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Emerging LGBT Airbnb and Vintage Home Restoration Guild Network, Chicago/NOLA

My network and I are brainstorming with my daughter, Bridie and her wife Summer, an experiment that would combine an LGBT Airbnb experiment with vintage home restoration guild network, connecting NOLA with Chicago.

Bridie is the nation’s only woman slate, tile, and copper roofer. Summer is her “business” manager as well as loving wife.

We are hoping to meet artisans who might partner with them, as well as LGBT cultural entrepreneurs who might also join in conversations about LGBT Airbnb Training, Healing Network and Restoration Guild.

Our network has had 2 very successful airbnb’s in Milwaukee

an expansive urban ag and artisan training center in Chicago,

and a 42 year old historic home restoration company & artisan guild network.

And our network sings.

Emmanuel Pratt of the Sweet Water Foundation, Grace Boggs and Rick Feldman of the Boggs Center, Ben Koller, Jesse Blom, and Ryan Schone for the Heart House Airbnb experiment, the UWM Extension Seed Garden Program, Jay Salinas’ and Donna Neuwirth’s Re-Enchantment of Agriculture and Urban Rural Flow, and some Comfoodies across the land to share the good news of our possibilities. I have been supported in this work by the Community Roofing and Restoration emerging restoration guild.

I have been a connector in the movements since marching with Dr. King, Chicago Open Housing Summer(circled in photo below)

and the expansion of our reach via emails, etc. inspires me to imagine an LGBT Airbnb Training and Restoration Guild Network connecting northern cities I work in with and the NOLA experiment detailed here, where your thoughts I pray will someday be included.

We are not afraid.
We shall overcome.



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Geographically Fluid Restoration Guild

Spent three wonderful night’s at this lovely “shotgun” airnbnb house

with my daughter Megan Jeyifo,

visiting daughter Brydie Wines, her wife Summer Soileau Wines,

and the great city of New Orleans.

Since 1975 I I have dreamed of artisans of Milwaukee and Chicago getting winter restoration gigs, and artisan cooks, carpenters, gardeners,
roofers, etc. from NOLA “summering” in Chicago and Milwaukee.

During this visit Bridie, Summer, and Megan said they would “partner” with me, Community, and Sweet Water to manifest this pragmatic utopian vision.

Daughter Rachel Godsil, son Joe, sons in law Okunola Jeyifousand, Jim Freeman, granddaughters Kate and Rebecca, friends and business partners like Jesse Blom, Ben G. Koller, Ryan Schone, Emmanuel Pratt, Josh Fraundorf, David Boucher, Michael Carrier, Daniel Merline, Erik Lindberg, Alexander Montezon, , Nick Montezon, Martha Davis Kipcak, Evelyn Patricia Terry, Lisa Rogers, Jeff Eagan, , Benjamin Eagan-Van Meter. Harvey Taylor, Holly Haebig, KATE Kt RuschRusch, Donna Neuwirth, Della Wells, Muneer, Janine, Howard Hinterthuer, Anne J Koller, Ken Leinbach, Alexander Hagler, Jay James Julius Anderson, and many more will be invited to this Snow Bird NOLA exchange experiment.

We have room for 5 people at the organizing site pictures here, at $100 per night June price. I aspire to partner with Brydie and Summer and transform their sweet Gentilly home into our organizing space and airnbnb site as well.

Chicago Milwaukee! Free yourself from unending winter cold!

NOLA! Liberation from unending summer heat can be yours.

Geographic fluidity will become a pragmatic utopian possibility…Now.

A Restoration Guild in the largest sense is being born.

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Please know that this image and all that it implies

Por favor, sepan que esta imagen y todo lo que implica

Makes the ancestors sing!

ˇHace cantar a los antepasados!

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Honoring Those Who Gave The Last Full Measure of Devotion by Building Bridges In Our Divided Cities


Asset Based “Chaordic” Development Sequencing, Social Learning Networks for Science, Technology, Engneering, Art, Agriculture, Agriculture, and Math, For the greater glory of God.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam(AMDG)

Jesuit Mantra

At the 200th anniversary celebration of St. Louis University High, my storied secondary school, Father Arturo Sosa, Superior General of the Jesuits, directly addressed, on a massive screen, the hundreds of people assembled. His basic message called upon us to build bridges in our divided cities.

Anyone interested in responding to this in a new way, please read this interview about the Sweet Water Foundation with Director Emmanuel Pratt, featured in the ​ARPA Journal* and consider joining in…not by offering money but by offering some time and outreach in whatever city you reside in. There are all kinds of young people across the nation(and even world) doing things like Sweet Water who could use some mentoring from young elders with high spirits.

Sweet Water Director Emmanuel Pratt re Building Bridges In Our Divided Cities

Emmanuel Pratt and Sweet Water team with eco priest Sean McDonnagh, key draft writer of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si, at Dublin’s Irish Museum of Modern Art Sweet Water workshop.

Columbia University Journal of Applied Research Practices in Architecture interview with Emmanuel Pratt, with whom I co-founded the Sweet Water Foundation, harvesting the composted forms of value the transcended Sweet Water Organics.

​​ARPA Journal - Applied Research Practices in Architecture Journal is a public forum for debate based at the Columbia University Graduate School of … ​

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Dr. Gay Reinartz’ Boy Friday and Pope Francis’ Favorite Ask of Georgetown U. China Scholars

Dear Judith and James,

Wow! You two are on the spot. I hope you don’t judge me importunate for barging into your mind with tales of how important Dr. Gay’s work is and how and why I judge myself, with you and yours, equipped with resources to make a bit of history pulling together intellectuals and activists across the world to

Save the Bonobos!

“Madame Gay” is methinks a painfully shy Jean d’Arc of the species we now call Bonobo. During my Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan periods, my life was a series, often interrelated, of common good obsessions. The bonobos’ survival for the common good!

In my apprentice Yoda phase, my job is simply to connect complimentary young(anyone under 50) Olympian menschen with peers and worthy elders. “The organizational form of the 21st century is the network!” And cultural evolution involves “distributed cognitive networks” or “mind sharing” for common causes.

So…I am here in hopes of inspiring a tiny fraction of “woke ecopreneurs” from the Chinese/Vatican/Belgian/Japanese
communities to give some attention to the survival of the bonobos, building upon Gay’s work since 1993 in the Congo Solanga Forest, where she has been researching the bonobos’ presence, while also groping along in efforts to develop a coherent “park guard” force.


Gay and her team will be working with AWF to survey a corridor of this landscape for bonobo presence and distribution. The process will involve training local Congolese in bio-monitoring and data collection – this training will also serve as a capacity building tool so that the local Congolese can continue this work after the ZSM has finished in this area.

Here’s one of Gay’s reports from Spring 2008 that inspires and informs, as do four others from the same period which still greatly inform.

Why Should We Care About Saving The Species Called Bonobo?

Bonobos are the real deal. They share more than 98% of our DNA. They are so much like us that some of us actually cry when we meet them for the first time. I think it’s a powerful primal response to their “like us-ness,” or a tangible reminder that “we are not alone.”

Bonobos look like chimps but they stand-up straighter. Whereas chimps are mesomorphic like a football running back, for example, bonobos are ectomorphic like a long-distance runner or wide receiver. In the wild they spend a great deal of time hanging out in the jungle canopy, eighty-feet above the ground/swamp/most of us.

The nature of bonobo society speaks directly to the question of “why should I care (about bonobos).” They have a complex society that is maternal centric. The alpha female is the dominant personality in the family/clan. She gets to be the alpha female based upon her skill at and propensity to groom others. Imagine a society in which leadership is bestowed as a result of one’s record of service to others.

Another part of it is they resolve disputes by using affection and sex. Admittedly this is a very simplistic explanation of a social order replete with complexity and nuance, but it is at the heart of why we need to save the bonobos from extinction. Loss of the bonobos in the wild would be tragic in that they represent a portal into understanding ourselves.

Bonobos are endangered in the wild primarily because of habitat loss and poaching, victims of ignorance and third world poverty. If we lose the world’s wild poplulations, we will no longer be able to study them in their natural environment. They are only found in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa, in one relatively small location in a very troubled part of the world.

Godsil’s Ask

So I am hoping you might introduce the concept of a Chinese/Vatican/Belgian/Japanese/American collaboration experiment over the next 10 years to support Gay’s work, even if the results are only a documentary shared by tiny fractions in each country(and the Vatican’s network).

I am so astonished at how often I have wound up on the stage of history because of simple notes like this..
I have deep ties with the Jesuits across the world and can’t help but imagine a Laudato Si Celebration in Vatican Square with one giant screen sharing the story of, and our story with, the glorious bonobos!

Godsil As A Jesuit Trained Forest Gump

I am the circles image at Marquette Park, Chicago Open Housing Marches, in which I was a nanosecond bodyguard for Dr. King and teacher in a Freedom School.

My entrance on the stage of history has inspired me to imagine myself not justg as an Apprentice Yoda, but also as a Jesuit Trained Forest Gump. The Jesuits, for example, gave me $8,000 in 1966 for the St. Louis U. Great Issues Series, which had a huge impact on bringing the talented 10% of the Catholics of St. Louis into the modern age.

I introduced the South Side Chicago Sweet Water Foundation team to whom Naomi Klein identified as a key draft writer and Pope Francis’ ecological advisor.

