Journal Sentinel photo

Parkside School for the Arts, Medical College of Wisconsin, Brookfield School(s), & Sweet Water Foundation Collaboration Experiments

Dear All,

Here is Parkside School for the Art’s Erin Dentice’s Power Point on their path finding experiment blending art with edible playground/aquaponics science/ecology projects.

The document ​​to me is a clear exposition of what has already been achieved in one school that can help in the designing and modeling for the next school venture. The Milwaukee Sweet Water Foundation Director, Jesse Blom, now also director of the Johns Hopkins Food System Lab of the Bloomberg School of Public Health.​​ was the designer and consultant to the wonderful aquaponics demo at the school. Jesse is poised to bring his knowledge base and institutional resources to a Brookfield School Experiment that would be supported by the Medical College of Wisconsin, Parkside School for the Arts, the Sweet Water Foundation, and perhaps Johns Hopkins.

Erin, her students, and their families offer tours of their work. I would very much enjoy helping catalyze as much.

There are many senior and MA theses in our work, on up through doctoral dissertation.

We moved the main Sweetwater aquaponic commercial-size experiment to the south side of Chicago at Chicago State University. You might be able to get a tour of that, although it’s best to call before going. The Sweet Water Foundation web page inspires!

Power model these days focuses on networks of aquaponic demos in schools and larger systems as much destinations and training sites as growing places. While growing food in urban places is a vital response to the needs of our time, growing information, STEAM skills, ecological, emotional, and social intelligence, i.e. growing our souls!, is equally important in this multi-dimensional, multi-generational networked experiments.

Commercial Size Destination/Training Lab

Pat Wilborn

Classroom Model Integrating Art, Aquaponics, and Intergenerational Life Long Learning Models

And Erin dentise in her students offer tours at the trailblazing Parkside School for the Arts edible classroom and aquaponics demonstration project

UW Urban Ag Extension Into Soil Based Community Gardening and “Agora”

I have been deeply involved in these matters since 2005, and no one has done any better than the leaders of these three models anywhere in the nation.

Clear sailing,


Here is a link to a Harvard Business School essay on the work of the Sweet Water Foundation, supported at the outset by the fine teams of Sweet Water Organics.
There are many garden growers and engineers in Brookfield poised to advance the vision of a replication of the Parkside/Medical College edible classroom project with new waves of partnering co-creators.

Why not?


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Edible Classrooms Growing VIRTU

You and yours are cultivating a new generation of high virtu.


“Virtu” chez Erica Benner’s “Be Like The Fox: Machiavelli In His World”


  • Can mean-spiritedness, especially in battle. But the highest quality virtu includes

  • an aptitude for organization,

  • industry,

  • and far-sighted prudence.

It further includes

  • an unclouded knowledge of one’s own limits,

  • the wisdom and self-discipline not to over reach them,

  • and the Ingenuity to use whatever opportunities and resources one has, however scarce they might be.

Virtu doesn’t need good luck, are even much freedom, to work wonders. On the contrary,

it is most admirable, even most effective,

  • where there are obstacles to overcome.

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Nation Building Is A Multigenerational Process With Regressions Along The Way

Momentary Body Guard For Dr. King

This image of Dr. King’s stoning in Marquette Park during SCLC’s Freedom Summer Open Housing Marches finds me directly behind Dr. King and near Andy Young, to my right. The Nazi Party incited a murderous crowd to torch our cars. I lost a 1957 Chevy the engine of which my father had completely overhauled. Were it not for Chicago Irish police walking in great numbers between us and the stone and bottle throwing mob, we would literally have been lynched or beaten. This summer I was on a green line bus with a group of Whitefish Bay students shouting build the wall build the wall Trump Trump trump and then to an immigrant family f*** you go home f*** you go home. In the way that I pray I pray that the level of hatred I witnessed at 21, 50 years ago, is kept at bay by the vast majority of patriotic and compassionate citizens. As much as we we’re disappointed buy mirror Richard Daley, he never did try to incite the European Americans to heightened levels of enmity and possible violence. It’s bizarre to have a president so Brazen in his contempt for the best of Americas heritage.

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Community Roofing and Restoration is elevating the status and competency of the artisanal trades.

Community is now the nucleus of an emerging Guild network of restoration artisans.

If you have had work done by Community please go to this link and let us know what you think about our efforts.

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FIELDTRIP: Monday’s WI Urban Farming Legislation!

This Monday at 10AM Senator Johnson and Representative Goyke are unveiling proposed legislation titled Wisconsin Urban Farming Futures which holds tremendous potential for bringing a new level of support and credibility to urban and sustainable farming in Milwaukee and across our great State. To support this critical piece of legislation, amplify the media’s attention, and witness a perhaps historic moment, we’d like to gather a band of like-minds to attend the grand unveiling at Kaleidoscope Gardens!

Sandy Syburg has graciously offered the SoilMobile (a bio-diesel bus) to transport our band to the event – offering a pickup stop out west near Oconomowoc (attn. Madison folks) and a second stop in Milwaukee.

Here are the tentative pickup times and locations:

1. Summit Park & Ride (leaving @ 8:50 AM)

36337 Delafield Rd, Summit, WI

2. Walmart on Miller Parkway (leaving @ 9:20 AM)

4140 W Greenfield Ave, West Milwaukee, WI

Please email me directly if you would like to join the group at either location ( Also let me know if you wish to join the caravan by following in your own vehicle.

More details for those who sign-up will be sent Sunday.

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City’s 1st Timber-Frame Barn Since Chicago Fire Going Up In Washington Park

WASHINGTON PARK — As buildings are being torn down in Washington Park, a barn is being raised.

The Sweet Water Foundation has erected likely the only barn of its kind in the city on a lot where Moseley Elementary School once stood and that is now a farm. The barn appears to be the first since the Chicago Fire in 1871.

“This is the first timber-frame barn in the city of Chicago since the fire that we know of,” said Emmanuel Pratt, founder of the Sweet Water Foundation, which is running the Perry Avenue Community Farm at 57th Street and Perry Avenue.

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Catholics by Culture Discover Catholics For Choice

My daughter Megan Godsil Jeyifo has inspired me to look more closely at the issue of choice and abortion, given her emerging leadership role.

However, as Daniel Maguire, a leading Catholic moral theologian, has noted, there has been a diversity of views on when human life begins and the morality of abortion throughout the history of the church.

As a result, says Maguire: “There is no one Catholic view” on abortion.

In the early centuries of the church, St. Augustine held that early abortion was wrong not because it involved the taking of life, but because it separated procreation from sex, which he believed was the only justification for intercourse—even between married couples.

In the 11th century, St. Thomas Aquinas postulated that there was no life present in an early fetus and that ensoulment occurred only after “quickening” in the fifth or sixth month when the mother first felt signs of fetal life, so early abortion was not murder.

The view that the early fetus was not a person and that a fetus gained human value as a pregnancy progressed was widely held in science and law throughout history. Most opposition to abortion centered on the fact that it was a way for people to cover up illicit sex, not the belief that it was murder.

In the 17th century, believing that early magnifying instruments had detected the human form in fetal tissue, the church moved toward the belief that life begins at conception. It wasn’t until late in the 19th century, however, that the church actually banned abortion and until the 20th century that it became a cornerstone of church teaching based on the belief that life begins at conception.

Not only has church teaching on when human life begins varied, but the bishops have worked very hard to suppress the primacy that Catholic teaching gives the well-formed conscience when it comes to individual decision-making regarding weighty moral issues. From listening to their rhetoric, you would think that all Catholics are obligated to follow the Vatican’s pronouncements in lockstep. But nothing could be further from the truth. Catholic thinkers from St. Paul through St. Thomas Aquinas to the Vatican’s own 1965 Declaration on Religious Freedom have consistently held that Catholics have a duty to follow their conscience and that no one should be forced to act contrary to their conscience.

In his widely respected book Catholicism, theologian Father Richard P. McBrien sums it up: “If…after appropriate study, reflection, and prayer, a person is convinced that his or her conscience is correct, in spite of a conflict with the moral teachings of the church, the person not only may but must follow the dictates of conscience rather than the teachings of the church.”

For the most part, Catholics do follow their consciences when the teachings of the church conflict with the lived reality of their lives and their own senses of wisdom and compassion. As is well known, in the United States, 97 percent of Catholic women over the age of 18 have used a method of contraception banned by the Catholic hierarchy. Use of modern contraceptive methods is high in many predominantly Catholic countries: 67 percent of married women of reproductive age in Spain use modern contraceptive methods, as do 69 percent of married women in France, and 60 percent of married women in Mexico and 70 percent of married women in Brazil. Clearly these women are following their consciences, which tell them that modern birth control methods are moral and contribute to their health and the health of their families.

Similarly, Catholics are more than willing to disagree with church teaching on abortion. Less than one-quarter (22%) of Catholics in the US agree with the bishops’ position that abortion should be illegal (Belden Russonello & Stewart poll, 2004). And 58% of Catholics believe you can be a good Catholic without following the bishops’ teaching on abortion (National Catholic Reporter poll, September 2005). In the US, Catholic women have abortions at the same rate as women in the population as a whole (Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2002), so clearly they have decided to follow the dictates of their consciences rather than the pronouncements of the church.

It is also important to note that while the Catholic bishops often try to give the impression that Vatican teachings on abortion are infallible, they are not. It is a popular misconception that whatever the pope says on a serious topic is infallible and must be followed—it is not. Infallible statements are only made in very limited and narrow circumstances. The teaching on abortion has never been proclaimed infallible and no serious theologian claims it is. Even Pope John Paul II, who was renowned for his opposition to abortion, tried to find ways to pronounce his teaching on abortion infallible and was unable to do so.

While Catholics the world over clearly follow their consciences on the matter of abortion, the bishops do have an impact on women’s ability to access abortion and other reproductive health services. Especially in the United States, the Catholic hierarchy works through the political process to try and get their minority views enshrined into law. This is clearly a violation of the consciences of Catholics and non-Catholics alike who hold opposing views and not in keeping with Catholic church tradition or teaching. Catholic tradition demands that Catholics respect the views of other faith groups and that the church accept the principle of church-state separation. According to one pastoral letter, “Catholics should recognize the legitimacy of differing points of view about the organization of worldly affairs and show respect for their fellow citizens.” Vatican II clearly recognized that the political community and the church are independent of each other.

Timber Framed Barn Raising at Sweet Water Chicago

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Dear All,

I can remember reading CW Mills’ “Power Elite” in 1966 and feeling utterly powerless to make a difference re the Vietnam War and civil rights. A professor raged at me that we had many resources to push back, especially, for students, the power to demonstrate.

Reading the essay on Brazil’s junk food intrusion can evoke the same feeling of despair in the face of the global junk food juggernaut.


No one said the good food ®Evolution would be easy, nor quick victoried. And those who will be steadfast and mindful, know that our work is not a lifetime’s challenge. It will be a challenge up through the 7th generation and beyond.

Obama and Sweet Water Foundations Help to Connect Teachers, Urban Ag Activist Farmers, and Artisinal Mentors Across National Boundaries

The multidimensional aspect of our struggle methinks could profit from integrating artisinal training and urban ag training, with programs connecting schools with community groups.

This is what Emmanuel Pratt’s Sweet Water Foundation teams have been doing in Chicago, and Jesse Blom’s in Milwaukee. The Obama Foundation has highlighted one inspiring example of this approach with a 60 second video of
Big Mike Reynolds, a retired union/master carpenter who has been providing artisinal training at the Sweet Water Foundation Urban Farm and Perry Ave Commons, on the South Side of Chicago.

And it’s not just us and alliances with Obama Foundation and other progressive, secular institutions. The faith communities of the world have many groups within and between advancing the good fight. Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si, has brilliantly married social with ecological justice for the next generation of Catholic educators.

When I began promoting Big Will Allen’s urban ag vision back in 2005, my most progressive friends were extremely unimpressed. Since then, urban ag has mainstreamed and the Mayor of Milwaukee considers his teaming up with our movement one of his most important acts as mayor.

We shall overcome!

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Grant Concept For Saint-Gobain & Certainteed Foundations

Goal: Green Workforce Development, Lifelong STEM Learning, Public Health Pilot Experiment: Beginning With Healthy Snacks

Re-imagining green workforce development with an “integral” focus on existing artisinal crews and networks, sparking healthier diets, starting with workplace snacks, and healthier life-styles enhanced with life-long STEM training, starting with off season urban agriculture and aquaponics experimentation.

Roberto Alba Of Superior Roofing Solutions With Community Guild Network Healthy Snack #2

Roberto Alba Of Superior Roofing Solutions With
Community Guild Network Healthy Snack #2

Means: Providing building crews with tasty, healthy snacks as alternatives to fast food, Red Bull, and cigarettes throughout the workday, with low keyed conversations and reading materials in support.

Arthur Camberon and Armon Of Juice Kitchen Preparing Snack #3

Arthur Camberon and Armon Of Juice Kitchen Preparing Snack #3

In the off season, introducing crews to STEM skills development via partnerships with local schools with edible classroom and aquaponics projects underway.

Healthy Snack #1.  Apples & Almonds

Healthy Snack #1. Apples & Almonds

Proposed Pilot Project Partners: Community Roofing & Restoration, Sweet Water Foundation, University of Wisconsin Urban Agriculture Extension, Parkside School for the Arts, UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Milwaukee School of Engineers, Green Schools Alliance, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Food Systems Lab, Artist Muneer Bahauddeen

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Inseparable Cities by the Love of Comrades

“I will plant companionship thick as trees along all the rivers of America,/and along the shores of the great lakes, and all over the prairies,/I will make inseparable cities with their arms about each other’s necks,/By the love of comrades.”

