observing that our planet is now “under attack” — by us.

“Our vast oceans, full of mysteries and wonders, are thick with plastic and mercury,” she noted. “Rain forests — abundant sources of oxygen and medicine; land of ancient lore and tradition; home to thousands of species of wildlife, many as yet unknown to us — are being plowed down before we have a chance to properly discover what it is we are losing.

“These are lungs of the earth, the oceans and the forests, and we are destroying them. Deeply, desperately, we are hoping someone will do something before it is too late. That someone we are hoping for is you.”

So do we have a plan? Wilson has one — a big, audacious plan. It’s the title of his latest book, “Half-Earth,” a call to action to commit half of the planet’s surface — land and oceans — to protected zones.

Right now, the I.U.C.N. says, close to 15 percent of the earth’s land and 10 percent of its territorial waters are covered by national parks and protected areas. If we protect half the global surface, Wilson argues, the fraction of species protected will be about 85 percent, which would keep life on earth, including the human species, in a safe zone.

Naïve, you say? Not so. Naïve is thinking we humans will survive without the healthy natural systems that got us here. Naïveté is the new realism — or else we, the human species, will become just another bad biological experiment.

Thomas Friedman, NYT, 9/7/16

Back to top

Food Garden Playgrounds

As place of the art of life and fun!

Back to top

Sweet Water Foundation Meets With Pope’s Eco Advisor and Laudato Si Writer, Father Sean McDonagh

Emmanuel Pratt and his South Side Chicago Sweet Water Collective made a deep mark at the Irish Museum of Modern Art Grizedale Arts A Fair Land Exhibition. He also inspired Father Sean McDonagh, who Naomi Klein celebrated as the Irish missionary priest who wrote the basic draft of the Encyclical, “Laudato Si” with a vision of advancing a Black Baptist Eco Catholic 10 year conversation.

“Francis is not the first Pope to express deep environmental concern—John Paul II and Benedict XVI did as well. But those Popes didn’t tend to call the earth our “sister, mother” or assert that chipmunks and trout are our siblings.” Naomi Klein

Nice Irish radio show featuring Pratt

And text summary

Back to top

Sweet Water Foundation at Irish Museum of Modern Art and Grizedale Arts ‘A Fair Land” Exhibition

James Godsil and Emmanuel Pratt with Andrew Douglas of the Urban Farm Project.

Emmanuel Pratt and James Godsil in phone and email conversation with Fr. Sean McDonagh

SWF Director Emmanuel Pratt in phone conversation from Irish Museum of Modern Art with eco theologian Fr. Sean McDonagh, Pope Francis’ environmental advisor and key draft writer of Laudato Si. Planning live meeting at A Fair Land Exhibition this Saturday!


This “Catholic Reporter” interview with Fr McDonagh inspires visions of a catholic “black” baptist conversation about marriage of ecological and social justice.


Kilmainham Gaol,where leaders of Irish Easter Uprising, key to Irish Independence movement, were executed.

Sarah Glennie, direct of the Irish Museum of Modern Art(IMMA), with Emmanuel Pratt, director of the Sweet Water Foundation.

Sweet Water Foundation South Side Chicago team with IMMA and Grizedale Arts artists in pottery workshop: Tamiko Winn, Derek Ware, Micheal Reynolds, Denise Patrick, Niamh Riordan, Francesca Ulivi, Janice Haugh, Emmanuel Pratt, and Adam Sutherland.

Emmanuel Pratt with Tanad Williams.

Back to top

Global Ignatian Community Laudato Si Conversations 2016

Dear Father McDonagh,

I am as delighted to be writing you as you were after your first hour with Father Thomas Berry! In the way that I pray, I pray for the blessing of your awareness of the work of Great Lakes Heartland “Ignatians” committed to sharing the new theology of Laudato Si. When I read your review in the Catholic Reporter calling for a 3 year ecumenical synodal process “aimed at taking the new teaching, ‘a new spirituality’ that Francis offers in Laudato Si’ and finding ways to put it into practice of the faith”— my heart leapt! Joining in this process would be a most appropriate “Ignatian Response to the Ferguson Tragedy” I and a number of my classmates from St. Louis U. High, class of ‘63 have committed to.

I hope you might be able to join in for a spell with a team of young and old South Side Chicago “apprentice ecopreneurs” who will be participating in an Irish Museum of Modern Art and Grizedale Arts project next week called ‘A Fair Land’ …in essence the plan is to build a model village - starting with a glut garden built on the straw bale system with 300 gourd plants…plan to develop the food processing, industry, economy, education and housing - in roughly that order at this site. Adam Sutherland, Director, Grizedale Arts is our contact person.

Click here for the full article
Back to top

Roofer Jim On Donald Trump

I remember the Republicans giving a national platform to Joe the Plumber back in 2008. I hope to provide a platform for white working class men to diminish the appeal of Trump now and forever.

Milwaukee Now Must Share Its Nobel Prize

Milwaukee needs Chicago
Its more brawny sister city to the South,
If ever to win its Nobel Prize.

As this is written, a world leading
Deconstructionist is meeting with
A world leading artist florist ecopreneur
Beneath the Learning Tree,
At the Perry Farm.

They are designing with Pratt
A process to deconstruct a storied barn
And reconstruct it at park and farm,
As part of a culinary institite…
Bout 10 minutes from the future site of
The Obama Presidential Library,
Michelle Obama South Side Renaissance Wing.

‘You can’t make this s… up.”

The film of this and other Milwaukee Chicago
Northside Southside renaissance projects,
With Sweet Water’s and Mycelia Network’s
Visionary Go Do Mon, Emmanuel Pratt
Harvesting his Harvard Loeb Fellowship Network…

This film will, God willing, serve as a proof point
That the vision of a Milwaukee Chicago
Nobel winning collaboration experiment…

Is a pragmatic utopian one,
Quite possibly to be eclipsed
By the wonders forthcoming.

Metis G

Back to top

3 + 2 = 5 At 325

Aquaponics Mind Jazz

Aquaponic’s Vector Sums: Calculating Over The Years

The outputs of Aquaponics Systems(APS) inputs

Fish and plants are NOT at this moment the key output of our proposed Aquaponics Vector Sums(AVS).

Knowledge, skill development, “integral thinking,” social intelligence, emotional intelligence,
a kind of spiritual and “ecoLogical” refinement and “beloved community building” are the most important “things” that grow here. And don’t forget STEAM aptitudes!

And I think we have settled in on the notion of a protracted, multi-generational,
multi-disciplinary, and multi-national experimental process with many dimensions,
many unknowns, many skills and many technologies to develop and explore, with

A focus on schools and innovation centers

In hybrid networks of “free professionals.”

I seek 10 fundamental talking points for this thought experiment I am housing at
Aquaponics Vector Sums.

50th Anniversary of SCLC Chicago Open Housing Marches Coming Up

August 5, 2016, will be the 50th anniversary of the stoning of Dr. Martin Luther King, in Marquette Park, Chicago, about a 20 minute drive from where the Sweet Water Foundation’s regenerative placemaking experiment at the Perry Ave District is taking place. Below is an image of myself directly behind Dr. King at the moment of the assault, there so close as a “field marshall” and temporary bodyguard not long after my 21st birthday. I was also a teacher in a SCLC Freedom School in a storefront on Roosevelt Ave. that summer. http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/CulturalProjects/JamesDonnellyGodsilStories

James Godsil As Momentary Body Guard For Dr. King

Here is where picture came from


And here I am 50 years later at the commemoration march. Jesse Jackson is in the background of this picture, to the right of my image. When he asked the people at the assembled gathering who was there in 1966, only about 5 people stood up.

Back to top

Sweet Water Community Guild Host Mandela Foundation Future African Leaders at 325 E. Euclid Heart Haus And More

Best “Texts” Of Sweet Water Foundation Scaling Up Aquaponics/Urban Ag As Community Development Resource On Chicago’s South Side

Co-Founders Sweet Water Foundation Emmanuel Pratt and James Godsil




Nesbitt Note

Back to top

Sweet Water Foundation Workshop at Pratt’s and team’s School of the Art Institute show

James Godsil, Jesse Blom, Ben Koller, and Emmanuel Pratt at Sweet Water Foundation Workshop at Pratt’s and team’s School of the Art Institute show, “Outside Design” Aquaponocs Workshop.


Back to top

Sweet Water Foundation At Heart Haus May Day Celebration: Todd Leach, Emmanuel Pratt, Jesse Blom, and James Godsil

Derek Ware, James Godsil, Amanda Williams, and Emmanuel Pratt at Sweet Water Foundation Hyde Park Art Center.
Godsil and Pratt co-founded the Sweet Water Foundation, with Josh Fraundorf and Howard Hinterthuer providing foundational support.

Back to top

The Joseph and Mary Godsil Guild House

In honor of my Father, Jeseph, a tool and die maker, and my Mother, Mary, a wife, rooming house keeper, and child care provider. Neither Mary nor Joe went to high school, but both were what I and Gramsci would call “organic intellectuals.” My father often said back in the 1950s what our most enlightened public minded intellectuals and leaders are saying todsay, “We must not assume everyone is meant for white collar professions requiring college degrees. There is great dignity in “manual work” pursued as a sacred craft. That is what the I hope this vision of a “Guild House” advances.

Back to top

Conversations Of Blacks and Irish, ie Blirish, Baptists and Catholics, For Laudato Si Projects

There is a chance we can team up with Father Sean McDonagh in a 3 year “Laudato synodal process” in Catholic parishes across the world​​. This note is about Father McDonagh and the process he will be helping advance, followed by an invitation to him and the Columban Missionary order to meet with Emmanuel Pratt and some South Side Chicago teams headed to Dublin, Ireland this August, hopefully to meet with the good Father.​

​B​elow are excerpts from an interview with the key drafter of Laudato Si, Fr. Sean McDonagh, a Columban missionary recently awarded the Annual Justice Award of the Partnership for Global Justice.

Catholic Reporter. You were involved in the development of this encyclical. What was that process like? Were you focused on a specific aspect of the text?

Well, I was asked by Cardinal Peter Turkson in November 2013 to write a document for the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and I wrote it up, like 30,000 words … now eventually, in 2014, that kind of morphed into the beginning of the encyclical itself. So that whole section, basically, on what’s happening in our world, those were issues I developed.


I hope you can read the interview and/or my exerpts and let me know if you are up for advancing vision of partnering across nation’s Ignatian community to support the 3 year synodal process to harvest Laudato Si for the good cause.

Central to that, the Irish priest said, is a three-year synodal process aimed at taking the new teaching, “a new spirituality” that Francis offers in Laudato Si’ and finding ways to put it into practice of the faith.

“It’s new for a lot of us. Most of the people who go to seminaries and into theology didn’t actually deal with any of these issues, so there’s a difficulty,” McDonagh said, pointing in particular to Francis’ quoting of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in his frequent discussion of sins against creation, be it human-caused climate change or the loss of biodiversity due to pollution and deforestation.

Read entire post here.

Back to top

®Evolutionary Collaboration Experimental Fields: Cuba Detroit Chicago Milwaukee UN Global Water Centric Network


*Urban Agriculture

*Skilled Trades

*Buddha Mind In The Space of Art

*Digital and Robotics Technologies

*Beloved Community Through Good Food, Beauty, Integral Urban Homes, and Faith!

*Global Water Centric Network Co-Creations

Why not?

My distillation of brilliance of conversations about Mother Grace and Mother Nature, with Emmanuel Pratt, Jesse Blom, Ben Koller, and Rick Feldman. With link to Grace Lee’s film on Grace.


May Day Muneer Peace Post Installation ceremony / Heart Haus Two Year Anniversary

Sunday May 1st, 2016 at 1P will mark the Two Year Anniversary of the Heart Haus, our Collaborative Urban Homesteading Project. Over the past 730 days the HH has interacted with thousands of visitors from every part of the City & World, taught hundreds of Students & Teachers and hosted International Guests from multiple countries through our Urban Farm, Makerspace, Aquaponics Living Laboratory & Airbnb “Haustel”.

May 1st is also International Workers Day, a time to remember the lives lost in the Chicago/Bayview worker strikes. To commemorate both of these significant events, a Peace Post was co-created by Elder Artist Muneer Bahauddeen and a diverse set of Milwaukeeans who attended our One Year Anniversary Block Party last summer.

The Peace Post Installation Ceremony was envisioned by Ben Koller & James Godsil to be not only an opportunity to share a moment of Peace on a day of remembrance, but also to create a connection node between Milwaukee’s Northside 15th District (Ben’s childhood neighborhood and location of Muneer’s studio) and the Southside 14th district of Bayview.

​Our hope is that you all would help us celebrate this important moment by attending our event to commemorate such a simple yet creative way of bring people together for Peace within our City, Communities and Individual Lives.

May 1st will be a day for us all to In-Joy the Peace of the Present, release the growing pains of the past and set intentions for our Future Endeavors. The Haus will be open for tours after the ceremony as we showcase our latest improvements while you enjoy soup cooked over our firepit.

Please feel free to contact me for further details. We are very excited to share this great opportunity with our amazing city. I look forward to seeing you all there.

Much Gratitude!

Back to top

Back to top

Remus To Romulus, i.e. Rom

Hidden Cities To Discover, Create, and Share

The basic concept I carried from a series of meetings and gatherings
Has to do with the notion that each neighborhood in a city
Has places that are central to the “spirit” and local society/culture,
That give people a sense of identity, belonging, and meaning.

Quite often those places are hidden to outsiders, but
Were they “given voice” and highlighted in culture products
Could serve as a draw to bringing visitors to purchase,
Work, exchange, and sometimes settle.

I created quite a body of thought and vision around these themes
That I may be able to find someday if you are interested.

Stellar Portals, Globalization, and Action Research

Continued at Remus To Romulus

Sweet Water Academy

Sweet Water, the Farm and the Academy,
Is a museum alive, an evocative destination, and a science lab!

Sweet Water is a high tech, high science,
High craft, high art

Center for safe and delicious food production—
fresh fish and produce, locally sourced!

Sweet Water is a center for hands on education
For student teacher learners, young and old.

A center for attracting and energizing
Inventors, innovators, enterprisers…active citizens!

Civic minded celebrators!

Transforming our great industrial cities
Into even more inspiring organic cities.

Every city in every country,
In all of earth’s great civilizations and cultures…

Deserves a Sweet Water!

Sweet Water, Sweet Soil.
To be, once again,

Our children’s birthright,
Our elders security.

Sweet Water, Sweet Soil,
A means of harmony and dignity,

For one human race.

We’re In The Same Boat

by Susie & Harvey

We’re in the same boat, Sisters
we’re in the same boat, Brothers
and if we shake one end,
we’re going to rock the other
we’re in the same boat,
Sisters and Brothers.

It’s taking lots and lots of time
for the crew of this boat to learn
that if it’s bad for the bow,
it’s also bad for the stern
we’re in the same boat,
Sisters and Brothers.

Continued at Susie & Harvey

America, “Land of Opportunity”

by Evelyn Terry

Photo by Lee Matz

America, ”Land of Opportunity,” beckoned and they came. Some were already here. Others slipped in. Some walked in. Some swam in. Some sailed in. Some flew in. Groups of people came after being forced to leave homelands kidnapped or traded. Some came from concentration camps. Others immigrated, being tired and desiring a better life. Some fell in love and came. Some came for a better education. Some came seeking fame and fortune. Many came fleeing religious persecution. Some came after treacherous wars or political strife. Some came from prisons. But they came and are here. The reality is we are all here.

Celebrating Good: Rebirthing 53206

In working on my project, ”Rebirthing 53206,” my moment by moment thoughts focus on considering what is good about many things around me. Very specifically, I consciously nurture my thoughts, my process and my progress. Rebirthing 53206, strives to rehab my gallery, the Terry McCormick Contemporary Fine and Folk Art Gallery, as a beautiful healthy loving community space that celebrates and shares creativity through artmaking and through artists committed to making art.

This year, monthly, the Terry McCormick Gallery celebrates the two-term election of President Barack Obama, as America’s first Black president. This includes celebrating Women’s History Month by showcasing the work of Blanche Brown, Della Wells and the female portraits drawn by Ras Ammar Nsoroma.

Evelyn will also be discussing Women’s History Month, usher in April as National Poetry month, and share a reading of her poem:

© Evelyn Patricia Terry 2016

Click here for the full story

Radical Homemaking: My New Beginning

by Valerie Fieber


My body crashed. My gut was wrecked. My hormones were so whacked out that I got myself deep into Adrenal Fatigue, meaning I had serious difficulty lifting my legs and arms off the couch to take care of my 3 kids. I had absolutely zero energy. From eating the Standard American diet for 35 years, having three cesarian sections, and my gallbladder removed, I was now feeling the effects of not taking care of my body. I was told by doctors that I would feel better. But after surgery, I was sicker than I had ever been before. My world turned upside down and I started to see things clearly. It was like a veil was lifted. I realized that everything I had been told by society, the government, my doctors, everyone and everything, was wrong or, in the least, not working for me. I didn’t know how to take care of my body, and no one else did either. I took matters into my own hands.

Where’s All The Real Food?
I remember the first time I walked into the grocery store after my veil was lifted. I saw very little REAL FOOD. Much of what I saw was processed, manufactured, and had really long expiration dates. Real food is not processed or made in a facility. Usually it only has one ingredient! An organic apple is a whole, real food. It comes from nature. Apple pie is not a real food. It has been altered with chemicals, preservatives, loaded with sugar, and likely has been made with GMO apples. The next time you grocery shop look at the ratio of real to fake food. There are aisles upon aisles filled with processed food. We even have organic fake foods!

Supermarkets design their floor plans to make us shop and spend money on fake foods. They even give us coupons knowing we will buy it! Companies use words like “natural” and “healthy” on their labels which intentionally misleads consumers. They are not defined or regulated properly by our government. Products are even formulated with ingredients that have known addictive qualities. Even real foods have been corrupted! Almost all of the corn we eat is GMO, meaning it is a Genetically Modified Organism. Whether you are eating fresh corn or corn tortilla chips, they are most likely GMO. The more GMO and processed foods we eat, the more chemicals we put into our bodies. Just another way we contribute to our toxic load.

Click here for the full article
Back to top

A Prayer For Boomer Bussing

Testing The Power of New Story Prayers

Like mind jazz, symphonies, and chants

Chants Of Poet’s Prayers

For me a prayer is a mind image with will poised
To help bring about some hoped for future,

With a little help from our friends,
And foundational support from The Friend, as Rumi says it.

Let us pray for more boomers on more busses!
And let the prayer be too a celebration and a party!

A St. Patrick’s Day Party on the Green Line!

Let us pray!

Let us pray that a 2016 St. Pat’s Day Bus Party on the Green Line,
Is a seed from which grows an increasingly mindful and effective
Safe, easy, and economical bus network in Milwaukee.

And to bus means also,

To kiss.

Let us bus Mother Nature by enjoying our buses!
Free in Milwaukee, for those over 65!

And why not transform buses into theaters of knowledge and performance
For the need of it, for the fun of it.

Because we can try.

And Mother Nature approves,

Emmanuel Pratt and Teams ABCD “There Grows The Neighborhood” “Waste To Resources” Regenerative Placemaking Manifesting in Museums Conceived as The Citizens’ Commons

Solutionary Praxis “Living Art” at 5 Major Chicago Art Galleries 2014–15. Big Apple and Bay MoMAs Next?

Will Pratt’s multi-media MoMA performances include a hive of solutunaries across the world sharing their work as bioArt worthy of EB-5 Immigrant Olympian Mentsch Investors of a million in green cash?

Can the nation’s art museums be conceived as the New Commons, for the New Story of Our Stories? Can we imagine th EB-5 Program evolving beyond the bureaucratic, industrial paradigm’s exclusive call for jobs and image the program evolving to the point where it is providing start-up or expanding green dollar capital for networks of “ecopreneurs” operating “chaoridically” in hybrid entgerprise and cooperativist experiments?

EB-5 Cells of 1,000 names?

We’d need some folks assuming the role of Jareslov Vanek’s “Support Corporation” to handle the enormous transaction costs of launching this experiment.

Evolutionary groping and profusions of eco capitalist collaboration experiments, with “spiritual, cultural, and social capital” manifesting the green dollars as needed and appropriate.

Let’s do some local/regional/national/global Skyped Soap Box Moments and have some “dialectical” conversations. How about on the days of the Spring and Autumn Eequinoxes, and the Summer Winter Solstices. March 20, September 22, JUne 21, and December 22?

With the artists, the performers, and the engineer/archictect/ecopreneur bio artists leading the way!