Sweet Water Team At Irish Museum of Modern Art w. Fr. Sean McDonagh

The State Department sent me to India to share the Growing Power and Sweet Water Urban Ag and Aquaponics stories.

With Jimmy Carter during Habitat building project…

I could go on and on with the miracles of my life related to notes like this.

I hope this is the first of many with you and yours to

Save the Bonobos!

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SLUH Alum Response to Fr. Arturo Sosa’s Call to “Build Bridges Across A Divided City”

Dear _______;

I am from the class of 1963 and was profoundly moved by Fr. Sosa’s address to our 200th birthday party.

I had the high honor and deep pleasure of being among the alumni who shared our life stories with about 90 students regarding our quest for the common good. I was invited because of my work in civil rights, old city renaissance, urban agriculture, and the diffusion of Laudato Si.

It is my aspiration to help spark conversations that build bridges not only within a divided city like St. Louis, but also between” divided cities” like St. Louis, Chicago, and Milwaukee, for the same cause of social and ecological justice expressed in Pope Francis’ Laudato Si. I raised a family of 4 children in Milwaukee, and am Board President of Chicago’s Sweet Water Foundation, blessed with collaborations with Loyola of Chicago and Marquette of Milwaukee.

St. Augustin Church on North St. Louis, Scene of My First Holy Communion 1951

The class of 1963 has an email list of about 125 alums who have been in conversation responding to an “Ignatian Response to the Ferguson Tragedy.” I would like to include you and yours, perhaps even some of your students and their family members, in a 10 year conversation about building bridges in divided cities with the help of guidance offered by Laudato Si.

Please let me know if you would rather NOT receive these notes. And know that if you do, you will be participating in an experiment that only a world blessed with

the vision of Pope Francis and Fr. Sosa

connected by the internet

and paving the way for some kind of Ignatian Renaissance

leading up to the 500th anniversary of the Jesuits, 2040, only 22 years away!


James J. Godsil, SLUH 1963

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Head of the world’s Jesuits, Fr. Arturo Sosa, Message To St. Louis U. Night’s 200th Birthday Celebration

“Build bridges across a divided city.”

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SWF Note To Professor Michael Hamm, Keynote Speaker and Laudato Si Promoter at the 200th Anniversary of St. Louis U. HIgh

Dear Michael,

I very much enjoyed your keynote at the 200th and hope you and some of your students and colleagues might judge favorably an effort to weave the Jesuit trained communities of the USA into the urban ag and Laudato Si movements.

We have ongoing relations with Fr. Sean McDonagh, who Naomi Klein identified as key to Laudato Si.

Fr. Sean With Sweet Water Team at Irish Museum of Modern Art Exhibition

Our Urban Farm and emerging “agora” 10 minutes from Obama Presidential Center(OPC) has become an eco tourist destination.

We have turned a greenhouse into a woodworking shop, some of which products have become part of the OPC artifacts.

We’ve been working with Detroit activists of the Boggs Center since 2008.

We have energized the good cause with arresting art displays.

The State Department arranged for our introducing urban ag to India.

At U. of Calcutta, In Mumbai

We have woven building and fixing workshops into our micro farm.

Scaling up aquaponics by scaling it out into the classrooms of USA for starters (about 20 installations, teacher training, administrative guidelines, etc.).

Please let me know if you have some time, say an hour per year, to look in on our work. Or, if you have some MA or PhD students who might harvest our experience for academy credentials.

AMDG Laudato Si!


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Que El-Amin YouTubes explain Young Enterprise Society (Yes!) and Lots More

Que is critical to the Milwaukee Chicago collaboration experiments for neighborhood development.

Our Issues Milwaukee - March 25, 2017

Time Management Workshop - Young Enterprising Society at Bay View High School

3rd Annual Use Your Words Back 2 School Field Day

And perhaps Baltimore with John Hopkins’ & SWF’s Jesse Blom

STEAM Workshop - Young Enterprising Society - Washington High School

Movement Peddler
I’m a reporter.
On the ground.
In the trenches.

A movement peddler,
An impresario.

A child of the
Great Lakes culture.

An awakening one.

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Apprentice Olde Yoda’s Beneath Learning Trees With Olympian Mensch Younges

Perry Ave Commons is a pathway to some kind of heaven in this earthly realm.

Growing energy waves igniting visions of

  • Olde School Backstreet Harvards

  • New School Sweet Water Academies

Harvard Walden Apprentice Yodas and Young Hero Questors

Must have, for Urban Villages and Pratt’s Regenerative Neighborhood Development

Apprentice Yoda’s and Heroes of One Thousandfaced Younges

The Spirit Energy of this

Communion of Young and Old,

Finding some kind of God through Nature

Or at least experiencing an astonishing Mysteria

Zen Christo Genesis Spirit Capital…

Mysteria, Imminent and Transcendent Aspects of the Cosmic WTF!

Godsil Family Trust, Sweet Water ReciproCITY Heart Haus Integral Homes & Urban Rural Rainbow Flow

Over the next year, two, or three I hope to have about $10,000 from my share of the sale of 325 Euclid House to my son Joe and his wife Aileen .I would like to use this as seed green dollars to add to the social, cultural, natural, and spiritual capital my family and our partner networks have, to build upon the work of all of you, with my template coming from the SWF’s supporting and harvesting of 325, Perry Ave Commons, and The Wormfarm Institute’s Urban Rural Flow projects.

Amaranth & MECCA Park Village Ventures

The Amaranth and MECCA Park on Milwaukee’s near North near West side neighborhoods are poised for a project that would unite Sweet Water’s Chicago and Milwaukee ventures with the experiments each of you have been orchestrating over the years. I can imagine guests from Chicago’s Sweet Water teams and partners at this integral urban airbnb home experiment within a few years. And guests from the Milwaukee movements spending time at the Perry Commons airbnb integral home experiments.

Orrin Williams’Vision

regarding the Chicago side of things, which has played a part in the Milwaukee side of things, shared from the Sweet Water Foundation’s newsletter.

If you had unlimited resources, what project would you dedicate yourself to on the Perry Ave Commons?

One of the things me and Emmanuel connected on was a book call the Integral Urban House. It’s a book I read years ago. I always wondered why housing wasn’t that way. Why isn’t it normal to generate your own energy? Why isn’t it normal to be careful about how you use water? Why isn’t it normal to create at least some of your own food? I always thought, how can we expand these concepts so that it’s an integral urban community? With housing, commercial buildings, empty spaces, generating energy, producing food, having water wells…all those things. I think a lot of the work going on at the Perry Ave Commons now is related to that vision and a lot of the discussions I’ve had with Emmanuel over the years. How do we make urban space more productive and more efficient, particularly in terms of feeding people and generating energy?

If I had the resources, I would also develop the State Street corridor, not only in terms of commercial and live-work spaces for artists, but also the commercial vision would include a lot of the arts and cultural programming. One thing I would be interested in doing in those spaces and in the community would be to engage art and art practice in a way that brought back and maintained certain traditions. For example, I’d love to bring quilters from Mississippi and Alabama to do quilting classes, and to have spaces to present their work. I would love to bring in weavers from different traditions and teach people that may not know about those traditions. I’d love to bring in a series of potters and folks dealing with ceramics to do their work, whether it’s someone from Japan or Minnesota or Africa. And of course, food-related businesses, like small groceries. A variety of restaurants, whether they are vegan or not vegan, whatever the case they may be. How would you integrate that with the farming that occurs here? What opportunity does that present for the expansion of agriculture in the community? And, how to make it commercially viable and available to people who have businesses and households?

What say?

Why not?


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Growing Convergence, inspired by

George Washington Carver, Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln,Fr. Teilhard de Chardin,
Dr. Martin Luther King and Grace Lee Boggs, Schumach & Alexander..we could name 100s!

Whitman and W.E.B. Du Bois…

Let’s converge our networks.

Why not grow Networked Satyagraha Systems?

With our flesh, blood, and tears,

Our growing Faith.

Converging rainbow green

Radical reConstruction Networks

Growing New Worlds

Mycelia like…

Stewarding the Earth

Grounding visions

Economics As If People Mattered

Pratt of SWF Keynote Speaker at Harvard et al 6th Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference

Mar 16 6th Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference Presented by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and merck family fund

Lunchtime Keynote: Emmanuel Pratt, Sweet Water Foundation, Chicago Il.

Radical [Re]Constructions: Revaluing Food, Farming, Family and Future

The talk will unpack the creative practices of the Sweet Water Foundation, highlighting how locally deployed creative interventions that blend education, art, architecture, citizen science, and community-scale production are cultivating innovative models for community-conscious neighborhood development in the Southside of Chicago and beyond.

At Irish Museum of Modern Art With Pope’s Ecological Advisor Fr. Sean McDonagh

Awakening Obama Foundation Network To On the Ground South Side Renaissance

Conference Closing Panel: The State of Urban Farming : Where Are We and What’s Next?