Whitman text

Let us wrap Milwaukee Chicago Arms
Around each other’s necks…

From Milwaukee

With help from UW Extension, UW Madison Young Doctors TRIUMPH Project, Wisconsin Organic Valley Wormfarm Institute, Purple Cow Sweet Water VGI Heart Haus SEED Garden Agora UEC Community Guild Network and Milwaukee’s Urban Ag Grand Alliance Milwaukee Renaissance from the Sister City Where the Sweet Waters gather.


SWF Perru Ave Commons

Emmanuel and Jia?

St. Louis

Miss Betty’s Boys

Norm and Paulette?

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Sweetwater Community Aquaponics Network

Dear Stacy and All,

Stacy… I am so happy that you and yours are interested in an aquaponics encounter!

I have included Aquapons who may have the time and be moved by the spirit to begin a conversation with you, leading up to a tour, and, from my point of view, a loose collaborative knowledge sharing, to bring forth the day when 5% of the schools of the world are graced with aquaponic models and edible classrooms.

Allow me to introduce you to people who are quite literally among the worlds most competent aquaponic experimenters, growing fish, plants, knowledge, and, to me, mysteriously, Polymath Rainbow Greening Souls…And sharing networked conversations, encounters, experiments, and projects, probably forshadowing some kind of Aquaponics Guilds, with a variety of expressions.

One World Aquaponics

Of, by, and for the healing of the people and the planet, with all of God’s children, in Milwaukee, Chicago, Organic Valley Wisconsin, St Louis, and a number of cities in Europe, Central and South America, and Africa.

Every city should grow aquaponics innovation centers and greening hubs in our integral schools!

In the way that I pray, I pray that 5% of the world’s schools will have small to large aquaponic Innovation centers by the year 2040

I hope this conversation will lead to mighty or modest collaborations with you and yours, toward that goal.


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Obama Foundation 60 Second Film Features Micheal Reynolds of Sweet Water Foundation

Centers & Hubs for Growing, Making, Fixing, and Sharing at Obama Presidential Library

It’s beginning to look like Emmanuel Pratt and teams are winning a place for the marriage of urban agriculture, restoration artisanship, and the blending of art, architecture, city planning, and science with the community engagement wing of the Obama Presidential Library.

And Milwaukee Region grew 10,000 community garden plots and a Community Greenhouse in every neighborhood!. And young Milwaukee Chicago videographers made a documentary featured in the opening week of the Obama Presidential Library. Our movement has a relationship with the folks designing community engagement of what will be a South Side Chicago wonder.…/status/898678019165790208/video/1

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Godsil and Fraundorf Community Guild School Experiments

Community Roofing and Restoration is considering the purchase of the Robert Koch “complex” on Fratney and Auer, aspiring to transform the property into a Community Guild School and perhaps Residencies.

Community Roofing’s Guild Network Healthy Food Experiments

The Koch complex would be an ideal innovation center for the Guild’s health food experiments. Here’s a conversation fleshing out this concept.

Godsil. While taking pictures and interviewing members of the Community Network I imagined showing up at the job site with some almonds, peanuts, broccoli and really good dip, and experimenting with different mixes of good and healthy food as an alternative to potato chips candy bars and fast food stuff.

I think this would be appreciated by our Artisans and would make a great story for social media and the history books.

What say?

Fraundorf. I think it would be amazing to get them off of the red bull and garbage food. Chicken salads, water, wraps, fruit, vegetables, etc…happy to put $500 a month into a trial base or more if needed.

G: Let’s team up with the UW Extension nutritionist and the MATC Culinary Arts students to make this brilliance

F: I think it’s a brilliant idea for the artisans of Community’s networks.

G: Good Food and Beauty at the community Guild Houses in every community might change the world.

Every city deserves a community Guild House with good food and Beauty to elevate the spirits, nourish and heal the body, and enhances our artisans’ quest for excellence, at the job, with the family, in the community.

G: May I share this thread at the Milwaukee Renaissance and on my Facebook page?

F: Sure

Community Sweet Water Regenerative Placemaking

Since 1975 Community has demonstrated the merit of developing networks of custom artisinal shops for roof system restoration, with some key members of the network happy, even eager, to develop workshops on copper smithing, restoration carpentry and masonry, paining, roofing, plumbing, and more. Self reliance through the trades!

From 2005 on up through today, Community has advanced visions of harvesting the urban agriculture movement of Milwaukee in service to a new “biophilic” and STEAM pedagogy(“A” for art and architecture). If our kids grow it, they’ll eat it! The most important manifestation of this is the Sweet Water Foundation, directed by Emmanuel Pratt, who has been a global trailblazer in the theory and the practice of regenerative placemaking.

And from 1975 to our times, Community has supported neighborhood economic development experiments in Riverwest. Local, shared economics “as if people mattered.”

The Koch Complex would be a perfect place to pull these strands together!

But we are hesitant to enter into this story without an understanding of the challenges of water and soil remediation at this site. We can imagine pulling together a series of engineering, architecture, and landscape design teams to use the Koch Complex transformation into a Community Guild School and Residence as a case study of what “green grand alliances” can accomplish.

We would be working with people in the Community Sweet Water Foundation and Harvard GSD networks if we can enter into a collaboration with state of the art understanding of the challenges of the Koch Complex regarding soil and water “healing.”

I am hoping such a venture might advance the personal and commonwealth work of many good people, as well as the good cause of healing people and planet.

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Co-Create Mind Sharing Conversation Circles Among Progressive Catholics by Culture

Like this note to one of my classmates from St. Louis University High(SLUH).

Dear Michael,

I have enjoyed and been “struck by” the intensity and clarity of your expression regarding the great issues of our time, and the embarrassing debasement of the Office of the Presidency, United States of America of late. I am in friendly competition with Big Apple Jewish intellectuals of the 20th century and West Coast Pragmatic Mystics around “culture.”

I want to help co-create a progressive wing of “Catholics by Culture” in my remaining years, with a focus on Jesuit trained boomers from across the globe.​ Connecting progressive “Catholics by Culture” is one of my chores, and I hope you might join in! Below are links to the dawn of TomCoffin and [DavidGrant essays “Where The Sweet Waters Waters Meet.,” i.e. Milwaukee’s(metaphorically conceived) Renaissance, followed by a letter by Jesuit schooled polymath elder, Merlin Donald, to an Irish missionary turned Pope Francis’ ecological advisor.

I would be profoundly grateful if you would spend the time and make the effort to craft a Michael Britt Essay, either a response to the ideas of this note, or about whatever issue inspires you to share your thoughts.

​​Professor Merlin Donale Letter to Father Sean McDonagh re Catholics by Culture

Dear Fr. McDonagh,

I am a big fan of Laudato Si, which I understand you co-authored. Thank you for that enormous contribution to humanity. The text strikes the right balance between scientifically rigorous fact and that special tone, so crucial to Christianity at its best, of altruism and community and selflessness, of giving over to something much bigger than yourself. In an age such as ours, where selfishness has run rampant and greed and narcissism are actively held up as ideals, it is refreshing to read a major world document couched in truly human terms, and not wasted due to Legalese and bureaucratic pomp. Having written a few things myself, I know how tough it is to craft and maintain such a tone.

I am what I prefer to call a “cultural Catholic” — that is, someone who respects and largely adheres to the best ideas the Church can offer, without being able to say I “believe” in such things as papal infallibility. Having studied with the Jesuits for eight years, I find the public stance of Pope Francis both reassuringly tolerant, and familiar — my Jesuit teachers were like that — open-minded, wise, and tolerant.

Here is a question that has bugged me for years: what does the Church not do what the Jews do so well — retain the identity and loyalty of “cultural Catholics,” instead of casting them aside on doctrinal picky points, or insistence on a crushing subservience to symbols of priestly authority? The same might be said on so many issues — and especially, on why are there no women priests, given the crisis in replacing the aging priesthood, etc. The argument from a literal reading of scripture holds no water at all, given the history of how the New Testament was edited and assembled. But the slide of the priesthood, and the stubbornness of the Curia, continues.

The Church has so many who admire it, especially at this moment, with a such a progressive and articulate Pope. But the conservatives and literalists among the Curia are destroying the Western Church, in my view. Especially in the USA and Canada, I am often amazed that our bishops sound more like fundamentalist preachers than like the highly educated Jesuit teachers I was taught by, so many years ago.

I have been working on a theoretical level on the nature of deep cognitive and technological changes the world is experiencing at the moment. i think human nature itself is on the table. The church is exactly the kind of institution the world needs as we become inexorably wired closer and closer together, if only it can put some of those ultra-conservative values behind it and focus on coping with the world as it is now (and as it once did, on an heroic scale, back in Counter- Reformation times). We human beings are in very deep trouble and in need of moral leadership. But it won’t come if the Curia keeps sailing on a course of blatant retrograde self-interest.

Pope Francis obviously understands this, but I understand he is running into some pretty vicious resistance. I sincerely hope he can prevail, and implement reform.

Meanwhile, I am trying to fight the pessimistic mood that currently prevails in the English-speaking world, as we see all our empires fade. Our minds need to be clear, above all, to cope with climate change. Unfortunately, technological change is causing a major shift in the way we think and remember — to the point where I am now convinced there is a fourth “cognitive transition” underway. We will increasingly find ourselves at the mercy of forces we have not managed to control, and this time those forces are acting directly on the mind — that is, on the very heart of human nature.

The problem is, our minds are not clear at the moment, because we are hurtling into a new cognitive ecology without any guidance. Just as we are fighting ecological wars on a physical level, we are confronted with the need to battle a changing cognitive ecology as well. Our history suggests that this is a dangerous situation, and possibly a fatal one.

In any case, I am going on too long, and I know you are a very busy person. But do we all have work to do!

My very best regards, in appreciation for your contribution,

Professor Emeritus,
Department of Psychology,
Queen’s University,
Kingston, Ontario,
Canada K7L 3N6​

​So there you have it!

What say?

Why not?


Sweet Water Vision Inspired By Andre Gorz


Emmanuel Pratt, co-founder and director of the Sweet Water Foundation, sent me this from the mind sharing of Andre Gorz, among the most influential nuanced and engaged intellectual of the 20th century. Gorz’s work was among the key practical philosophy theorists of the group that became ESHAC, Inc., key to the renaissance of Riverwest.

Each neighborhood, each town, would have public workshops equipped with a complete range of tools, machines, and raw materials

where the citizens produce for themselves, outside the market economy, the non-essentials according to their tastes and desires.

As they would not work more than twenty hours a week (and possibly less) to produce the necessities of life, the adults would have time to learn what the children would be learning in primary school: not only reading and writing but

also handicrafts of all kinds, sewing, leather-working, cabinet-making, masonry, metal-working, mechanics, pottery, agriculture—in short, all of the skills which are now commercially torn from us and replaced with buying and selling.

The inversion of tools is a fundamental condition of the transformation of society. The development of voluntary cooperation, the self-determination and freedom of communities and individuals, requires the development of technologies and methods of production which:

  • can be used and controlled at the level of the neighborhood or community;

  • are capable of generating increased economic autonomy for local and regional collectivities;

  • are not harmful to the environment; and

  • are compatible with the exercise of joint control by producers and consumers over products and production processes.

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Why Elections Are The Problem And How to Make Democracy Real

By David Grant

Representative democracy is in crisis. Legislatures do not accurately reflect all sectors of society. Ordinary citizens should have more say than merely pulling a ballot lever once every few years.

A government that is merely ‘for’ the people is not any longer good enough. It is time to institute a government that is also ‘by’ and ‘of’ the people.

The original Athenian democracy used a method altogether different than elections to select its officials. They used the system now used to select citizens for jury duty.


Also at — but requires logging in —:

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Elaborate Airbnb Offerings to “Experiences” That Pay The Mentors of Your Town

Roughly a decade ago two new “platform” companies burst out of California. The one that dominated the headlines was called Uber, which created a platform where with one touch of your phone you could summon a cab, direct the driver, pay the driver and rate the driver. It grew like a weed — as all kinds of people became taxi drivers in their spare time. But Uber made clear that its ultimate goal was self-driving cars.

The other was called Airbnb. It created a trust platform so efficient that people all over the world were ready to use it to rent out their spare bedrooms to total strangers. Airbnb is growing so fast that it’s now adding the equivalent of one entire Hilton hotel chain’s worth of rooms for rent each year.

But while Uber aspires to self-driving cars, Airbnb has a different goal: enabling what I call self-driving people.

And that’s why I won’t be surprised if in five years Airbnb is not only still the world’s biggest home rental service, but also one of the world’s biggest jobs platforms. You read that right. Very quietly Airbnb has been expanding its trust platform beyond enabling people to rent their spare rooms to allowing them to translate their passions into professions, and thereby empower more self-driving people.

Don’t worry: I don’t own stock in Airbnb. (Wish I could.) But I’ve been following it nearly from its inception through conversations with one of its founders, C.E.O. Brian Chesky, and I highlight the latest step in its evolution because I think it provides part of the answer to one of the most vexing societal questions we face today: Will machines and robots take all our jobs?
Continue reading the main story

Answer: Only if we let them — and Airbnb is creating a platform to not let them. It all started with people who were renting rooms saying to their customers: “Hey, hope you enjoy the room. By the way, I’m also a great cook; would you like me to prepare a dinner party for you?” Or, “I’m an amateur historian; would you like me to give you a tour of the city?” Now this trend has just taken off.

“We created a garden and planted one plant — and that was home-sharing,” explained Chesky over breakfast in San Francisco. “And now we’re seeing what other things can grow in this garden.”

To see what’s growing, go to Airbnb’s site and click not on “homes” but on “experiences.” You’ll find an endless smorgasbord of people turning their passion into profit and their inner artisan into second careers.

Take for instance the team of Luca & Lorenzo. They explain in endearing broken English: “We are 100 percent Italian food lovers; we were used to cook with our grandmothers since we were child. We continued to have this passion through the years, so it makes sense founded our company Lovexfood.”