Back to top

Faith, Food, and The Future

by Victoria Pratt

Seeds For Change

It’s wake up time. Our nation heaves under the weight of complicated, layered crises; wars, a failing economy, economic and racial divides, collapsing infrastructure and urban decay, environmental devastation, soil and air pollution and challenges that affect the source, quality and supply of our foods. The crises are so interrelated and polarizing that it is difficult to know where to begin to affect meaningful change. Perhaps, however, the real challenge involves making a shift in the way we think about change. Should you venture to listen beyond the bitter argumentation inside Washington for example, beyond the deafening rhetoric within city councils and mayoralties, beyond even the overwhelming negativity, fragmentation and divisive national conversations, you will find quite a different scenario unfolding. Critical numbers of people within urban neighborhoods are demonstrating a powerfully creative approach to issues that adversely impact the quality of their lives. The seeds of change are being quietly sown and have already sprouted wondrous roots. At first glance, you may never hear or notice them at work as you drive through the neighborhood. Nevertheless, intergenerational bands of earth warriors, urban farmers, people from diverse backgrounds and cultures are busily engaged in a grass roots movement now comfortably called “The Good Food Revolution”. And far more than good food is being introduced.

Continued at Victoria Pratt

Chicago and Milwaukee Sweet Water Aquaponics At School of Art Institute of Chicago!

This event has a good chance of inspiring an intensification of collaborations among the Olympian Mensch, first, of Chicago and Milwaukee, then, God willing, of Detroit and St. Louis, in its Great Lakes Heartland unfolding.

Back to top

Foreclosed Home Co-ops As Integral Urban Dorms

Email to Professor Mark Keane of UWM School of Architecture and Urban Planning

Integral Urban Homes As Dorms of Experiential Learning

Students create wealth via learning projects turning wastes(foreclosed homes and grass lawns) into resources while growing neighborhoods and knowledge fields

  • Urban Ag & Nutrition Consortium
  • UWM Arch/Urb Pl
  • Home GR/OWN
  • Food Council
  • Water Council
  • Interfaith

Hands On Problem Based
Racial and ecological healing
Wealth creating
Global local/town gown

Why not?


Back to top

5 Years Ago: Michael Pollan Congratulations re NBC Nightly News Report On The Sweet Water Story, i.e. The Farm and the Academy

It’s been 5 years since “Sweet Water,” i.e. the Sweet Water Organics Farm(SWO)and the Sweet Water Foundation Academy(SWF) was celebrated on NBC nightly news, not long after the WSJ and NYT did the same. When I posted links to the show on a national urban ag collaboration platform I said

Here are links to Brian Williams NBC Feature on Milwaukee’s Sweet Water vision of democratizing aquaponics, starting with vision of Sweet Water Miniature in 50 per cent of Milwaukee schools in the next 10 years.

In those 5 years, under sustained leadership of Pratt and Blom, the SWF has not reached the 50% mark in Milwaukee schools; but enough advance has been made that we just might make the 50% level over the next 5. Alas, the SWO farm could not cover the R&D, electric, and heating bills from the sale of fish and lettuce, closing shop a few years back.

Here’s Michael Pollan’s response: James: congratulations- I’m so happy I got to see it. Seems like you’ve assembled an amazing team.Keep me posted.M​

While I would have preferred he say “Milwaukee has assembled an amazing team.” I am hoping we can proudly share news of 50% of Milwaukee schools with “sweet water miniatures” in 50% of our schools by 2020.

Here’s that NBC clip, featuring both Sweet Water Organics and the Sweet Water Foundation.


Here’s some of Blom in Milwaukee and Pratt in Chicago progress toward the democratizing of aquaponics with a focus on Milwaukee and Chicago schools.



America Yet Mature Enough For Organic Intellectuals To Unite?

Engaged Professors = Organic Intellectuals in 21st Century Information Economy

Engaged artisans = The Same

Engaged Clerks and Servers = The Same

I believe the social role of an intellectual
Who fights the good fight,
Sqy an engaged professor,
Is properly considered for
Theory and practice,
An organic intellectual,
Like Jimmy but also Grace.

We’re in this together.
All hands, says jon powell, on deck!

Why not?



Back to top

Flying On The Wings Of Grace

I see Grace’s text as contender for major 21st century manifesto from the USA doing for the ®Evolution what Marx and Engel Manifesto did for the labor movement of the last half of the 19th century.

Grace and her “partners” focused our attention on…

the power of the idea, and the idea of power, organically grown and globally framed; conversation based reflection upon solution experiments re daily issues; growing our souls and changing, evolving, ourselves to change the world and become the leaders we’ve wanted; redeem the soul of America becoming a more mature people; vision organizing for beloved communities shrinking the cancers of militarism, racism, and consumerism; new work outside commodity exchange and job system; ®Evolution toward a higher humanity; pathways found by walking AND theorizing: these are some of my favorite concepts from the Boggs et al dynamic text.

Click here for the full article
Back to top

SoilMobile To Detroit for Grace Lee Boggs Memorial & Carlos Nielbock Guild Gathering

​This by fellow traveler Molly Costello, while artist in residence at Worm Farm Institute.

Rest in Power Grace Lee Boggs!

Introducing Angela Allen, Ryan Schone, Molly Costello, Ben Koller, and Sandy Syburg

So here’s how it looks the day before the maiden regional voyage of Sandy Syburg’s Purple Cow SoilMobile and the 3rd collaboration with Ben Koller’s Heart Haus tours, now called the USbus Culture All Discovery Tours.

Angela Allen—Faculty; Community Natural Resources & Economic Development


Angela Allen, PhD
414–256–463 angela.allen@ces.uwex.edu

Ryan Schone—UW Extension Coordinator Milwaukee Urban Discovery Farm (MUDF)


Molly Costello—Cofounder Lets Go Chicago & Wormfarm Institute Artist in Residence 2015

As a co-founder of community-based grassroots organization LETS GO Chicago, Molly Costello’s work draws heavily on ideas of community, agriculture, and synergy between humans and nature. Working primarily in cut paper and illustration, her pieces combine stark, simple shapes with layered patterns and symbols. During her two-month residency, Costello was a contributor and co-curator of the Wormfarm Institute’s fall resident show, Season of Soil.

Ben Koller—Founder Our MECCA and The Heart Haus



Ben’s front left, next to Pratt and Che the dog.

Sandy Syburg—Purple Cow Organics, Oconomowoc Transport



Destination Nielbock Guild Hostel Hamlet
Chicago’s Emmanuel Pratt has woven carpentry training into the South Side Chicago Perry Ave Commons community farm, garden, and Think Do House.

His Sweet Water Foundation is now advancing a collaboration with Detroit’s Carlos Nielbock, metals master, to weave windmills and training into a broader vision.

Come brainstorm with this network!

Carlos Nielbock Windmill


Historic Lamppost restoration


Detroit Clock Tower restoration


Pratt Images




Back to top

Mother Grace, inspiring and centering spirit force, delighted to be “re-spirited,” in a circle, as she and Che confided, of Love, at her Boggs Center House, 2nd level commons, hearing and creating the New Story, with reports from Milwaukee and Chicago, re Obama’s 2008 Inaugural, and some of her much loved, self organizing, new work accomplished, and including the birthing moments of the Sweet Water Universe’s Sweet Water Foundation, now centered in Emmanuel Pratt’s Perry Ave Commons projects with a variety of “partners.” Marcia Lee, Yvette D. Murrell, and Tia Richardson and others pictured might add to this story someday. And, methinks in Grace’s terms, “solutionaries” to come!

Back to top

Back to top

City of Milwaukee Must Protect and Preserve Public Spaces—Including 4th Street

There is a major public-asset giveaway at stake in the city’s arena-subsidy package that Milwaukee residents have only a few days to try to prevent. Common Council members must hear from citizens before they vote on September 22. In addition to receiving 30 acres of public land for free from the county and state, the billionaire Milwaukee Bucks owners also are demanding one block of 4th Street to use for a Bucks-controlled commercial plaza. Mayor Barrett and Development Commissioner Rocky Marcoux want the council to vacate forever that block for this purpose.

An arena-deal amendment introduced by Ald. Bob Bauman would protect the public’s long-term interest by keeping 4th Street open and available for many current and future uses as needed. The provision would retain the city’s ownership of North 4th Street (between Highland and Juneau Avenues) instead of ceding control of it to the Bucks.

Irreversibly closing one block of this north-south connector would make the arena complex a dead zone outside of arena events. Dead-ending 4th St. would further cut off Bronzeville from downtown, worsening decades-long “urban-renewal’ follies. It would create a clogging dam to raise the Bucks’ “revenue stream” by adding an unnecessary traffic barrier.

Talk of making it more “pedestrian-friendly” simply co-opts urban-planning principles by using misleading buzzwords. Most people still get around Milwaukee by car and the Bucks want to thwart traffic on 4th Street to aid their commercial enterprises exclusively. It would also overburden Old World Third Street, a more narrow street where brickwork is already the worse for wear. This area of Westown is a confusing maze of streets dominated by monolithic buildings. An even bigger arena plus a three-story bar mall will not make the district any friendlier. Nor will flooding the hospitality market with an unneeded and highly subsidized entertainment mall that tries to out-compete existing local businesses.

Taxpayers would pay to build this three-acre plaza and the Bucks would reap all revenues from it and pay no taxes—and probably no rent. It’s as if we handed a park to them and said “Use it for whatever you wish, just as long as you don’t post ‘no trespassing’ signs. Of course, they want people to come there—as paying customers for whatever the Bucks decide to peddle.

Ald. Bauman offered an alternative to forever blocking off this downtown thoroughfare as part of this arena-subsidy deal. He said it’s “Urban Planning 101” that cities never give up streets unless it’s absolutely necessary. The city has options for catering to the Bucks’ goals on game days and such without vacating a downtown street. That’s how it’s being done in other cities including Indianapolis and Boston.


Jay Walljasper is a leading proponent of preserving the commons and making the most of all types of public spaces, including streets:


Tell Common Council members before September 22nd that we can’t afford to make the concrete “Fortress on Fourth” even more forbidding. We need to keep Milwaukee’s streets—and options—open.

Virginia Small

Back to top

In Search OF Words For Muneer That Change Worlds

Racial Healing At The Soldiers Home

God willing at 2 pm this Saturday Cleo Pruitt, myself, perhaps Howard and 20 others will recapitulate the 2005 Soldiers Home unveiling of the Teju Bronze Monument to Soldiers of Color in the Rebirth of Freedom vision.

Here are some links to that historic event:



Please consider joining in at Old Main to here and grow the story of racial healing at the Soldiers Home.

This is not an official MPA, NAACP, Rebirth of Freedom, or any other organization.

It’s the manifestation of one of many networked agents and enterprises co-creating some kind of grand alliance to empower the citizens of the Great Lakes Sister Cities of Milwaukee Chicago and Detroit to make, grow, and care for our common and most sacred buildings and grounds.

Any of you or your friends and partners are invited to give voice at Old Main 2 to 2:15 this Saturday, 8/22.

If you wish a place on Sandy Syburg’s Purple Cow bus let me know.

I talked with Matt Cryer at the VA who said Bryan Walker was in charge of navigating any but informal entry to the grounds.
It is possible we may have to look in from afar.​

Howard and I also invite you to join in the creation of a living poem to Save the Soldiers Home, heal us peoples, and heal the planet. Hopefully once a year one or many of our youth might read it alongside Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

Godsil 414 232 1336

Greater Bronzeville Stories

Growing Souls and Sklls”

The earth nation citizens who have graced the world with the Obama 2008 and Arab Spring 2010 stories have many more stories to grow, make, and imagine. Plese share your Greater Bronzeville story in the noosphere, i.e. the thinking envelope of Earth.

This wiki platform is one place to share. As is your facebook and other digital galaxies for the cultivation and care of your sacred life purposes in Greater Bronzeville.

Laudato Si

Green Diaper Babies

Earth Nation Americans

Critical software, e.g. English language, and hardware, e.g. the internet, are resources for American citizens to pragmatically advance some kind of Earth Nation vision, similar to when the North American colonies of the Crown
began to conceptualize an “American” identity back around the 1700s. The earth community has been growing a new organ
of consciousness, a planetary thinking network, an interlinked system of information and awakening consciousness Father
Teilhard de Chardin named the Noosphere. The noosphere is the Earth’s cerebral cortex, evolving a global net of self-awareness with instant feedback loops, increasingly easy planetary communication, a confluence of self-conscious awakenings. This new resource provides very small groups of people super-empowerment to change their local worlds, and link with other change agents who Walk Out Walk On, drawing upon Margaret Wheatley’s and Deborah Frieze’s new work.

Chicago As World City Of Great Lakes Heartland



Rural Arts and Culture Summit Concepts

Earth Nation STEAM+ Networked Centers

S for science and spirituality

T for technology, teaching, theater

E for engineering, ecology, economics, and entertainment

A for art, agriculture, artisanship, aquaponics, and architecture

M for math, makers, music, and Metis

Vision Organizing For An American Earth Nation

An emergent American Earth Nation is advancing the commingling of all of God’s children and communion of beings.

The Rural Arts Summit, Worm Farm Institute,
Art of the Rural, and Sweet Water Foundation
Constitute vital and highly networked innovation centers…

Perhaps sparking Nobel Prize worthy collaboration experiments, via social learning and production networks
Over the next 30 years…

Where teachers are students, and students are teachers,
Following ABCD algorithms and models,

Asset Based “Chaordic” Development, focusing on
Resources we have, upscaling through evolutionary groping,
Failing fast and often to succeed…

Addressing metabolic and cultural rifts,
Harnessing digital resources in…

Linked airbnbn, school, culture wagon
buses, and innovation centers large and small…

Sparking resourced boomer and
Young(anyone under 50) genius “partnerships”…

Mixing art, science, commerce, and spirituality,
Preparing regions of the heart and mind, of soul,
Where Earth Nation Americans being born.

American earth nation apprentices,
Across borders, boundaries, and waters.

From Earth Nation homes, hostels,
Universities without walls…

Rural and urban Agora,
Permanent and pop up.

Upschooling and deschooling America,
Hands-on working with land, water, air, energy…Life!

Bringing eChoupal and Mitra’s Hole in the Wall pedagogy,
Esalen-like, integral, “door in the wall,” life potential adventures,
To, God willing, 30 years of experiments connecting…

Wormfarm Institute, Rural Arts Summit,
Art of the Rural, and Sweet Water Foundation
Culture Wagon SChool Bus projects across the land…

Co-creating the American Earth Nation Nobel Prize worthy
In time, God willing for my 100th birthday celebration in Milwaukee…

Where the waters gather and people are coming to
Imagine the Universe as the key revelatory text,
To imagine their cultureshed as Holy,
Preparing for the Great Spirit’s descent..

Great spirit ascents…
Our Great Work Projects.

Milwaukee Chicago Reedsburg Golden Triangle Experiment

South Side Chicago “Partners”

Sweet Water Foundation, Chicago Schools, Museums, and Communities




Photo album of the Perry Ave Community Farm:

Photo Album of SWF General pics:

Milwaukee “Partners”



Reedsberg “Partners”



World “Partners”


Pragmatic Utopian Vision For Milwaukee Chicago Reedsburg Golden Triangle Experiment

Fields Cultivating Polyglot Youth Teams Acquiring Engineering Artisinal Art and Agrarian Skills Designing and Orchestrating E-enhanced Culture Wagons for Living Museum Centers and Networked Neighborhood Hubs Conveyed By SCool Bus Moments

30 Year Social Learning & Production Networks Advancing Golden Triangle Culture Wagon Ventures With Airbnb Connections, kicked off by harvesting 70th birthday parties for visionary 1% of the Boomers

Birthday Celebrations for New American Dreams, i.e. Placemaking Birthdays

  • boomer young collaboration experiments

  • discovering neighborhoods seeds for self-regeneration, i.e. weary houses into integral urban homes, empty lots into community gardens

  • Cool Buses that cross boundaries and weave associations

Back to top

Viva The Father of the Earth Poets, Jeff Poniewaz

Recording of Jeff’s poems as read by Antler at the Earth Poets & Musicians concert dedicated to Jeff, on April 18, at the Coffee House

Bruce J. “Jeff” Poniewaz
1946 - 2015

Poniewaz, Bruce J. “Jeff” Of Riverwest, passed away December 13 age 68 from pneumonia after surviving 9 years with stage-4 kidney/lung cancer with a 6-month-to-live prognosis. Born September 28, 1946, Jeff was a former Poet Laureate of Milwaukee and devoted his life to poetry and eco-activism. Author of Dolphin Learning in the Milky Way, a classic of compelling eco-poems which won a PEN Discovery Award and Ginsberg called “impassioned prescient ecological Whitmanesque/Thoreauvian verve & wit.”

Jeff taught Lit of Eco Vision at UWM for 20 years and in 1997 the MSO and Chorus performed the special “Song of the Rainforest” Concert he brainstormed to raise awareness of the Rainforest. In 2000 he was awarded an Earth Guardian Award at Milwaukee’s Earth Day Celebration. His work appeared in over 70 anthologies including Earth Prayers; Prayers for a 1000 Years; The Soul Unearthed; Burning the Midnight Oil and Gathering Place of the Waters: 30 Milwaukee Poets. In 1988 he founded the Earth Poets & Musicians Group which performed yearly here for 27 years. As Poet Laureate he created an event honoring the Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore in which Indian musicians and dancers participated. Loving partner of former Milwaukee Poet Laureate Antler for almost 50 years. They met as teenage boys at UWM. Jeff backpacked and canoed in wilderness areas with Antler in his younger years and spent many a night around the campfire under the stars. Thanks for being my pal O Jeff! Memorial visitation begins at 11:00 AM, followed by sharing of memories at 1:00 PM on Saturday, April 25, at the Feerick Funeral Home. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/jsonline/obituary.aspx?pid=174689996#sthash.YLlcp5vc.dpuf

Back to top

South Side Chicago Renaissance

This wiki collaboration platform is widening its coverage to include renaissance moments of the Great Lake Heartlands “solutionaries,” as Grace Lee Boggs and Detroit creatives say it. The South Side Chicago Renaissance expression will begin with an interview with Orrin Williams, a storied young elder and founder of the Center for Urban Transformations(CUT), and key partner with Emmanuel Pratt’s Sweet Water Foundation teams.

Renaissance. You have often been referred to as the Buddha of the South Side Renaissance. Might you share your thoughts as to how that came to be?

Williams. It’s an interesting question given that you and Emmanuel are the only people that reefer to me as that. I treasure the reference though as it speaks to several things. I find it to be difficult for most Americans to contextualize what it means when people identify as Buddhists. Of the people I know you and Emmanuel are two people (there are others to be sure in my network) are able to contextualize and make the connection. That is not a lack of awareness or consciousness one the part of other friends but a tribute the two of you attach to my way of being and acting in the world. I think if you had conversations with other people I know and made the connections they would agree with that appellation.

Another element in why I think the appellation is okay is because one of the Eight Noble Truths is Right Livelihood which I’ve tried to abide by over the past 30 years or so refusing to to jobs that I thought were inappropriate because they exploited people and/or the earth. I love what I do and the people I work closely with. Certainly I’d love to make more money but I’ve turned down employment or refused to engage in certain activities when offered the opportunity because I didn’t think it was the “right” way to earn a living. Am I perfect hardly, but that leads me to my last point. There is a being, the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni Buddha but there are and have been many Buddhas. All beings have Buddhanature and capable of becoming a Buddha (one doesn’t have to be a “Buddhist”, because it is about how one lives their life). I hope that I am on that path and it is a path where daily practice matters. Once you become enlightened it is not over as the book title by Jack Kornfield suggests, “After Ecstasy, the Laundry…”

I hope my remaining life is such that I have earned the appellation, through practice…



Back to top

Shrinking The Cancer of Stigma

Stigma shrinking is as important as
Carbon footprint shrinking.

It’s a necessary condition
For addressing the major challenges of our times.

Patricia Obletz Mental Health Activist: An Interview

Milwaukee Renaissance. You startled and awakened Milwaukee with an evocative image on the back of many Milwaukee buses of a person of unusual appearance getting punched in the face that had an equally unusual text alongside. Can you share that image, the story behind the image, and the impact of that image?

Patricia Obletz. That image is the oil painting “Out of Nowhere,” the first work to show up six months after Michael, my younger brother by four years died of sudden death syndrome on August 27, 2005. I’d moved to Milwaukee the summer before from Buffalo, New York, to visit family without need for a plane.

The following year, an x-ray revealed spots in my right lung, which by fall, had grown. Before surgery December 6, urgent need to raise mental health awareness in my new city inspired me to select that painting done after Michael died for a bus tail sign to accompany my message: “Put Your Money Where Your Mind Is. Mental illnesses run in every family. Ask your doctor for a mental health checkup.” The second batch of tail signs’ last lines read “Educate yourself. Call 800–273–8255.”

Partnered with Clear Channel Outdoors, and the following year with Titan Worldwide for three months in Chicago, the campaign hit the road in early 2007. Clear Channel Outdoors kept the signs in sight months on end in the Milwaukee area between 2007 and 2009. The media picked up my anti-stigma campaign, which expanded its reach. The impact became clear to me every time “Out of Nowhere” was in an art show and viewers said it was familiar, sometimes remembering the campaign. It facilitated open and honest conversation about personal experiences with mental health.

I’ve been working to help normalize serious and persistent mental illnesses in print, on TV/radio/web as well as in art galleries and marches since 1991.

Back to top

Sky Schultz Quaker House program: “Finding God in Nature, Science, and Mystical Poetry.”