Facilitated by Greg Watson, Director For Policy and Systems Design, Schumacher Center for a New Economics and Panelists:

Track 1: Youth and Urban Farming (youth only)

Opening Session: “Paving Your Own Pathways”

A.M.Keynote: “An Agroecological Paradigm”

Presenter: Isis Salcines, Havana, Cuba, Outreach Director, Organopónico Vivero Alamar.The Organoponico Vivero Alamar is one of Havana, Cuba’s largest and oldest urban farms. Isis Salcines will share their experiences implementing agroecology, addressing food security, and discuss the social, economic and environmental impacts of the farm

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How to Save Our Children from the Gun Industry and the NRA

By Tom Coffin

In a previous article, I described how, beginning in the 1980s, the arms industry and the NRA initiated a propaganda machine to recast the Second Amendment into some sort of deranged mandate to arm private citizens with military weaponry so that they could wage war and commit Treason against their own government (The Distortion of the Second Amendment). Their propaganda is nonsense. While the Supreme Court has recognized that the Second Amendment confers a limited right for a private citizen to possess a handgun for self-defense purposes in his or her home, it expressly declined to extend the contours of that right to military weapons (M-16 rifles and the like), and constrained its holding to the “sorts of lawful weapons that [citizens] possessed at home” at the time of the enactment of the Amendment. District of Columbia v. Heller, opinion of the Court, p. 55. As recently held by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, “weapons that are most useful in military service—M16 rifles and the like—may be banned” without infringement upon the Second Amendment right. Kolbe v. Hogan, 849 F.3d 114 (4th Cir. 2017).

But the Courts are not Legislatures. While they can limit the NRA/arms industry’s expansive and self-serving interpretation of the Second Amendment, they cannot enact the laws necessary to ban or curtail the commercial sale of military weaponry to the general public. Only Congress and State Legislatures have that authority and this is where the distortions of the Second Amendment and related misinformation tactics have been most effective. How often do we hear NRA spokespersons say they are only supporting the “constitutional rights” of gun owners by opposing virtually any and all efforts to control and regulate commercial gun sales? How often do we hear complicit and obeisant lawmakers explain that they cannot vote for sensible gun control legislation “because of the Second Amendment?” It is all a lie. The Constitution nowhere requires the arming of citizens with military weaponry. It is simply a convenient excuse for legislators to kowtow to arms industry demands by pretending their hands are tied by the Constitution. They are not. They can act if they have the courage to do so, i.e., to stand up to the pressure and financial clout of the NRA and arms industry. When politicians tell you they would charge into a school under siege by an AR-15 armed shooter to save the children, ask them why they are not courageous enough to protect the children by promoting legislation that would disarm the shooter in the first place.

Click here for the full essay and more!
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The Distortion of the Second Amendment

By Tom Coffin

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness—That to secure these Rights, Governments are institutions among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed…

Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Second Amendment, Constitution of the United States.

For approximately 200 years the universal, if not unanimous, interpretation of the Second Amendment was that it granted a collective right enjoyed by the states, not individuals, and thus that the Constitution provided no right for an individual to possess a firearm. As a result, the authority of state and federal governments to regulate and control gun ownership by the private sector was virtually unchallenged, certain segments of society (such as felons and the mentally ill) were precluded from owning firearms, military grade weapons such as fully automatic and semi-automatic firearms, silencers, and explosive devise were heavily regulated and/or banned, and background checks for gun purchasers were standard.

Beginning the 1980s, the NRA has sponsored legal seminars, funded legal research and promoted articles that advocated an individual, private right to possess firearms as the basis of the Second Amendment.1

Click here for the full essay and more!
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Ignatian Conversations For A More Conscious Catholic Culture

Here is Tom Coffin, from my high school class of 1963 at the Jesuit Highschool of St. Louis Missouri called St. Louis U. High, responding to a NYT essay in support of the edge of history work regarding LGBT issues, of Father James Martin, S.J.. Here’s the essay:

Here’s Tom’s response to my sharing the essay with about 130 alumni from our class of 1963.

Bible Not A Scientific Treatise, Faith Not Served By Ignorance

The Church developed its views on sexuality long before biology developed to the point of shedding light on the subject. We now know that orientation is formed in the womb and is not a conscious choice by the person. Yet I am aware of no theological commissions that have been tasked with re-examining the biblical underpinnings casting same-sex relations as immoral in the light of today’s scientific revelations. As Galileo aptly demonstrated (at great personal cost) the Bible is not a scientific treatise and Faith is not served by Ignorance. Tom

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Visiting the President of Ireland


Myself and the 10 contributors to the book Laudato Si’ An Irish Response were invited to visit the President of Ireland, Michael C. Higgins at Aras An Uachtarain, today, January 18th 2018.

For one hour we discussed many of theme on justice, ecology and spirituality which feature some prominently in the papal document Laudato Si’. The President was thoroughly familiar with the encyclical and highlighted the place it should have in challenging the economic, social and ecological policies which are doing such damage both to planet earth and human well-being.

He felt that every teacher in Ireland should be given a copy of the book Laudato Si’ An Irish Response.

Kind regards,
Sean McDonagh, SSC,
St. Columban’s, Dalgan Park, Navan, Co. Meath.
tel 00353872367612
visit my blog at

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An American Tragedy To Resist

From Brother Tom Coffin, to spark an Ignatian conversation.

The Enemy Within

Tom— I wrote this essay for the sake of my children and grandchildren, because I want them to remember that there are those of us who did not remain silent while the principles that made this country what it is were under attack. Tom

Godsil—And I am sharing this statement to continue a conversation worthy of conceiving as An Ignatian Response to The Ferguson Tragedy.

Tom is concerned that Trump is heading up a path to An American Tragedy. So am I.

Our nation was founded on principles that our Founders determined to be sacrosanct and immutable:

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men
are created equal, that they are endowed by their
Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among
these are Life,Liberty,and the pursuit of Happiness—
that to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted
among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent
of the Governed…” The Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776

We must never forget that the Founders of this nation were intimately familiar with a monarchical, or autocratic, form of government and the resulting tyranny that accompanies such a model of government—e.g., imprisonment without jury trial, punishment for “seditious” speech, judges who lacked independence and who served only at the pleasure of the king, denial of a representative voice in government, and other violations of basic human rights.

After overthrowing the yoke of a foreign king, they drafted a Constitution that was designed to ensure a representative form of government with formidable obstacles to the reincarnation of a tyrannical autocracy. Hence the checks and balances of co-equal branches of government, each with the ability to counter excessive exercises of power by the other branches.

The Constitution, with the first 10 Amendments (the Bill of Rights) was ratified in 1789. The Bill of Rights, authored by James Madison with input from Thomas Jefferson,expressly incorporated fundamental individual liberties, rights, and values deemed to be cornerstones of our framework of government.

That government—our government—has endured as a beacon of democracy for the world for over 228 years. Now, however, it is being assailed by the greatest enemy it has ever encountered. This is not an enemy from outside our borders, an invading army or axis of foreign powers. It is an enemy from within, an enemy that strikes at the heart of our nation by questioning and repudiating our foundational principles that gave birth to our very existence and have been our sustaining life breath to this very day.

I speak of an administration that has described the Constitution as an archaic document and an obstacle to effective government, encouraged law enforcement officials to use excessive force in arresting suspects, heaped praise on Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte for his utilization of vigilante death squads to murder suspected lawbreakers and drug users, and applauded and pardoned a renegade sheriff in Arizona for contemptuously and systematically violating a federal court order by continuing to illegally profile and detain Hispanics on the discriminatory basis of their race.

The president’s distaste for the Constitution extends to the 1st Amendment, particularly the part that states “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” As Madison emphasized at the time of its passage…”we cannot be subject to rules and laws that prohibit us from speaking our minds. Our press can print and circulate the news without fear of reprisal, even if that news is less than favorable regarding our country or government.”

The president’s hostility to the freedoms of speech and the press is well documented. His former Chief of Staff confirmed in an interview that the White House has considered amending or even abolishing the 1st Amendment because of critical press coverage of the president. Most recently, he has demanded that the publisher of a book which is critical of his administration cease and desist from distributing the book into the public domain. Yet such freedom to publish it is the very essence of the 1st Amendment. Moreover, the president has repeatedly maligned peaceful political protests, such as kneeling during the anthem, as a form of disrespect for the flag that should be punished by fines or other economic sanctions.

This latter issue begs the question—what, exactly, does the flag represent if not the Constitution of the United States, which is the soul of this nation? I suspect that this president equates the flag with—well—himself. Nothing could be further from reality. The flag stands for the country, whose existence is defined by the Constitution, defended by the the sacrifices and blood of the people for over two centuries. Without the Constitution, the nation is a lifeless corpse and it has no president. It is such an irony to witness the president exhorting law enforcement officers to violate the Constitution, railing against rights and liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights, condoning and even pardoning violations of the freedoms and rights cherished by our Founders, all the while sporting a flag lapel pin as he flouts and rejects what the flag truly represents.

In this hypocrisy, he mirrors the mythical Humpty Dumpty, who famously said:

“When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean, nothing more nor less.”

No, Mr. President, the Constitution does not mean just what you choose it to mean, nothing more nor less. Its meaning has been clear for over two centuries. It means what the Founders articulated, and what the Congress, Courts, and former Presidents who have served this nation have always understood and accepted it to mean. You took an oath to uphold and protect this Constitution. You have no right, no power, no authority whatsoever to discard it or define it by your whim and caprice.

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New School Amaranth Gathering of Heroes.