For $152 a person, they will take seven people visiting Florence, Italy, on a trip to “make pasta from scratch in the woods outside the city” in an “old house … surrounded by a garden with aromatic plants. We are between the hills where is produced the famous Chianti wine.”

In Dublin, for $85 a person, John will introduce you to low-light photography and then take you on an evening tour of some of the city’s most interestingly lit locations, ending in his studio, where he’ll “help you to edit and retouch your photographs, taking them to the next level for social media and print.”

In London, for $84 a person, you can learn in three hours how to “make a one-of-a-kind hat with a professional millinery designer,” Sarah, using “an array of feathers, flowers, lace and tulle.” A “traditional English breakfast complete with finger sandwiches and an assortment of cakes” is included.

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For $35 a person, Lee Marvin will take five people in Havana on a tour of three-on-three neighborhood basketball games. “Christina” posted a message on his site on July 18, saying: “I signed my teenage son up for this & it was one of the best activities of the trip. It was supposed to end at 8 p.m. or so. Well, my son felt so welcomed that he & Lee Marvin’s gang hung out for several hours after they played basketball. They learned about each other’s lives, told jokes, talked sports and really bonded. Talk about a great emersion into the Cuban culture.” Also, not a bad way for a Cuban to earn $175 a night, minus Airbnb’s commission.

For $99 a person and five hours in Los Angeles, Antonio will teach your group how to “make a custom piñata with an esteemed pâper-maché artist” in the piñata district. Tools, “tamales and pan dulce” from Antonio’s favorite places are all included.

And for $37 each, Naky will take your group on a four-hour tour of Lisbon to “see the city through the eyes of an African immigrant.” You’ll explore “the African continent’s influence on the city and visit areas where African immigrants live, work, and play.” Naky is originally from Togo and has “a passion for history.”

No wonder Airbnb’s “experiences” site has grown tenfold this year.

Tourists visiting a foreign country try to understand the culture by going to a museum and viewing “art by dead people,” noted Chesky. “Why not learn how to make art yourself, taught by a living artist in that culture and immerse yourself in the artist’s world? These are experiences you can bring back with you!”

Chesky believes that the potential for Airbnb experiences could be bigger than home-sharing. I agree.

“The biggest asset in people’s lives is not their home, but their time and potential — and we can unlock that,” he explained. “We have these homes that are not used, and we have these talents that are not used. Instead of asking what new infrastructure we need to build, why don’t we look at what passions we can unlock? We can unlock so much economic activity, and this will unlock millions of entrepreneurs.”

When he retires, said Chesky, age 35, “I’d like to say that Airbnb created 100 million new entrepreneurs in the world.” I wouldn’t bet against him. Because the world is full of artisans and people with passions waiting to be unlocked.

In America, though, there is a surplus of fear and a poverty of imagination in the national jobs discussion today — because “all we are focusing on are the things that are going away,” said Chesky. “We need to focus on what’s coming. Do we really think we’re living in the first era in history where nothing will ever again be created by humans for humans, only by machines? Of course not. It’s that we’re not talking about all of these human stories.”

Indeed, the beauty of this era is that you don’t need to wait for Ford to come to your town with a 25,000-person auto factory. Anyway, that factory is now 2,500 robots and 1,000 people. The future belongs to communities that learn to leverage their unique attributes, artisans and human talent.

There is no Eiffel Tower in Louisville, Ky., but there are amazing bourbon distilleries popping up all over, creating myriad tourist opportunities; there are no pyramids in Detroit, but there is a bountiful history of Motown music and all kinds of artists now creating boutique concerts and tours for visitors to experience it.

Is this the only answer for the American middle-class jobs challenge? Of course not. There is no one answer. That’s the point.

We have to do 50 things right to recreate that broad middle class of the ’50s and ’60s, and platforms like Airbnb’s are just one of them. (Having universal health care to create a safety net under all of these budding entrepreneurs would be another.) But you have to be inspired by how many people are now finding joy and income by mining their passions.

“A tourist is someone who does things that locals who live there never do,” said Chesky. Airbnb’s experiences platform is now enabling visitors to live like locals — even though they’re guests and, in the process, enrich the local community and create new employment. Any town can play.

So much of what companies did in the past, concluded Chesky, “was unlocking natural resources to build the stuff we wanted.” Today’s new platforms are unlocking human potential to “be the people we wanted.”

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Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris accord is irresponsible and immoral

By Fr. Seán McDonagh SSC

Through-out his campaign for the US Presidency, Donald Trump constantly called global warning a hoax which was invented by the Chinese government to weaken US manufacturing. Given the fact that climate change is accepted by almost all scientists and countries and that its negative effects in terms of droughts, severe weather and rising ocean are well-known, the decision of President Trump to leave the Paris accord on climate change which was signed by 197 nations is both irresponsibility and immoral. Trump’s spurious claim that other nations are being given an unfair advantage over the U.S. is totally untrue. In fact the opposite is the case as we will see later.

In the last 20 years, the US has experienced extreme weather associated with climate change. In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed the city of New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and Alabama. Almost one- and-a half million people were displaced and 1,800 people lost their lives. Apart from the human misery caused by Hurricane Katrina, the clean-up bill came to over a $100 billion.

But climate change is causing severe weather right around world which is leading to drought and famine in many areas. In early 2017, climate change and the El Nino effect in the Pacific Ocean, have caused drought and starvation in many parts of east Africa. Aid agencies such as Concern are well aware of the hunger which climate change in causing in so many communities.

Written by Thomas Friedman of NYT.

Clack here for the full article as well as more articles
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Sweet Water Solutionary Conversations

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East Coast Great Lakes Heartland Mighty Collaboration Experiments

Director of the Sweet Water Foundation, Emmanuel Pratt, with Harvard Graduate School of Design engaged professor Stephen Ervin, during Pratt’s tenure as a Leob Fellow 2016/17.

Stephen is Assistant Dean for Information Technology , pioneering digital computing in landscape architecture, planning and design. Ervin was especially impressed with Emmanuel’s energy, word play, maker and connecting skills.

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Stephen Ervin of Harvard Graduate School of Design, with black beret and big white beard, at the Think Do House II, next to Master Restorationist Micheal Reynolds.

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Sweet Water Meets Laudato Si Draft Writer, Fr. Sean McDonagh and Visits Aquaponics Experiment at Dublin’s Belvedere College

In August, 2016, a Sweet Water Foundation team had the amazing good forture to participate in an eco/art exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art last Februrary. While there we were were given a tour by the creators of a rooftop garden(including aquaponics) at the Jesuit H.S. Belvedere College; and we also were blessed with Fr. McDonagh’s presence at one of our presentations(with our director Emmanuel Pratt’s arm around him front and center).

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Seed Milwaukee Map — 2017 Programming and Partners

UW Extension SEED Program Year One Report

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Milwaukee Green World Fairs and Bridge Walls In Museums Alive!

Imagine MSOE engineering classes teamed up with MIAD design classes and UWM Urban History, etc. to create a Wall of Bridges, with, say 20 Projects Working Well, displayed via digital portals that share but also create the cells of collaborating distributed networks. Why not? Here is the image that inspired the vision of the Green World Bridge Walls.

Toward A Digitally Enhanced Art and Science Museum Exhibition: Milwaukee’s IBM Smart City and UN Global Compact City Visioning Retrospective

Here is my opening list of Milwaukee green world designers, makers, and growers worthy of inclusion in the Bridge Wall “totems” in Green World Fairs, in our museums eager to partner with green world creation experiments. I am sorry to have omitted some people and projects most appropriately celebrated. Please help me right the wrong with your additions to

Here is a place to share images that inspired the vision of the Green World Bridge Walls.

Here are some of the Milwaukee teams that played a part in winning the UN Global Compact City and the IBM Smart City honor.

  • Cooperative Institute for Urban Agriculture and Nutrition(in anticipation)
  • MMSD
  • Milwaukee ECO(in anticipation)
  • Colectivo
  • Outpost Natural Foods
  • Rishi Tea
  • Kubala Washatko
  • Urban Ecology Center
  • MSOE Honors Engineering Program(in anticipation)
  • MPS STEM Projects(in anticipation)
  • MIAD
  • Milwaukee Public House Coop(in anticipation)
  • ReciproCity(in anticipation)
  • UW Cooperative Extension SEED Initiative
  • Zilber Foundation
  • MATC
  • MU
  • Alverno
  • ReFlo(in anticipation)
  • Growing Power
  • Walnut Way
  • Alice’s Garden
  • Nuwaukee(in anticipation)
  • MUG
  • VGI(in anticipation)
  • Groundworks(in anticipation)
  • Martha’s Mighty Fine Foods(in anticipation)
  • Purple Cow Organics(in anticipation)
  • Sheoherd Express
  • Top 10 Chefs
  • Top 10 CSAs
  • Terry McCormick Gallery(in anticipation)
  • Riverwest Currents
  • Riverworks(in anticipation)
  • Lakefront Brewery
  • Embedded Reporter
  • UWM Lake Effect
  • Cream City Farms(in anticipation)
  • Sweet Water Foundation
  • UN Global Compact Cities(in anticipation)
  • Midwest Renewable Energy Ass.
  • Mitchell Park Conservatory
  • Journey House
  • Water Council
  • School of Fresh Water Sciences(in anticipation)
  • Home Gr/OWN(in anticipation)
  • Port Fish(in anticipation)
  • Wormfarm Institute
  • Wellspring
  • Zoological Society Congo Bonobo Biodiversity Program
  • Riverwest Food Coop
  • Amaranth Bakery and Urban Sanctuary
  • Muneer’s Peace Post Project(in anticipation)
  • Grandmothers Without Borders(in anticipation)
  • Riverwest Currents
  • 16th St. Community Health Center
  • Core el Centro
  • Soldiers Home(in anticipation)
  • Center for Veterans Issues(in anticipation)
  • Milwaukee Preservation Alliance
  • Milwaukee Artists Resource Network

Driving 325 Dreams
Image By Zephyris at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Proposed DNA For Backsteeet Harvards New Schools

Loeb Network disrupts HGSD with Backstreet Harvard

Got to have front street schools as well.
And both make fine things.

Can we democratize Super(New) Schools?

Can we sculpt and perform backstreet Harvard New Schools

Why not?

Metis Coming Out Of The Closet

Metis, the glory of Greek mythology
Ready to be re-born…

Coming Out of the Closet

Squat in a clammy closet,
Stacking eggshells upon eggshells,

Humming versus of the Ave Maria,
So the bald old man prowling the halls

In tennis shoes and a black robe

Knows I’m doing my duty.

Exultant in an open field,

Sky blue, bursting billowing clouds,
Brilliant sun, throwing a thick stick
For my prize puppy.

Farther and farther I throw it,
Faster and faster she takes it,
We are both heated and sweating.

My Mother calls.

“What are you doing outside?
Why are you not stacking?

How will you win your prize
So indulged?”

Back to the closet,
But only for a time.
A new day was brewing.
I heard a different song.

The escape was not easy.
“You wished it stranger”
You left the path on your own,
“You are lost if you believe in danger.”

Forty years later,
Not in closets, nor even lush fields.

But in ineffably resonant worlds
Of sweet ones, where utopian visions
Are pursued amidst gales of laughter.


First Big Snow
Milwaukee the Mecca
Of the Sweet Water Seas

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Merlin Donald-JamesCScott-FrSeanMcDonagh

Merlin’s matrix brick alive and growing.
And too Scott’s and Father Sean’s.

Professors Donald and Scott, and Fr. Sean McDonagh, are right up there with Grace Lee Boggs, Charlene Spretnak, Mary Jane Jacobs, Steven Ervin, Jeannie Gang, and my favorite ever Mother Son deep theory practice collaboration of Victoria and Emmanuel Pratt. I intend to introduce each of these thought leaders to my “cognitive community” of origin, i.e. Baptized Roman Catholics and Jesuit School alums.

Wisconsin Idea And Health Insurance Premium Reduction

The SEED Initiative has developed 8 community gardens/ outdoor classrooms/ popup agora markets in 8 different neighborhoods mostly considered to be “food deserts” in Milwaukee County. These 8 Seed Gardens are resourced within the 100 year plus famed University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension, birthed in Wisconsin Progressive’s “Wisconsin Idea,” bringing a staff of 35, a yearly budget of $2,500,000, land, building, and equipment resources over $10,000,000 valuation, 535 Milwaukee Waukesha County Master Gardeners providing 32,152 volunteer hours of community education, youth mentoring, and Extension support, 100 acres of rich soil in prime city locations, 1,000 gardeners, and a central, foundational, critical role in Milwaukee’s world renowned urban agriculture movement, emerging as a vital 21st century industry transitioning Milwaukee from an industrial to a leading ecoLogical city.

The SEED Garden Initiative 2016 pilot year merited the status of a MANDI Awards finalist for the Journey House/ SEED Community Garden for the Brewers Foundation Public Space Award.

Seed Garden Express Yourself Equinox Drum Bus Parties & Markets for Sherman Park Transcendance
I would like to imagine your building as an incubator for training Life Coaches and creators of STE+A+M Homes and Gardens.

Sites for growing our souls, the beloved Community, and neighborhood level commerce.

Sites for growing food wise, exercise wise, street, commerce, and garden wise citizens.

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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:


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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?


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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.

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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!


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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 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.

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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

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Food Garden Playgrounds

As place of the art of life and fun!

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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

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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.

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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
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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

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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.

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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®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!

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ALERT: Tax bill talking points and action steps

As families around the country prepare to gather with loved ones for the Thanksgiving holiday, the House passed a tax bill that would threaten the health and economic security of many low-income and middle-class families.