I am giving the program at the Quaker Meeting House (3224 N Gordon Pl, Milwaukee, WI 53212) on April 16th at 7 pm. It is entitled “Finding God in Nature, Science, and Mystical Poetry.” This talk concerns the most important things I have uncovered in over a half century of research into many spiritual traditions, It concerns the root causes of suffering and what is refered to as “enlightenment,” In future iterations of the program I might call it: “An Extraordinary Spiritual Conversation: A Personal, Historical (and Hysterical) Exploration of Man’s Search for “God.” In the powerpoint at the Quaker Meeting house there will be many quotes from the world’s greatest spiritual teachers; and, of course, my “world-class humor and magic” :)

For decades of professional speaking I have billed myself as “The ‘Explorer Who Stayed at Home,” and a “spiritual humorist,” since I am inspired to find ways of saying serious things in entertaining ways. One of my heroes is Mark Twain because he found brilliant, humorous ways of talking about troublesome issues (although I do not share his sometimes dark and bitter attitudes. ) I do programs on Twain, Whitman, Rumi, Thoreau, and others which you might find of value.

By the way, I’m just setting up a new blog (http://skyschultz.blogspot.com\. with Jerad’s help. On the site is my award-winning film, “Common Miracles” about ecology in and around Lake Michigan and links to other spiritual and fun resources.

Earth Nation Mentschen: The Film

I prefer to begin with Mentschen of destiny doing their Great Work, in the Thomas Berry sense, in the fields of possibility available, for those with the eyes to see, in the Great Lakes Heartland. Here is where I hope to store, share, and connect their stories. Earth Nation Mentschen

Back to top

Godsil Reflections On Kenyan Oakland Roboticist Aquapon Farmer Eric Maundu Heart Haus Workshop​

Eric was way over the top brilliant, modest, and authentic. Strikes me that his commitment to the good cause comes from down, down deep, and I have a hard time imagining him not giving it his all for years to come. He has intensely studied the “earth story,” and drew the elegant and complex relationships of geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, and “noosphere” with the energy providing sun all over the walls of the brainstorm and bread room.

Here’s a media report on his “Smart Aquaponics.”


Eric has applied his robotics and software background to making gardens smart. His company, Kijani Grows, sells kits, components, installs gardens throughout the Bay Area, and teaches classes on aquaponics. :

“I feel knowledge of electronics and software programming makes me a better farmer than just having a hoe. Gardens that can communicate for themselves using the internet can lead to exchanging of ideas in ways that were not possible before. I can test, for instance, whether the same tomato grows better in Oakland or the Sahara Desert given the same conditions. Then I can share the same information with farmers in Iceland and China.”


Aquaponics, for Eric, is a modeling of the earth story. Sensor enhanced aquaponics is a resource to provide support for human stewarding of these small worlds, tools for maintaining the balance of it all.

He moved from the earth and aquaponics modeling into a lucid and intelligible discussion of electronics and digital sensors, mixing white board graphics with sensor displays, then moving to the computer to display the results of his path-breaking labors. He maintained a passionate edge for 6 straight hours!

He has had a hard time making ends meet while deeply involved in his research and development. It all began after his return to Kenya following a 10 year green card journey, where a passion for farming, absent in his childhood as a farmer’s son, was intensely sparked. He hopes to farm in Kenya in time, and help people do sensor enhanced farming everywhere. But he can’t imagine making a living just growing food, agreeing with us, that the growth and distribution of knowledge, tech support, and experiences for schools and “early adopters” will be important source of revenue.

I intuit that you and he are at the beginning of an incredible journey of major importance. To me his work and his character are in perfect pitch complimentary with yours. I would welcome the “communion” and devote my peddling and connecting resources in support. I am also eager to introduce his Great Work to “Aquapons Across the Waters.”

I told him, and I mean it, that he is a man of destiny and it would be my pleasure and honor to support his quest on up through my 100th birthday.


Back to top

Sweet Water Foundation Heart Haus Guest Eric Maundu Workshop On Digital Sensors For Aquaponics Systems

On Sunday, March 29 from 1pm-5pm, we will be hosting a gathering at the Heart Haus (325 E Euclid Ave) with a very special guest, Eric Maundu. Eric specializes in low-cost, do-it-yourself water quality sensors for aquaponics systems.

Check out some of his work at his company’s website at http://www.kijanigrows.com/

Eric is visiting from Oakland, California and has offered to run a workshop on DIY digital sensors for water quality in aquaponics, including measurement for parameters such as:

  • Temperature
  • pH
  • Total Dissolved Solids
  • Dissolved oxygen

We would love if you could join us for a comfortable and casual gathering at the Heart Haus to meet Eric and learn about how to capture data from our aquaponics systems.

Back to top

Global Fulbright Community To Advance A Sweet Water Integral Urban Home For Each and Every Neighborhood?

Through Life Long Social Learning Networks?

Nice Radio Show On Milwaukee’s Heart Haus Integral Urban Home


Chicago “Sun Times” article on Chicago’s Think Do House.

Urban Homes As

  • School
  • Workshop
  • Farm

  • Lab
  • International hostel
  • Playground
  • Sanctuary

We are bringing into fresh being a 21st century homes and cottage industries local local economies in global networks.

For each American neighborhood, let us help manifest a
special house that’s multiform, multivalent, and mutualistic in essence…

That evokes awe and gratitude in Fulbright Scholars and everyday life long learners from across the world.

Fulbright International Scholars collaborate with SWF

Upon meeting in January at the SWF installation at the Chicago City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower, SWF Executive Director Emmanuel Pratt and Sarah Gleisner, Program Officer of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program with the Institute of International Education (IIE), began to explore opportunities for potential collaboration between the Fulbright Foreign Student Program Seminar on Youth Engagement and Empowerment and Sweet Water Foundation for the spring of 2015. Given Fulbright’s mission to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and other countries and SWF’s mission is to democratize, globalize, and commercialize urban agriculture practices for resilient 21st century communities via hands-on, real-world learning grounded in concepts of community, equity, transformation and resilience, both Sarah and Emmanuel recognized a tremendous opportunity for cross pollination across the programs.

On both Friday March 20th and Saturday March 21st, approximately 80 of the 140 Fulbright scholars joined by Megan Spillman, the IIE Chicago Director participated in site visits to the Perry Ave Community Farm, the Think-Do House, and the CSU Aquaponics Center. On Saturday March 21st, 40 of the Fulbright scholars from 30 different countries worked directly with the SWF team, local residents, and Orrin Williams from the Center for Urban Transformation on the Perry Ave Community Farm helping to prepare for the 2015 harvest season. Contunued at


Back to top

Artist talk

“In the emptiness, I find a visionary”

Chicago Sun-Times (IL) - Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Author/Byline: SUE ONTIVEROS

I knew something special had to be going on if my dear friend was calling before 8 on a
Sunday morning to invite me.

Still, that didn’t mean as I was agreeing that I wasn’t also thinking to myself, ‘‘So I am
going to just show up at 57th and Perry without an exact address, only with the
reassurance, ‘you’ll know the house when you see it.’ ’’

But as I drove through well-worn streets where so many homes and businesses are no
more, I could see she was right: there was no doubt which house it was. On the side of
the house is an almost-finished mural of regal-looking African Americans.

The building gives off this aura of “Yeah, I’m in the middle of emptiness; so what?” Once
inside, I realized that if the people who congregate here have their way, that emptiness
won’t be forever. And what you or I might see as emptiness, they see as opportunity
waiting to happen. It’s all in your perspective.

The answer to a host of urban problems — jobs, hunger, education — could very well
be right inside the front door. Literally. The walls are done in blackboard paint so ideas
and possible ways to implement them can fill them. And they do.

Oh, and the living room? It’s “living” alright. Herbs under grow lights sit in what was a
fireplace. An aquaponic system (a setup that basically grows plants and fish using the
same water) stands near a window.

Upstairs, along the stairway, downstairs, in the kitchen — something’s going on. Then
there are the two acres of land being farmed outside. The energy here is incredible.

And at the hub of it all is Emmanuel Pratt , a Chicago State professor and founding
director of the Sweet Water Foundation. You don’t run into true visionaries every day,
but Pratt , he’s the real deal. He looks at all of what’s going on here as a way to put an
end to the blight. But his ideas spring not from tearing down what’s left and embracing
gentrification (which, let’s face it, usually means moving out the poor people). He uses
what’s already here and gets kids, veterans, seniors involved in urban farming, green
initiatives and a lot more, not just at this location, but in other struggling neighborhoods.

One of the ways he’s doing that is by tapping into his incredible network of “doers.” The
day I’m here, so are others from Chicago Ideas Week. But Pratt doesn’t want to just
tout his programs; he gets the people in the room talking to one another about their
involvements, to get connections going. You connect the dots (err, people), and then
you’ve got a solid network going on.

The farming, the aquaponics. They’re not just to feed people well, although that’s a
good part of it. Pratt ’s trying to get kids and others to see the money-making
possibilities in green initiatives, to turn them into “eco-preneurs.” And why not?
Remember, Whole Foods is coming to 63rd and Halsted. Connection made.

Pratt doesn’t have trucks to haul the produce grown here around. Ah, but Washburne,
the culinary school at nearby Kennedy-King College, does. And there are connections
there. Who knows what’s next?

Yes, there’s a lot of work to be done. But Pratt and the Sweet Water Foundation can
see ways to bring people together and get things accomplished. Being able to see
solutions; why, that’s half the battle.

Email: sontiveros@suntimes.com

Back to top

How About a Traditional St. Patrick’s Day?

St. Patrick didn’t drink. In fact, one of the things the Celtic chieftains admired in him was that he could get a good night’s sleep without the drink. Other reminders for this time of year: sausage and salted pork are traditional Irish meats; corn beef is American. Cromwell’s armies brought cabbage to Ireland. Sir Walter Raleigh brought potatoes there from South America. The Celts wouldn’t have worn green, either—it’s the color of things that die. Purple was the color preferred by royals.

St. Patrick’s Day in America has morphed, party-animal style, into a day to get drunk or, to insult-the-earth—an excuse to dump green dye in the Chicago River and foam it up. Patrick’s real life and the many good stories about him are what’s worth remembering.

St. Patrick was the first published anti-slave activist in history. At a time when British Christians were stealing Irish from along the east coast of Ireland, Patrick wrote: “…But it is the women kept in slavery who suffer the most—and who keep their spirits up despite the menacing and terrorizing they must endure. The Lord gives grace to his many handmaids.” During his life, Patrick negotiated with the court of Coroticus in England for the release of slaves, and, by the end of his life, the Irish slavery trade came to a halt.

Click here for the full article
Back to top

Origami At Timbuktu Rites Of Spring Celebration

Previously known as St. Patrick’s Day All City Celebration, March 17, Club Timbuktu, 7 to 9 p.m.

A terrific origami master has agreed to lead Rites of Spring participants in a paper folding workshop.

Her name is Seon Joo So, and she teaches the Korean version of origami at her Shorewood studio, and at UWM and other venues. She’s just lovely and creates the most intricate, beautiful works of art.

Her website is www.socoolcrafts.com, and her studio is: So Cool Crafts Paper Arts & Crafts Studio
4160 N. Oakland Ave. #14 Shorewood, WI 53211 414–418–8924

Seon Joo will bring supplies for 20 people. If you think we’ll have more participants than that, please let me know

Archive of St. Patrick Brigid Celebrations Since 2006



Back to top

Sweet Water Heart Haus Integral Urban Home Experiment

Lake Effect Listing – Friday, March 6, 2015

Friday on Lake Effect:


More images on this great story at http://sweetwaterfoundation.com/an-experiment-in-sustainable-urban-community-takes-root-in-bay-view/

What the rising prominence of women means in terms of political, economic and social power – in Wisconsin and around the country. Later, how an old house in Bay View has transformed into an experiment in residential living and working. We’ll talk about Bucks up and down year with our sports contributor. And meet the 1960s pop star-turned award-winning producer, Peter Asher.


  • Dorothy Thomas, speaker at LWV of Ozaukee County
  • Heart Haus feature
  • Howie Magner, Milwaukee Magazine
  • Peter Asher, musician​

The Heart Haus is embed in a global social learning and production network, including





Back to top

Social Learning and Production Networks For Gardens of Earthly Delights

Dear Adam,

I am wondering if you would be interested in reviewing volunteers from the Sweetwater Universe first galaxies called Sweetwater Organics and Sweet Water Foundation, to see if some appear to be worthy of your having some digital conversations to brainstorm possible collaborations over a 30 year experiment, God willing

Many are people of authenticity, competence, steadfast grit , and Grace.

Let me know and I will ask them for permission to share some of their applications, with you conceived as a “partner” with a social learning and production network of a thousand names.

What say?

Why not?

Back to top

Sweet Water Foundation’s Jesse Blom, the School of Freshwater Science, UWM Center for Water Policy & UN Global Compact Cities Program Collaboration

Sweet Water Foundation is happy to announce that its Milwaukee City Director, Jesse Blom, has enrolled in graduate studies at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (UWM), while continuing to spearhead SWF’s Milwaukee efforts. Jesse entered the Professional Science Master’s program at the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences in September 2014. The School of Freshwater Sciences has a 50 year history for internationally renowned research of freshwater ecosystems. Jesse’s coursework will focus on freshwater aquaculture, utilizing the school’s state of the art recirculating and flow-through aquaculture labs that are primarily used for studying yellow perch.

He is also working as a Research Assistant for the UWM Center for Water Policy, analyzing the economic and policy implications of water science. This year, Jesse is stewarding the Center for Water Policy’s efforts to mobilize the community around Milwaukee’s status as an Innovating City with the United Nations Global Compact Cities Programme. To this end, Jesse will be convening a cross-sectoral group from Milwaukee that includes representatives from public sector, private sector, and academia to organize activities around how the city can most effectively exchange information with other cities on the topic of water science.

SWF has been directly involved with the UN Global Compact Cities Programme since Milwaukee’s entry into the Programme in 2009, and remains in close contact with the Programme’s staff in Melbourne, Australia. Over the past two years, SWF has hosted two visiting scholars from Australia as a participant in the Global Compact Cities Programme - Julia Laidlaw of RMIT University in Melbourne, and Dr. Nick Rose of the Australia Food Sovereignty Alliance.

Back to top

Goddess of Wheat Grass and her beautiful boys! Hero quest stories to follow.

Wheat Grass Goddess enjoying wheat grass waters, elixir of life!

Back to top

Advancing Ecopreneur Badges

There are some very resourced people and institutions committed to harnessing the power of the internet for life-long, connected learning and credentialing. Sweet Water’s Jesse Blom and Emmanuel Pratt have been working with the MacArthur and Mozilla Foundations and others around aquaponics training in the AQUAPONS program. This has inspired me to advance a badge project to provide support for entrepreneurial endeavors that also heal the planet, i.e. ecopreneurs! Jared Brill has agreed to test this concept out with me and others.

Back to top

Chronicling Connected Learning AQUAPON and Ecopreneur Junior Apprentice Badge Earners Sky Schultz and James Godsil

Here are many images of the development of Jesse Blom’s aquaponics demo at the Heart Haus.


Back to top

Emmanuel Pratt and Teen Creative Agency/Sweet Water Foundation Aquaponics As Art Installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Back to top

The Googoal

Sole focus= Healing The Planet

Back to top

Clair Sprenger and Sky Schultz at Heart Haus Friday Potluck Brunch

Back to top

Walnut Way Founders Cuba Story Beginning Soon

Larry and Sharon Adams said “We’re going to Cuba this year!”

To be continued

Back to top

Vamanos A Cuba



Back to top

Sharing The Sacred Fire of St Patrick’s Brigid’s Timbuktu Celebration

to be continued

Back to top

Boomer Younge Connected Learning

To be continued

Back to top

The Tomb of the Unknown Poet

by Jeff Poniewaz

Why no Tomb of the Unknown Poet?
Wasn’t he killed as sure as the Unknown

Didn’t he die running wild after
the wildest beauty the same
as Wilfred Owen?

Didn’t he step on the toes of landmine

Wasn’t he mowed down by machine-guns
of mechanization?

Didn’t he throw himself on the grenade
of scorn lobbed at Poetry?

Drape a green flag of living grass
over his casket.

Blow his taps on panpipes:
phoenix syrinx!

Unknown Poet launched into the Unknown
like a poem in a manila envelope
addressed to Immortality

Care of the worms who edit scrupulously
but send no rejection slips.

May the Father of the Milwaukee Earth Poets be remembered beyond the 7th generation!

The Earth Poets & Musicians in July 2010.
from left: Harvey Taylor, Louisa Loveridge Gallas, Jahmes Tony Finlayson, Suzanne Rosenblatt, Jeff Poniewaz and Holly Haebig.
(photo by Jeffers Larson)

Back to top

Milwaukee and Chicago Public School Students To Lead TupperWare Aquaponics Workshops, Summer 2015?

Sky Schultz and James Godsil will be attending an Emmanuel Pratt TupperWare Aquaponics( Pratt Demos) tutorial tomorrow, at the Sweet Water Foundation Perry Avenue Community Farm and Think Do Lab House. We will quite possibly be sharing this technology to some of Jesse Blom’s Milwaukee Public School Aquaponics Teacher Cadre and their students at Heart Haus workshops this Spring, with hopes that, by the Summer of 2015, there will be a Milwaukee public high school student earning some summer money teaching the Pratt Demo system to people at the Heart Haus Aquaponics Lab. Here are some pictures of the Pratt Demo.
Hoping collaboration involving MSOE, MATC, and Shorewood’s New Horizon High School.

Back to top

Godsil Koller Wiki Experiment

We are experimenting in the petrie dish of peer to peer, optimally open sourced, laterally scaling, globalizing, social learning and production networks.Koller

We aspire to harvest miracle cascades. Godsil

Back to top

Panoramic Of Sweet Water Foundation ASM Roosevelt University Demo.

The preceeding picture is a panoramic taken by asm participant Damian Alvarez of other Aquaponics STEAM participants engaging in conversation about the basics of Aquaponics. Turning the traditional classroom into an elevated living learning coworking dynamic environment!

Back to top

Godsil Sen Wiki Experiment

We collect stories that humans and buildings tell us. Sen.

We connect resourced boomers with young genius. Godsil.

Back to top

A Milwaukee Farming Jubilee!

Farmers and Friends –

Let’s celebrate Farming as a profession and lifestyle on Wednesday December 17th 5:30 pm at Braise Restaurant! I want to recognize all the hard work that Milwaukee farmers put in this season, and the fact that, as a society, we oftentimes take farmers for granted. Let’s rejoice with tasty food from Braise, cheering holiday spirits, and live jazz from the fantastic Walker’s Point Trio! Bring yourself, your family, a farming friend – there’s no charge! Just don’t forget to wear your best farming attire – and PLEASE invite all Milwaukee area farmers to join!


Back to top

Back to top

Back to top

Introducing #MacArthurGeniusProspect Emmanuel Pratt To Nation’s Top Geography Professors

I have been blessed with time spent with some of the nation’s leading lights, none whose impact for the good cause will be any greater than Emmanuel Pratt’s, accelerating a South Side Chicago Renaissance.

These include MacArthur Geniuses Will Allen and Joel Rogers, presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy, Pulitzer Prize winner WH Auden, “Servant of God” Dorithy Day, Nobel winner Saul Bellow, Pacem in Terris awadee Saul Bellow, Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, JFK Advjsor Roger Hilsman, and actor activist Danny Glover

I hope the AAG Chicago Conference winds up spending time with Emmanuel and team at the Think-Do Lab House and Perry Avenue Community Farm!

Back to top

Bits Atoms Cells

The Sweet Water Foundation’s There Grows the Neighborhood initiative brings resources from a global social learning and production network. These networked “partners” include Boomer Millennial Partnerships experimenting ways of harvesting multiple values from mindful configurations of Bits Atoms Cells.

Integral Urban Homes, Agroecology Work Learn Tours, and Community Farms are three initiatives that will be explored at a Sweet Water/Chicago Museum of Science and Industry Hacking Hunger conference in Spring/Summer 2015 at the Perry Avenue Community Farm and Think Do House.

Since its 2010 incorporation, the Sweet Water Foundation has advanced in collaboration with Earth Renaissance”partners” across the waters, as well as some major institutions we are proud to be working with.

Back to top

There Grows The Neighborhood

The Sweet Water Foundation will be updating our social learning and production networks “partners” at this wiki equipped web platform.

My first offering is a Heart Haus brainstorm potluck on Faith Communities
Hacking Hunger through There Grow The
Neighborhood Experiments, with a focus
on boomer milennial local economies
experiments in integral urban homes
and agroecology work learn tours.

What’s yours?

Back to top

Introducing Ben Koller’s Heart Haus

The pages of the Milwaukee Renaissance have chronicled the people and the projects advancing some kind of renaissance in the venerable city where the waters gather, our Milwaukee. It is my honor and pleasure to share the story and the visions of a heavy lifter of this renaissance, Ben Koller, who while yet new to his 30s, has built layer upon layer of small accomplishments 20,000 leagues deep.