Dan Velasquez, art teacher hero renewing the teacher led New School for Student Empowerment, i.e.The New School, will be meeting with artist ecopreneur Muneer Bahauddeen 12;30 today, at David Boucher’s Amaranth Bakery, 34th and Lisbon. Hoping some of my FB friends win New School “Desks” as nanosecond “Partners,” by providing a one hour workshop at the New School during 2018–19 school year, or perhaps a one hour tour of their workplace. The New School to be located at 35th and Lisbon, the NW corner of the Amaranth Village neighborhood. Brian Sales and Dave Laack are hoping to weave Green Veterans Growing Power 2.0 in with this venture, August Marie Ball the Cream City Conservation Corps, Jesse Blom and I the Sweet Water Academy, Francis Graf and Matt Rudman Groundworks, Todd Leech the Riverwest Co-op and Cafe, Alexander Montezon and Nick Montezon trades training, Ryan Schone UW Extension’s Seed Garden, Pat Wilborn Port Fish, Brad Pruitt, film making, for starters. Join the conversation por favor!

Riverwest Coop New School Meeting

Dan Velasquez Anthony Deutsch Todd Leech Brian Sales Dave Laack Matt Rudman Pat Wilborn. “Partners” for The New School. Join us tomorrow 12:30 at The Amaranth w. David Boucher, Muneer Bahauddeen, and other Heroes Saving The New School

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From Brian Sales FB Post

MKE Urban Farm School, Trauma Resolution and Small Farmers Co-op Center coming soon to an inner city MKE neighborhood near you! (MUFS, TRC, and SFC) A Green Veterans Group Milwaukee Project & Initiative. ;) #greenvets #urbanfarmers #traumaresolution #IUAN #groundworksMKE #CVI #growingpower2.0

This is amazing news!

MKE Urban Farm School, Trauma Resolution Center and Small Farmers Co-op Center coming soon to an inner city MKE neighborhood near you!

(MUFS, TRC, and SFC)

Green Veterans Growing Power w. MUFS TRC SFC


Visions of New Schools for Student Empowerment and Amaranth Urban Village, SWF, UWE SEED Gardens, Milwaukee Coops, and more in this

Emerging Milwaukee Grand Alliance for A New Milwaukee

Where the waters gather toward the Sweet Water Seas

In the Great Lakes Heartland of the USA

New schools for new work we really want to do

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New school for student empowerment Clan Networks

These are our New School for Student Empowerment Yacht Club Grounds… another bequeathment of the Old Milwaukee Sewer Socialists… Citizen Commons! Would any of our Facebook friends like to bring their Clan into conversations advancing the creation of a new MPS school for student empowerment?

From co-founder Dan Velasquez

We are currently enrolling for 9th and 10th grade and want to promote the school to youth who want to be heard and have a voice in their education, community, and future. I will attach a link to our open house informational night to get a quick glimpse into what our school is about.


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PPC Experiment W. “Awakening” of 1.2 Billion Baptized Catholics via Pope Francies & Sean McDonagh Synodal Process for Laudato Si

Finally! I intuit that you all may become​ as inspired by the possibilities Fr. Sean offers your PPC​ work as I am by my urban ag partners’ work. I am co-founder and Board president of the Sweet Water Foundation, which is now working with the Obama Foundation team re the Presidential Library’s community engagement aspect. I also aspire to weave our collaboration into a wiki web platform called “Where the Sweet Waters Gather”, i.e. the Objibwe name for Milwaukee, which has been “going global as the city’s name if used as a metaphor.

We must make our inland waters sweet again!

Our ocean waters healing!

Weave Laudato Si Synodal Process Into Collaboration With PPC?

Here is Fr. Sean’s vision.

​Here he is with the Sweet Water Team, including our practical, pragmatic, and charismatic co-founder and director, Emmanuel Pratt.

In August, 2016, a Sweet Water Foundation team had the amazing good fortune to participate in an eco/art exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art last February. 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).

​In the way that I pray, I pray for mighty collaborations with you and your teams up through my 100th birthday party!

Clean sailing,


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Community Guild Network Building Possibilities

So Josh has given me a 600 square foot space in this 19,000 square foot Community Guild Network building(pending final appraisal)

aside the Milwaukee River at North Ave. and UWM dorms

to experiment with enterprises like yours, for some kind of Milwaukee Renaissance.

Here are some links that suggest some order in the chaos of my life.

Dee Hock’s chaordic organizing is my recipe.

Here’s a Harvard Business Review study of Josh’s and my experiment with hybrid and networked enterprise experiments.

And web page of the Sweetwater Foundation we helped launch, along with future MacArthur genius winner Emmanuel Pratt.

Sunvest Solar and USGBC Green Veterans Growing Power Collaboration?

I have cc’d Brian Soles, who is leading this Green Veterans project, and his partner David Laack.

Let The Old City bloom,


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Journal Sentinel photo

Leiser, Laacke,Sales, Allen, & Godsil Discussing Growing Power 2.0 Transition

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?


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What’s Federal Funding Got to Do with It?

By Mantill Williams

Voices for Public Transit Community Coordinator

There isn’t any substitute for federal funding when it comes to public transportation.
Congress renewed its commitment to public transit funding in the 2018 budget, but now we’re facing appropriations and the question of whether that funding will continue. When you’re talking about infrastructure projects that take years, or even decades to complete, that kind of uncertainty can lead to public transit improvements getting delayed or put on hold indefinitely.

Learn more by reading our latest blog, “Why Fund Public Transit with Federal Dollars?”

Learn Why Public Transit Is Public

States, municipalities, and the private sector have roles to play in public transit funding and even now make up the lion’s share of the cost of local projects—but this doesn’t mean Congress can abandon public transportation without serious ramifications.

Read and share this important blog!

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
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Accessible Voting Webinar – Register Now!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 10:00am - 11:00 am

Register now for this free webinar to learn more about voting options available to make voting accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Join Sara Linski, WisVote Elections Specialist, and Jennifer Haar, City of Madison Clerk’s Office, to learn about the voting options available to individuals with disabilities who want to vote, whether it is voting prior to Election Day or voting on Election Day at the polls.

Hear about the voting experiences of Randy and Virginia Black. Find out what you can do to have an effective voting experience, and how we are trying to make it more positive.

Register for the webinar at under the Events tab. Important: The Deadline for registration is Monday, June 18th.

This 1 hour webinar is free. Registration is required to receive access to the live webinar on June 20th or the link to the archived version that will be available after June 27th.

Click here for more articles from Peace of Mind.
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Candidate Forum Draws a Huge Crowd

Nearly 700 people participated in the WISDOM Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on June 11. They witnessed stirring testimonials and presentations from more than a dozen WISDOM leaders, who made the case for WISDOM’s issues, including: Health Care, Crimeless Revocations, Immigrant Drivers’ Licenses, Closing the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF), Regional Transportation Authorities and Transit Funding, Parole and Compassionate Release, Education Funding, Solitary Confinement, the End Child Poverty Campaign, Increased TAD Funding, Restoring the Prove It First Mining Moratorium, and Dignity for Incarcerated Women.

The presenters for WISDOM were remarkable in their clarity, passion, authenticity and brevity! You don’t have to take our word for it. To see the entire Forum for yourself, click here. You can download the program booklet with a description of the issues and a list of our co-sponsors here.

Seven candidates for Governor listened attentively to our issues. They gave very positive responses to our questions, and each spoke for 5 minutes after all the questions had been asked. Those in attendance were: Kelda Roys, Mike McCabe, Mahlon Mitchell, Kathleen Vinehout, Andy Gronik, Dana Wachs, and Matt Flynn. Tony Evers could not attend, but did send written responses to the questions. Of all the invited candidates, only Paul Soglin and Scott Walker did not respond.

At the Forum, WISDOM also announced the formation of a separate organization, the WISDOM Action Network. The WISDOM Action Network is a 501©4 organization, meaning that, unlike WISDOM, donations to it are not tax deductible. It can, however, comment on candidates and their positions prior to an election. The mission of the WISDOM Action Network is to inform its members and the public of the positions and actions taken by candidates for public office that pertain to the issues WISDOM and its affiliates address.

To learn more about candidate responses from Monday evening, and to be kept up-to-date on candidate responses to WISDOM issues, you can e-mail, and ask to put included on the list.

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Let’s Talk About IT: The Women of Block 12

Presented by Table of the Saints, Inc.

Please join author Linda Pinschke “The Women of Block 12: Voices from a jail ministry and two successful women survivors sharing their journeys at our monthly discussion and facilitated breakout circles

Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 6:00 – 8:00 pm.
Welford Sanders Enterprise Center, 2821 N. 4th Street, 1st Floor Conference Room

Light Snacks Available
The Women of Block 12: Voices from a Jail Ministry is a journey of growth and discovery. Linda began her ministry believing that she would be the teacher and the women her students. She discovered God had another plan. As the prisoners revealed their deepest personal experiences, the author realized she had much to learn about faith, courage and what it means to be a friend.

The Book is dedicated to:

The Women of Block 12 and all women who are confined in prisons of concrete and steel, prisons of addiction, or prisons of shame and regret.

This idea of providing a safe place for persons to come learn, share and discuss those topics we dare not bring up at the dinner table stems from the Table of the Saints expanding and improving upon our aftercare for the residents of TOTS Family House and those in the community with whom we mentor and participate in rebuilding the moral compass.