This Thanksgiving, talk turkey about taxes! It’s not too late to protect our health care and our families. Here’s what you can do:

1. Contact your Senators today to tell them not to sacrifice Americans’ healthcare to give tax cuts to the wealthy.

  • Reach any Senator through the Senate switchboard at (202) 224–3121, or
  • Use this toll-free number set up by Service Employees International Union (SEIU): 866–426–2631

2. Talk to your family and friends about what this tax bill does:

  • Increases the deficit by almost $2 TRILLION
  • Immediately cuts Medicare by $25 billion
  • Sets up future trillion dollar cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security to pay for the tax cuts and fix the deficit
  • Ends the medical expense deduction – hurting at least 4.5 million people with incomes less than $75,000
  • Increases taxes for 47% of families with children

Download the “Talk Turkey About Taxes” flier produced by the Medicare Rights Center and Center for Medicare Advocacy.

Share the flier with family and friends and start a conversation about the tax bill and how we can protect our care and financial well-being.

Download flier.

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Highlights from 2017 so far: The Good News and Pivotal Facts

Thurs. 11/16/17: “Bad news for Trump: No one is above the law.” US Military and CIA Leaders May Be Investigated for War Crimes

Thurs. 8/24/17: Jim Crow-Era Tactics Rejected as Texas GOP Racist Voter ID Law Smacked Down

Fri. 8/18/17: “Calling for a congressional hearing on the 13th Amendment’s enslavement clause and its role in producing the world’s largest prison population.

Sat. 7/29/17: U.S. police chiefs blast Trump for endorsing ‘police brutality’

Click here for more good news
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Three ways Congress’s tax cut bill could impact people with disabilities

Both the U.S. House and Senate are working on bills that would make changes to how much taxes people pay, and would lower the amount of money collected (revenue) from taxpayers.

The Tax legislation would eliminate two existing tax credits important to people with disabilities and their families. Under the bills, the government would collect far less tax money than it needs to maintain the current level of spending on Medicaid and other programs that help people with disabilities.

The House may vote as early as this Thursday (November 16th) on their tax bill, with the Senate to follow in the next couple weeks.

House tax bill eliminates the Medical expense credit

When a person has medical expenses greater than 10% of their adjusted gross income, they can use this tax credit. 9 million households took this deduction, and it can be crucial for families covering expenses not covered by insurance, high out-of-pocket medical costs, or paying for nursing home costs. Older adults with high cost medical needs, people with disabilities and chronic medical conditions, and families with children who have high cost medical needs and disabilities benefit from the credit. (More about this tax credit)

Both tax bills eliminate the Rare disease credit

This credit reimburses drug developers for half of their research costs on treatments meant for rare diseases. Supporters say this credit is one of several incentives that have led to the approval of more than 500 new and much-needed drugs for those rare diseases that each affect fewer than 200,000 people. (More about this tax credit)

Both bill’s large tax cuts threaten Medicaid

Both tax bills increase the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion. This means that the federal government is not collecting enough money to pay for existing programs and services (like Medicaid—which funds Family Care, IRIS, BadgerCare, Children’s Long Term Supports, the ForwardHealth Card and other Wisconsin programs). National advocates are very concerned that tax cuts, which reduce the amount of money the government has to spend, will result in cutting Medicaid and other programs and services that help people with disabilities.
National advocates point to both the President’s and House budget, which include more than $1 Trillion dollars from Medicaid specifically. The tax bill would add another $1.5 trillion gap in funding, and analysts identify Medicaid spending as one of the likely targets for additional cuts.

Suggested Action Steps
Call Senators Johnson (202) 224–5323 and Baldwin (202) 224–5653 and your Congressional Representative. Milwaukee area representatives are: Congresswoman Gwen Moore at 202–225–4572, Congressman Paul Ryan at (202) 225–3031, or Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner at (202) 225–5101

  • Share your concerns about how the current tax proposals could cut Medicaid and other programs you care about and use.

  • If you or your family member has a rare disease, tell your Senator and Representative how this credit has or could result in a better quality of life for people with rare diseases.

  • If you or your family uses the Medical Expense Credit, tell your Representative how this credit benefits you and what it would mean to you if it was no longer an option.

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Shortage of mental health care providers hits crisis point just as more teens seek help

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

From today’s Journal Sentinel:

Shortage of mental health care providers hits crisis point just as more teens seek help
quote from article:
It’s almost like they have to get into some sort of trouble before they get into services,” said Rauschenberger, who also serves as interim dean of Alverno College’s JoAnn McGrath School of Nursing. “They end up being incarcerated for really what is a health issue, and it shouldn’t have gotten that far.”
The shortage of mental health professionals is a crisis — particularly for youth, and more particularly for low-income families who use public insurance.

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  • EXPO Organizer Sarah Ferber is the newest staff member in the WISDOM Network. As is published on the Gamaliel website, she is excited about her story and her future, but that has not always been the case. Read her powerful story here.

  • EXPO leaders across the state are fully engaged in the campaign to #CLOSEmsdf. Organizer Mark Rice explains why in this op-ed piece.

  • We are proud to announce that the #CLOSEmsdf Coalition is now 17 organizations strong! If you would like to invite your place of worship or social organization to join the coalition, contact us at

  • The #CLOSEmsdf Campaign now has its own presence on social media:

You can support our work with a donation here!

EXPO Statewide Organizer Mark Rice also addresses this “Time To Dismantle Structural Racism.”

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Democracy Crumbles Before Our Eyes: Vote!

Mon. 11/13/17: Still At It:

Fri. 11/10/17: Hate in the White House — October

Sat. 11/4: Russian Propagandists Took a Page Out of America’s Racist Political Playbook

Thurs. 10/11/17: How the School to Prison Pipeline REALLY Works

Click here for more
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Fri. 11/10/17: SPLC on Campus: A guide to bystander intervention

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House Tax Plan Would Significantly Impact Older Adults and People with Disabilities

The House Republican tax plan is currently being debated by the Ways and Means Committee, and several of the provisions will have a devastating impact on older adults and people with disabilities. Most notably, the plan does away with the medical expense deduction, which allows people who spend more than 10% of their income on health care expenses to deduct the remainder of their medical expenses from their federally taxed income.

Medicare Rights, along with other organizations, sent a letter to Congress urging them to protect this deduction. The letter highlights how this deduction helps people facing huge medical bills keep a bit more in their pockets – perhaps delaying enrolling in Medicaid, the state and federal program that covers healthcare and long-term care expenses for people with low incomes and limited assets.

Read More

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Launch of MKE Elevate: Milwaukee’s Community Health Improvement Plan

Welcome to MKE Elevate, an ambitious community-driven plan working to elevate the health and well-being of Milwaukee residents.

Today, we join you, the Milwaukee public health community, in releasing the city’s first community-driven health improvement plan. The MKE Elevate health improvement plan is a five-year agenda that seeks to support safer and healthier neighborhoods by aligning existing work and identifying new strategies around economic security, a fair and inclusive society, and positive mental health.

MKE Elevate was developed through an extensive process to assess the health of residents citywide and hear directly from residents, agencies, and organizations. The City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) has been proud to facilitate this development process - but this plan belongs to all of us. It calls for the MHD and you - our partners - to support and expand work in the three priority areas identified by our community as the most pressing issues affecting health outcomes citywide.

Review the MKE Elevate Community Health Improvement Plan:

To accomplish the work outlined in 24 objectives and 89 strategies, we will need sustained commitment and partnership. Please review the plan, share it widely, and share with us your commitment to aligning work around these efforts.

To share your commitment:

  1. Email us for more information about joining an action team at
  2. Share your commitment on social media: Use the MKE Elevate partner logo here to share how you plan to support MKE Elevate.

For more information on MKE Elevate, visit Our team is available at for any questions.

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MICAH/Partner Events and Meetings

Know Your Rights Party, Tuesday November 14, 5:30, Welford Sanders Building, 2821 N 4th St.

Students, family, and concerned community members join us to get more information about the alarming racial disparities & understanding legal rights of students facing suspension & expulsion in Milwaukee schools. Sponsored by Legal Action of WI, MICAH and LIT (Leaders Ignighting Transformation). Flyer

Temporary Job Opportunity
As you know MICAH and Black Health Coalition won a settlement from WI Dept of Transportation which led to the funding of the JobLines bus routes (Routes 6 and 61). The UWM Center for Economic Development is working with CMR Marketing to measure the economic impact of the JobLines bus routes. This will help inform County decision making regarding future funding of these routes.

We are looking for 6–8 community members who may be interested in doing Community Research. Please find attached the description of the responsibilities of a Community Researcher. Application deadline Nov 15. Download application

Click here for more information
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Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force – November 14 meeting

Please join us for the November 14 meeting of the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force:

Meeting Details:
Tuesday, November 14 from 3 – 5 PM at IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st street.

Our agenda will include the following:

  • Something to Think About, Dr. Patricia McManus

  • Presentation on How You Can Make Your Meetings / Conferences Accessible to People who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf-Blind, presented by Denise Johnson, BSW, IndependenceFirst. See the flyers for more details and thanks to Denise for sharing her expertise and helping us improve as a Task Force to be more inclusive and accessible.

  • IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Medicaid Managed Care (HMOs) will be expanding in Wisconsin to include those receiving Medicaid SSI or SSI related Medicaid because of a disability. This will include 28,000 people statewide including 12,000 adults with disabilities in Milwaukee who are currently in fee for service Medicaid and will be transitioning to an HMO in 2018. This includes many people with a mental illness. Nicholas Di Meo, MPH | Southeast Wisconsin Medicaid of Policy Advisor from Wisconsin DHS will provide an update and an opportunity for questions. Note: this change does not include individuals enrolled in long term care (Family Care, IRIS, Partnership).

  • Update from the Mental Health Task Force Advocacy Work Group with some great ideas for expanding advocacy capacity

  • Other Policy and Resource updates:
    County Budget
    McArthur Grant progress
    DRW new “Family Friendly Guide to Services for Milwaukee County Special Needs Children and Youth and their Families”
    Packet with Mental Health Board Updates

Save the date for our December 12th meeting which will feature a panel on consumer / client rights with panel members from Disability Rights Wisconsin, the State Public Defenders Office, and the Behavioral Health Division Clients Rights Specialist.

‘’Environmental/Chemical Sensitivities: For the safety and comfort of those with chemical sensitivities, IndependenceFirst
requests that people visiting our agency, refrain from using any perfumed products and not smoke near the building.’‘

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Words of WISDOM Newsletter

This is the second edition of Words of WISDOM, an e-newsletter that shares updates from the WISDOM affiliates, as well as contact and website information. Lots going on in all the affiliates, building power as a statewide organization!
Click to open up each affiliate’s update:

Words of WISDOM. CUSH, Kenosha
CUSH leaders work with Kenosha Area Transit to build bus ridership.
Read More

Words of WISDOM. ESTHER, Appleton
ESTHER has big banquet plans.
Read More

Words of WISDOM. EXPO, Statewide
EXPO Leaders step up the push to close the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility.
Read More

Words of WISDOM. EXPO, Chippewa Valley
EXPO Leaders participate in national Women’s Leadership Training.
Read More

Words of WISDOM. EXPO, Fox Cities
EXPO Leaders focus on individuals and families directly affected by mass incarceration.
Read More

Words of WISDOM. JOB, Beloit
JOB partners with local organizations towards Rock County Drug Court.
Read More

Words of WISDOM. JONAH, Eau Claire
JONAH receives grant recognizing the work of the Immigration Task Force and EXPO.
Read More

Words of WISDOM. JOSHUA, Green Bay
JOSHUA celebrates 13 years of doin’ justice!
Read More

Words of WISDOM. MICAH, Milwaukee
MICAH takes the lead in WISDOM’s statewide Integrated Voter Engagement Campaign.
Read More

Words of WISDOM, MOSES, Madison
MOSES battles new so-called improved Dane County Jail.
Read More

Words of WISDOM. NAOMI, Wausau
NAOMI builds relationships and financial stability with Love Thy Neighbor Breakfast.
Read More

Words of WISDOM. RIC, Racine
RIC holds public meeting against Human Trafficing.
Read More

Words of WISDOM. SOPHIA, Waukesha
SOPHIA plans Business Blitz to build support for transit.
Read More

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Milwaukee County Board Adopts 2018 Budget

Mental Health Task Force / Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Today, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors adopted the 2018 budget: “– The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors adopted the 2018 Milwaukee County budget today on a vote of 15–3 after adopting several amendments to County Executive Chris Abele’s Recommended Budget, including an elimination of Abele’s wheel tax increase to $60.”

Chairman Lipscomb’s proposal was approved. The approved budget includes cuts to a number of departments that are funded by tax levy including “reduces expenses of by $614, 315” for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). We will want to carefully follow the impact of these cuts which look to be significant.

A number of statements have been released from county leaders. Here are some of the key perspectives:

County Executive Abele:

County Board of Supervisors Chairman Theo Lipscomb:

County Board Finance Chair Peggy West:

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draft ready, GO Pass, 2018 Milwaukee County Budget, URGENT

Dear friends of the Go Pass and of DHHS services,
As we all know, the County Board is voting tomorrow on very difficult budget. Like many of you, I had reached out to supervisors to ask them to fund the safety net of services provided by Milwaukee County including the interim Disability Assistance Program, funding for Housing First, funding for emergency shelters, funding for transit including the GO Pass, and funding for Impact (DRW comments are attached). I heard back from Chairman Lipscomb who shared some additional information about the options under consideration.

Based on the attached document which Chairman Lipscomb had forwarded, the Board is considering three proposals – from the County Executive which relies on increasing the vehicle registration fee to $60; from Chairman Lipscomb, and from Supervisor Alexander. I wanted to be sure you had seen the three proposals under consideration and hope you will consider contacting supervisors again this evening or early tomorrow to share your priorities.