The Mecca Project

Here are some media links regarding Ben’s work to bless Milwaukee with a proper place for
Robert Indiana’s MECCA Floor.

Milwaukee Journal Front Page (Print & Online):


NY Times Article Front Sports/Business Page (Print & Online):


ESPN 30 for 30 “The Floor that Made Milwaukee Famous.”:


Work 2 Do Music Video/PSA:


More to come!


Back to top

Within Our Lifetime Network Twitter Town Hall

Thursday November 20th at 8pm ET

Featuring Rachel Godsil
Co-founder and Director of Research; The Perception Institute
#GotBias? Join an online conversation with national expert on implicit bias Rachel Godsil and the Within Our Lifetime Network.

Back to top

Emmanuel Pratt Notions

Back to top

Core El Centro Menu For Milwaukee AgroEcology Healthy Living Tours

CORE/El Centro is located in a beautiful, radically green, accessible building. Tour elements could include:

  • tour of rooftop production garden, with honeybees, grey water systems and delicious fruits/vegetables/herbs

  • tour of Wisconsin ‘ s first urban Creamery - delicious cheese curds, goat cheese specialties and more

  • cooking class/lunch. We could discuss specific menu if you’d like to help prepare a meal, otherwise we can recommend local caterers/cafes from the neigborhood.

  • yoga

  • Tai Chi

  • Seated exercise/dance

  • chair massage

  • acupuncture

Depending on what kind of tour/activities you are interested in, we could negotiate a price, but typically we ask $30–50/hr. We have both indoor and outdoor options, but considering a late spring/early summer visit would increase the chances for some delicious products from the roof.

I welcome other thoughts/additions to the tour visit

Stephanie Callaway

Back to top

The Story Of a Song Inspired By Grace Lee Boggs’ “The Next American Revolution”

Shared With India and Tibet

quiet rEVOLution – a song by Jess Vega Gonzalez with KT Rusch, inspired by Grace Lee Boggs’ book, The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-first Century.

Jessica’s Story of the Song

I came to this book on my first visit to Detroit for the ReImagine Work conference in 2011. It was the first, but not the last time, I would meet Grace. Not that Grace remembers who I am, but that is no matter. Grace Lee Boggs is connected to quite a few friends important to me, and that’s really good enough for me.

The book sat unread for a couple more years on my shelf until winter 2013, when I found myself taking the bus to my problematic jobs and wanting something to read. The ReImagine Work conference had changed the way I understood the jobs system and its uselessness, and I thought it was about time to read the book. Good thinking, finally. And like all good thinking, I figured writing a song would help the message spread.

So the song manifested itself, and I passed the song and the book along to my friend and musician-partner-in-crime KT. She added a second ukulele part and encouraged that we play it out at Universal Love Band shows. So we did – January 2014 was the song’s debut, and we’ve played it around the world since.

Yes, literally around the world. In March, KT and I traveled to India to visit Venerable Kungchok Chopel, an elder Tibetan Buddhist monk and friend of KT’s for many years at Drepung Loseling Monastery in exile in Mudgod, Karnataka, India.

Deep history here. Definitely a place where people are devoted to growing their souls, a seat of the quiet revolution. Drepung Loseling Monestary is dedicated to the study of preservation of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of wisdom and compassion. A center for the cultivation of both heart and intellect, it provides a sanctuary for the nurturance of inner peace and kindness, community understanding, and global healing. And we found ourselves there, without words, to visit our friend.

Venerable Kungchok is in his late 80’s. He escaped Tibet during the 1959 uprisings. The Chinese army pursued him with dogs and bullets. He suffered four bullet wounds, still clearly visible, through each forearm and each buttock, but managed to survive and cross the Himalayas into Buxa, India. He recovered for five years in a Christian missionary hospital. India donated land in Karnataka state to the budding Tibetan refugee community and Ven. Kungchok was one of the founders of Drepung Monastery in exile. He was the only member of his Gyapa of Tibetan monks to survive. He cooked for everyone for years and was known for his happiness and great food. He was able to re-establish his home chapel, Gyapa Kangsten, at Drepung. He is currently one of the oldest living monks and still teaches. We have heard other lamas call him the Buddha.

This version of quiet rEVOLution was recorded in Ven Kungcok’s room on the first day we reunited with him in March 2014, on the first rain of the season. It was joyous and emotional. We laughed, we cried, we drank butter tea!

If I could speak to the beauty of that moment, I would dare not say a word. But that is the depth of music – it does much more. I hope you will find in it some happiness.

To the quiet revolution. To growing our souls.

The Song Sung!


The Lyrics

Having a quiet revolution over here

Growing my soul

The have-nots are not trying to get what the have’s have got [x4]

We don’t want your privilege, your suburbs, your schools

Not your whiteness, not your straightness, not your patriarchal rules

Not your chemicals in your vegetables, or even your Whole Foods

We are building, we are building something new.

My bridges are gardens, my streets lined with fruit trees

My food is your prayers, the soft sound of bees

Clean water form great lakes and rivers and streams

Reminded of my Mother in all that I see


Young people and elders come back to the center

Remind us how to play and tell stories together

Forgive me my sins against the ancestors

Commodifying everything, less meaning and surrender

Listen to the womyn, the queers, the dark-skinned ones

Give the gift back its joy, and its freedom to love

I tell the time by the sunshine, the month by the moon

More music, better life. Now, not a moment too soon


Back to top

Pink House Benefit

Lil Rev has had to cancel, yet other special surprise guests are stepping to the fore.
A great time will be had by all!

Back to top

Sharing Images Inspired By Grace Lee Boggs

Hoping to draw upon our own work and ask others to provide some images manifesting Grace’s visions and concepts.

Here are some of my favorite from Grace’s and Scott’s “The Next American Revolution”
chapters on “A Paradigm Shift in Our Concept of Education” and “We Are the Leaders We’ve Been Looking For.”

I would very much appreciate learning of some of your favorite Grace vision concepts
and permission to share them at http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/GraceLeeBoggs/HomePage

  • We are the leaders we’ve been waiting for

  • Freedom schooling America

  • Grass roots transformative energies

  • Ground up change we can believe in

  • Faith in human possibilities

  • Healing and redeeming from shameful legacies

  • Energies from renewed hope and a commitment to a just cause

  • Steps to a more responsible and self-governing community

  • Project notion of a “more human” human being

  • Replace command and control factory education model

  • Address outrage of prison industrial complex

  • The Young are the creators of knowledge and social change

  • John Dewey’s notion of education through active work in the process

of living, manifesting “the social spirit,” beyond mere cognitive training,
harnessing human impulse to make, active listening, and schools
embed in life

  • Gandhi’s intellectual development through socially useful labor, which

handles all of the little things of village life

  • Gandhi’s insistence of learning through the Heart Hand and Head,

drawing upon the resources of community, nature, and the world

Back to top

Earth Dance Farms and An Ignatian Response To The Ferguson Tragedies

For all who are hearing about EarthDance for the first time, we are an organic farm school, operating our programming on Missouri’s oldest organic farm, located in Ferguson, MO.

As you can imagine, the recent notoriety of our home base has come as a shock. Though you may be seeing images Ferguson on the news, trust me, they do not capture the diversity and true character of our town. We invite you to learn more about how EarthDance is working with partners all over St. Louis to develop our farm as an oasis of peace, a thriving ecosystem, a hub for agricultural education, and a space for community celebration. As Program Director at EarthDance, I would love to be in touch with you if have advice to offer us, or would like to collaborate.

If you are local, please join us for a free event coming up Sunday, October 5th, 2–4pm, at the farm.

Rachel Levi
Program Director, EarthDance

office 314.521.1006
cell 773–398–6515

Our Mission:
EarthDance sustainably grows food, farmers, and community, one small farm at a time, through hands-on education and delicious experiences.

Become a fan of EarthDance on facebook! http://www.facebook.com/earthdancefarms

See what we’re all about here:

Make a donation here:

Back to top

Emmanuel Pratt’s Think-Do Aquapaonics Lab Demo for the HIVE

​Chicago Learning Network
​Mozilla Foundation Festival Maker Party competition at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

Winner goes to The Maker Party in London!

Here are the contestants:


  • AQUAPONS - A Think-Do Lab Demo by SweetWater Foundation
  • Mini Mass Action Day by Mikva Challenge + Free Spirit Media
  • Vinyl Cutter Extravaganza! by YOUmedia @ CPL
  • Cardboard Moving Challenge by CodeCreate
  • Yesterday I Was, Today I Am: Narrative GIF Workshop by NVAM
  • Get Into Art! by The Art Institute
  • Birds of Hope by Intuit: Center for Outsider Art

​Here’s a note regarding last year’s event.

​This year, Mozilla Festival hosted a Maker Party on Oct. 26 in London, England. The party was modeled as a mini-MozFest, featuring hands-on activities for young creators. Visitors joined makers and educators from across the globe to code LED displays, animate stories, design games, build robots, remix videos and much more. Here are all the stations that were present for the event. They represent many organiztations from NYC, Chicago USA, Toronto CA, Indonesia, San Fransisco USA, India. Many participants produced a “Teaching Kit” via Webmaker Thimble, which share the “how-tos” of each maker station (linked to below). Upon creating a teaching kit participants were awarded this Maker Party Teaching Kit Badge:​


to be continued…


Back to top

Boomer Millennial Old House Transformation Experiment

I call 325 E. Euclid The House With a Thousand Names, inspired by Joseph Campbell’s “Hero With A Thousand Names.” Millennial heavy lifters Ben Koller and Miguel Castro call it the Heart Haus.

At the beginning of summer 2014

Ben Koller’s team transformed the inside floors of what was a homely house

Heart Haus located in a “Euro American” hamlet that is gracefully receiving Ben’s “Northside Friends” in a city needing racial healing

In Boomer Millennial IntegralUrban Home transformations the families of the “partners” chip in. Ben’s Mom Judie and sister Anne helped with the planting and the painting, which includes a white board for the breaking bread/brainstorm room

Olde boomers get new lease on life and make new friends!

Miguel’s “Green Room” sprouts tour

Sweet Water Aquaponics Demo Room

The start of front yard food garden as art aspiration

Backyard micro farm August 4, 2014

Costa Rica Earth U. Prof, Sweet Water Foundation Milwaukee Director, Wisconsin’s top soil producer with Ben & Miguel at brainstorm/bread braking room

Eco Tourism destination, with ex-Milwaukee Bucs Rich Neiman and friend John O’Brien

Anne Koller giving first digital conference presentation

With Ryan Scaife of Project Hope in Tanzania

Back to top

From Sweet Water To Earth Nation Eco Tours: Centering In Milwaukee Chicago

I am beginning coordinate Sweet Water/Sweet Soil Eco Tours with a number of Milwaukee Chicago, regional, national, and global trailblazers. Some kind of emerging “Earth Nation!”

Might you share some of your story so I can provide you with the most appropriate menu of tours? I will be developing this service over the seasons and years, with new partners representing different kinds of adaptation genius. You can follow this elevating menu of Earth Nation Eco Tours at


Earth Nation Eco Tours

They can range from commercial scale aquaponics and composting, to school and family digitally enhanced and connected aquaponics demos, linking up with Shanhai and Mumbai, to Chicago repurposed factories or the 2 acre Perry Avenue Farm of the Sweet Water Foundation, the Victory Garden Concordia Gardens or one of their hundreds of family victory gardens, and many more, in Chicago, Reedsberg’s Worm Farm Institute and Fermentation Fest partners, and on and on and on.

Here’s a bit of my story:



If the latter document interests you let me know.


Back to top

Introducing Grass Roots American and Chinese Collaboration To Marry Urban Agriculture With Thinker Makers Agile Manufacturing

Yesterday Shanghai’s David Li introduced me to China’s Eric Pan to accelerate our shared commitment to “ecopreneur” collaborations across the waters, with a start up focus on urban agriculture and agile manufacturing. At the time I was with three of America’s top matchmakers of this union, Emmanuel Pratt, Franklyn Berry, and Jia Li Lok Pratt, who were delighted, as this picture suggests, by the prospect of teaming up with David and Eric. I asked David to send me some digital links to essays that would inform our work and share the good news. Here is the first article he sent, followed by some of my favorite quotes therein.


From “Made in China” to “Made With China”

As China’s DIY makers are coming together with manufacturers, they are spurring a shift in industrial production, from “made in China” to “made with China.”

Chinese and American Robin Hoods And Virtual Sherwood Forests

David Li, co-founder of XinCheJian, Shanghai’s first “maker space” (essentially, an open-access workshop), says the Robin Hood spirit is inspiring legitimate and often quite innovative products, as the socially progressive maker movement teams up with hard-nosed manufacturers.

From watches, bags and shoes to touchscreen tablets, fast food and electric cars — you can find thousands of knockoff brands in China. Large, highly coordinated networks of innovative companies take the products and services we love in the U.S., alter them relentlessly and make them … better. Then they speed them to one of the world’s largest consumer markets and sell them at devastatingly low margins.

Core Tenets of Shanzhai Business Model Worthy of American Attention

The problem with U.S. innovation? Our broken business models. American companies were built to be predictable, not adaptable. Trends like mobile, social and the cloud are major disruptive forces and businesses are struggling to keep up. Instead of fearing the Shanzhai, we can look at their 4 core tenets to reorganize the way we do business:

-Build nothing from scratch
-Innovate process at small scales
-Share as much as you can
-Act responsibly in the network

By adopting the philosophy of the Shanzhai “copycat culture,” companies can innovate faster and remain competitive.

But China’s rapid growth in open source hardware and maker communities challenges our assumptions. They show an alternative version of innovation, built on a home-grown version of open source that has developed in China’s small-scale factories over the last 20 years. Makers in China show that this history of open manufacturing will change not only what we understand by making, but also where we locate innovation.

San Francisco Chinese American CEO Highway 1 Accelerator Program

PCH a major manufacture based in Shenzhen has recently launch an accelerator program Highway1 in San Francisco and here is how the CEO’s take on Shanzhai:

WSJ: Why is Shenzhen still attractive for PCH?

Casey: The “shanzhai” culture is really important (Shanzhai literally means “mountain fortress.” Once a term used to suggest something cheap or inferior, shanzhai now suggests to many a certain Chinese cleverness and ingenuity.) It has this disruptive culture of wanting to be different, of wanting to be fast, wanting to show what’s possible.

The Economist Covering This Development

The Economist has also published several articles on how Shanzhai will be relevant to the innovation in China and the potential to change now new hardware are created.

What gives these young Chinese firms a potential edge is their close connections with the so-called shanzhai production networks centred on Shenzhen, China’s high-tech manufacturing hub. The term shanzhai is often used pejoratively to refer to Chinese copycat producers of mobile phones and other electronic devices, based on copied designs and knock-off brand names. But its literal meaning is “mountain village”, and it refers to bandits who opposed corrupt rulers and hid in the countryside—much like Robin Hood in English folklore. David Li, co-founder of XinCheJian, Shanghai’s first “maker space” (essentially, an open-access workshop), says the Robin Hood spirit is inspiring legitimate and often quite innovative products, as the socially progressive maker movement teams up with hard-nosed manufacturers.

Silvia Lindtner of U. of Cal. Irvine Shanghai Partnership

Silvia Lindtner of the University of California, Irvine, and Fudan University in Shanghai, who follows the startup scene in China, is not surprised. The two sides complement each other, she says. The founders of hardware start ups, often steeped in the open-source culture, partner with factories rooted in the Chinese culture of shanzhai, which translates as “mountain stronghold”. It used to mean pirated electronic goods but now stands for open-source manufacturing.

Much more to come!


Back to top

Highlights from 2016 so far: The Good News and Pivotal Facts

Sun. 12/4/16: Advocacy Works: https://thinkprogress.org/breaking-army-corps-halts-work-on-standing-rock-pipeline-dba07edd8e81

Wed. 11/16/16: Turning the Tables: Edward Snowden: We Should Not Fear Trump

Fri 10/7/16: Nov. 8 Vote for the way you want to be treated:

Wed. 9/28/16: Identification is the first step toward healing: U.S. owes black people reparations for a history of ‘racial terrorism,’ says U.N. panel

Click here for more good news
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

BHD Northside Facility Community Conversations

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

“The Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division is beginning a series of Community Conversations about the development of our Northside Facility. In our first series of conversations, we would like to hear from consumers of mental health services and their families. Please share this notice with individuals you serve.” Help spread the word!

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

New Survey Shows Dire Impact of Wisconsin’s Direct Care Workforce Crisis.

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Wisconsin is experiencing a crisis level shortage of direct care workers, as reflected in the results of a new direct care consumer survey released yesterday by the Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Groups. These workers, including personal care, home health and therapy aides, make it possible for people with disabilities and older adults to lead safe, healthy and independent lives in the community. See the press release and Survey fact sheet. Documents can also be found on the Survival website: www.survivalcoalitionwi.org

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Make Election Advertising Count for Communities

By Bonnie Berglund Bruch

Election time is over and political candidates have spent millions, if not billions on TV, digital, radio and newspaper ads in Wisconsin during the pre-election season. According to the Journal/Sentinel two weeks ago, Ron Johnson spent $13,500,000 and Russ Feingold spent $10,150,000 on media ads during October 4-November 8, 2016. Imagine what the two candidates spent over the past 1½ years.

Now, add the millions, if not billions, that Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Paul Ryan and all other Wisconsin politicians spent on political ads in Wisconsin during the past 1½ year. A humongous amount of money has been reaped by selling TV, radio, digital media and newspapers ads.

And what are these media doing with their political ad earnings? Do they give any money back into their communities?

I propose that all the media, especially TV and radio, consider donating a certain percentage of money gained from election ads to the cities, counties and/or state where the ads were run. This donation could pay for infrastructure projects that need repairs, i.e., Wisconsin highways, roads, city streets, sewer repairs, lead abatements, park maintenance, or food banks, job training, social service agencies, etc.

It is probably too late for monies collected during this past election, but it could be arranged or legislated for the 2018 election. People who have been bombarded with political ads for the last 1½ years would be very grateful to see the media use their cash bonanza to help our communities.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Help with Life Skills: The December Issue of GAC Phoenix

Click here to read!

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Giving Thanks

By Tom Gardner

Thank you Mother, for this life.
For the blessings and the sorrows,
And the perpetual wonderment
Of moments, counter-balanced so.

Thank you Mother, for the gifts
You’ve graced me with. For laughter
And for love, and an open heart.
May I only prove worthy of them.

And thank you so for my brothers and sisters.
We are your children.
Help us to awaken, help us to realize
The one simple truth:
That we are here to love
One another, and care for you.

Thank you, Mother,
Your son.

Click here for background on the poem.
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Henry Maier Summit on Race in Milwaukee

Video of the entire event is now posted on the UWM Urban Studies website and can be viewed here: http://uwm.edu/urban-studies/milwaukee-summit-2016/

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Important Updates!

1) On August 11, WISDOM held an event called “Thirsting for Justice.” More than 200 people learned about the problem of contaminated drinking water in some of Wisconsin’s prisons, especially at Fox Lake and Waupun. As a result of that action, Milwaukee Channel 4 investigated the story. On November 16, they aired the story, which features WISDOM members Carl Fields and Beverly Walker. To watch the story, click here.

2) EXPO and the WISDOM Post-Release Issues Workgroup are holding a major event called Incarcerated Without Conviction. The event will be the release of a new book of first person stories of crimeless revocation, and will feature testimonials by many of those same people.

Tuesday, November 22, 6:30 pm
St. Matthew CME Church, 2944 N. 9th St, Milwaukee

WISDOM is working toward a mid-December release of a major Health Impact Assessment (HIA) related to the issue of crimeless revocations - people who are being sent back to prison for violating a rule of supervision, though they have not committed a new crime. The HIA will look at the cost to individuals, families and communities of needless incarceration, and it will examine potential alternatives. “Incarcerated Without Conviction” is a reminder that mass incarceration is a human problem, and that the people caught up in the system are people with families, hopes, dreams and the ability to make a contribution to the community if they are given the chance.

3) Join WISDOM leaders from around the state to push for more resources for public transit. Arrive Together: Building a 21st Century Trasportation System in Wisconsin. For access to work, food, healthcare and social engagement, transportation is essential. For many around the state, owning or driving a car is not a possibility, whether that is due to income level, disability or lack of driver’s license. In these cases, public transit becomes a necessity. For others, choosing public transit provides an environmentally-friendly and convenient alternative to driving.

Saturday, December 3: 9am - 5pm Stay for part or all of the day.
Milwaukee Area Technical College, 700 W. State Street, Milwaukee, Main Conference Center, Room 605
Register here: Use the promotional code “Transit” for free admission.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Arrive Together Transit Summit Dec. 3

WISDOM is a proud partnering organization to the statewide transportation summit #ArriveTogether because not everyone can drive a car and we want to make sure everyone can get to jobs, shopping, religious services, and everything that makes for a fully human life! We want to help Wisconsin build a 21st Century Transportation System.

We hope you’ll join us for this vital conversation about our transportation priorities statewide.

Saturday, December 3
Milwaukee Area Technical College, 700 West State Street, Milwaukee
9:00 - 5:00. Come for part or all of the day.