Bring along a friend

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BREAKING: Voting rights loss at SCOTUS

The Supreme Court just rubber-stamped Ohio’s voter suppression tactics in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute. The decision gives Ohio the power to target voters who miss just one election cycle for removal from the rolls. This is despite the National Voter Registration Act’s express prohibition on purging voters just because they don’t vote. I’m furious, but I’m more driven than ever to defend our most fundamental right.

This decision is a gutting reminder that the Trump administration is determined to turn back the clock on our voting rights. For decades, the Justice Department maintained this type of voter purge was illegal, but under the Trump administration and Attorney General Sessions, the department switched sides and supported Ohio’s unnecessary restrictions on the right to vote.

In the face of roadblocks to the polls, we must exercise our right to vote now more than ever. We must vote for leaders who will make voting easier – not harder. We must vote like our rights depend on it. Pledge now to be an ACLU Voter this election cycle.

Under Ohio’s “Supplemental Process,” if you miss just one election cycle, you risk losing your voter registration. The state wrongly assumes that voters who don’t cast a ballot in two years have changed addresses, invalidating their current registrations. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Ohioans have been stripped of their right to vote, and many only find out when they arrive at the voting booth. And like every barrier to voting, people of color and those with low incomes are disenfranchised the most.

Let’s be clear: Our right to vote isn’t ‘use it or lose it’ – and this decision doesn’t give states a green light to kick eligible voters off the roll without notice.

We must do everything we can to defend our most fundamental right – by showing up to vote this fall. Our democracy is strongest when every voice can be heard, when every eligible citizen can cast a ballot and have it counted. Pledge to be an ACLU Voter so that we can continue to exercise this fundamental right and make voting accessible for all.

Thanks for defending our democracy

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Remove MKE Police Force Power Abusers

By Kay Koneazny

Kay Koneazny is a retired nurse, a community advocate, and a 45-year resident of Sherman Park.

I left the last Fire and Police Commission meeting on June 7, 2018, with a heavy heart. During the Public Comment segment, I am used to hearing speakers demand, even threaten. Last Thursday night felt different. While demands for police transparency and accountability were made, there also were individual poignant, painful stories of felt victimization, of police abuse of power, of serious loss of trust. A social worker admitted that, before calling the police to help a mentally ill man she observed, she asked herself, “If I call, will I be contributing to his death?”

A woman told of her uncle being shot 15–17 times while on his front porch where he had come out with a hand gun, firing shots in the air to stop a fight in front of his house. He was blind and in poor health. There were several other family members in the house behind him.

A man told of being shot twice in the back by officers, who then allegedly lied on their report of the incident.

A woman, who said she raised her daughters to be an asset to the community, had no words to explain to them the trauma they experienced when pulled over for a mechanical issue on their car.

The 2017 Police Use of Force report indicated that only 22 percent of officers were involved in a use of force incident. The FPC was asked to get power abusers off of the force and to find a method to ensure that officers are mentally fit to do their admittedly very stressful work.

A number of speakers recalled better days when they were kids and looked forward to engaging with officers for the baseball cards. To reestablish trust is a process requiring good will and eventual vulnerability on all sides. I hope that Chief Morales will continue to hold community trust as a primary goal of his tenure. I hope, too, that the FPC will do all in its power to assist him and his officers in this endeavor. The future quality of our neighborhoods depends on it.

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Sun. 6/10/2018: Vote in November! Blind loyalty to GOP has come to this:

“[T]he mobilizing ideas, policies, passions and ruthless social practices of fascism are at the center of power in the Trump administration.” Henry A. Giroux: The Nightmare of Neoliberal Fascism


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Help us spread the word about what to do in a crisis.

In a mental health crisis, call 414–257–7222.

Getting individuals in crisis connected to the care they need quickly is paramount. A fast connection to specially trained staff who can help to de-escalate, provide over-the phone assessment, assist law enforcement and other agencies and connect callers with community resources or referrals can mean the difference between life and death. That’s why the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division has a 24/7 crisis line available for individuals to call during such a situation.

We’re asking all of our providers like you to help us remind individuals in your network to direct all individuals facing a mental health crisis to call the BHD Crisis Line at 414–257–7222.

We encourage you to share the Crisis Services brochure with individuals in your network and remind them to direct anyone who is facing a crisis to call the BHD Crisis line at 414–257–7222.

Click here to download the Crisis Services brochure

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Join Us! Financial Empowerment for People with Disabilities

Join us for the second session of our 2018 EMERGING TOPICS SERIES!

Wednesday, June 27 | 10:30am to 2:00pm
Sojourner Family Peace Center (MAP)

In collaboration with the National Disability Institute and the Milwaukee Alliance for Economic Inclusion, we are excited to invite you to the second session in our 2018 Emerging Topic Series.

This session will serve as a follow-up to our 2017 Community Development Summit that focused on financial and social inclusion for people with disabilities, this time focusing on strategies that strengthen the networks of those serving people with disabilities.

A panel of local, statewide and national agencies will discuss how practitioners can ensure that people with disabilities have access to mainstream financial services by highlighting existing loan and support service programs. Following, Erin Waddell of the Louisville Office of Financial Empowerment will share first-hand insights on how to build greater resilience and self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities and their families. The day will end with an interactive discussion focused on the needs and opportunities to increase the financial empowerment and resilience of people with disabilities.

Register Here

This event is sponsored by the Milwaukee Alliance for Economic Inclusion.
There is no cost to attend and lunch will be provided.

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Celebrate ABHM Future Home on June 18th and 19th

Opening Celebration of The Griot Apartment Building & Fall 2018 Opening of ABHM
401 W. North Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53212

To celebrate Dr. James Cameron’s legacy and the re-opening of the museum this fall, The Griot development team and the Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation (operators of ABHM) invite you to a very special public two-day celebration featuring actor and advocate Danny Glover and renowned poets, writers, activists Aja Monet and Sonja Sanchez, and musician Elijah Blake.

Monday, June 18th: 11 am- 1 pm.
Featured Speaker: Danny Glover.
Meet DJLCF board members, sign-up for museum membership, register to be notified of upcoming museum-related events and tours. This is a free event.

Tuesday, June 19th: 6 pm - 9 pm.
Featured Speakers: Aja Monet and Sonja Sanchez
Tickets: $25 (includes food, drink, and music by local legend The Eddie Butts Band).

For more information, click here.

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Disability Rights Wisconsin’s Victim Advocacy Program

Individuals with a disability who have been a victim of a crime can get free help and support.

Disability Rights Wisconsin’s Victim Advocacy Program provides direct service to individuals with disabilities who have experienced crime, regardless if it has been reported. We work to ensure that each eligible person receives the advocacy, services, and support necessary to move forward, find justice, and ensure safety and stability in whatever form the victim/survivor needs.

As a person who has been supportive of Disability Rights Wisconsin in the past, we’d very much appreciate your help in getting word out about this important program.

There are two big ways you can help create awareness for the Victim Advocacy Program:

  1. Visit us on Facebook and share our posts about the program, or;
  2. Visit our website to access informational pieces for downloading and printing.

These include:

If you’d like any of these items in larger quantities, please contact us and we’ll coordinate printing and delivery to you.

Thank you so much for being advocates and friends of Disability Rights Wisconsin. We appreciate your support!

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Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force – June 12th meeting

Please join us for the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force June meeting, Tuesday, June 12, from 3 – 5:00 PM at IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st St. All are welcome to attend and share their perspective.

Our agenda will include:

  1. Guest Speaker Pardeep Kaleka will join us to discuss “Connectedness: Becoming Culturally Agile” as part of our “Something to Thank About” series
  2. Medical and Mental Health Care at the Milwaukee County Jail – current status and looking forward. Update from Pete Koneazny, Legal Aid Society Litigation Director
  3. Featured Resource: Mental Health America of Wisconsin Wellness Clinic, Martina Gollin-Graves, MHA President/ CEO
  4. Mental Health Board update including contracting for inpatient care and priorities for 2019 budget. Will include an advocacy activity
  5. Elections 2018 – planning for National Disability Voter Registration Week, July 16–20
  6. Task Force business:
    • Steering Committee recommendation to appoint Tim McGuire, Whole Health Clinical Group, to the open Provider position
    • 2018 – 2019 MHTF membership drive
    • August 14th Mental Health Task Force meeting – “Briefing on Proposed 2019 Milwaukee County Department Budget requests as Submitted to the County Executive”
    • September 11 Mental Health Task Force meeting – 5th Annual Karen Avery Award and Forum.

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.

Note: Please arrive early to allow time for parking so we can start on time.

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Support Group for the Survivors of Opioid Overdose

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Public Comment Session - 2019 Budget for Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division: Share with your network

Mental Health Task Force Update

June 7th Milwaukee County Mental Health Board Finance Committee Budget Hearing
–Public Comments Welcome-

Your voice is needed. Please attend Thursday’s Public Hearing and share your priorities for the 2019 Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division Budget. This is an important opportunity to share your ideas with policy makers.

  • See below for details about the hearing, scheduled for Thursday June 7th at 4:30 Pm at Washington Park Senior Center, 4420 W. Vliet
  • Comments are limited to three minutes.
  • If you are not able to attend the hearing, use the “Submit Feedback” button below to share your ideas.