  • I am concerned that the Chairman Lipscomb’s proposal includes significant cuts to DHHS $614,315 in the Chairman’s proposal. This will result in cuts to vital programs that we all care about such as those mentioned earlier in this email.

  • It is also concerning to see that Supervisor Alexander’s proposal eliminates the GO Pass and anticipates a savings of $2 million. The assumption that $2 million dollars will be saved is highly questionable as this assumes that the GO Pass “discounted” rides will be replaced by full pass rides. To qualify for the GO Pass as currently defined, the vast majority of GO Pass riders are very low income, without the resources to afford additional full fare rides. Many who use the Go Pass are homeless or housing insecure. If the GO Pass is available, most do not have the resources to pay for additional full fare rides. It is very unlikely that MCTS will realize additional revenues. If GO Pass riders lose access to transportation, the result will be greater isolation resulting in a negative impact on mental health, less ability to access basic needs including food and shelter, reduced access to healthcare and social supports, and a likely increase in reliance on crisis and inpatient services.

I hope you will consider contacting County supervisors once again to ask them to protect DHHS services as listed above and retain funding for the GO Pass – eliminating that funding is a false economy. I have attached the list of supervisors below.

I am not able to attend tomorrow for the County Board vote on the budget, but I am grateful to those of you will be there. Apologies for any typos – I had a bad fall and I am working with only one eye for now until I am healed!

Thanks for your advocacy.

County supervisor addresses to copy into your email;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

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Urgent: Your Constitutional Freedoms Are at Risk.

Call Your State Senator Now.

On Tuesday November 7th, the Wisconsin Senate is scheduled to vote on a resolution calling for a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution, an action that could ultimately threaten our basic freedoms. Your Senator needs to hear from you NOW letting him or her know that you oppose this misguided measure.

Use this site to find the phone number to call your State Senator and ask them to protect the U.S. Constitution!

The U.S. Constitution has been amended successfully several times using a tried and true method, but now Wisconsin is caught up in a different effort. Rather than having Congress and state legislatures vote to approve a specific amendment, the approach being currently pushed would assemble a Constitutional convention at which delegates may be able to make changes to the Constitution with little in the way of checks and balances. The only other Constitutional convention was in 1787, when delegates made wholesale changes to our nation’s governing document.

Congress must call for a convention to amend the Constitution if 34 states pass resolutions calling for one – and already 27 states have passed resolutions. The Wisconsin Assembly has already passed Assembly Joint Resolution 21, and if the state Senate also passes the resolution next week, then Wisconsin would be the 28th state to call for a convention.

Wisconsin’s resolution calls for the Constitutional convention to propose an amendment requiring a balanced budget at the federal level, but states cannot limit the agenda of a convention. A convention would open up the Constitution to whatever amendments delegates choose to propose. Some believe that a Constitutional convention could even rewrite the process for states to ratify amendments. With virtually no precedent, there’s no way to know for sure.

Click here to tell your legislator that we can’t risk a runaway Constitutional convention!

This approach risks unintentionally unraveling our nation’s fundamental rights and freedoms and could make sweeping changes to the Constitution that has served our country well for over 200 years. We need to let our State Senators know we don’t want to go down this dangerous path. Visit to learn more and to contact your legislators to tell them that Americans across the political spectrum want to defend the Constitution in its current state.

Time is of the essence. Act now to tell your state legislator that we can’t risk re-writing our nation’s governing document. Or better yet – look up your senator’s phone number and let them hear your voice opposing a Constitutional convention.

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Open Enrollment Postcards and Calendar of Event Flyers In Stock!

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee

Thanks to Covering Wisconsin for these additional Open Enrollment resources

Open Enrollment postcards

Calendar of Events flyers

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Changing the Warrior Culture of the Police

By Patricia Obletz

October 2017

The Urgent Need 4 Change: 44th President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing: law enforcement culture should embrace a guardian—rather than a warrior—mindset.

The Community Coalition for Quality Policing (CC4QP) was catapulted into being in 2016 by a series of unacceptable events involving the Milwaukee Police Department and the deaths or serious injuries suffered by unarmed blacks and Latinos as a result of altercations with the police. This coalition is a wide-ranging group of advocacy, activists and faith and service organizations united by the need to improve the Milwaukee Police Department’s community relations, reduce crime, and strengthen the lives of community members and police officers.

Sixty years ago, Daniel Bell was killed, despite being unarmed, although a knife had been found in his hand by police. But decades had to pass before a police officer’s conscience gave him the courage to testify to the placement of the knife.

In recent history, Dontré Hamilton was the most prominent unarmed decedent, and Frank Jude was the most prominent beating victim, but there are many other not-so-well-known unarmed victims, such as, but not limited to Samuel Rodriguez, Ernest Lacy, Larry Jenkins, Michael Page, Justin Fields, and sickle-cell anemia sufferer, Derek Williams, who suffocated in the back of a squad car while beseeching the intentionally distracted squad car’s officer for help.

Yet Milwaukee’s larger metropolitan community tends to think that the 2016 disturbance in Sherman Park resulted strictly from the shooting of Sylville Smith. But, in addition to MPD’s trail of dead and wounded unarmed black men, attention must also be paid to the 75 known cavity searches of both men and women, some of which occurred in public, all of which fueled community rage.

Click here for the full article
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Family Friendly Guide to Services for Milwaukee County Special Needs Children and Youth and their Families

DRW is pleased to offer our new Family Friendly Guide to Services for Milwaukee County Special Needs Children and Youth and their Families. This Guide is designed as a resource to increase awareness and access to services for Milwaukee African American children with a disability and their families.

The Guide includes information about how to apply for various community programs for Milwaukee children and youth with a disability or special needs. We hope it will be helpful to families and to service providers, clinicians, educators, and others. It is part of DRW’s Project EASSY, Equal Access for Special Needs Services for Youth.

The Guide is available as a PDF at DRW is pleased to provide printed copies of the Guide at no charge to families and to community organizations that serve Milwaukee youth and families, schools, clinics, churches, etc. Requests can be entered at

Click here for more information
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Tailored for mental health professionals


This free Whole Health Clinical Group session for mental health providers will focus on understanding trauma and its link to addiction. The presenters will share their personal experience with childhood trauma, healing and recovery. The session will include information about: trauma and addiction, trauma approaches, recovery, spirituality, the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, and integrating solutions throughout the mental health, addiction and primary care continuum.


  • The effects of adverse childhood experiences on mental health and addiction.
  • About trauma, its effect on brain development and addiction.
  • Approaches to treatment of trauma and addiction.
  • An understanding of evidenced-based practices related to trauma, PTSD for individuals who have difficulty identifying, and regulating emotions.


John Chianelli, MS, OTR, CCTP

Daniel Bayless, BA, CCTP
MANAGER: OFFICE OF PEER SUPPORT: Whole Health Clinical Group


TIME: 9 a.m. to Noon
DATE: Nov. 17
LOCATION: MCFI Knowledge Exchange, 2020 W. Wells St. Milwaukee


Register by contacting Annette Caraulia, 414–937–2038.

Seating limited to 40.
Preference given to MCFI Home Care employees.

Refreshments will be served.

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“Confronting Mass Incarceration” is the theme behind a series of discussions and presentations by three authors deeply immersed in the politics and morality of America’s penal society. The events, sponsored by Milwaukee Turners, Boswell Books, and other partners, are free and open to the public.

“Wisconsin’s prison population is rising,” said Michael Morgan, who was secretary of the Department of Administration under former Gov. Jim Doyle. “We need to better understand the trend so we can undertake sensible, fiscally responsible reforms to reverse it.” Morgan is part of a coalition of groups and individuals working on the Confronting Mass Incarceration project.

Its goal is a 50% reduction in the state prison population in 10 years.

The three author presentations, as well as the separate earlier panel for each, relating the topic to Wisconsin, are as follows:

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MICAH has a new office at the Welford Sanders Enterprise Center, 2821 North 4th St, Suite 213, Milwaukee, WI 53212. Same phone number: (414) 264–0805 and web address:

MICAH Announcements

Join Civic Engagement Canvassing in 53206. More info here

Canvass moved to October 28th 9:30 – 12:00 starting at the MICAH office (see new address at top of announcements). Be part of this statewide effort to expand the base and power of progressive organizations like MICAH.

Come to MICAH’s Annual Public Meeting: Revitalizing MICAH, Our Community and Our City. Flyer to print here

Materials for the Public Meeting Packets: Please have items to the office by Monday October 23rd. Either email it to or bring 400 copies to the office

Get the word out about MICAH’s Safe Surrender program!

Criminal Traffic (CT) warrants can be cleared in a safe environment. Call 414–374–8029. Flyer here

Partner Annoucements

Click here for more information
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County Board Annual Public Hearing 10/30/17 Digest

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

The annual Milwaukee County Board Public Hearing on the budget is scheduled for Monday October 30 at 6:30 PM at the Marcus Center at 929 N. Water St. Doors open at 6 PM. Click here for details.

Plan to arrive early and register to speak! This is an important opportunity to share with elected officials your priorities in the county budget for people with disabilities and older adults, including housing, transit and paratransit, disability services, youth services, department on aging, and more. Note that the Behavioral Health Division budget is overseen by the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board.

In addition to the hearing, contact your county supervisor directly to share your priorities. Contact information for supervisors is here:

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ROC Action Opportunities

There are two opportunities in the very near future to let your voice be heard on matters of great concern to the Restore Our Communities (ROC Wisconsin) campaign for criminal justice reform.

1. The Department of Corrections is accepting comments on potential changes to the Administrative Rules that affect “inmate classification, sentence, and release provisions”. We are asking the Department to make two very specific changes: One is to make it a priority for parole-eligible people in prison to be placed in assignments that will help them to complete the requirements for their release. The other is for the DOC to identify and assist people who are eligible for “compassionate release” to get through that process.
We have until November 1 to send in comments.
The address to send those comments is

To download a sample comment to send

  • regarding Parole-Eligible People, click HERE.
  • To download a sample comment regarding Compassionate Release, click HERE

2. There is a bill working its way through the legislature right now that is about building a new prison in Green Bay. Essentially, the bill calls for the state to sell the current prison (and its very valuable land on the Fox River) to the Village of Allouez. If needed, they would rent it back until a new prison is completed. In the meantime, the state would contract with a private firm to build a new prison on some less-valuable farmland. When it is done, the state would lease the prison from the builder.

We are not opposed to closing the Green Bay prison. We need to be clear, however, that we do not need to build a new prison.

Through common sense reforms (e.g. ending Crimeless Revocations, fixing the Parole system, increasing TAD funding), we can reduce the prison population enough so we will have no need for a replacement prison.
To download WISDOM’s position paper on this, click HERE.

Right now, the bill is before the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection. You can send comments to the Chair and the other Senators on the Committee:

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Great Work!
1) Congratulations to EXPO for a very successful Mass Story Lab on Tuesday. A near capacity crowd heard compelling personal stories from EXPO leaders and then engaged in small groups to develop strategy for the 5 committees that are steering the campaign to #CLOSEmsdf. An article is here, and photos are available here.

2) Congratulations to WISDOM’s Transit Task Force. Our organizing efforts led to modest wins in the state transportation budget. More importantly, our outreach to legislators, photo petitions, and public hearings were all instrumental in canceling the progress on the unnecessary I-94 expansion in Milwaukee. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation requested the US DOT cancel the project, and last Thursday, the USDOT formally rescinded the approval of the project. Wisconsin transportation dollars can now be used for public transit and local road projects. Details are here and here.

Contact us at to join these and other efforts towards greater justice in Wisconsin!

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6th Senate District Listening Session - October 25th, 6:00–8:00 pm @ St. Joseph Hospital

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Milwaukee County 2018 Budget Update

Milwaukee County is facing some difficult choices with the 2018 budget, and there is the possibility of significant cuts to services. This is an important time to share your priorities with your county supervisor and to attend the October 30th Public hearing. Most County Supervisors have a newsletter and hold their own meetings to hear from constituents about budget priorities. Check out your supervisors’ web site and ask if they are hosting a budget listening session.

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Urgent: Hearing on Anti-Immigrant Bill Thursday at Capitol in Madison!

The Wisconsin Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform has just announced that they will be holding a public hearing on the anti-immigrant bill AB190/SB275 this Thursday October 12th, 2017 at 9:30am in Room 412 East at the Capitol in Madison.

This bill would allow any public employee, including police and sheriffs, to inquire about someone’s immigration status and collaborate with immigration agents to have them deported. If passed into law, this bill would increase racial profiling, the separation of families, and undermine public safety and our state’s economy.

This is the first step in advancing this legislation and it is crucial that we are present to demand this hateful bill not become law. Last year we defeated this bill by mobilizing the statewide Day Without Latinxs & Immigrants general strike. The anti-immigrant legislators are moving fast, so we must respond quickly and with strength.

Join us on Thursday at the Capitol to put a stop to this racist, anti-immigrant bill.

Buses will leave from Voces’ Milwaukee office at 7am Thursday and stop at the Casa de Restauración church in New Berlin. Follow our Facebook and check for information about transportation from other cities.

For more information, call us at 414–643–1620. #NoHateInOurState #NoAB190

Click here to donate and support the fight against AB190/SB275.

Click here for this notice in spanish
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Planned Parenthood Opens a New State-of-the-Art Health Care Facility

Planned Parenthood is proud of our 80+ year history providing essential health care to the community and working to enhance women’s access to high quality and safe health care. Today, thanks to supporters like you, we are building on that legacy of care by announcing the opening of our new, state-of-the-art health care facility that will anchor access to abortion care in Wisconsin. The construction of the new health center was made possible entirely thanks to the generous financial support of many individuals throughout Wisconsin.