Register here. Use the promotional code “TRANSIT” for free admission.

For further information, contact WISDOM’s Transit Task Force Organizer Dawn Lingo: cushorganizer@gmail.com ~ (262) 705–4678.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Warmline Announcement

Mental Health Task Force Update

Great news from Milwaukee’s Warmline - beginning December 2, 2016 Warmline will be open 5 evenings a week: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 6 to 10 pm! See below release for details.

Warmline Expands Hours

Milwaukee, Wisconsin November 27, 2016: Warmline, Inc. the only peer-run service in Milwaukee County, is expanding its hours in December. Beginning December 2, 2016 Warmline will be open 5 evenings a week: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 6 to 10 pm. This move comes 8 months after Warmline was forced to cut hours to reduce costs. According to Mary Kay Wagner, executive director, “We’ve been able to turn around our difficult financial situation with the hard work of the Warmline staff and Board.”

Warmline, Inc. is a safe, confidential peer to peer non-crisis support line for individuals dealing with mental health or substance abuse challenges. It has been in operation since 2000. Currently, Warmline’s 2 phone lines are staffed by trained peer counselors who have lived experience with mental illness or substance abuse. Warmline is available to anyone living with these issues who needs to talk and wants the support of someone who has “been there.”

For more information about Warmline, contact Mary Kay Wagner, Executive Director at mkewarmline@mail.com or 414–527–5775.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Creatures of Metaphor

By Thomas Gardner

It was rather inevitable that Bilhenry (Walker) and I would meet; he and his wife had moved to Eau Claire, and he was very interested in a new arts collective I was involved with, the Artisan Forge Studios group, here in town. As it was, we crossed paths at an exhibition opening for a show at a local gallery. And one thing just led to the next. Bilhenry’s responsible for the nascent presence of the Sculpture Park at Artisan Forge Studios, the pieces in which fascinate me as a photographer to no end. As such, Bilhenry and I have developed a sort of serendipitous creative symbiosis, that suggests all manner of possible future collaborations. He and I are both creatures of metaphor.

One afternoon, a couple weeks back, Bilhenry brought in the models for his series “Homeboys Flying & Dying” and “Milwaukee Heist.” He showed the pieces to me, told me the stories behind them, and left them with me, asking if I might photograph them for him. And the next day I did. I couldn’t remember exactly how we’d intended them to be shot, but soon enough that didn’t seem to matter. The figures I shot assumed their own narratives, and I, marinating in the sounds and sights and smells of the story Bilhenry’d told me, simply took them down with my camera.

Click here for the full article
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

HHS and the Department of Justice Issue Title VI Joint Guidance Letter for Child Welfare Systems

Mental Health Task Force / Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Thanks to Dr. Pat McManus for sharing with us the HHS and the Department of Justice Issue Title VI Joint Guidance Letter for Child Welfare Systems. See the letter and link below. The guidance “highlights the clear need for frank and productive discussion about how child welfare laws, policies, practices and implicit bias affect communities of color.”

In addition to the Title VI guidance letter, OCR has also released two factsheets to assist child welfare agencies and the families they serve in their communities:

Factsheet: Your Rights as a Person with a Disability in the Child Welfare System

Factsheet: Protection from Race, Color or National Origin Discrimination in the Child Welfare System

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Thoughts 11/9/16

By Catherine A.M.Z. Csuka

UW-Milwaukee School of Architecture Graduate 2015

I am sorry.
I am sorry that my state of denial has landed us here.

Dear friends and family who were Hillary supporters,

“They just don’t get it”
“They are so stubborn”
“How do they not see their own hypocrisy?”
“They are so mindless I can’t even”
“They deny facts and the reality of our situation”
“They don’t understand that the Democratic Party has left them and they are just being used”

This is what I said behind your back.

I am sorry that I didn’t live up to my own standards and failed to understand your perspective of why you were feeling the way you were.
I am sorry I dismissed your feelings.
I am sorry I contributed to the disconnect that resulted in the death of the left by not being patient with you.

Click here for the full article.
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Weekend Readings: A new president with an extremist legacy

Good morning,
Donald Trump’s narrow defeat of Hillary Clinton stunned Americans and the world.

Latinos, African Americans, Muslims, immigrants, women and others who had felt disparaged or demonized by Trump’s campaign reacted with anxiety and fear. Across the country, in schools and on the streets, reports of hate incidents have already begun to spike.

This week, we’re looking back at Trump’s legacy of hate and extremism. As SPLC President Richard Cohen tells us,

“White supremacists who backed his candidacy are jumping for joy. They think they now have their man in the White House. … We can’t afford to take [their] statements as the ravings of extremists on the fringes of society. They are now at the gates.”

As Trump begins to name his transition team, a pivot from his earlier positions seems unlikely. “In his campaign for the presidency, Trump was frequently lambasted for his associations with extremists,” writes SPLC Senior Fellow Mark Potok. “Now Trump is the president-elect. And things don’t look much different.”

Click here for the full article.
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top


NOVEMBER 11, 2016

Donald Trump’s victory has been followed by a series of racist attacks and instances of vandalism and racist graffiti.

We need your help to track these incidents. If you know of an incident, please #ReportHate here:

Your involvement will help support our work tracking hate.
If you have been victimized, please first report it to local law enforcement.

In solidarity,
Your friends at the SPLC

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Trump Posts Intent to Replace ACA with Health Savings Accounts, High Risk Pools, State Flexibility

Mental Health Task Force / Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Statement on the future of the ACA posted on the Trump transition web site: https://www.greatagain.gov/policy/healthcare.html


It is clear to any objective observer that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has resulted in rapidly rising premiums and deductibles, narrow networks, and health insurance, has not been a success. A Trump Administration will work with Congress to repeal the ACA and replace it with a solution that includes Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), and returns the historic role in regulating health insurance to the States. The Administration’s goal will be to create a patient-centered healthcare system that promotes choice, quality and affordability with health insurance and healthcare, and take any needed action to alleviate the burdens imposed on American families and businesses by the law.

To maximize choice and create a dynamic market for health insurance, the Administration will work with Congress to enable people to purchase insurance across state lines. The Administration also will work with both Congress and the States to re-establish high-risk pools – a proven approach to ensuring access to health insurance coverage for individuals who have significant medical expenses and who have not maintained continuous coverage.

The Administration recognizes that the problems with the U.S. health care system did not begin with – and will not end with the repeal of – the ACA. With the assistance of Congress and working with the States, as appropriate, the Administration will act to:

  • Protect individual conscience in healthcare

  • Protect innocent human life from conception to natural death, including the most defenseless and those Americans with disabilities

  • Advance research and development in healthcare

  • Reform the Food and Drug Administration, to put greater focus on the need of patients for new and innovative medical products

  • Modernize Medicare, so that it will be ready for the challenges with the coming retirement of the Baby Boom generation – and beyond

  • Maximize flexibility for States in administering Medicaid, to enable States to experiment with innovative methods to deliver healthcare to our low-income citizens

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Arrive Together: Building a 21st Century Transportation System for Wisconsin

If you’re asking what you can do to bring more justice, equity and peace to our communities, here is a way for you to make a difference.

WISDOM congregations will gather with members of partner organizations across the state of Wisconsin including Sierra Club, Thousand Friends, Wisconsin Green Muslims, and WISPRG, to host a statewide summit about transportation.

Saturday, December 3, 2016, 9 am - 5 pm
Milwaukee Area Technical College, 700 West State Street, Milwaukee
Come for part or all of the day! Details are here.

Who has access, who doesn’t, why does it matter to all of us and what can we do about it? Come prepared to roll up your sleeves and join others working to make a difference.

Register today. There is a $10 charge but scholarships are available. To access the scholarship, type in the promotional code TRANSIT when you register online.

Our goal is to turn out 400 people. Carpools are being arranged now. Drivers are encouraged to contact your organizer to volunteer. Buses are being arranged from Madison and Waukesha.

For questions, contact Dawn Lingo, cushorganizer@gmail.com.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Post-Election: ObamaCare Plans, Federal Financial Support, Remain Unchanged for 2017

Click here to view or download this media release

[Milwaukee, Wis.] Tuesday’s election brings new leadership to Washington DC and, with it, many questions about the future of health insurance, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid.

Consumers should know that all insurance options remain available to them for the coming calendar year 2017. The federal Marketplace (Healthcare.gov, ACA, “ObamaCare”) has the same plans available that had been announced earlier this month, and the premium subsidies will continue to be available for 2017 health insurance policies. Consumers should look for coverage now, during the current open enrollment period, which ends January 31. Those with existing policies should renew their coverage by December 15 in order to have coverage that starts on January 1, 2017.

Much discussion occurred during the campaign by President-Elect Trump and by leaders in Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare. Movement will occur over the coming months and year to find alternatives to the ACA, and some changes may be put into motion. However, current plans for change allow for a two-year transition period, and will not eliminate coverage options or financial assistance for existing coverage in the near term. Covering Wisconsin works to assure that consumers can engage with programs that support health, as they exist today and however those programs will evolve going forward.

While many are concerned by the news that health plan premiums have gone up, about 85% of consumers who purchase plans through the Marketplace qualify for federal financial assistance to purchase their health plans. The Health Insurance Marketplace (healthcare.gov) will continue to provide premium subsidies for the 2017 calendar year, in the form of tax credits, which offset the effect of premium hikes on the consumer.

Marketplace users will benefit by actively renewing their coverage. Even if they plan to keep their current coverage, they may qualify for more financial assistance or can review other plan options. Most counties in Wisconsin have three or more insurance carriers in the Marketplace offering multiple health plans to choose from during the upcoming open enrollment period. Consumers always benefit from shopping around to find the best plan that meets their needs, in terms of price, benefit package, and provider network.

Consumers can get enrollment assistance by going online to CoveringWI.org to locate their closest enrollment site and booking a time to meet with a local enrollment assister. Or, consumers may call 2–1−1, where a representative can make an appointment with an enrollment assister. Consumers may also wish to contact Healthcare.gov directly.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

The Unexpected Dynamic of Urgency

By Bilhenry Walker, Artist and Activist

Upon graduation from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1968, I began working full time as a professional artist in my two-car garage in Altadena, California. During the next four years, I developed and built a series of wall-sculptures which used a light source to explore the effects of light on color and shadow.

I moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1972 and rented my first studio in Cedarburg, where I worked exclusively as a sculptor for three years. I eventually bought a building in Grover Heights where I continued developing my artistic sensibility through building acrylic sculptures in the 70s, casting monumental poly-ester resin sculptures in the 80s, and fabricating aluminum monumental sculptures to the present. I have only recently begun developing a “Social Justice” aspect to my work, which has brought me back to figural work with socio-political implications.

I created a sculpture gallery in 1980 for Wisconsin sculptors and eventually included sculptors from around the county whom I met in national competitions. In 1995, I brought Bilhenry Gallery on-line and began giving my artists and myself a greater national presence at www.bilhenrygallery.com

I have also curated three shows of monumental sculptures: the first at Cardinal Stritch University, which had the largest grouping of Wisconsin sculptors in the country; the Milwaukee River-Walk, and “Sculpt-Miami,” a show held at Kavachnina Contemporary during the Art Basel 2009 Miami.

Click here for the full article.
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

My promise to you

from: Jeri Bonavia <WAVE@waveededfund.org

It isn’t enough to talk of peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it. —Eleanor Roosevelt

I promise you: The bright, hopeful, safer future you imagined is still well within reach. Believe in it. And then, work for it.

We each have a role to play. Mine begins with this personal vow to you:

I promise that, with your help, I will continue to work for neighborhoods, streets, homes and schools free from the ravages of gun violence. I will not waver in my determination to fight for the safer future our children and grandchildren deserve.

I know some people are worried about what’s to come, but remember this: We — you and I — have not changed. We are still the same people — people who care deeply, passionately about fairness and trust, about decency and humanity.

We might have to work harder than ever to create the kind of security and peace we want for ourselves and our children. So be it. Then that’s exactly what we’ll do. Shoulder to shoulder.

WAVE is your partner, and, with undiminished respect, love and courage, we’ll fight tirelessly for the kind of future we all imagine.

Today, tomorrow, for as long as it takes.


Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Democracy Crumbles Before Our Eyes: Vote!

Wed. 11/9/16:

Tues. 11/8/16: Hate Wins USA Like It Did UK

Mon. 10/31/16: Vote Against Authoritarian Rule November 8:

Mon. 3/7/16: No Time to Play Ostrich as 21st Hate Inflames Voters:

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Important Message From Education Task force!!

Hello MICAH Congregations, Members and Friends

On January 10, 2017, MICAH Education will hold its next Listening Session on Education in Milwaukee.
This Listening Session on Education will focus on the Sherman Park neighborhood area and will take place at New Covenant Baptist Church.
We plan to hold two sets of Listening Circles that day with a dinner between.

The mission of the MICAH Listening Sessions on Education In Milwaukee is to build community voice. We seek to access the voice of those in our community we do not regularly hear from, regarding public education. We invite the voices of families, youth, community members, congregation members, educators and school staff and community leaders. We seek to hold space for safe sharing, as equal partners in educating our children. We hope to create a safe space for standing up and speaking our hearts and minds on public education in Milwaukee. MICAH Education will engage the voices heard to inform future action for educational justice in our city. We continue to see evidence that those making decisions regarding educational policy in Milwaukee are not actively seeking out the voices of parents and the community. We see that decisions are frequently being made without adequate parental or community input. Public testimony often only occurs when an issue reaches the MPS Board of School Directors.

The MICAH Ed Task Force will have its monthly meeting on Tuesday, November 15th at 6 pm at Reformation Lutheran office at 3806 W. Lisbon. A major purpose of this meeting will be to form a working committee to plan the next Listening Session. We invite the wider membership of MICAH join us as we plan for community changing conversations.

Please contact Jane Audette at 414–763–3801 if you have questions.

Click here for more from MICAH
Back to top

Key facts for election day

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Know Your Voter Rights:

1.) An accepted ID is required to vote, don’t forget it! Find out what’s acceptable here: www.bringitwisconsin.com.

2.) You CAN register to vote at your polling site on Election Day.

3.) If you have problems with registration OR with your ID you have the right to ask for and cast a provisional ballot.

4.) WI Disability Vote Coalition is at the ready to assist you with any problems or questions! Call us toll free at 1–844–347–8683.

5.) Like our Facebook page to continue to get our updates! https://www.facebook.com/wisconsindisabilityvote/

Please encourage anyone to report disability-related voting access issues to our DRW’s toll-free hotline during polling hours on election day.

1–844-DIS-VOTE 1–844–347–8683

Here are resources to help you find out who’s providing FREE TRANSPORTATION to the polls:

1.) Mobility Managers: Contact Ashley Nedeau-Owen, 608–930–2191, a.nedeau-owen@swcap.org

If you don’t know how to access these services, the Mobility Manager can help you. Not sure who to contact? Use the interactive map at www.wi-mm.org. Contact the Mobility Manager in your area to get information and find out if these rides are offered in your area.

2.) Common Cause Wisconsin has an extensive listing of organizations and community transit options all over the state who are offering rides to the polls: http://www.commoncausewisconsin.org/p/free-rides-to-polls.html

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

November 7 County Budget Update

As shared in a previous update, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors met this morning to vote on the 2017 Milwaukee County budget. Here are some highlights of items that have been voted on that are relevant to the transportation priorities that we identified in the budget:

Supervisor Sartoti substitute to charge $25 annual GO Pass fee rather than $5 and eliminate $.25 reduced fare fails.

Supervisor Dimitrijevic substitute to eliminate $.25 reduced fare and keep $5 annual fee for GO Pass fails.

Amendment 5 to charge $1 daily GO Pass fare rather than $.25 and keep $5 annual fee passes 15–3. (this amendment was originally proposed by Supervisor Mayo.

Amendment requesting legislature for flexibility to assess Vehicle Registration Fee (VRF) based on value or age of vehicle rather than flat fee passes unanimously.

Amendment calling for $60 VRF advisory referendum to be place on April 2017 general election ballot passes 16–2.

Board adopts amendment to modify expenditures to confirm with a $30 VFR 17–1. Will later consider separate ordinance to establish $30 VRF.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Educational Session: November 15

November 15, 2016, Milwaukee, WI

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Mental Health Task Force November 8 meeting

Please join us for the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force November meeting: Tuesday, November 8, at 3 – 5 PM at IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st street.

The agenda will include the following:

1. Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force Three Year Plan. How are we doing and how can you help us move forward?

2. Proposed North Side Place/ Community Center. Develop feedback from MHTF re the proposed model shared at our October meeting (attached). More information is available in the packet for the October 27th Mental Health Board meeting at http://county.milwaukee.gov/BehavioralHealthDivi7762/Mental-Health-Board/2016-MHB-Meeting-Info—Documents1.htm

3. Coordinated Entry for Homeless Services – Update from Emily Kenney, LCSW Coordinated Entry Program Coordinator IMPACT. Great opportunity for an update on how to access services for homeless community members.

4. 2017 County Budget Update including transportation and GO Pass. The full Board will vote on the budget on November 7th. There is still time to contact your supervisor and ask them to support transit and the GO Pass. Click here for contact information for the County Board: http://county.milwaukee.gov/CountyBoard

5. Mental Health Board Update, including update on Task Forces on Local Public/Private Partnership and National Entity Partnership


6. Possible update on concerns at the jail related to health care/ mental health services

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

VPT Votes 2016: It’s more than just a sign

Can you help us raise awareness about public transportation ballot measures and the importance of voting for public transit on November 8?

One of the best ways to show your support to friends, neighbors, co-workers, and your larger community is to make use of Voices for Public Transit’s election window sign.

Window signs aren’t just for windows. In our latest blog post, we offer some creative tips for using our “Vote for Public Transit” window sign to help get the word out before Election Day.

Read More on Our Blog

The election is almost here. Help us keep building momentum to pass local public transportation measures by using our window sign and other elements from our Voices for Public Transit Election Toolkit.

Thank you for your support,

Mantill Williams
Voices for Public Transit Community Coordinator

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Stepping Out of Stigma’s Shadow

By Kelley Hamann, ALMI ACS AIAA and Mental Health Advocate

My familiarity with mental health has been gleaned from the shared experiences of a loved-one’s day-to-day challenges with mental illness, as well as with the associated stigma, which, in my opinion, stems from a lack of public understanding and compassion. As a member of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), I work to minimize stigma, bringing awareness to mental health issues through advocacy—by being open, honest and sharing our experiences so that others can begin to understand.

Sharing Our Story

November 2016

A Parent’s 1st Reaction

It was August 15, 2014, yet we can still clearly remember the events leading up to getting the diagnosis, as well as our first reaction upon hearing that our daughter was battling Bipolar, OCD, Generalized Anxiety with Panic, PTSD and SPD. The perfectly natural response (I believe) for my husband and I, was to grieve. Even with the bizarre, out of character behavior the weeks leading up to this day, it was the elements of not knowing much of what to expect for future outcomes that led to the grief for what we imagined would be the profound changes that’d take place (picturing in our minds worst-case scenario), robbing her of lifelong hopes/dreams and for the loss of the parents we thought we’d no longer get to be.

Then, through education and support, we “wised-up” and began re-envisioning the parents we’d need to become to support her.

…seems so silly when I look back on those feelings now; but those feelings were so big and so real—I remember that if I spent too much time thinking about it, it began to feel like I couldn’t breathe.

Click here for the full article.
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Shortage of Medical Staff Plagues Milwaukee Jails

Mental Health Task Force Update

At the October Mental Health Task Force, we had an update on the concerns about access to medical and mental health care at the Milwaukee County Jail, including the deaths that have occurred at the Jail in recent months, Another death occurred last week. In our discussion, We agreed to have a small work group from the Task Force to discuss strategy and how the Task Force can help to advance improvements and elevate the concerns. We will be reporting back to the full Task Force – if you have suggestions for the work group, please forward to me and I will share with the group.

Today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a front page story on “Shortage of Medical Staff Plagues Milwaukee Jails.”

The story includes a link to the May report from Dr. Ronald Schansky, who monitors overcrowding and medical services at the jail and House of Corrections as part of a 2001 settlement of a class action suit against Milwaukee County. Here is the link so you can review the report: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3191198-Ronald-Shansky-Inspection-Report.html Many of the concerns raised relate to inadequate staffing.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

GO Pass Update - public hearing reminder

Mental Health Task Force /Make It Work Milwaukee Update

As shared previously, the Milwaukee County Board Finance Committee met yesterday to consider amendments including several amendments to the GO Pass. We have attached the three amendments that were proposed for the GO Pass for your reference.

As proposed in the budget, GO Pass holders would pay $.25 a ride. However, an amendment from Supervisor Mayo would remove the language about the $.25 a ride – instead GO Pass holders will pay a $1.00 day-pass fare. Although this is a higher cost, it will allow the GO Pass holder to have unlimited bus rides on that day. The Mayo Amendment passed the Finance Committee on a 4–3 vote (see attached for the specifics).