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BREAKING: SCOTUS Masterpiece decision - what to do now

Today was the big day for Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado. The Supreme Court reversed the Colorado decision based on concerns specific to this case, but importantly, the Court recognized that the Constitution doesn’t give businesses open to the public the right to discriminate.

People are already saying today’s decision means that businesses can turn away LGBT people. It doesn’t. And our laws should make crystal clear that no business has the right to discriminate against customers based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

That’s why we need to support the historic Equality Act in Congress. If passed, the bill would protect LGBT people – as well as people of all races, genders, and creeds – from discrimination in key areas of life.

Sign this petition demanding that members of Congress support the Equality Act.

Most people know that discrimination against LGBT people is wrong. And yet we know all too well that it still happens today. It’s time to update our federal laws to ensure comprehensive protection for LGBT people from discrimination in employment, housing, education, and access to public spaces. The Equality Act would ensure all people have the rights they deserve – for the first time ever.

The Trump administration is fighting tooth and nail against us at every turn. But we can’t let this political climate discourage and distract us from this serious issue. There’s just too much at stake for so many LGBT people – and transgender people in particular. Trans people have been battling just to exist in public spaces like restrooms and locker rooms.

Tell Congress right now: Pass the Equality Act and make sure that nobody is subjected to the discrimination and pain that Charlie and Dave felt when they were turned away at Masterpiece Cakeshop.

Equality will never be real if we must fear being discriminated against because of who we are. It’s time to take a giant step forward to provide additional protections to millions of people who face discrimination every day. Add your name and demand Congress pass the Equality Act now.

Thanks for fighting back,
James Esseks
Director of the ACLU LGBT and HIV Project

P.S. Can you do more today? We’re rallying across the country to show support for LGBT rights and freedoms. Join us by finding an event at

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Youth Justice Milwaukee Statement on Lincoln Hills Settlement

For immediate release:
Friday, June 1, 2018
Contact: Morgan Williams Grogan, 202–835–9890

Youth Justice Milwaukee co-founders Sharlen Moore and Jeffery Roman released the following statement after a settlement was reached to overhaul Wisconsin’s treatment of young people in the juvenile justice system:

“Today’s settlement only begins to acknowledge the years of abuse, trauma, and neglect that Wisconsin’s children suffered at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake. The fact that it was ever considered acceptable to lock children up alone for weeks in tiny cells, restrain them or use chemical agents shows how outdated and abusive youth prisons are.”

“This settlement was long overdue – but there’s still a lot of work to do to replace outdated institutions with more effective alternatives. We’re eager to work together with the independent monitor, state officials, and community members to make that a reality.”


Youth Justice Milwaukee is a broad-based campaign advocating for community-based, family-centered, restorative programs as an alternative to locking up children in Wisconsin’s youth prisons. Youth Justice Milwaukee represents a coalition of persons who were incarcerated as youth, families of youth who are or were incarcerated, service providers, and local and national youth justice advocates.

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Take it to the Streets!

Join MICAH as we Take it to the Streets on Monday, June 4

MICAH members will be stepping out on Monday, June 4. Our goal is to meet some of our neighbors, to listen to them, and to let them know about MICAH and the issues we care about.

We will gather at 5:00 pm in the first floor conference room at MICAH’s office building — 2821 N. 4th St. There will be a brief training. Then, we will go out in two groups:

–One group will speak with people about the Job Lines (the endangered bus routes that take people to suburban jobs from the north side).

–The other group will talk about the need to close the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF)

Both groups will have petitions for people to sign, and some information inviting people to be involved with MICAH.

This is a great chance to take MICAH to the broader community. Join us. There is no experience necessary, and we will not leave you alone!

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

Fri. 6/1/18: Wisconsin ends solitary confinement for kids

Tues. 5/29/18: ABC Silenced Hate within Hours of Roseanne Barr’s Despicable Tweet by Canceling Her Hit TV Show:

Wed. 5/23/18: Trump Violates First Amendment by Blocking Twitter Users, Judge Says

Tues. 4/17/18: Opinion | The Trump administration loses an immigration case — with Gorsuch as the deciding vote

Sat. 4/7/18 : “The only thing that will really seal the death certificate of the ‘alt-right’ is an ever-growing presence of antifascism in all areas of social life, a movement whose vibrancy is overwhelming and has the ability to be intergenerational.”

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Democracy Crumbles Before Our Eyes: Vote!

Thurs. 5/31/18: “(But) white Americans … make up the largest share of Medicaid and food-stamp recipients.”

Thurs. 5/24/18: While Few Notice, the Supreme Court Is Making Corporate Human Rights Abuses Easier

Wed. 5/23/18: Hightower: Democracy Is Dying in America — We’re Now Under the Rule of Trump’s Cronies

Mon. 5/21/18: Supreme Court Decision Delivers Blow To Workers’ Rights

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WISDOM Gubernatorial Candidate Forum

Join us:
Monday, June 11, 6:00 to 8:00 pm
Country Springs Hotel and Convention Center
2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee

WISDOM leaders from around the state will be asking the candidates very specific questions about their intentions in the areas of:

  • Criminal Justice reform (including Parole, Crimeless Revocations, Treatment Alternatives to Incarceration, MSDF, Solitary Confinement),
  • Public Transportation
  • Childhood Poverty
  • Health Care
  • Immigration
  • Education
  • Mining

Candidates who have confirmed their participation: Matt Flynn, Andy Gronik, Mike McCabe, Mahlon Mitchell, Kelda Roys, Kathleen Vinehout, Dana Wachs

Candidates Unable to Attend, Expressing Regrets: Tony Evers, Paul Soglin

Also invited, awaiting response: Scott Walker

Transportation will be available from many parts of the state. To sign up for the event, and to learn about transportation options, contact any local WISDOM organization or EXPO chapter, or WISDOM at 414–831–2070, or

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Tues. 5/29/18: Advocacy Works! A ‘Quiet Revolution’ Comes to Ireland

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Thurs. 5/24/18: Fight Gun Violence June 2, 2018! National Gun Violence Awareness Day | WAVE2018

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Support Housing Vouchers

Attention: Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr.

As the City of Milwaukee commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the fair housing marches, the County of Milwaukee has an opportunity to greatly impact the true meaning of this legislation by supporting and passing the amendment to Chapter 107 proposed by Supervisor Dimitrijevic. This amendment would include residents who receive rental or housing assistance.

Milwaukee County’s Fair Housing Ordinance, Section 107.02 (9) currently protects individuals from discrimination on several bases (race, color, sex, sexual orientation, creed, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, lawful source of income, disability, family status, status as a victim of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, stalking, gender identity and gender expression, or status in a domestic partnership). Presently landlords can and do refuse to rent to qualified tenants because they have Housing Choice Vouchers.

Studies have shown that landlords often refuse to rent to voucher holders as a pretext for other types of illegal discrimination such as race, family status, and disability. Vouchers should theoretically allow families to access safer, lower poverty neighborhoods with high achieving schools. But in practice, the voucher falls short of this potential for families living in low-poverty neighborhoods.

Vouchers, when protected, can be a very effective mechanism to help dismantle the entrenched segregation in Milwaukee County and assist families to truly expand their housing choices and provide access to real opportunities for improving the lives of Milwaukee County residents.


Fred Royal, Jr., President
NAACP Milwaukee Branch

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BHD Press for Providers - Issue 1, 2018

Dear Friends,

It has been a busy start to the year for the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division - and for many of you who are partnering with us on this progress.

As I shared in February, the Mental Health Board accepted the Joint Task Force’s recommendation to negotiate exclusively with Universal Health Services (UHS). This means that UHS will build a new acute psychiatric hospital in Milwaukee County. We look forward to finalizing a contract early this summer and will share more with you at that time.

As BHD transitions into a new hospital, psychiatric crisis and emergency services will also evolve. To address this, BHD and the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership have engaged The Human Services Research Institute (HSRI), in collaboration with the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) and the Wisconsin Public Forum (WPF) to create a plan to guide the re-design of these services for Milwaukee County. We expect to also receive this plan in summer will share more with you then.

With this transition to a new hospital, BHD will also move its resources out of the mental health complex and into the community. We anticipate this transition will be completed in 2021 at the earliest. However, we have already started expanding resources, service offerings and access out in the community. Most recently, we added a fifth CART team to respond to crisis calls in partnership with police departments - we are seeing tremendous results - 90% of these interactions result in a connection to voluntary care versus jail or hospitalization.

To continue to provide person-centered and integrated care offerings to our community, we are also continuing conversations with our federally qualified health centers on both Milwaukee’s north and south sides. By providing access to both medical and behavioral health care, we can ensure that the whole person is cared for - mind and body. In fact, the brain-body connection is the highlight of our Mental Health Month campaign this May (see more below).

We are certainly proud of the work being done at BHD and by our providers and partners. It truly takes this collaborative approach to care for our community members in need and together, we are ensuring they receive the highest quality care.

Thank you for your commitment to our community.

Learn more: Behavioral Health Division to begin negotiations with Universal Health Services for psychiatric hospital

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Not too late to come, come early!

Dear Friends
We are very excited about our MICAH 30th Anniversary Celebration this Thursday night and so should you! We’ve got great food available for you to purchase and bring into the the parish hall which include Asian, Jamaican, Mexican, BBQ and good old American brats and burgers. Several different vegetarian and gluten-free options will be available, too. Come around 5 if you are able so those needing to arrive later can be served quickly!