At Planned Parenthood, we believe strongly that part of having a healthy community is making sure that every member has access to safe, high quality reproductive health care, including abortion. As you likely know, it has become harder for women in Wisconsin to access needed reproductive health care. With only three health centers in Wisconsin providing safe and legal abortion care, Planned Parenthood is anchoring abortion access in our largest city to ensure women have access to the care they need in a beautiful, inclusive space that is reflective of the dignity our patients deserve. Through the development of our new health center, we are pleased to have also contributed to the improvement of a previously vacant manufacturing site in Milwaukee’s Harbor District.

While we know the need to enhance access to reproductive health care in many areas is great, securing access to care in Southeast Wisconsin is critical. Securing access for women in the most populated region of Wisconsin in the face of declining access and continued political attacks is essential. Know that our work does not stop here. We see the significant service gaps for abortion and reproductive health care as a whole throughout the state and will continue our work to identify opportunities to improve access in additional communities.

The next few months will be an important time for us to rally together to show our support for essential, high quality, comprehensive health care. Now that our opponents know our plans to enhance services, you can bet they will do everything they can to stop us. Together we will not let that happen!

You, your friends, and your family can support our efforts by being visible with your support for Planned Parenthood. Share the importance of Planned Parenthood in your lives on Facebook or Twitter by tagging #WILovesPP! You can make an appointment at any of our health centers at

One in five women trusts Planned Parenthood at some point in their lives for safe, quality, and compassionate health care like cancer screens, birth control, and STD testing and treatment. We look forward to building on that trust by continuing to be there for women no matter what her circumstances and health care needs. With your continued support, we look forward to delivering on our mission of serving all women in need of high quality health care – no matter what!

Tanya Atkinson,
President and CEO
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin

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October Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force meeting

Date: Tuesday, October 10th
Time: 3 – 5 PM
Where: IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st street

Agenda will include:

  • Comprehensive Community Services (CCS : Update and helpful info about this flexible benefit which serves people across the life span with a mental health or substance abuse diagnosis
  • Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit – Open enrollment begins this month. Tips for choosing a plan and how to get help including the Disability Drug Benefit Helpline.
  • Follow up on the Karen Avery Forum “Building Bridges Towards Authentic Inclusion” including next steps for our work on inclusion and diversity
  • Future of Mental Health Complex inpatient Care: update on the alternatives under consideration
  • Building mental health advocacy capacity in Milwaukee – next steps
  • Public Policy Updates

Future Meeting Topics:

  • Community Justice Council Update on MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge
  • Training on Holding Accessible Meetings
  • Panel on Consumer/ Client Rights
  • Office of Violence Prevention – learning about their work and charge

Environmental/Chemical Sensitivities: For the safety and comfort of those with chemical sensitivities, IndependenceFirst requests that people visiting our agency, refrain from using any perfumed products and not smoke near the building.

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I can’t be silent another moment

By Anneliese Dickman, WAVE - Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort

After I got my kids off to school this morning, I turned on the TV. I could not comprehend the news. Was this a new shooting? Was this old footage? I looked to Facebook to help me make sense of the disturbing images on the screen, and the first post I saw was from a dear friend. Her loved one had been at the concert last night in Las Vegas. He was shot in the chest from hundreds of yards away. She doesn’t know anything more.

I felt sick. My heart raced. I cried. And then I turned to my family, my friends, and my co-workers and came up with a plan. But I need your help. Please join me in refusing to be silent another moment. Please join me in taking action in honor of my friend and all those deeply affected by this horrible shooting.
Today, you and I are going to:

1) Call House Speaker Paul Ryan. Congress is getting ready to vote on a bill, HR 3668, that would deregulate flash suppressors, silencers, and armor-piercing ammunition. We’re going to tell him to kill this NRA-priority bill. We’re going to tell him we expect action from Congress, not silence. Call Speaker Ryan at (202) 225–3031.

2) Call Governor Scott Walker, too. Our state legislature is considering SB169, a dangerous bill that would allow “permitless gun carrying” in public places like school grounds. You and I are going to let him know that he must put the safety of Wisconsin citizens above the desires of the gun industry. Call Governor Walker at (608) 266–1212.

3) Plan for WAVE’s upcoming lobby day on November 1. Nothing is more effective than meeting face-to-face with our legislators. I would love it if you would register to join us. I am going to make sure you have all the resources you need to be an effective citizen advocate for life-saving public policies.

4) Host a day of action. I’m hosting a day of action on Wednesday at the WAVE office in Milwaukee. You can host your own this week at home, or anywhere you can gather a few friends. Gather some pens, paper, and envelopes and ask everyone to write a letter to your state senator demanding that the dangerous permitless gun carry bill be stopped.

5) Share important messages and actions on Facebook and Twitter. The WAVE Facebook page and Twitter feed will keep you updated on actions and events that make a difference. Please share our posts and help spread the word.

Whether you take one, two or all of the above actions, I’ll be grateful to you. And I’ll let my friend know that our WAVE community is thinking of her and doing all that we can. None of us should be waking up to news of a mass shooting. None of us should be waiting and hoping and praying to hear from a loved one.

Thank you,

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An 8 week class in mindfulness practices for the reduction of stress with Dr. Susan Trafton, Psychologist

Thursdays, 6:30 - 8:00 pm, Greensquare Integrative Heath Care Center
6789 N. Green Bay Ave. Glendale, Lower Level Education Center

Cost: 8 classes- $120, individual class- $20
Please register by phone: (414) 305–7496

“I have taught this class for seven years to students at UW-Milwaukee. I took similar classes three times. It helped me immensely. I saw it helps my students immensely. I would very much like to teach these skills to you.”

Learning to be mindful is learning to be present in the moment with clarity and focus. Mindfulness techniques teach how to most skillfully manage the feelings, thoughts and body sensations that arise from present stress or past psychological wounds. With mindfulness, the past heals and the present happiness is less likely to be sabotaged over worry of the future. The class will be structured as follows:

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Sat. 09/30/17: Why did a 13-year-old quarterback and aspiring engineer take her own life?

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Trump Discussion Sunday At Ayzha Fine Arts

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2017 Season Youth Production PIECES:In My Own Voice

Mental Health Task Force Update

Brenda Wesley writer, director and producer, cast and crew invite you for the 2017 Season kick off of “PIECES:In My Own Voice, a thought provoking theatrical production depicting youth as they deal with the stigma and labels of mental health issues”.

Monday, October 2, 2017 - 7:00 p.m
Sharon Lynne Wilson Center For The Arts, 19805 W. Capitol Drive, Brookield, WI 53045


Presented BY NAMI Waukesha and NAMI Greater Milwaukee

PLEASE NOTE: All performances of “PIECES:In My Own Voice” will be interpreted for the inclusion of Persons who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Thank You,

Mary Neubauer
PIECES:In My Own Voice
Production Coordinator/Stage Manager

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Mental Health Board Invites Public Comment Thursday at 4:30

Mental Health Task Force Update

Milwaukee County Mental Health Board Invites Public Comment – This Thursday 9/28

Turn out this Thursday 9/28 at 4:30 at Washington Park Senior Center to provide public comment to the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board.

Share your perspective on Behavioral Health Division Services, and community needs, the future direction for inpatient services, and thank the Board for positive investments in the 2018 budget. Speakers are limited to three minutes each. You may also submit longer written comments.

View the agenda for more detail:

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Special Education Council will hold annual public forum October 11 - Please share this information

A Mental Health Task Force / Make It Work Milwaukee Update

The Special Education Council will hold its annual public forum on October 11, 2017 from 5:00–6:30 pm at CESA offices across the state. The purpose of this forum is to gather input from families, school administrators, educators, community representatives, and others, on the unique challenges and successes of special education in Wisconsin. Information gathered will be used by the council in advising the State Superintendent on matters affecting the education of Wisconsin’s children and youth with disabilities. The council is receptive to hearing about any topic upon which people may choose to comment.

If you plan to attend the public forum, please pre-register. More information and pre-registration is available via the link below.

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Sat. 9/23/17: Failing Charter Schools Have a Reincarnation Plan

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Congress is Trying to Pass a Dangerous Health Care Bill in Just 10 Days

Congress is rushing to pass a dangerous health care reform that is bad for people with disabilities before September 30. Just like their previous Obamacare repeal attempts, the new proposal called Cassidy-Graham is predicted to contain a devastating 25% cut to Medicaid and weakens key health care protections for children and adults with disabilities.

Cuts to Medicaid mean cuts to 20 Wisconsin programs like Family Care, IRIS, the Children’s waiver, BadgerCare, mental health programs, Katie Beckett, autism services, personal care, and important therapies like speech, OT and PT. Many of these are “optional services” in Medicaid and are at significant risk of being cut or eliminated.

Congress only has 10 days to pass this dangerous bill.

Call Senators Johnson and Baldwin and tell them you are concerned about Cassidy-Graham because:

It does not address the key concerns with Obamacare.Lawmakers should take changes to Medicaid out of the bill and focus on addressing the current problems with the healthcare law:

  • the need to stabilize the marketplace
  • the need to make health insurance affordable.

Call Senator Johnson’s three offices:

  • DC office: 202–224–5323
  • Oshkosh office: 920–230–7250
  • Milwaukee office: 414–276–7282

Call Senator Baldwin’s offices:

  • DC Office: (202) 224–5653
  • Madison office: (608) 264–5338
  • Milwaukee office: (414) 297–4451

If you would like more information about this fact, you can use these resources:

Survival Coalition: Busting Myths about Medicaid and the American Health Care Act (the same points apply for Cassidy-Graham)
Kaiser Family Foundation: 5 Ways the Graham-Cassidy Proposal Puts Medicaid Coverage At Risk
Washington Post: Senate panel begins bipartisan hearings to try to improve Affordable Care Act. Congress should continue the bi-partisan efforts to stabilize the health insurance marketplace.

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Join Voces de la Frontera’s upcoming actions!

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 • ESPAÑOL ABAJO
We are fighting hard to push Paul Ryan to keep his word and pass the Dream Act!
Call Paul Ryan’s office at 202–225–3031, and say something like:

Speaker Ryan, I join the millions of people around the country calling on you to pass a clean Dream Act Bill that provides a path to citizenship for immigrant youth, and includes NO measures to further militarize the border or increase raids and the separation of families.

Here are more actions you can join to be part of our fight.

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Action Alert: Stop the changes to the Special Needs Scholarship Program

The budget heads to Governor Walker’s desk early this week for his signature includes sweeping changes to the Special Needs Scholarship program that creates an open door and provides a blank check for private schools without any check and balances.

These changes increase funding coming out of public schools for special education and the overall general fund with almost no limitations and no protections under IDEA.

The provision was added at the last hour of the budget negotiations without any public hearing or input from parents, schools, or disability organization.

Call the Governor’s office at (608) 266 – 1212 and ask him to veto the changes to the Special Needs Scholarship program on eligibility and funding.

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MICAH and Partner Event and Meetings September 18th

Join Civic Engagement Canvassing in 53206. More info here

  • Training Saturday September 23rd at 9:30 – 12:00 at the new MICAH office conference room on the first floor at the Welford Sanders Enterprise Center, 2821 N 4th St.
  • Canvass will be October 14th 9:30 – 12:00 starting at the MICAH office.

Come to MICAH’s Annual Public Meeting: Revitalizing MICAH, Our Community and Our City.
Thursday, October 26, 6:00 p.m., at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, 2433 W. Roosevelt Drive.

Congregations will recommit themselves to do justice through MICAH. Issue task forces will announce action plans to increase job opportunities for formerly incarcerated persons, to greatly reduce joblessness in the 53206 zip code, and to strengthen quality education for youth.

Get the word out about MICAH’s Safe Surrender program!
Criminal Traffic (CT) warrants can be cleared in a safe environment. Call 414–374–8029. Flyer here

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Tranquila y paciente por favor!

By Blanche C. Brown

While pondering the decision I made to participate in the Nicaragua internship, I kept getting the imagery of making a huge leap into the unknown. The commitment to be out-of-pocket for 3 weeks from my country of origin was daunting and exciting at the same time. One of the biggest advantages I had was my innate willingness to accept challenges, be flexible, and my love for people! Other strengths (e.g., past experiences and practices, art therapy toolkit, concepts, theories, etc.) were perhaps floating somewhere in between my conscious and subconscious; although not too deep. Though it was hard to not rely on what I thought I knew on the first day I quickly became a sponge as I attempted soak up everything around me.

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Final Call for Registration: Wisconsin Warrior Summit - Sept. 29th

Register by Friday, Sept 22nd to reserve your seat!

Join the conversation: Veteran Collaborative Research & Clinical Innovation

The Dryhootch Wisconsin Warrior Summit is a regional conference designed to bring together veterans, their families, clinical providers, and others from the community interested in ensuring US military service personnel — active duty and veterans — receive everything they need for a productive life and transition to the civilian world.

This year we have the distinct pleasure of more deeply integrating the conference with research and clinical activities, bridging between a wide variety of perspectives on veteran care.

Conference date: Friday, Sept 29th, 2017. Programming from 8:45AM-4:00PM
Location: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Student Union Ballroom

For detailed information, view the full Conference website
For more information, email the conference organizers

REGISTER NOW — registration closes on 9/22/17. Veterans, Active Duty, and immediate family members are free. General admission, student and professionals (clinical providers, scholars) range from $25-$125.

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Growing Up Black and Quiet in Milwaukee

It was not a freeway of love

September 2017

I grew up in Milwaukee dreaming. I dreamt that I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be an astronaut. I wanted to be a scientist, a physicist, a chemist, an astronomer, a geologist, a marine biologist, an archeologist, a translator, a traveler. I wanted to study other customs, traditions and languages. I wanted to see them up close. I wanted to read and read and read! And did I read! I remember my favorite as a young child was the “Puff the Magic Dragon series.” I remember walking to the library on hot summer days and checking out the most books they would let me carry on my library card. I would then sit on the bench behind the library and read at least three books before going back inside to exchange them for more books. I loved to look at the pictures. I loved to say the words out loud. I loved to sit back and imagine. I loved to dream.