We have been reaching out to some those in the group that has been active on the GO Pass compromise in the budget, including members of the Shelter and Transitional Housing Task Force to ask folks to evaluate the “Mayo Amendment” and weigh in. The consensus that we heard from the shelter, permanent supportive housing and Safe Haven staff is that the $1 per day is the better option for clients. Of course, the $1 fare may be out of reach for some people, but it recognizes that with the original budget language, the round trip fare would be $.50 and may GO Pass holders need to go on the bus multiple times on the same day – so the $1 fare offers more.

Click here for more information.
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Mental Illess Stigma Coalition 2017 Programs

One year ago our coalition presented to 150 people Keris Myrick, SAMHSA Director of Consumer Affairs as keynote speaker at our first summit “From Surviving to Thriving”. Our programs on mental wellness continued in 2016, and planning has begun to present the following programs in 2017:

A.S.K. - (Ask, Support, Knowledge - Brenda Wesley, NAMI Greater Milwaukee)
A.C.E. (Adverse Childhood Experiences)

Programs that focus on the subjects listed below will also be planned and/or incorporated in the above programs. The ideas were suggested by library staff.

Mental Wellness and Coping for Teens
Mental Wellness and Coping for Adults
What Does Mental Illness look like?
Where do you turn for help besides the police?
Veterans and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

2016 MISRRC Achievements:

Click here for more information.
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Community Town Hall Meeting on 11/1/16 (This coming Tuesday)

Please forgive me for being late in sending out the attached notices. I have been under the weather for the last few days.

The first attachment informs you about an important town hall meeting. The meeting involves the key actors from Cincinnati who adopted a policing model similar to what we are advocating for Milwaukee. A major aim of that model was to improve police-community relations within Cincinnati while simultaneously improving morale among the police. The speakers will talk about the strong points and the limitations they encountered when their non-traditional policing model was implemented. We hope to seize upon the strong points, avoid the weak points, and tailor a specific model that fits Milwaukee.

The second attachment is a short description of much of what is involved in the model we are advocating. That model was developed here at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Additionally, the current members of our coalition are listed.

We, of CC4QP, hope to see you at the town hall meeting. Please feel free to distribute the circular widely.

Website: http://www.cc4qp.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1221781851215039/

town hall meeting

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

October 27, 2016, Milwaukee County Mental Health Board Agenda and Meeting Packet

Mental Health Task Force Update

Reminder - the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board meets Thursday October 27th at 8 Am at the Zoofari Conference Center, 9715 West Bluemound Road.

The Mental Health Board Finance Committee will also meet on the 27th at Zoofari at 7 AM.

Click on the link below to view the October 27, 2016, Milwaukee County Mental Health Board Agenda and Meeting Packet:

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Save the Date Madison Action Day!

Mark your calendar now for Madison Action Day!

Thursday, March 30, 2017
Bethel Lutheran Church in Madison
$25 per person, with scholarships available
Buses will be transporting people from many cities around the state.

All WISDOM members and friends are invited to a day of inspiration, education and action. Our past Madison Action Days have included as many as 1,000 people. You don’t want to miss it!

Last week was a big one for our criminal justice work. We were in Madison for 2 events:

We made official comments on the work of the Legislative Study Council on Reducing Recidivism and Removing Impediments to Ex-Offender Employment. Information from that session is here.
EXPO presented a Forum on the issues faced by current and recently released inmates. Press coverage of that event is here.

There are many, many things happening in WISDOM these days. Here are just a few:

On October 23, JONAH held a very successful fundraiser, at which WISDOM President Willie Brisco was the keynote speaker
On October 25, JOSHUA sponsored a Religious Leaders’ training, which also included faith leaders from ESTHER, NAOMI and SOPHIA
On October 27, MICAH will hold its annual Public Meeting, to which Senate candidate Russ Feingold has committed to attend
On November 4, JOSHUA will hold its annual banquet
On November 13, ESTHER will hold its annual banquet
On December 3, RIC will hold its annual banquet.

Contact the WISDOM office for more information about any of these events.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Responsible Choices for Milwaukee County

Friend –
For far too long there has been talk about tackling the higher than average crime, poverty, and unemployment rates facing many of Milwaukee’s diverse and vibrant neighborhoods, but there has been little to no meaningful action.
To get to the roots of these problems, we must make deeper investments in workforce development, addressing income inequality, criminal justice reform, public safety and mental health, and transportation.
My 2017 Recommended Budget reflects my commitment to tackle the challenges facing Milwaukee County, invest in sustainable programs and infrastructure that help people live better lives, and continue building the foundation for a stronger, healthier community.
This budget demonstrates that investing in our people and in our communities doesn’t have to come at the expense of fiscal responsibility; by making smart, but tough, decisions we can add millions of dollars in neighborhood development and public safety initiatives while still protecting the taxpayers.

Click here for more information.
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

11/3 - Mental Health in the Southeast Asian-American Communities Panel - at UWM

Mental Health Task Force Update

I have to say this looks like a truly amazing and outstanding program on Mental Health in the Southeast Asian-American Communities.
Thursday November 3rd at 7:00 PM at UWM – co-hosted by NAMI on Campus. Help spread the word!!

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Vital Voices12th Annual Bowlathon

Register here!

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Call Stonegate Now to #StopITOA

Last week, activists chained themselves together across Michigan Ave, disrupting business as usual in downtown Chicago for an hour and a half. The #StopITOA coalition, a group of Chicago community organizations, expressed deep concerns about anti-Muslim and hyper-militarized Illinois Tactical Officers Association’s (ITOA) 2016 Tactical Training Conference taking place at the Stonegate Conference and Banquet Center in Hoffman Estates from October 9–13. #StopITOA Coalition demands an end to the police militarization, Islamophobia and Donald Trump-style fear-mongering which ITOA promotes.

We are ready to fight even harder. Join us in taking 3 minutes to call Charles Baptist, Manager of the Stonegate Conference & Banquet Centre.
Ask to speak with Charles Baptist or leave him a voicemail.

Sample script:
“My name is [name] from [city] and I am appalled that the 2016 “Illinois Tactical Officers Association” took place at the Stonegate Conference & Banquet Centre this week. I am asking you to stand on the side of the communities that face police militarization and Islamophobic violence every day. Please make the Stonegate Banquet & Conference Centre a safe place for all communities and stop hosting ITOA there! If you don’t publically apologize for hosting the ITOA conference, I will not use any Stonegate facilities, and will tell others not to as well, until you side with communities over state repression!”

Charles Baptist direct line: 847–755–2351
General Line: 847–884–7000

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Public Budget Hearing tomorrow: Tell County Leaders to Invest in Community Alternatives to Youth Incarceration

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

We have shared information with you already about Tuesday’s 9 AM Budget Hearing held by the Milwaukee County Finance and Audit Committee. As already noted in earlier emails, this is a great opportunity to share with supervisors support for the GO Pass and Transit funding.

We are pleased to share this alert from Youth Justice Milwaukee, asking the community to support another important budget priority: End placement of Milwaukee youth at Lincoln Hills/ Copper Lake and support development of a continuum of community based alternatives.

Click here for more information.
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

New Report: Public Transit Improves Safety


Last month, a new report came out that underscored one critical point: Riding public transportation is ten times safer per mile than traveling by car.

Read More on Our Blog

The findings in this report prove an important point; namely, investing in public transportation makes communities safer. Add that to the list of reasons to support public transit in your community!

Check out our latest blog post on this ground breaking report, “Public Transit Helps Save Lives by Reducing Crashes.” In addition, please share our post with your friends and family, as well as on social media.

And in November, please be sure to support public transportation at the ballot box—as voters in communities nationwide will have the opportunity to support pro-public transit ballot measures—and encourage others to do so as well.

As this report clearly shows, supporting increased investment in and expansion of public transportation will help save lives. Read more here and as always, thank you for your support.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

MICAH’s 2016 Public Meeting

US Senate candidate Russ Feingold will be among the public officials and civic leaders who will join 500 interfaith leaders for MICAH’s 2016 Public Meeting.

The theme of the evening will be “Where do we go from here?” MICAH’s diverse membership will gather to celebrate their growth and their successful work around creating systemic change in Milwaukee and Wisconsin that will lead to racial and economic equity. MICAH will also announce its priorities for the future, and will call for commitments of cooperation from Senator Feingold and other officials.

In 2016, MICAH has put a special emphasis on dealing directly with issues of race, and with integrating voter engagement work into all its issues. Those priorities have shaped MICAH’s work around Transportation and Criminal Justice, as well as its growing commitment to organizing Youth and Young Adults.

MICAH looks forward to sharing its progress and its vision with the whole community.

Please contact the MICAH office at 414–264–0805 with any questions or concerns

Click here for more from MICAH
Back to top

NAMI Monthly Educational Program October

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Important Message From Education Task force!!

Speak out about what YOU expect from Education in Milwaukee!

Join Us for A Listening Session
When: Saturday, October 15 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
What: Facilitated listening session regarding K-12th grade education in Milwaukee
Where: Greater Galilee Baptist Church 2432 N. Teutonia Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53206

Includes a light lunch and Childcare for 3 years and older

Click here for more from MICAH
Back to top

People First Milwaukee is hosting a Voter Registration Drive and a Voter Experience

Thursday, October 13, 2016 4:30–6:30 at Summit Building (same building as Disability Rights Wisconsin)
1st Floor Conference Room 6737 W Washington Street Milwaukee, WI 53214

Register to vote in the upcoming Presidential Election!

Experience the voting process you will see on Election Day; from identifying yourself at the polls, showing ID, completing your ballot and having your vote count.

We will help get you registered, with the information sent to your appropriate city clerk so you can vote November 8.

What you need to bring: identification and/or proof of where you currently live. A utility bill or bank statement will provide the needed information for proof of residency.

Don’t miss out on having your voice heard on November 8 by voting for the candidate that you feel will best represent you and the issues you face as an individual with a disability.

If you have any questions or need any accommodations, please contact: Martha Chambers 414–290–2101

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top


It’s been a pleasure to work with agencies in the Make It Work Milwaukee Coalition and Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force to educate policy makers about the importance of the GO Pass and transit to Milwaukee County older adults and people with disabilities, and to work with the Administration on options to continue this important and successful program. There has been broad support from community agencies for a compromise which will allow the GO Pass to continue for those who most need this service, by tying GO Pass eligibility to eligibility for public benefits.

The Milwaukee County Board Finance and Audit Committee will be considering the GO Pass and transit funding later this week and we want to ensure that they hear from the aging and disability community about the importance of these programs.

The attached letter of support from the Make It Work Milwaukee Coalition and Mental Health Task Force will be sent to supervisors later this week. Tom Hlavacek and I are doing our best to personally reach out to the agencies that have been listed in the past to share the letter but we do not have contact information for a few. As has been our agreed upon policy, we are sharing the letter in advance, and if your agency does NOT want to be listed, please ask notify me by 4 PM Tuesday. If we do not hear from an agency, we will include the agency name.

We also invite other agencies to be listed – if your agency would like to be included on this letter of support, please email me by 4 PM Tuesday with your agency name as it should be listed – thank you!

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Action Alert – Support the GO Pass and Transit

Make It Work Milwaukee Coalition and Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force

October 6, 2016

The Milwaukee County GO Pass has been a lifeline for thousands of Milwaukee County residents with disabilities and older adults. It has supported independent living in the community by providing access to transportation to meet basic needs, get to work, go to medical appointments, support groups, attend classes, worship, and participate in community programs such as senior centers and Grand Avenue Club.

Because the County’s Transportation budget faced a large deficit and MCTS proposed eliminating the GO Pass, our coalitions worked with the Administration to develop a compromise to continue the GO Pass. The 2017 budget proposes continuing the GO Pass but with some changes:

Click here for more information.
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

With State Prisons Overcrowded, Officials Propose Paying Counties to House State Prisoners

By the Wisconsin Budget Project

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 03:17 PM PDT

Wisconsin prisons are over capacity and cannot house the additional inmates that incarcerated under a new law toughening penalties for repeat drunk driving, according to state officials. To address the lack of space, the Department of Corrections recently proposed spending $40 million over the next two years to contract with local governments to house state prisoners. The new costs should spur lawmakers to take a hard look at corrections costs and implement strategies proven to reduce prison populations as well as the costs to taxpayers and communities.

Earlier this year, state lawmakers passed a law increasing the severity of the offense of the fourth and subsequent instances of driving while intoxicated. The change means that more people will be sent to prison for repeat instances of drunk driving; the Department of Corrections estimates the new law will increase the number of inmates in the state prison system by 458 inmates at the end of 2017, and by 1,205 inmates at the end of 2018. The increase in the number of inmates is expected to continue to rise after the second year and then level off at some point.

Click here for the full article.
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

October 6 is a National Day of Action for Public Education!

The Alliance to Reclaim our Schools, Gamliel’s Education Partner, is calling for a National Day of Action! Teachers, parents, students, and community members are walking in to reclaim our schools and advocate for the public schools all children deserve!

You are invited to spend a few minutes meeting educators, children, parents, families, and community members who support strong public schools. Over 200 cities from every state in the nation are participating in this National Day of Action.

Please visit one of our Milwaukee Public Schools and let them know that MICAH stands with our schools. The times listed next to the school is the time of the walk-in or rally.
Please consider wearing you MICAH shirt, if you have one, to demonstrate our solidarity.

Click here for a list of schools and times
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Turnout for Transportation Stories: Event Sept. 29 7 PM Washington Park Senior Center

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

This is a key time to raise awareness about the importance of transit and paratransit to the independence of people with disabilities and older adults – and to “fix” transportation funding. This Thursday, September 29, at 7 PM ,counties all across Wisconsin are hosting “Turnout for Transportation” events.

Please turn out this Thursday at 7 PM Washington Park Senior Center for Milwaukee’s “Turnout for Transportation” forum, and share your story about transit and/or paratransit.

You may also share your transit story online – please consider doing this as it’s important that the voices of people with disabilities and older adults are included in this conversation!

Here is a link to the instructions for the story sharing platform:

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

More Police - Not The Answer

By R.L. McNeely, Chair Felmers O. Chaney Advocacy Board (FCAB)

There’s an old adage that expresses its wisdom by asking the following question: “Is it foolish to think that a different outcome will result when you continue to do the same thing?” Or, how about “A person who does not know history is doomed to repeat it.” Both admonitions apply to Milwaukee. Just last year, for example, the City of Milwaukee paid out about 12.5 million dollars in settlements to the victims of police misconduct or to their families. Imagine what could have been done with that money if it had been allocated in ways that would have benefitted Milwaukee’s citizenry. Are we doomed to keep repeating paying off large annual settlements because of police misconduct?

What police misconduct, you ask? How about the deaths or serious injuries suffered by unarmed blacks and Latinos that have resulted from altercations with the police? What about the case of Daniel Bell, nearly sixty years ago, who was killed despite being unarmed, but who had a knife placed in his hand by police? That case was only solved officially decades later when a police officer courageously came forward to testify to the placement of the knife.

Click here for the full article.
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Freshwater For Life Action Coalition (FLAC) Presents South Side Town Hall Meeting

Water Is A Human Right

Freshwater For Life Action Coalition Presents South Side Town Hall Meeting - Join Us!

This Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm at UMOS, 2701 South Chase Ave. in Milwaukee!

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Consumer Forums re: ADRC, Family Care, IRIS - please spread the word!

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Consumer Forums for adults with disabilities, older adults, and their care partners

The Aging and Disability Resource Center Governing Board of Milwaukee County would like your feedback.

  • Tell us how the Aging Resource Center, Disability Resource Center, IRIS, and Family Care are working for you.

  • Let us know if there are additional programs and services that might be needed by older people or persons with disabilities in Milwaukee County.

Wednesday, October 19, 5:30–7:30pm
IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st Street, Milwaukee, WI 53205

Thursday, October 20, 1:30–3:30pm
Washington Park Senior Center, 4420 W. Vliet Street, Milwaukee, WI 53208

Light refreshments will be served. Sign language interpreters will be available.
Event co-sponsors: IndependenceFirst, Alzheimer’s Association of SE WI, Disability Rights Wisconsin, and Interfaith Older Adult Programs.

Representatives of the Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services will be in attendance.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Announcement: Director, Community Centers

Good morning Team BHD,

I am reaching out to you with exciting news. Chad Meinholdt, MSW, LCSW, has accepted our offer to join the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division as Director, Community Centers. In this new position Chad will oversee the creation, implementation, and operations of the Northside Facility and the continued expansion of our community services to eventually include a Southside location as well.

Click here for more information.
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

One of America’s worst prisons closed today after SPLC suit

Something big happened in Mississippi today.
The state closed a notoriously dangerous prison that’s been operated for profit by a string of private companies since 2003.

The Walnut Grove Correctional Facility was labeled “one of the 10 worst prisons in America.”

Now, six years after we sued to stop the barbaric treatment of children and teens held there, it’s closing its doors.

Click here for more information.
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Board for Developmental Disabilities Community Conversation

The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities is hosting a Community Conversation in Milwaukee on Wednesday, September 21 from 12 – 3 PM at Serb Hall, 5101 W. Oklahoma Ave.

The focus of the meeting is to get community input for the Board on this important topic:

“How can we better reach out to Milwaukee’s diverse communities and be inclusive of all people with developmental disabilities and their families?”

  • See the flyer here for more information. Click here for a Spanish version

  • Please RSVP to this free event to Jeremy Gundlach at Jeremy.Gundlach@wis­consin.gov or (608) 266–7826. * Location is on Milwaukee Transit Bus line and is in an accessible building. If you need language translation or an accommodation, please contact us. Alianza Latina Aplicando Soluciones (ALAS) al 414–643–002 is providing a limited shared ride bus.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Stepping Out of Stigma’s Shadow

By Kelley Hamann, ALMI ACS AIAA and Mental Health Advocate

My familiarity with mental health has been gleaned from the shared experiences of a loved-one’s day-to-day challenges with mental illness, as well as with the associated stigma, which, in my opinion, stems from a lack of public understanding and compassion. As a member of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), I work to minimize stigma, bringing awareness to mental health issues through advocacy—by being open, honest and sharing our experiences so that others can begin to understand.

Sharing Our Story

September 2016

In sharing my family’s experiences and opinions, I will concentrate on what’s worked and not worked for us.

But before diving right to the heart of our story, let me first provide a bit of background and perspective as to who we are as individuals and how we came to be a family, so you can better understand how we got to where we are today.

Click here for the full story.
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Deaf Communication Card

Denise Johnson, Member of the Gov.’s Committee for People with Disabilities and a staff person at IndependenceFirst in Milwaukee has prepared the attached information to share and newsletters and other media regarding tips for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing and police officers when involved in traffic stops or other involvement with police officers.

Wait, I Cannot Hear, What Shall I Do During Traffic Stops by a Police Officer?
A Summary of Recent Incidents with the Law Enforcers & People who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program

NAMI Family-to-Family is for families, caregivers, and friends of individuals with mental illness. The course is designed to facilitate a better understanding of mental illness, increase coping skills, and empower participants to become advocates for their family members. The course consists 6 weeks, two days per week, two hours per day sessions. Trained family members teach the course who knows what it is like to have a loved one living with mental illness. The Family-to-Family Program is offered at no cost to the participants.

NAMI Greater Milwaukee will offer its NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program for the Fall, beginning Thursday September 29th, 2016.

It will be held on Thursday’s from 6:00pm-8:00pm and Saturday’s from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at 3200 S 3rd St #6, Milwaukee, WI 53207. Please contact the NAMI office (414–344–0447) to register for this upcoming NAMI Family-to-Family class!

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Prevent Suicide Greater Milwaukee - October 21 Conference and September 20th training

Mental Health Task Force Update

See attached for upcoming events hosted by Prevent Suicide Greater Milwaukee – thank to Norma Gilson for sharing information about these important programs!

3rd Annual PSGM Suicide Prevention Conference

QPR at the North Shore Library

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

GO Pass Update

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

We wanted to share a few updates regarding our work to educate policy makers and the community about the benefits of the GO Pass program and to make the case for it to continue to be available as an important support for people with disabilities and older adults.

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Important Campaign Updates

After a full and fruitful summer, the fall is a time for getting ourselves more organized in WISDOM, to do even bigger things. I want to call your attention to a couple of opportunities to support criminal justice reform through the ROC Wisconsin Campaign, and some exciting opportunities to support the fight for increased options for people who depend on public transportation.

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Trump jiving about connecting to black people

By Gregory Stanford, Award-Winning Journalist

What a funny way Donald Trump has of reaching out to black people. The Republican presidential nominee came to Milwaukee and, skirting black neighborhoods, drove out to the lily-white suburb of West Bend to urge African Americans to vote for him – a perplexing pattern he has since repeated in Michigan and North Carolina.


Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Public Input for Mental Health Board - September 6, at Serb Hall

Mental Health Task Force Update

The Milwaukee County Mental Health Board meets next Tuesday September 6th at 4 PM. The meeting will be at American Serb Hall, Wisconsin Hall South, 5101 West Oklahoma Avenue.

The primary agenda item is “Public Comment on Behavioral Health Division Topics/Services.” Comments are limited to three minutes. Please spread the word, consider attending and share your perspective with the Board.