We have a previously unannounced group who will play us out with soul! Don’t miss our impressive performers here to help us celebrate.

It’s not too late to come! Tickets will be available at the door. We would like to know you are coming if you are able to give us advance notice to hold you tickets and you can pay at the door. Just email us at

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Mon. 5/21/18: Help Get Out the Vote: “To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle.”

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Two Years of Milwaukee County Pot Arrests Show Racial Bias

Some 86% of the folks busted for felony second offense marijuana possession in Milwaukee County were African-American, records show.

Just 9 percent were white and 4 percent were Hispanic or Latino.

The county’s population is about 66 percent white, 25 percent black, and 9 percent Latino or Hispanic.

WJI was able to identify a total of 95 arrests countywide during 2015 and 2016 that resulted in the single charge of felony second offense marijuana possession. Incurring a second charge of possession of marijuana, no matter how small the amount, is a felony in Wisconsin.

Seventy-six of the county’s 2015 and 2016 arrests occurred in the City of Milwaukee north of I-94, seven occurred in the city south of I-94, and one occurred on I-94.

Eleven total arrests occurred in the suburbs of Cudahy (2), Glendale (3), Greendale (1), Oak Creek (1), South Milwaukee (1), and Wauwatosa (3). The remaining suburbs had no arrests resulting in felony second offense possession charges.

County Supervisor John Weishan is seeking a November advisory referendum on marijuana legalization. The arrest numbers may well be argument in favor - get rid of marijuana prohibitions, and get rid of some elements of biased law enforcement.

Click here for more information including maps, and to leave comments

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Fri. 5/18/18: Democracy at stake: Public Transit:

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March On Milwaukee 50th Finale

Saturday, May 19th: 9:30am-3pm
North Division High School (plus bus tour through Milwaukee)
The whole day is free of cost

9:30am-10:00am: Registration
10:00am-11:30am: Youth/Elder Activism Session (facilitated intergenerational conversation)
11:30am-1:00pm: “Thank You” Bus Tour (includes free boxed lunch)
1:00pm-3:00pm: Marching On: 50 Years In The Making (a community celebration)

RSVP for morning session and bus tour: https://www.eventbrite. com/e/marching-on-youthelder- activism-session-tickets- 45785422431
RSVP for community celebration: https://www. 50-years-in-the-making- tickets-45694617832

Youth/Elder Activism Session:
Commandos and NAACP Youth Council members meet youth activists and concerned young people. During the session, they will get to know each other, and begin sharing about experience in activism. This will be an opportunity for elders to impart wisdom to young people and hear from young people about what’s distinctive about this moment.

“Thank You” Bus Tour:
After the morning session, youth and elders will get on two buses together. The tour will start outside North Division — the former location of St. Boniface — and weave through the route of the Open Housing Marches. We will stop at specific historic points to remember and reminisce upon the Open Housing Marches.

Marching On: 50 years later:
This will be a community celebration where the community can express their appreciation to the Youth Council, Commandos, Vel Phillips, Father Groppi and all who marched 50 years ago. The program will feature speakers and performances that connect with the major themes of March On Milwaukee 50th — Recognition and Re-ignition.

Congresswoman Gwen Moore will deliver the keynote address, sharing personal memories of the Open Housing Marches and reflections on her mentor, Vel Phillips, while at their shared alma mater, North Division High School.

Confirmed speakers and presenters include members of the NAACP Youth Council and Commandos, Mayor Tom Barrett, Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton, Wisconsin Black Historical Society’s Clayborn Benson, America’s Black Holocaust Museum’s Reggie Jackson, Urban Underground’s Sharlen Moore and more. Hip hop artist Klassik and poet/activist Ajamou Butler of Heal the Hood will also be giving tribute performances. Additionally, contributing writers to the poetry anthology chapbook Where I Want to Live will be reading poems about the city in which they wish to live.

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The Faces of Mental Health: Youth Behavioral Health & Wellness Summit - May 19th

Please join us this Saturday afternoon May 19th for the Youth Behavioral Health & Wellness Summit at the Italian Community Center. The program will include wellness activities, resource tables, the voices of youth, as well as a panel of professionals. The Summit is free and open to all. We hope to see you there!

May 19th, 2018: 12 - 4pm
Registration is at 11:30am

The Youth Behavioral Health & Wellness Summit was featured on the Morning Blend – check it out at

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Celebration, Actions and Forum, oh my!

See details below or go to to see all event and meeting listings

TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW! Thursday May 24 5:00 pm MICAH’s 30th Anniversary Celebration!
Saturday May 19, 11 am-2 pm. The Jobs are on the Line Community Rally, Wisconsin Black Historical Society
Thursday, May 31, 6:30–8:30 pm Bystander Intervention Training Milwaukee Friends Meeting
SAVE THE DATE! Monday June 11, 6–8 pm. WISDOMGubernatorial Candidate Forum. Country Springs Hotel and Convention Center, Pewaukee. Transportation available

The Jobs are on the Line Community Rally

Three years ago, the Milwaukee County Transit System JobLines, routes 6 and 61, were created to connect residents in neighborhoods in Milwaukee to a multitude of job opportunities in Waukesha County. This year, the funding for these lines ends, threatening the transportation for the more than 1,000 daily riders. Losing the job lines would be a loss for everyone. Join the rally, organized by MICAH, to show your support for protecting these necessary bus lines.

Bystander Intervention Training Thursday, May 31, 6:30–8:30 PM at Milwaukee Meeting, 3224 N Gordon Place Co-sponsored by Milwaukee Friends Meeting and Plymouth UCC Church

Have you ever wondered what to do when you see a police car pulling over a black man while driving? Or someone laughing and trying to pull off a woman’s hijab? Or hear someone making racist comments in a grocery store? The list of oppressive harassments goes on and on. How can you intervene in ways that will interrupt the harassment and prevent violence? The Milwaukee chapter of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) has been working to support Black Lives Matter by finding ways for white people to use their privilege to be effective allies. Learning how to intervene when witnessing harassment and potential violence is necessary and empowering! So join us at the meetinghouse on May 31.

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Mon. 5/14/18: It’s Time for Moral Confrontation: New Poor People’s Campaign Stages Nationwide Civil Disobedience

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BOALTC Adds Ombudsman for IRIS Participants 60 and over

As approved in the state of Wisconsin biennial budget, the State of Wisconsin Board on Aging and Long-Term Care (BOALTC) Long Term Care Ombudsman program has been expanded to provide advocacy for individuals 60 and over enrolled in IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct).

  • The IRIS Ombudsman for participants age 60 and above, the State of Wisconsin Board on Aging and Long-Term Care (BOALTC), is officially in place and able to take calls.

  • The phone number for the age 60 and above Ombudsman is 1–800–815–0015.

As a reminder, Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) serves as the ombudsman for participants age 18–59 for IRIS, as well as Family Care and Family Care Partnership.

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The MHA-WI Wellness Clinic is now open and accepting new clients.

Who We See

  • We provide counseling and support services for adults, adolescents and children.

Our Treatment Approach

  • Strengths-based
  • Client-centered
  • Trauma-informed

Areas of Focus

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Relationship issues
  • Trauma
  • Parenting
  • Grief
  • Stress
  • Mood Disorders
  • Codependency
  • Veterans issues
  • Personality Disorders
  • Domestic violence
  • Child loss
  • General mental health concerns

Types of Payment Accepted

  • Medicaid/T-19
  • Most Medicaid HMOs (call for a complete list)
  • Sliding fee scale
  • Cash/Credit card

The MHA-WI Wellness Clinic is an approved ancillary provider for the Comprehensive Community Services (CCS) network. To learn more about our CCS approved services, contact or 414–336–7975.

The MHA-WI Wellness Clinic is certified by the State of Wisconsin.


The Tannery Business Center - Atlas Building
600 W. Virginia St., Suite 502, Milwaukee, WI 53204


Monday – Friday 9am - 5pm
Evening hours by appointment


Phone: (414) 276–3122 or (414) 336–7975

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Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force – May 8 meeting

A reminder to please join us for the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force May meeting, Tuesday, May 8, from 3 – 5:30 PM at IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st St.

Featured Topic - Focus on Housing:

Affordable accessible housing is essential for advancing recovery and independence for individuals who live with a mental illness.

  • Jim Mathy, Housing Administrator for the Milwaukee County Housing Division will brief us on the Housing Division’s services and supports. He will also address some of the challenges and opportunities to sustain services moving forward.

  • Wendy Weckler, Executive Director of Hope House of Milwaukee will share the work of the Shelter and Transitional Housing Task Force to help us explore additional collaboration.

  • A peer specialist who works in the housing field will inform us about their important work.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about these important resources for you and for individuals served by your agency,

Other agenda items will include:

  • Recognition of Mental Health Task Force Co-chair Kelly Davis. After 10 plus years of making a positive difference in Milwaukee, Kelly and her family are moving back “home” to Idaho. Please join us to thank Kelly for her tremendous leadership and advocacy. The meeting will be extended until 5:30, to allow us to end the day with refreshments and social time in honor of Kelly.