My mother got me that library card. She could see that I loved reading. At that time, it was pretty safe for a little girl to walk to the library on her own. I had an old knapsack that I found somewhere and I loved carrying books home. The librarian got to know me and referred me to special shelves that had the type of books l liked to read: space, planets, adventure, and fantasy.

The library was on the corner of 6th and Center. It wasn’t too long of a walk from 7th and Locust. My mother had taken me out as a younger child to school and walked me there, being sure to point out the stop lights and the “walk” and “don’t walk” signs. I was one of those kids that would not move until that light turned green and the sign said “walk.” But I was one of those kids for a reason.

One warm summer evening, my father was outside with other fathers. One lived on the same block as us, and the other lived across the street. It wasn’t unusual for adults to come out and stand on the sidewalk and talk. But the sidewalk was usually kids’ territory. We ceded it to the Dads, but we weren’t too far away, because as soon as they left, we would go back to our play.

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Beyond the Numbers: The Voice of Experience

Last year during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, we wrote about the numbers that characterized our suicide prevention work. This year we want to look beyond the numbers.

In all walks of life, we pay homage to the voice of experience. In the suicide prevention field we are beginning to do the same. The responses to our Lived Experience panel at this year’s Prevent Suicide Wisconsin conference made clear that people are hungry to listen to and to learnfrom those individuals who have lived with suicidality and survived serious attempts.

One thing that comes through loud and clear is that people living with suicidality want to be able to talk about it without fear of being taken to the hospital. This creates challenges for mental health professionals who may feel it is their duty to intervene. That is why some of the emerging practices associated with the Zero Suicide quality improvement model are so critical. They recognize that addressing suicidality is a collaborative process - one that empowers the individual with lived experience to identify what works for them.

’13 Reasons Why’ elevated the national discussion about suicide prevention, even if it did so in ways that were not always the most helpful. Interestingly, one of the responses of those with lived experience was anger at the portrayal of the lead character, who blamed everyone else for her death but took no personal responsibility. For some living with suicidality, having that option when they feel so hopeless and powerless is important, even if they don’t want or intend to exercise it. But they recognize that they do have choice.

Listening to the voice of Lived Experience continues to remind us of how little things that we do make a big difference, like this information that recently came to the Prevent Suicide website:

At the music festival, they gave out free wristbands with the number for Hopeline on it. I got one of them, and wearing it made me feel a little better on some of my bad days, even though I didn’t intend on using the number— just having physical evidence that someone out there is on my side helped.

Check out our list of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month events at (click on calendar). And when you attend one of these events, take the opportunity to talk with and listen to those with Lived Experience. It may change your life, and theirs.

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Across the Divide: Where is school choice headed under President Trump?

Join WUWM 89.7 FM - Milwaukee Public Radio & the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for a community conversation on school choice on September 19.

Across the Divide: Where is school choice headed under President Trump?
Moderated by education reporters Rachel Morello (WUWM) & Erin Richards (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

Tuesday, September 19 • Doors 6:30 pm, Starts at 7:00 PM
Anodyne Coffee • 224 W. Bruce Street
Cash bar available.


President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos support school choice, and have signaled they want to expand privately managed schools that operate apart from districts.

Milwaukee offers more publicly funded school “choices” than most cities nationwide. What lessons can the rest of the country learn from Milwaukee? And from Wisconsin, which has a growing statewide voucher program?

Come hear local educators and students who have experienced both sides of Milwaukee’s educational divide discuss how national and local political decisions could play out in schools.

Free event but tickets are required. This event will be recorded for broadcast.

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Katie Beckett Funding for Kids with Special Needs

Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Time: 10:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
Location: Kohl’s Family Learning Center, Penfield Children’s Center

Note: The Katie Beckett Program provides children with special needs medical insurance through Medicaid sometimes known as card services or Title 19. This program can be in addition to private health insurance. Medicaid provides coverages for many supports for a child with special needs, that may not be covered by private insurance. In this program, a parent’s income or assets are not counted towards eligibility. This eligibility needs to be completed before a child would be eligible for other programs. This may take up to 6 months to determine disability eligibility.

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Action Alert! Tell Congress to Get Rid of the #RipOffClause

Here is a call to action, related to our work on Pay Day Lending issues:

Wells Fargo committed fraud by creating millions of fake accounts and then told its customers: “Too bad, you can’t have your day in court.” In response, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a proposed rule prohibiting forced arbitration clauses in consumer financial contracts. The proposed rule would restore the rights of consumer to have their day in court when financial institutions like Wells Fargo violate the law.

Even before the proposed rule is made final, several members of Congress have pledged to try to block it. We need to raise our voices in support of accountability for wrongdoers.
Here are a few things you can do right now:

1. Call your senators and representative (the Capitol Switchboard is (202) 224–3121) and urge them to support the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s forced arbitration rule, Consumers deserve the right to take financial institutions to court when they break the law. Forced arbitration robs consumers of justice and gives financial institutions a license to steal.

2. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Avoid a partisan tone or attacks, but urge your Senators and congressional representative to support restoring your day in court and accountability for widespread misconduct. Let us know if you would like a sample. If your letter is published, please let us know.

3. Spread the word through Twitter and Facebook, using #ripoffclause.

Thanks for defending access to justice!

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Invitation to 9/14 Milwaukee Community Conversation with Board for People with Developmental Disabilities

Please join the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities for a Community Conversation at the Wisconsin African American Women’s Center. The Board is eager to meet with Milwaukee’s diverse communities as we strive to be inclusive of all people with developmental disabilities and their families.

We hope you can join us Thursday, September 14th from 9 AM - noon to follow up and report on last year’s Milwaukee Community Conversation, discuss ways to partner together, and hear about grant opportunities. You are invited to be our guest for lunch.

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EXPO’s First Newsletter

1) News from EXPO!
Click here to download EXPO’s first Newsletter.

2) Mark your calendar for this special EXPO event
Mass Story Lab: Milwaukee
Tuesday, October 10, 6 - 9 pm Food will be provided
Marquette University, Schroeder Complex, Room 256

Reservations are required. Click here to RSVP.

Mass Story Lab is a special storytelling event to amplify the voices of people whose lives have been changed by the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF). Through storytelling, dialogue, and community design we will envision a future beyond prisons.

Mass Story Lab is a participatory storytelling project that leverages the power of storytelling to inspire conversation and change in communities around the U.S. To learn more, visit

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DCTS Information Memo 2017–09: New Tools to Measure Mental Health, Substance Use Recovery

September is Recovery Month. The Division of Care and Treatment Services (DCTS) is pleased to announce the publication of two Wisconsin-specific, person-centered recovery measures.

View the entire memo.

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Transit Conference. Monday, September 25

Join our Transit Task Force members at a conference sponsored by our coalition partners, 1,000 Friends of Wisconsin.

Transportation: The Future is Now: How communities can design transportation policies to achieve economic growth, environmental sustainability and social equity in a changing world.

Monday, September 25th
, Monona Terrace, Madison

A complete agenda and registration info is here. Use the $75 non-profit category. If the cost is prohibitive for you, contact to discuss scholarship possibilities.

Topics include:

  • Reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment;
  • Changing demographics - an opportunity to invest in a 21st century transportation system;
  • Harnessing changing technology while retaining core community values;
  • Being economically competitive while providing equitable access to everyone;
  • Optimizing our existing infrastructure.

The keynote speaker is Sharice Davids, White House Fellow at the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Civil Rights. There is also a great line-up of transportation experts, community advocates and elected officials scheduled to speak, including WISDOM Transit Task Force leaders.

Contact WISDOM Transit Task Force Organizer Dawn Ankney for more information or carpooling possibilities,

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Registration for the Dryhootch Wisconsin Warrior Summit 2017 is now open

Register here:

The Dryhootch Wisconsin Warrior Summit is a regional conference designed to bring together veterans, their families, clinical providers, and others from the community interested in ensuring US military service personnel — active duty and veterans — receive everything they need for a productive life and transition to the civilian world.

This year we have the distinct pleasure of more deeply integrating the conference with research and clinical activities, bridging between a wide variety of perspectives on veteran care.

The conference theme for this year is: Veteran Collaborative Research & Clinical Innovation: A Joint Mission for Community, Clinicians and Scholars

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Mon. 9/4/17: What a Revived Poor People’s Campaign Needs to Do in the Trump Era

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Public Hearing on Acid Mining Bill

It’s time to make your voice heard – AGAIN!

Sen. “Toxic Tom” Tiffany has launched his second effort to surrender Wisconsin’s natural resources to powerful mining interests like accused human rights abuser Rio Tinto and Canadian polluter Aquila Resources.

His new legislation, the Industrial Acid Mining Bill (SB 395), will attempt to repeal a decades-old, proven protector of our drinking water, wildlife, and surface waters – the Prove It First mining law.

Sulfide mining is America’s most toxic industry, according to the EPA. It poisons rivers, disrupts eco-systems, and taints groundwater with heavy metals and carcinogens like lead, arsenic, and cyanide.

On Thursday, September 7th at 9:00 a.m., Tiffany along with his Sporting Heritage, Mining, and Forestry Committee, will hold a public hearing on the proposed legislation at Ladysmith High School, 1700 Edgewood Avenue E. RSVP now to join us!

Before that, the committee and the public will tour the Flambeau mine site, a “reclaimed” site that Tiffany and his polluting pals will masquerade as so-called “proof” mining won’t pollute Wisconsin.

Attend the hearing! Sign up now!

Of course, “reclaimed” is a lie. At least one nearby stream is classified as impaired. In fact, no metallic sulfide mine has ever spared local waters from its ghastly consequences – bright yellow acid water, wildlife destruction, and ground and surface water contamination.

Join us in this crucially important fight for the Wisconsin we love. Come out, register in opposition to the bill, speak your testimony to the committee – don’t worry, we’ll help – and defeat Toxic Tom’s latest monumentally misguided effort to court industrial polluters.

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Thurs. 8/31/17: Wisconsinites, Beware:

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DOJ draft details recommendations for Milwaukee police

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Law enforcement and Milwaukee Police Department play an important role in responding to individuals who live with a mental illness, as well as other disabilities. We wanted to share with you coverage regarding recommendations for Milwaukee police from the Department of Justice, released this week.

DOJ draft details recommendations for Milwaukee police

Draft of federal Milwaukee police review should spark reforms, community leaders say

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New Content on Youth with Disabilities

Youth with disabilities have many strengths and should be provided with opportunities and supports to access and use the healthcare services they need. Currently, these adolescents have more complex healthcare needs than their peers but are more likely to have those needs go unmet.

As the new school year gets underway, the HHS Office of Adolescent Health has expanded a section on chronic conditions on its website to include the latest data on the prevalence of disabilities among adolescents, the characteristics of those most likely to experience adverse effects of disability, and the barriers that adolescents face in getting the care they need, including challenges in coordination and in the transition from pediatric to adult care.

Adolescents with disabilities, like all adolescents, thrive when they can exercise self-efficacy, and when their communities recognize their gifts and developmental potential. This content includes resources for adolescents with disabilities, their families, and the programs serving them. We encourage you to use and share this resource so we can all continue to improve access to care and better support youth with disabilities.

Below you will find sample language for sharing this information with your network.

  • Ready for #BackToSchool? Youth w/ #disabilities thrive w/ adequate support. Get resources from @TeenHealthGov: **[=What’s the difference b/t an #IEP & a #504plan? Find out in new @TeenHealthGov content: #Back2School
  • 75% of parents of teens w/ disabilities need help coordinating care. @TeenHealthGov has info on supports:
  • How youth experience disability is influenced by how society sees them. This school year, make a positive impact:
  • #Adulting isn’t easy! @TeenHealthGov has resources for teens w/ disabilities who are gaining independence:

Facebook/LinkedIn posts:
  • High-quality, coordinated care is increasingly important as the prevalence of disabilities among adolescents grows. As the new school year gets underway, the HHS Office of Adolescent Health has expanded a web section on chronic conditions to include information on all youth with disabilities, the challenges they face having their needs met, and opportunities to support and empower them. Link:
  • Youth with disabilities are more likely than are their peers without disabilities to have their needs go unmet. However, they thrive with access to healthcare services and support from their communities. As kids head back to school, the HHS Office of Adolescent Health has expanded a web section on chronic conditions with data on the prevalence of adolescent disabilities, challenges youth face to getting the health care they need, and innovations that can lead to improved outcomes for youth with disabilities. Link:

Thank you for sharing this resource!

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Mon. 8/28/17: The Precarious State of the USA:

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Sat. 8/26/17: After a UN Warning Over Racism, America’s Self-Image Begins to Crack

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Fri. 8/25/17: Portrait of Today’s America: A black man went undercover online as a white supremacist. This is what he learned.

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Stand with me in Milwaukee tomorrow evening

Join me TOMORROW to peacefully protest the NRA’s fear-mongering and hate speech when they come to the convention center in downtown Milwaukee for a three-day expo designed to recruit, train, and outfit civilian “commandos.”

The NRA is kicking off their expo with a concealed carry fashion show Friday night. We’re asking you to wear black or memorial T-shirts to create “a fashion show” demonstrating the real impact of guns in our community.

Date: Friday, August 25th

Time: 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Location: Zeidler Union Square Park, 301 W. Michigan St., Milwaukee

Because we will not stay silent and allow them to turn our neighborhoods into battlefields, we will be gathering in peace and unity.

>>Let me know you’ll join us.