Link to Agenda: http://county.milwaukee.gov/ImageLibrary/Public/BHD/Mental-Health-Board/MHBSeptember6Agenda1.pdf

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

2017 Milwaukee County Budget - Recommendation for the GO Pass Program

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

As discussed at the August Mental Health Task Force meeting, and our recent budget briefing, the 2017 DOT Transit (5600) budget proposes eliminating the GO pass program for people with disabilities and older adults, and offers the Cash Concession Fare (half price) as an alternative. Our Coalitions have seen that the GO Pass has been a very successful and positive program for people with disabilities and older adults, and a major support to their ability to live independently, maintain their health, and advance recovery. It has been a key support for people served by the Housing Division and Behavioral Health Division, and for many older adults and people with a range of disabilities. As documented in the attached letter to County Executive Abele, our coalitions have gathered data about current issue of the GO pass through surveys and statements from community agencies and urge that a compromise be found so that this important and successful program can continue.

Click here for the GO Pass letter

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Important Message!!

Dear MICAH Congregations and Members,

The MICAH Education Task Force is considering holding a series of Community Listening Sessions in various locations in Milwaukee this fall.

Our belief is that we are called to nurture and encourage greater development of public voice in decision-making regarding public education in our city. It is our belief, as well, that all of those involved in working in and advocating for public education can do better at joining with our families, students and communities. We believe that we all have significant work to do, for the voice of our families to truly be heard and to begin to have real impact on decision-making regarding our schools.

In an effort to do something to move Milwaukee forward, in light of our beliefs, we are initiating planning for these Community Listening Sessions. We wish to invite the wider MICAH community to help us get this job accomplished. We are looking for folks who are ready to roll up their sleeves so the people can be heard. If you are willing to get involved in helping the MICAH Education Task Force plan for these Community Listening Session, please join us. We will meet at Reformation Lutheran Church offices at 3806 W. Lisbon Ave. at 6:00 pm on August 30th to begin planning the Community Listening Sessions.

We are looking for folks who would be willing to get donations for a simple meal, organize childcare, help with publicity and make phone calls to congregations, and other critical tasks. Please join us!

If you have questions, please contact Jane Audette at 414–763–3801, or email her at yaner@aol.com

Click here for more from MICAH
Back to top

An Undeclared State of Emergency

By Reverend Willie E. Brisco, Pres. WISDOM

Click here for the PDF

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Still Thirsting For Justice

On Thursday, August 11, more than 250 people crowded into St. Francis Catholic Church in Milwaukee for the “Thirsting for Justice” event. No one complained about the heat and humidity after WISDOM President Rev. Willie Brisco reminded them that hundreds of people sit in windowless, solitary confinement cells with no air conditioning all day every day in the summer heat - not just for a couple of hours.

The crowd heard riveting testimonies from men who had recently been in the Fox Lake Correctional Institution, who spoke of water with a foul taste and unidentified bits of something solid floating in it, and who had no other option but to purchase water at a very high price from the canteen.

The problems with Corrections were not limited to the water. Those gathered heard from family members of men who have been eligible for parole for many years, but who are stuck in a broken system that does not let them earn their way home. They heard from family members of elderly and ill prisoners; families whose only hope is for the DOC to have the compassion to let their loved ones die at home. They heard from men and women who had been sent back to prison for real or imagined rule violations, even though they had committed no new crime.

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Project 22 Film Event for Veteran Suicide Awareness

Mental Health Task Force Update

Thanks to Brian Michel of Legal Aid Society for passing on information about Project 22, a Film and Resource event designed to bring awareness to the suicide rate among veterans of 22 per day. The event takes place on Friday Sept 16, with a 22-mile motorcycle ride to the HD Museum, with a FREE BBQ dinner at the reception and a FREE screening of the film at 6:00pm.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Upcoming Mental Health Board Meetings including 9/6 Public Comment

Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force

The following meetings of the Mental Health Board are scheduled for August and early September. Meetings are open to public. We encourage you to read the meeting materials, contact Mental Health Board members with suggestions, questions, or concerns, and attend some of the meetings.

Note that the September 6th meeting will focus on public comment on Behavioral Health Division Topics/ Services. Please consider speaking to share your perspective and encourage others to do so.

Click here to see links to meetings agendas and packets: http://county.milwaukee.gov/BehavioralHealthDivi7762/Mental-Health-Board/2016-MHB-Meeting-Info—Documents1.htm

Click here for more information.
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

HEAR YE! HEAR YE! ROUTE 279 Menomonee Falls is being ELIMINATED, Why?


  • MPA LLC Press Conference - Wednesday, August 17, 2016, 3:15pm @ Park Place & Liberty Bus Shelter


  • HEAR YE! HEAR YE! ROUTE 279 Menomonee Falls is being ELIMINATED, Why?



Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

County Budget Update- Proposed Dept Budgets Are posted/ Transit Budget eliminates GO Pass

Mental Health Task Force Make It Work Milwaukee Update

The 2017 Milwaukee County Requested Budgets are now posted at http://county.milwaukee.gov/PSB/County-Budget/2017-Budget-2/2017-Requested-Budget-.htm We encourage you to review the budget requests and share your priorities with County Supervisors and County Executive Abele. County Supervisor information is available here: http://county.milwaukee.gov/CountyBoard

  • We will be reviewing the posted budgets and preparing a high level description of any significant changes, new initiatives, concerns, etc. Based on a very quick initial review, the most significant change we have noted is the proposed elimination of the GO Pass which provides a free Bus Pass for people with disabilities who meet eligibility criteria, and older adults.

  • Be sure to attend tonight’s Budget Input Session at Washington Park Senior Center from 5:30 – 7:30 to share your priorities for the 2017 Milwaukee County Budget.

  • Plan to attend our August 23rd Budget Briefing at IndependenceFirst, at 540 S. 1st. , 1 – 3 PM. See attached flyer for details.


Behavioral Health Division


Health and Human Services

House of Corrections

Office of the Sheriff

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Black Lives Black Lungs event 8/12

The Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network is hosting an event next Friday on why use of menthol cigarettes is higher in the African American community.

This article provides more information on the guest speaker: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-tobacco-companies-led-a-devastating-50-year-infiltration-into-black-communities_us_5702944de4b083f5c60830b6

If anyone is interested in attending, they can email Lorraine at llathen@jumpatthesunllc.com by Wednesday 8/10.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Time to Dismantle Structural Racism

By Mark Rice

We will not solve the problem of racial discrimination with further racial discrimination. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Christian Schneider recently took the mystifying position that the proper response to one form of racial discrimination in hiring should be to replace it with another form of racial discrimination in hiring.

Schneider argues that companies and government agencies should not ban the box on job applications that inquires about conviction and arrest history, because some studies suggest that this policy unintentionally increases racial discrimination in employment, especially against black men who have not been convicted of crimes. Disturbingly, in areas that have removed the box, employers appear to be discriminating against black men based on the assumption that they have conviction records.

Click here for the full article.
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Video of State Rep. Mandela Barnes pushing journalist

By Chris Johnson and Robert Miranda of KINGFISHmke

November 16, 2015

Ed. Note: The one who voted against his constituents appears unable to control his aggression — Rep. Barnes was invited to express his view for PeaceOfMind, but declined.

Update 11/19/15: Click on link below to watch a second video of Rep. Mandela Barnes shoving a Madison journalist for asking about his vote to give New York billionaire Bucks owners $250 million of taxpayers dollars after the state legislature cut funding for public education.

The video appears to be taken from a security camera across the street from where the assault occurs. There is no audio.

It shows Rep. Barnes coming out of the entrance of a building after journalist, Miles Kristan, passes while walking by that entrance on the sidewalk. Barnes approaches Kristan from behind and gets in the face of Kristan and begins backing Kristan up and then Barnes shoves Kristan backwards.

Watch video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndalclf1Dik&feature=youtu.be

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Wisconsin Budget Project - Hints of What’s to Come in the Next Budget

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

The update below gives an overview of Governor Walker’s instructions to state agencies on how to develop their proposals for Wisconsin’s next state budget – and gives us some sense of possible budget priorities and challenges. Thanks to WCCF for this update!

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Milwaukee County 2017 Proposed Budget Input Sessions

Please join the County Executive at his upcoming 2017 Budget input sessions:

Monday, August 8th
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Wilson Park Senior Center
2601 W. Howard Ave. - Milwaukee

Wednesday, August 10th
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Washington Park Senior Center
4420 W. Vliet St. - Milwaukee

Because your input is important to the County Executive, the format of these sessions will be different this year in order to create a space for more meaningful feedback and discussion. Each session will include facilitated small-group discussions intended to provide detailed feedback from each participant. We are excited to be working with the Zeidler Center on this project, and we look forward to your input.

The public is welcome to attend either or both sessions. Registration is required.
Click here to RSVP

For more information, please contact the County Executive’s Office at countyexec@milwaukeecountywi.gov or (414) 278–4212.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Thirsting for Justice!

You are invited to an important event: Thirsting for Justice
Thursday, August 11
6:00 to 8:00 pm
St. Francis Catholic Church, 1928 N. 4th St., Milwaukee, WI

The event will call attention to the multiple systems problems in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, highlighting the poor, perhaps dangerous quality of the water in some older Wisconsin prisons.

Besides the problem of Contaminated Water, you will hear explanations and first-person testimonials about:

  • Excessive Crimeless Revocations, resulting in thousands of prison admissions each year for people who have not been convicted (or in many cases charged) with a crime;

  • Lack of Compassionate Release for elderly and seriously ill inmates;

  • A broken Parole System, keeping many long-term parole eligible people in prison far beyond the time envisioned by the judges who sentenced them in the last century;

  • Excessive use of Solitary Confinement.

Those who attend are invited to bring packs or cases of bottled water. These will be loaded on a truck and delivered to Fox Lake Correctional Institution. Fox Lake has a troubled history with contaminated water, and WISDOM members hope the donation will not only give prisoners and staff clean drinking water for a part of the summer, but will also serve as a sign that people on the “outside” remember and care about those on the “inside.”

Please join us on August 11 to learn and to join our voices in a call to reform a very troubled Corrections system.

  • While you are at it, mark your calendar for September 21 when SOPHIA and EXPO will sponsor a forum on Criminal Justice at the New Berlin Public Library, 7–8:30 p.m.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

FYI: Article on Ravine Bridge and Potential Federal Funding


A bridge project is likely eligible for a federal Transportation Alternatives Program grant (through WisDOT).

This guide on Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act clarifies what’s involved in seeking federal funding for something listed on the National Register.


Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Press Release: Family Care and IRIS Programs to Expand Statewide

For Immediate Release

July 28, 2016

Family Care and IRIS Programs to Expand Statewide
Eliminates wait list for hundreds of people seeking long-term care services

MADISON -Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Interim Secretary Tom Engels today announced plans to offer Family Care and Include Respect, I Self-Direct (IRIS) programs statewide by the first quarter of 2018. Governor Scott Walker called for the statewide expansion in his 2015–2017 state budget. This expansion covers the final seven of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

“By offering these programs statewide, and eliminating the wait list, we are ensuring our state’s most vulnerable citizens have access to high quality services,” Interim Secretary Engels said. “The Family Care and IRIS programs offer people the support they need to remain in their homes, where they prefer to be, as opposed to the more costly nursing home option. This expansion means members all across the state can take advantage of services that offer dignity and independence, and allow them to make their own care decisions.”

View the entire news release.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Project YES! Focus Groups for young adults

Mental Health Task Force Update

Mental Health America will be holding 2 focus groups for young adults (between the ages of 16–25) at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Brown Deer on August 8th and 11th. The purpose of the focus group is to have an informal discussion with young adults about their views on mental health, mental illness and stigma. For details, see below and please help spread the word!

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Announcing 2017 Budget Input Sessions

Do you have an opinion on what should be included in the Milwaukee County Executive’s 2017 Proposed Budget?

Please join the County Executive at his 2017 Budget input sessions:

Monday, August 8, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Wilson Park Senior Center, 2601 W. Howard Ave. Milwaukee

Wednesday, August 10, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Washington Park Senior Center, 4420 W. Vliet St. Milwaukee

The public is welcome to attend either or both sessions. Registration is required.
Click here to RSVP

Because your input is important to the County Executive, the format of these sessions will be different this year in order to create a space for more meaningful feedback and discussion. Each session will include facilitated small-group discussions intended to provide detailed feedback from each participant.

We are excited to be working with the Zeidler Center on this project, and we look forward to your input.

For more information, please contact the County Executive’s Office at countyexec@milwaukeecountywi.gov or (414) 278–4212.

ADA accomodations request should be filed with the Milwaukee County Office for Persons with Disabilities, 278–3932 (voice) or 711 (TRS), upon receipt of this notice.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Update on 2017 BHD Budget

Mental Health Task Force Update

At our July Mental Health Task Force meeting we provided an update on the 2017 Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division budget and wanted to share it with the email list as well.

The Milwaukee County Mental Health Board approved the 2017 BHD budget at their June 23rd meeting. It was very gratifying to see that many of the items identified as priorities by the Task Force were included in the budget. These included creation of additional CART teams, adding 24/7 coverage to the Southside Crisis Resource Center and adding Certified Peer Specialists to the third shift at both CRCs, adding AODA residential beds, enhancing Opioid Epidemic Strategies, partnering with Housing Division on the Initiative to end Chronic Homelessness, and additional funding for Wraparound to serve additional youth. Mental Health Board members also had an opportunity to advance recommendations to the Finance Committee. Mental Health Task Force Co-chair and Mental Health Board member Mary Neubauer, worked collaboratively with other Board members to advance four recommendations which were considered by the Finance Committee. We want to thank the Finance committee members and staff for considering these recommendations and for taking some action to respond to each recommendation including increasing support for Warmline, additional support for CART teams, offering an alternative option to provide policy and research support for the Board, and a commitment from BHD staff to prioritize review of rates for AODA residential services. advanced several recommendations

Here is a link to a press release from Milwaukee County regarding the 2017 County Budget: http://county.milwaukee.gov/ImageLibrary/Groups/cntyHHS/BHD/Mental-Health-Board/MentalHealthBoardApproves2017BudgetwithSignificantPublicInput.pdf

The BHD budget now moves forward to the County Executive for approval.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Monthly Education Flyer

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Specific help for the Prisoners

Since early June, some of the prisoners in Wisconsin’s solitary confinement units have been refusing to accept food, as a protest against their prolonged isolation and inhumane treatment by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC). It is extremely difficult to communicate with people in solitary confinement, but many letters have been received and we know that at least two of the inmates have continued their food refusal until now, more than five weeks since they began. We know there are others that have joined in at different times, but getting exact numbers has been impossible as the DOC has refused to provide those.

A central concern of the prisoners is the practice of “Administrative Confinement.” This is a category of solitary confinement that the DOC uses to exempt itself from its own rules. So, while the DOC talks about cutting down on the length of stay in solitary, some people are kept in Administrative Confinement for years and even decades.

Today, we are asking you to take one very specific action: Please call your State Senator and your State Assembly representative – you can find their information HERE - and say:
“I am very worried about the way Wisconsin prisoners are being treated. Please contact the DOC immediately to tell them you are very concerned about the abuse of the prisoners who have been refusing food. And, please ask the DOC why Administrative Confinement does not follow the rules set for others in Solitary Confinement. And, please insist that they make meaningful changes NOW.”

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

To the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force:

Please see the attached flyer regarding SDC’s 2016 Summit on Poverty. The Summit is on August 2nd, 2016 at the ICC.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Alert: Take Action Today to Support Bus Rapid Transit

This Wednesday, the Milwaukee Common Council and Milwaukee County Board Transportation Committee are expected to vote on whether to advance Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). The proposed 9-mile route would provide an improved transit connection to major employment and activity centers through downtown Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center, Milwaukee’s near west side, and Wauwatosa.

Bus Rapid Transit service would be of tremendous benefit to many Milwaukee residents who have a disability, as well beneficial for the work force which provides direct care support and services. Access to transportation is consistently among the top concerns for Wisconsinites with disabilities and limited access to transportation is a barrier to employment, accessing health care, and other community activities.

Action Needed Now
The Milwaukee Common Council Public Works Committee and County Board Transportation Committee are voting tomorrow Wednesday July 13th on the BRT. It is important for members of the Common Council and County Board to hear from community members about the benefit of the BRT. You can email elected officials and / or attend the committee meeting and register to speak to show your support. Contact information is included below.

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Milwaukee Mental Health Services Still Inadequate

By Eugene Barufkin

July 10, 2016

We are losing people because of untreated and less than adequate treatment of mental health/behavioral problems.

Contributing to this loss of many people are the extreme needs for professionally supervised group home capacity in this area. (Overnight shelters and jail cells do little to help these problems… In fact, these facilities offer too much false help.)

In too many cases, judges and the DA office have little choice because of lack of capacity, including a reported 40% shortage of mental health professional staffing in the Milwaukee area.

If you have lost someone because of these problems, please use Facebook’s “Message” for, or email Eugene Barufkin, mke.political.action@gmail.com, to help form a new group to organize additional advocacy.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Project Central Voice

The NAACP is seeking your opinion. Please see the attached flyer.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Ezekiel HOPE Rebuilds Lives, Homes and Property Tax Base

By Patricia Obletz, Editor


The end game of racism is prison, the imperfect yet still profitable post-Civil War enslavement system contrived by white America pushing inadequate schools, healthcare and housing, and fear-based hate. That’s why a few dedicated Milwaukee volunteers with wisdom and spiritual fortitude are working to undo the damage:Most prisoners are black boys and men arrested and convicted for the same non-violent crimes that white boys and men commit at the same rate and yet, far fewer of them get arrested, much less convicted.

Most prisoners serve their sentences and return home.

Too many prisoners are unprepared to succeed back in society – so many were so young when first convicted, which multiplies their chance of returning to prison. That’s why Ezekiel HOPE (Home Ownership Partnership Employment) provides construction work apprenticeship opportunities to help former prisoners and prisoners in work release programs become self-sufficient.

Board of Directors members Reverend Willie E. Brisco, President of WISDOM and President of AALC (African American Leadership Council) of Gamaliel Foundation, Jim Gaillard, vice-president of finance, and Donald Utech, chairman, met with PeaceOfMind to discuss this frontline civil rights priority.

Click here for the full article
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Open house Friday July 8 at 11:30 - 4:30

Ezekiel Project HOPE will be having an open house and bbq at the completed renovation on 5535 W Thurston, Friday, July 8th, with city officials, contractors, helpers and neighbors attending at noon.

Jim Gaillard, VP: Ezekiel Community Development Corp

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Section 8 Rental Assistance - Wait list open for applications!

To the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force:

Dear DHHS partners,
We are writing today with some exciting news for Milwaukee County residents!

For the first time in 15 years, Milwaukee County Housing Division will open its wait list and accept applications for Section 8 Rent Assistance.

Section 8 is federally funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This program is designed to help low income families and individuals with rent assistance for decent, safe and sanitary housing provided by private owners and rental agents.

IMPORTANT: Residents should know their applications will be placed into a lottery system.

Those interested in applying do NOT need to arrive earlier than registration times. Registrants will be entered into a lottery. They can apply ANY date at ANY time and have the same chances of receiving the benefit. Applications will be received at the following locations (applications will not be accepted at the Walnut Street location):

July 12: 1 - 7 p.m. | July 13: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. | July 14: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
NORTHSIDE - MLK Jr. Rec Center, 1531 W Vliet St.
EAST SIDE - Gordon Park Pavilion, 2828 N Humboldt Blvd.
SOUTHSIDE - McCarty Park Pavilion, 2567 S 79th St.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

EXPO in the House and Nuns on the Bus

EXPO (EX-Prisoners Organizing) held a major public forum on Tuesday, June 28 at the Black Historical Society in Milwaukee. About 150 people attended the event. About half of those present were formerly-incarcerated people and/or family members of incarcerated people. Other members of MICAH, SOPHIA and CUSH also came out in good numbers to support EXPO.

James Causey of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel moderated the forum. Six panelists including four formerly-incarcerated and 2 family members of people currently in prison spoke. They covered topics ranging from Solitary Confinement, to Sentencing, to the kinds of barriers faced by men and women with conviction histories. The evening was moving, interesting and motivating. At the end, many people stepped up to say they wanted to be part of EXPO, and many others offered to be part of the ROC Wisconsin campaign.

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act leads to better care and improves financial well-being for new enrollees

Over 90 percent of new Medicaid enrollees are satisfied with their plans and doctor
According to a new report summarizing research to date, 78 percent of new Medicaid enrollees indicated that absent Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they wouldn’t otherwise have the resources necessary to access regular care. Additionally, the overwhelming majority of new Medicaid enrollees report being satisfied with their health plans (93 percent) and their doctors (92 percent).

The research also finds that Medicaid expansion improved the financial well-being for new enrollees, leading to fewer unpaid bills. According to estimates, Medicaid expansion reduced third party collections by $600 to $1000 per individual in expansion states.
Read more about today’s announcement.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top


Leaders of MICAH’s 53206 Holy Ground Youth and Young Adult Organizing Project invite you to join 500 youth and adults in the “I Am 53206 March” on Wednesday, June 22, starting at Calvary Baptist Church, 2959 N. Teutonia Avenue, at 5:00 p.m. and proceeding to Incarnation Lutheran Church, 1510 W. Keefe Avenue. At Incarnation, a solemn ceremony will be followed by commitments from elected officials on a range of issues identified by youth leaders.