In peace,

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Wed. 8/23/17: Here’s what happens when white supremacy goes viral

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Friday Unity March for Peace at NRA Milwaukee Expo

WAVE is coordinating a march this Friday. The NRA is coming to Milwaukee, selling their new murder insurance product, having a conceal carry fashion show and putting on workshops. WAVE volunteers are making cutout tombstone poster-boards with the names of all 66 people killed so far in 2017 in Milwaukee from guns. We need at LEAST that many people to come and hold a poster in each of these people’s memory. Please share this information with your friends and urge them to stand with us and march with us across the street from the Wisconsin Center, where the NRA Expo will be held. We ask for your peaceful presence in showing Milwaukee that we don’t approve of the NRA benefiting from our painful losses to gun violence.

Unity March for Peace Friday, August 25, 2017, 6 - 7:30 pm

Zeidler Union Square Park 301 W. Michigan St., Milwaukee, WI 53203

Join us to protest the NRA’s fear-mongering and hate speech — often times mirroring the words of the alt-right — when they come to the convention center in downtown Milwaukee for a three-day expo designed to recruit, train and outfit civilian “commandos.” The NRA is kicking off their expo with a concealed carry fashion show.

We’re asking you to wear black or memorial shirts to create a”fashion show” demonstrating the real impact of guns in our community. We will also have cardboard gravestones bearing the names of gun violence victims. If you have other ideas, we welcome your creativity.

Because we cannot stay silent and allow them to turn our neighborhoods into battlefields, we will be gathering in unity. events/692925810918299

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Talking Points for Parole Commission Hearing.

REMINDER: There will be a very important Public Hearing: Please join us in Action!

Wednesday, August 23, 10:00 am
State Capitol, Room 330, Southwest

Choose one of the Talking Points to call or write to your State Senator. Find their contact info here. And, join us in Madison!

This is the public hearing regarding the nomination of Daniel Gabler as the new permanent chair of the Parole Commission.

About 3,000 parole-eligible prisoners are systematically being denied a fair chance to earn their freedom - something the judges who sentenced them back in the 80′s and 90′s assumed they would have.

To better understand this issue, please take a little time to look through WISDOM’S BOOK OF LETTERS. You can see what this issue is about and why it is such a nightmare for the men and women caught up in it.

Please share this info with members of your organization, your friends, your Facebook contacts, etc.

The breakdown of the parole system is a seldom-discussed serious injustice.

  • All parole-eligible people have been in prison for at least 17 years, most of them far longer than the judge who sentenced them anticipated.
  • Many were very young at the time of their crimes and are now in their 40′s and 50′s.
  • Hundreds of them are trusted to leave prison unsupervised every day to work at jobs in the community, or even to work in the State Capitol and the Governor’s residence.

It is time they got a chance to re-join their families. It is time to save millions of taxpayer dollars. It is time to relieve some pressure on our overcrowded prisons.

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Tues. 8/22/17: Like Trump, JFK was tested by white supremacists. Here’s what he finally did about it.

Mon. 8/21/17: Schwarzenegger Terminates Hate in Epic Trump Takedown Video:

Action Alert: Parole Commission

There will be a very important Public Hearing: Please join us in Action!

Wednesday, August 23: 10:00 am
State Capitol, Room 330, Southwest, Madison

This is the public hearing regarding the nomination of Daniel Gabler as the new permanent chair of the Parole Commission.

About 3,000 parole-eligible prisoners are systematically being denied a fair chance to earn their freedom - something the judges who sentenced them back in the 80′s and 90′s assumed they would have.

The request of the ROC Wisconsin Campaign leadership is:

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Reminder 2018 Milwaukee County Budget Input Sessions

This is a reminder that two Milwaukee County Budget Input sessions are scheduled for this week. Monday’s session is at Washington Park Senior Center at 5:30 PM, and Thursday’s session is at McGovern Park at 5:30 PM. RSVPs are requested.

The county budget funds many important services for children and adults with disabilities and older adults, so plan to attend and share your perspective. Here is some background to help you prepare for the Budget Input sessions:

  • Materials from the budget briefing we hosted are posted on the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force web site at:

Here are some highlights of 2018 department Budget Requests, from the Powerpoints shared at our budget briefing:

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Milwaukee County Bus Rapid Transit Outreach - 8/23 - please share

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Our coalitions have supported Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). We wanted to share with you this important opportunity to participate in a public meeting to be updated on BRT, and share your input and support.

There will be a public meeting held Wednesday, August 23, 2017 from 5pm-7pm at BMO Harris Community Room located at 2745 N. MLK Dr.
Please go to: to get more information and register.

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Mon. 8/14/17: Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide

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The NRA will be in Milwaukee—YOU are needed to take a stand

For years, the NRA has been turning a profit by fomenting dissent with an “us-versus-them” message. But lately, their rhetoric has been truly over the top — it’s beginning to feel like inciting violence is their ultimate goal.

So it’s not surprising that the racist, white nationalist extremists who gathered in Virginia last weekend were heavily armed. Domestic terrorists seem to be the NRA’s target market these days.

According to the NRA, you can no longer merely be a gun owner, you must be “combat ready.” And just who do they believe their followers must be ready to battle? It appears it’s their fellow Americans.

What other conclusion can we draw when they urge their followers to fight the “violent left” to save their “freedom.” They are even promoting their upcoming Carry Guard Expo in Milwaukee as an event to equip gun owners “with the products, skills, knowledge, and mindset necessary to prepare and defend yourself when a threat arises?”

Their attempts to turn our streets into literal ideological battlegrounds are unacceptable. That’s why we’ll be standing in solidarity with so many others on Friday, August 25th to let the NRA know their vision is not welcome in Wisconsin.

Click here if you will stand with us.

While the NRA profiteers are inside the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee, encouraging a bunch of play soldiers to attend commando trainings (taught by members of “special ops”) and selling military-styled medic kits for basic hemorrhage control, and promoting the need to prepare for “imminent widespread disaster,” we’ll be gathered a few blocks away demonstrating that hate will never find a home here.

Join us on August 25th to send the message the NRA least wants to hear: We’ll walk hand in hand. We are not afraid. We shall live in peace.

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Why won’t Trump denounce white nationalists?

By Richard Cohen, President, Southern Poverty Law Center

After the deadly clash between hundreds of white supremacists and counter-protesters today in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Trump called for Americans to “come together.”

He used similar words in his victory speech in the wee hours of Nov. 9, even as white supremacists began to celebrate.

The problem is that Trump’s words are hollow.

His calls for the country to unite will continue to be meaningless as long he fails to take responsibility for his role in dividing it – something he conspicuously avoided again during his press conference today.

“It’s been going on for a long time,” Trump said. “Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama.”

It’s true. America has had racial strife since its founding.

But from the day he came down the escalator in the tower that bears his name, Trump consciously poured fuel on the fire. He ran a racist, xenophobic campaign that energized the radical right – that “unearthed some demons,” as U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford put it.

The day after Trump was elected, hate incidents soared. Many of them were carried out in his name.

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Fri. 8/11/17: Know Your Peril, Wisconsinites:

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DRW Parent Advisory Group Meeting This Saturday – Spread the Word!

Join Disability Rights Wisconsin Parent Advisory Group for African-American parents of children with special needs. The Parents Advisory Group is meeting this Saturday August 12th from 10: 30 AM – 12:30 PM at the Center Street Public Library.

  • Spend some time discussing access to county services and school related services.

  • Meet other parents from the community.

  • Get some tips from DRW’s Lead Advocacy Specialist on getting your child off to a good start with the new school year.

  • A light breakfast will be provided.

To RSVP or to get on our mailing list for future meetings, contact Sally Flaschberger at 414–292–2737 or

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Upcoming Family to Family Class-NAMI Greater Milwaukee

What is NAMIs ’s 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 duration is 12 weeks, meeting once a week for a 2 1/2 hour session. Trained family members teach the course who know 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 Tuesday September 12th , 2017.

It will be held on Tuesday’s from 6:00pm-8:30pm at 3200 S 3rd St #6, Milwaukee, WI 53207. Please contact the NAMI office to register for this upcoming NAMI Family-to-Family class!

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Milwaukee County Budget Briefing - next steps with the County Budget

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Thank you to all of the presenters at yesterday’s briefing on the 2018 Milwaukee County Department Budget Requests, for the helpful overviews and dialogue. There were more questions than time, so it’s important to continue to take an active role in the budget process as it moves forward.

  • We have posted the materials from yesterday’s briefing on the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force web site at the following link:

  • We encourage you to review the posted budget materials, as well as the department budget requests (online at and attend one of the budget input sessions scheduled for August to share your priorities and concerns. Click here for information and to register:

  • We will be putting together an overview of budget concerns and positives that impact people with disabilities and older adults.

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NRA receives your tax $ to bring guns to Milwaukee

from Jeri Bonavia, Wisconsin Anti-Violence Education,

Did you know your taxpayer dollars are funding the “guns everywhere” agenda of the extremist National Rifle Association? It’s true.

The NRA’s three-day Carry Guard Expo and concealed carry fashion show will be at the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee later this month. The Wisconsin Center is owned by the Wisconsin Center District, a governmental body reliant on taxpayer funds.

That means your hard-earned dollars are funding the promotion of extremist gun views. In addition, while the Wisconsin Center usually does not allow visitors to carry firearms, the District board has put the profits of the NRA above the safety of taxpayers and relaxed the rules—just for this expo.

PETITION TO THE WISCONSIN CENTER DISTRICT BOARD: Encouraging thousands of visitors to downtown Milwaukee to carry firearms goes too far! As a taxpayer, I insist that the prohibition on firearms in the Wisconsin Center be enforced for all events, including the upcoming NRA expo. Stop putting the profits of the NRA above the safety of the public.

>>Click here to automatically sign the petition, telling the Wisconsin Center District board that the public’s interests should come first, not the NRA’s.

There is absolutely no excuse for this, especially in a city still reeling from the shootings of two young children in recent weeks.

Citizens should not and cannot tolerate the use of taxpayer dollars to promote an organization that advocates unregulated access to dangerous firearms and demands that the firearm safety rules not apply to them.

>>Click to automatically add your name to the petition to Wisconsin Center District letting them know this goes too far!

We must persist, resist, and insist that the Wisconsin Center District prioritize the public’s interests over the NRA’s.

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Words of WISDOM Newsletter

This is the first monthly edition of Words of WISDOM, an e-newsletter that shares updates from the WISDOM affiliates, as well as contact and website information. Lots going on in all the affiliates, building power as a statewide organization!
Words of WISDOM. CUSH, Kenosha
Words of WISDOM. ESTHER, Appleton
Words of WISDOM. EXPO, Statewide
Words of WISDOM. EXPO, Chippewa Valley
Words of WISDOM. EXPO, Fox Cities
Words of WISDOM. JOB, Beloit
Words of WISDOM. JONAH, Eau Claire
Words of WISDOM. JOSHUA, Green Bay
Words of WISDOM. MICAH, Milwaukee
Words of WISDOM, MOSES, Madison
Words of WISDOM. NAOMI, Wausau
Words of WISDOM. RIC, Racine
Words of WISDOM. SOPHIA, Waukesha

WISDOM: Linking people of faith across Wisconsin to work for justice!
2821 N. Fourth Street, #217 Milwaukee, WI 53212
(414) 831–2070

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Tues. 8/8/17: Protest: The Largest Fascist Rally in Recent Memory Is Expected This Week — Can the Left Unite Against It?

Tues. 8/8/17: The love they share has produced the new Dow Jones Industrial highs by buying their own stock: Fines for Big Financial Firms Have Plunged Under Trump



SPONSORED BY: The Dryhootch Partnership for Veteran Health - UW-Milwaukee MAVRC, Medical College of Wisconsin, Zablocki VA Medical Center, Mental Health America of Wisconsin & Marquette University

DATE: Friday, September 29th, 2017
LOCATION: University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee - Union Building KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Dr. Bryan Semaan, School of Information Studies & Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Syracuse University WEBSITE AND PRE-REGISTRATION:

CONFERENCE THEME: Veteran Collaborative Research & Clinical Innovation: A Joint Mission for Community, Clinicians and Scholars

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Foxconn Listening Sessions

Dear neighbor,

We hope you can join us for a community conversation about the Foxconn situation. We will be having two conversations, the first conversation will take place on Tuesday August 8th at St. John’s on the Lake, 1840 N Prospect Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202 from 6:00–7:30 p.m. The second conversation will be on Saturday, August 12th at 12:30 p.m. at Tippecanoe Presbyterian Church, 125 W Saveland Ave. I hope to get your input on one of the most expensive and potentially environmentally impactful projects in Wisconsin’s history. We value your input and want to make sure you have an opportunity to make your voice heard. I look forward to our community conversation on this matter.

In service,
Jonathan Brostoff

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2018 Milwaukee County Budget Input Sessions, 8/8 Briefing on Department Budget Requests

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

The Milwaukee County budget funds many important services for people with disabilities and older adults. We encourage you to get involved in the budget process, learn about proposed department budget, and share your budget priorities. Here are some opportunities to get involved:

  • County Executive Abele is hosting several Community Input Sessions on the 2018 County Budget in August. Scroll down to the email below for details, and register to attend.

  • Attend our August 8th briefing on 2018 Milwaukee County Department Budget Requests. The briefing is Tuesday, August 8, at 3 PM at IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st street, and is hosted by Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force and Make It Work Milwaukee Coalition. Please join us to learn about department budget requests for transit, Sheriff, House of Correction, Health and Human Services, Behavioral Health Division, and Aging. This background will help prepare you with background information to share your priorities at the Input sessions. Note: Parking is tight! Arrive early and leave time to find a place on the street if the lot is full.

  • Review the budgets for the departments that provide services that are important to you. To view the budget requests submitted by individual departments, go to this link and click on 2018 Requested Budget -

  • Use the “Balancing Act” to try your hand at designing a budget for Milwaukee County:

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster. Based on work by Godsil, patricia obletz, godsiil, tyler schuster, 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 November 21, 2017

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