Milwaukee Innercity Congregations Allied for Hope is bringing together members of the 43 congregations apart of MICAH to join in a inter faith effort to support the efforts of rebuilding our city. We also will be joined by faith leaders across the state, community leaders, community partners across the state and nationally, as well by local elected officials.

Wednesday, June 22, starting at Calvary Baptist Church, 2959 N. Teutonia Avenue, at 5:00 p.m, with the March beginning at 5:30, and proceeding to Incarnation Lutheran Church, 1510 W. Keefe Avenue, at approx. 6:15 pm.

Please contact Dakota Hall at dakota@micahmke.org/414-264-0805 for more information

Click here for more information
Back to top

Stand in Solidarity with the Fasting Prisoners

Standing with the men who have been refusing to accept food in protest of injustice in the use of Solitary Confinement in Wisconsin prisons, leaders of the ROC Wisconsin Campaign have set aside Tuesday, June 21 as a Solidarity Day.

At least 7 inmates in Wisconsin prisons, mostly at Waupun, are engaged in a “food refusal” action. Some of them have not eaten anything since June 5; others began June 10. Among their demands are that all prisoners who have been in solitary confinement for more than one year should be released back into the general prison population, and that there be proper mental health services for those who have been subjected to solitary confinement. More details are here.

On June 21, we are all being asked to do some or all of the following:

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

In Our Lifetime, America’s First Black President, Barack Hussein Obama

Cuban Orisha painter
in his space, 2015

A yearlong art exhibition and celebration! Why? Who are the featured artists? How does it work? Founder of Terry McCormick Contemporary Fine and Folk Art Gallery, Evelyn Patricia Terry, committed to a 2016 yearlong art celebration of “America’s First Black President” through monthly exhibitions that began this past January - sharing behind-the-scene information. Focusing on 2016, the last year of President Barack Hussein Obama’s two-termed election, evolved from Terry’s decision to purchase four of Blanche Brown’s collage artworks for each of her four grandchildren as mementos for President Obama’s special historical breakthrough. Plus, Terry’s 2015 travel to Cuba via a MEDICC fellowship from Walnut Way Conservation Corps proved pivotal in her decision to celebrate President Obama’s last year in office.

In Matanzas, Cuba, Walnut Way Conservation
Corps and MEDICC Group, 2015, Photo by Rayna Andrews

Cuba’s spirited home studios, galleries and shops stirred Terry’s entrepreneurial spirit and expanded possibilities of what she could do with her home space. She enjoyed hearing Cuban vendor’s greeting, often extended to passerbys, “Looking is free.” While traveling Havana’s streets daily, open doors attracted her and other tourists, as artists painted, people prepared or cooked meals in kitchens, or groups of people conversed at tables in other rooms.

Click here for the complete article
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Secretary Rhoades’ letter withdrawing concept paper

Make It Work Milwaukee/ Mental Health Task Force update

Earlier today, we shared with you the updates regarding the department’s decision to withdraw their concept paper with proposed changes to Family care and IRIS. Passing on to you now the official letter that Secretary Rhoades sent to the Joint Finance Committee. Other statements and coverage are posted on the Wheeler Report: http://thewheelerreport.com/

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Good News! …and More Work Ahead

We assume you all know by now that Sen. Alberta Darling (Co-Chair, Joint Finance Committee) has announced that there will be no action on FC/IRIS 2.0 in the coming months, and perhaps not until next year. It is interesting that this decision is very similar to our proposal to JFC in our most recent memo (5/26/16): “suspend action on Family Care/IRIS 2.0 for the remainder of 2016…and restart the process with the 2017–2019 biennial budget”.

This is excellent news, and certainly cause for the LTC Coalition to celebrate. At the same time, it is inconclusive. It’s not a victory - - it’s a reprieve. A delay, even a long delay, is not the same as JFC actually convening and formally voting to disapprove the DHS Concept Paper with no invitation to DHS to revise and re-submit it. So FC/IRIS 2.0 is still alive until and unless DHS withdraws it, JFC convenes and votes No on it, or it is displaced by a new LTC proposal from the governor in the 2017–19 biennial budget session.

Nevertheless, it is worth taking a moment to reflect on the ways that our advocacy may have contributed to JFC’s decision to hit the PAUSE button on 2.0, e.g:

Click here for more information.
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

June 16, 2016, Mental Health Board Finance Committee Meeting Agenda - Public Input on the Budget

Mental Health Task Force Update

The MILWAUKEE COUNTY MENTAL HEALTH BOARD FINANCE COMMITTEE will meet Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 1:30 P.M. at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex , 9455 Watertown Plank Road, Conference Room 1045.

The Finance Committee has added to this meeting another opportunity for public input on the budget. The agenda includes “Public Comment on the 2017 BHD budget narrative. Speakers are limited to three minutes. The BHD Budget narrative is not yet posted – we will send out an update when it is posted.

Thanks to the Finance Committee for adding this additional opportunity for public input and being responsive to the requests for this.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

WISDOM Stands in Solidarity with Waupun Protesters

WISDOM stands in solidarity with those who are refusing to accept food as an act of protest against the conditions of Solitary Confinement in the Waupun Correctional Institution, and throughout Wisconsin.

Inmates in Waupun will start a Humanitarian Food Refusal Campaign on June 10, demanding more humane treatment. Solitary confinement or ‘Administrative segregation’ has been abused: some inmates have been in this type of isolation for years. More than 14 days is considered torture. Click here to download details on solidarity rallies to be held in Madison on June 10 and in Milwaukee on June 11.

As a network including more than 150 congregations of many faiths, along with hundreds of individual leaders, members and supporters, it saddens us that these, our brothers in the human family, have concluded that the only tool available to express their deep concerns is to deny nourishment for their own bodies. In their isolation, they are undertaking this extreme measure in an attempt to gain some recognition of their human dignity, and that of their fellow prisoners. We pray for their physical and psychological health as they take this action.
The decision to take this action comes from the prisoners themselves. One of the core principles of WISDOM is that every person has the right to be heard, especially regarding policies that most affect them.

Click here to download WISDOM’s Statement, the Prisoners’ calls and the commitments of the WISDOM Network. Click here for a list of things YOU can do to help.

You can read statements from the Prisoners who are leading the campaign: Uhuru’s testimony and Cesar’s testimony.

For more information about the Campaign, please call SOPHIA/WISDOM organizer Bernie Gonzalez at 262–443–7831.

WISDOM strives to be a vehicle by which those who are marginalized and ignored can have a chance to be heard. This is a moment to live that out.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Recent LTC Press - media coverage of Family Care 2.0 Proposal

Hi Everyone, Lots of ltc press coverage over the past week!

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Lawmakers: Delays likely on long-term care changes

Wisconsin Public Radio: Advocate Plans New Push For Walker Administration Records On Long-Term Care Changes

Rep. Hintz: Calls on Gov. Walker to Finally Comply with Long Term Care Open Records Request

Wisconsin Long Term Care Coalition: National insurer chooses profit over people

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

A.S.K. Mental Health Program at Milwaukee Public Libraries

Mental Health Task Force Update

  • A.S.K. is a free, informational mental health program on recognizing the signs and symptoms of mental illness and where to seek help. The next A.S.K. program is Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at the Capitol Library, 3969 N. 74th, Milwaukee. Please share this information and attached flyer with your networks.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Update on 2017 Behavioral Health Division Proposed Budget

The Mental Health Board Finance Committee met last Thursday, May 26. The primary agenda item was a high level overview of the 2017 BHD budget and the budget timeline, including public comment. Here is a link to the meeting packet and budget overview: http://county.milwaukee.gov/ImageLibrary/Public/BHD/Mental-Health-Board/MHBFinance05-26-16MeetingPacket.pdf

We have listed below some key points regarding the 2017 BHD budget based on what we know to date. A line item budget is not yet available. It is our understanding that this will be available at the 6/16 Finance Committee meeting (scheduled for 1;30, location not yet posted) and there may be another opportunity for public comment at that time. The table below include a listing of the budget highlights from the overview, broken out by program area, and a second table listing each Mental Health Task Force budget recommendation with any related information from the 2017 budget overview.

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

ACTION ALERT: Bazelon Center, UMass Medical School Highlight Opportunities to Promote Employment for People with Psychiatric Disabilities

Mental Health Task Force Update

The Task Force has been supportive of efforts to promote employment for people with psychiatric disabilities, as we wanted to share this new brief by UMass Medical School and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law which outlines policy opportunities that can be leveraged to expand opportunities for people with psychiatric disabilities to successfully obtain and maintain employment. The brief also suggests policy changes that can result in increased access to career development, supported employment, and critical health services. See here for a link to the brief.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

2016 Mental Health Conference at Marquette University

Mental Health Task Force Update

We are pleased to share with you information about Marquette University’s 2016 Mental Health Conference, An infinite transition from Soldier to Veteran: The journey of navigating and accessing healthcare. See below for details, and help spread the word!

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Mental Health Board Quality Committee Agenda

Mental Health Task Force Update

June 6, 2016 - 10:00 A.M.
Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex, Conference Room 1045

Click on the link below to view the June 6, 2016, Mental Health Board Quality Committee Agenda and Meeting Packet:

Tuesday June 7th, 3 PM – 5 PM next door to Mental Health America of Wisconsin
Please join us for a June 7th 3 PM Task Force meeting, hosted by Mental Health America of Wisconsin, to welcome new BHD Administrator Mike Lappen. Mike is a Milwaukee native and most recently served as Director of Human Services for Ozaukee County, and has been active on the county and state level in advancing recovery oriented community based services.

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

New Caregiver Rules in IRIS

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Disability Rights Wisconsin has issued a letter to the Department of Health Services regarding new caregiver rules in the IRIS long-term care program that have been confusing for IRIS participants. We have also been communicating directly with the US Department of Labor.

You can read the DRW letter here: http://www.disabilityrightswi.org/archives/6064 Feel free to share.

Previously DRW had created some basic informational documents related to this rule change:

We are continuing to monitor this issue.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Chicago Police Have Made Young Black Men “Enemies of the State”

By Phillip Jackson

May 25, 2016

On Friday of last week, as a woman was coming out of the neighborhood Bronzeville Starbucks, gunshots were fired. Two people were shot. The older woman, a city employee, Yvonne, Nelson, died. The younger man, who worked at a sandwich shop, was coming from a bank where he cashed his check for working the past two weeks.

Multiple media outlets announced that the young man was “a documented gang member referred to his job by The Black Star Project (TBSP).” It was also announced that the woman was killed in a “crossfire”. Someone is caught in a crossfire when they come between two or more people shooting at each other. There was no crossfire; only two victims shot by one gunman. Why did the police and the media widely, inaccurately report a “crossfire”?

While I did not know Yvonne Nelson, I do know that no one’s life should ever end that way. I hope that whoever did this will be quickly arrested, tried, convicted and appropriately punished for this horrendous, heinous crime. I personally know the young man who was shot. He was a former mentee in The Black Star Project’s mentoring program. He is like so many of the thousands of young men The Black Star Project has worked with for more than 20 years.

Click here for the full article
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Moving from Talk to Action on Poverty

The “Faithful Citizenship Spring Forums” will be held in five places throughout Wisconsin in the next few weeks. All the events are from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, and all are free of charge. They will be:

Wausau: Wednesday, May 25:
First English Lutheran Church ~ 402 N. 3rd Avenue

Milwaukee: Thursday, June 2:
St. Matthew CME Church ~ 2944 N. 9th St.

Eau Claire: Monday, June 6:
Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd ~ 1120 Cedar St.

Madison: Tuesday, June 7:
St. Paul AME Church ~ 4525 Diamond Drive

Green Bay: Wednesday, June 8:
West Side Moravian Church ~ 1707 S. Oneida St.

All the events are from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, and all are free of charge.
Spread the Word! Invite other interested folks!

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Milwaukeeans (or former) Who Made Big Time Differences

By George F. Sanders, Community Activist and Historian

Clayborn Benson: Executive Director of the Wisconsin Black Historical Society

“I had to prove I was worth it… and took the initiative myself to be as good as I could be.”
—Clayborn Benson

Clayborn Benson’s own history reflects the sampling of what many young Black men and women face — that of dealing with a strange world of vast challenging experiences, often isolated in unfamiliar environments, yet are expected to make what appears to be life-long decisions about what one wants to be in life.

Click here for the full article
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Attention: Resident Preference Program

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

FULL scholarships for veterans and students to UWM Veterans Conference May 19/20

There are still openings for veterans and students to get a full scholarship to attend the Veterans Trauma-Informed Care conference at UWM May 19/20. Please email warriorheart@starfishfound.org for details. Please share this information so we can help as many veterans as possible and their service providers!!

Veterans Health Coalition, Healing Warrior Hearts and MAVRC are proud to be sponsors of this conference. It’s a great line-up of speakers and exhibitors.

Military & Veteran Populations Conference
Join us on May 19 and May 20, 2016 as we build bridges to healing lives at the Military & Veteran Populations Conference. Register Today! Deadline is extended!
View on uwm.edu

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

LTC Coalition Memo JFC

Good morning,

During the past month, the Department of Health Services (DHS) and insurance companies have been leaning on the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) to take a vote on the Concept Paper regarding the changes to Family Care and IRIS, and DHS issued a statement saying that the Family Care and IRIS 2.0 model will save taxpayers $300 million over six years.

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

A high quality transportation option needs your input and support.

Make It Work Milwaukee/ Mental Health Task Force Update

Milwaukee County is studying a new East-West Bus Rapid Transit system, or BRT, connecting the region’s biggest job centers from Downtown Milwaukee and the Near West Side, to the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center in Wauwatosa, and all the neighborhoods in between.

Please join the final East-West BRT Open House on May 18th from 5–7PM to share your input and show your support.
Marquette University Campus
Alumni Memorial Union 3rd Floor Ballroom
1442 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee

Thanks to Kerry Thomas and MetoGo! for this update – see below for more information and please turn out to share your support for transit!

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

May 26, 2016, Mental Health Board Finance Committee Agenda

Mental Health Task Force Update

Just posted: The Milwaukee County Mental Health Board Finance Committee will meet on May 26 at Washington Park Senior Center at 4 PM. The meeting will include an overview of the 2017 budget, and time for public comment on the 2017 BHD budget. Please spread the word – there are only a few opportunities provided for public comment, so don’t miss this!

Thursday, May 26, 2016 - 4:00 P.M.
Washington Park Senior Center 4420 West Vliet Street


1. 2017 Budget Preliminary Overview. (Randy Oleszak/Informational Item)


Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Following Milwaukee’s Federal Funding

By George F. Sanders, Community Activist

A. Missing Community Development public funds

While the issue appears forgotten about, Milwaukee City government has still not explained in any way what happened to the $83,000,000.00 million dollars of the HUD- awarded Westlawn redevelopment funds, which were covered under HUD Section 3 program.

What is Section 3?

Section 3 is a provision of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, which recognizes that HUD funds are typically one of the largest sources of federal funding expended in communities through the form of grants, loans, entitlement allocations and other forms of financial assistance. Section 3 is intended to ensure that when employment or contracting opportunities are generated because a covered project or activity necessities the employment of additional persons or the awarding of contracts for work, preference must be given to low- and very low-income persons or business concerns residing in the community where the project is located. http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/section3/FAQ08.pdf

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

All this month - Mental Health Awareness

Mental Health Task Force Update

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and there are many great activities going on. See below for an update from Milwaukee County about their work to address mental health awareness. If you have information related to Mental Health Awareness that you would like to share with the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force list, please send it our way and we will help spread the word!

Click here for the Milwaukee County Department of Health & Human Services page

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

The Milwaukee County East/West Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Study needs to hear from you!

Thanks to Kerry Thomas for sharing this action alert! Transit is vital to the independence and mobility of people with disabilities, older adults, and many other community members. Check out the Action Alert and please take action down to support Bus Rapid Transit – and plan to attend the public meeting on May 18th (details below)!

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

For streetcar sky is the limit, Safe drinking water for children too expensive

By Robert Miranda, Editor: Wisconsin Spanish Journal

May 2, 2016

A recent report published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel informs us that Milwaukee bureaucrats are busy seeking a $20 million dollar federal grant to expand the Milwaukee streetcar, so that it can provide service to the new Milwaukee Bucks arena.

“The idea all along has been that the original route needs extensions to make the streetcar route more successful and efficient. And this is the first next step in terms of having a meaningful extension to add to the success of the streetcar increasing connectivity downtown,” said Ghassan Korban, Milwaukee’s Department of Public Works commissioner.

Notice that Korban said “increasing connectivity downtown.” It would be interesting to hear from the commissioner of public works, or from the mayor, how “increased connectivity downtown” translates into safer Milwaukee neighborhoods, increased access for black restaurant and bar entrepreneurs into the downtown financial networks and increasing revenues to pay towards lead service line removal for more than 70,000 homes where children risk being poisoned by lead laterals drawing water from the city’s water main.

Click here for the full article
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Talking Points: End Outsourcing Now!

Outsourcing is Economic Treason Against Wisconsin Workers

Framing Statement:
The economy thrives when working families earn enough money to afford the basics, and can buy goods and services in their local communities. With shrinking supply of family supporting jobs in Wisconsin, our state and federal governments ought to be focused on creating an economy where everyone who wants a good job can get one.

Shamefully, elected leaders who are supposed to work for us often aide and abet corporate outsourcers, helping them rig the economy against average people.

Too many Members of Congress vote for trade deals which make it easier for multinational corporations to ship more of our good jobs overseas.

In Wisconsin Scott Walker and his allies in the legislature give huge subsidies and tax giveaways to unpatriotic CEOs engaged in outsourcing our jobs. We need to end the political establishment’s economic treason against Wisconsin workers.

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Major Progress for ROC Wisconsin

Today Governor Walker signed into law a bill that will increase funding for TAD (Treatment Alternatives and Diversions) by an additional $2 million per year! TAD, a program that grants state money to counties for treatment alternatives to jail and prison, has been in place since 2007. It originally set aside $1 million per year for the program. Four years ago, a WISDOM-led movement led to the expansion of TAD to $4 million per year. Today’s increase will bring the budget to $6 million each year.

WISDOM’s 2012 Health Impact Assessment regarding TAD showed that each $1 million spent on TAD each year keeps 40–50 people out of state prisons, and 300–400 out of county jails. In addition, each $1 spent on TAD saves taxpayers $1.96 million in incarceration and other costs.

Click here for more information
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

The Unexpected Gift: An Interview with Blanche Brown, Artist and Activist

By Patricia Obletz, Editor

Spring 2016

“I became an artist on the heels of my stepfather’s unexpected death 13 years ago,” Blanche Brown said when asked at what age she knew she was an artist.

Losing her stepfather in 2003 so unexpectedly shocked her, the pain of loss overwhelming. A noted visual and commercial artist, Robert Bonner had tried to interest Brown in drawing when she was growing up in Chicago. But the energy she needed to burn in those years found release in physical rather than artistic pursuits – loosing her passionate exuberance into running free up and down the street.

In the aftermath of her stepfather’s death, Brown picked up one of his drawings. Suddenly, she drew it. The quality of her drawing surprised her as well as her husband. “It was like discovering an unexpected gift,” she said. “I couldn’t get enough of it. I was so excited about it, like a little kid.”

Click here for the complete article
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Milwaukee Bureaucrats and Elected Officials Raised Water Rates, then Failed to Invest in Lead Pipe Removal

By Robert Miranda, Editor: Wisconsin Spanish Journal

April 25, 2016

It wasn’t long ago that Milwaukee home owners were informed of water rate increases by the City of Milwaukee Water Works. In fact, before the City was able to increase the rate, Milwaukee authorities had to notify the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) to gain PSC approval of the city’s intent to raise the water rate.

To make the request to raise the rate look good, city officials informed the PSC that one reason they had to raise the rate was so that investments can be made towards water infrastructure repair needs that the city of Milwaukee wanted to pursue—especially water main repairs and replacements.


Milwaukee’s water utility asked the PSC for two rate increases within a year. The rate increase was approved and the city residents saw an average quarterly rate increase by almost 10%.

Click here for the complete article
Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
Back to top

Last edited by Tyler Schuster. Based on work by Godsil, tyler schuster, patricia obletz, G, James Godsil, godsil, Sen, kt rusch, Micah Leinbach, Bill Sell, People's Books Coop, Brian Rothgery, Todd, Anne Steinberg, Philip Philo Kassner, patricia Obletz, patriciaobletz, Vineet, Olde, Worm Mon, Commonwealth Citizen, Theresa Ford, BillSell, marc rassbach, bs, Jacob Hey, TeganDowling, Eddee Daniel, Steve Jerbi, Melanie Hupfer and Peggy Hong.  Page last modified on December 06, 2016

Legal Information |  Designed and built by Emergency Digital. | Hosted by Steadfast Networks