  • Something to Think About: Terri Ellzey, Chair, Diversity Committee

  • Updates on Milwaukee County BHD Budget process and Redesign of Psychiatric Crisis Services - Update on our recommendations for Crisis Services and for the 2019 BHD Budget, and tips on opportunities to share your priorities.

  • Opening on the MHTF Steering Committee and how to apply.

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.

Note: Please arrive early to allow time for parking so we can start on time.

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Fri. 5/4/18: Confront the racist in you, in us all: The Legacy of Lynching, on Death Row

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The NRA convenes this weekend… and so do we

from Jeri Bonavia, Exec. Dir., WAVE, WI Anti-Violence Effort

This weekend in Dallas, the NRA will host its annual meeting. But this year when the gun industry gathers to celebrate itself, they will be met by scores of protestors ready to stand up for our right to live peacefully and safely. A new campaign called #NoRA will be there to remind convention attendees just what is at stake, by reading and tweeting the names of all children under age 18 who have been killed by guns this year. It will take 10 hours to complete.

Here in Milwaukee, we will be joining the family of Dontre Hamilton, who was shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer in 2014, for Dontre Day at Red Arrow Park downtown.

The convergence of these two events highlights what we have long known: the NRA’s dangerous “guns everywhere” agenda puts us all at risk and disproportionately burdens children and people of color.

What: Dontre Day
When: Saturday, May 5, noon - 5 pm
Where: Red Arrow Park, 920 N. Water St., Milwaukee

Please join us at this family-friendly event designed to strengthen the community by coming together in dance, music, poetry, love, and respect. Help the Hamilton family in their quest to “turn this day of extreme grief to a day of social relief and advancement of all people within the City of Milwaukee.”

And while we’re at it, we’ll send a message to the NRA that we reject their extremist and dangerous agenda—we stand in support of all victims of gun violence.

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Finally a Link Between Cannabis and Education

By Eilene Stevens, GRNS Chair

Yesterday the MJS headline was, “Gov. Scott Walker says he would campaign with Donald Trump if he comes to Wisconsin” A video accompanied the story where Walker said, “The left is angry and their rhetoric and their language is filled with hatred and they are motivated. They are more motivated than any time I have seen in the last 25 years.”

He is always wrong — in so many ways. He got part of it right, however. We are, indeed, motivated. A good sign of that motivation is in this week’s calendar. During the next two weeks, the myriad of Gubernatorial candidates will be together twice trying to engage voters. On Saturday, May 5 they will be sharing their views on cannabis. On the following Saturday, they will be speaking about Education. It is our job to learn about the candidates.

As the summer heats up, so will the campaigns. Between now and the August 14th Primary Election, get to one of these events. On June 26th Grassroots North Shore will be having its own Gubernatorial Forum. With this many candidates, we voters have the responsibility to learn what differentiates them. In the meantime, find whoever is running from your district and get to know the candidate. I live in the 23rd Assembly District so I will be attending Andy Lamb’s event on the 10th.

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tues. 5/1/18: Make this work: Tommy Thompson: Help solve Wisconsin’s coming labor shortage by rehabilitating prisoners

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May 2nd - Here I Am: An evening of youth storytelling on mental health

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Please join us, today, Wednesday, May 2nd for a wonderful event featuring our Milwaukee youth sharing their stories of recovery.

Disability Rights Wisconsin and other community agencies will be there at 6:30 to share our resources, so plan to arrive by 6:30 to check out the Resource Fair! Hope to see you May 2nd at 6:30 - Loos Room at Centennial Hall, 733 N. Eighth St., Milwaukee. For details, see below or check out Facebook at

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and National Alliance on Mental Illness present an evening of storytelling by Milwaukee-area youth.

Students and young adults will share short stories about their personal experiences with mental health challenges. They’ve lost loved ones to suicide, fought lawmakers for more resources in their schools and started their own initiatives to support their fellow students. They’re sharing their stories to break stigma around mental illness and push for better support.

Also at the event, you’ll hear from local experts on mental health and you’ll have the opportunity to pick up resources from community organizations. Check out the resource fair before the event (same location) from 6:30 to 7.

This event builds on reporting by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin on youth mental health. Find the series at

***This event is free, accessible and open to the public. Arrive early to make sure you get a seat.

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Welcome to Medicare Event- May 14

This is a friendly reminder that a Welcome to Medicare presentation is coming up in 2 weeks on May 14 from 1:30–3:30pm at Washington Park Senior Center. This is a joint presentation between MCDA, Disability Rights WI and the Disability Resource Center of Milwaukee County and will offer unbiased information about the Medicare benefit. Please share this with anyone who may be new to Medicare or who may want a refresher.

Monday, May 14, 1:30–3:30pm
Washington Park Senior Center 4420 W. Vliet St.

Join us for an objective overview of the options and benefits offered through Medicare.
- No Sales
- No Insurance
- Understand the A,B,C, and D of Medicare

RSVP by May 7 to (414) 289–6546 or

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Sun. 4/29/18: Wisconsin Teens, Wake UP: These teens saw how poor mental health hurt their peers. So they got a law passed.

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National Organization Hosts Groundbreaking Leadership Training for Formerly Incarcerated Milwaukeeans While Prison Closure Campaign Continues to Gain Momentum in Milwaukee

By Mark Rice, Milwaukee Campaign Coordinator, JustLeadershipUSA

JustLeadershipUSA is a national, criminal justice reform, nonprofit organization that aims to cut the United States correctional population in half by 2030 by empowering those most impacted by mass incarceration to drive policy reform. JustLeadershipUSA held its groundbreaking Emerging Leaders training at Milwaukee Area Technical College in April 2018. This is the twelfth Emerging Leaders training that JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) has held across the country, and 150 men and women have graduated from the training. The training itself is an abridged version of JLUSA’s Leading with Conviction program, which is an intensive, year-long program, currently in its fourth year, that trains formerly incarcerated men and women to amplify their leadership in criminal justice reform.

Additionally, JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) has partnered with or helped build advocacy campaigns across the country, including their local effort: the #CLOSEmsdf campaign led by Community Coordinator Mark Rice. Rice is a graduate of the 2017 Leading with Conviction cohort and has led the #CLOSEmsdf campaign since its launch last June. Demanding the immediate closure of the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility, the campaign has garnered significant support, most recently evidenced by the resolution from Milwaukee County Supervisor Peggy West demanding an end to policies that have created or fueled mass incarceration.

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Crisis: Mental Health Services for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing/Deaf Blind

By Eva Dicker Eiseman

Eva Dicker Eiseman has been working on committees trying to improve services for people who cannot hear or cannot see, or both, for more than 25 years, “But we have not made much progress in that time,” she said. Obviously, she is far from giving up this pursuit of justice. She is a member of the Legislative Committee of the Wisconsin Association Of The Deaf, which is working on several pieces of legislation, including providing adequate mental health services for this underserved population. Email your questions to her at

People who are deaf/hard of hearing and deaf blind are an underserved cultural and linguistic population within the nation’s mental health system. It is not unusual for a person within these categories to be misdiagnosed. Communication issues, as well as cultural and language issues, are often mistaken for a mental illness or mental retardation.

The National Association of the Deaf has issued a position paper stating that these individuals should be able to access mental health services that are culturally and linguistically equal in quality and effectiveness as those services provided to those individuals who are able to hear.

Unfortunately, this has not been the case. Services continue to be inadequate for the deaf, hard of hearing and deaf blind people, depriving them of so many of services that are linguistically and culturally suitable for them. And yet, they also pay taxes. They should have the same accessibility that individuals who hear receive.

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BHD Mental Health Month Resources

Mental Health Task Force Update

May is Mental Health Month. Thanks to Nzinga Khalid and BHD for sharing some great resources - see attached and below for details.

BHD Mental Health Month Resources
Greetings Everyone,

Please share in your networks. The official flyers are attached for the Fitness #4Mind4Body Event, the Book Drive, and the BHD Mental Health Month Tool Kit. We have embraced many elements in the MHA tool kit which can be downloaded from the Mental Health America website.

Please click link to register to attend or to be a resource vendor. Your support is appreciated!

If you have any questions, please, don’t hesitate to ask.

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They still fund guns

A month ago, Senator Elizabeth Warren launched – a project to urge some of the country’s largest shareholders in gun companies to push them for responsible behavior. The Senator’s 4/20/18 email states:

Good news: You Fund is starting to get attention – and results.

BlackRock – the world’s largest shadow bank – announced a few weeks ago that it will offer new investment fund and pension plan products that exclude companies that manufacture or sell guns.

Don’t get me wrong – this is only one small step. BlackRock and the other investment firms can (and should) do a lot more to pressure gun manufacturers and retailers.

But think about it this way: If investors in your hometown and all over the country opt-out of funding not only gun companies, but also gun retailers like Walmart – and if they feel the financial impact of people demanding gun reform – we have a fighting chance to influence real change.

The Parkland student leaders are also jumping into this fight. Earlier this week, David Hogg tweeted:

David Hogg on Twitter: .@blackrock and @Vanguard_Group are two of the biggest investors in gun manufacturers; if you use them, feel free to let them know. Thanks

This team is making a real difference by speaking out and making your voices heard. But BlackRock is only one firm, and the others are laying low, maybe hoping all this attention will blow over. But we’re not going away. On this National Walkout Day, will you call or tweet to the country’s biggest investment firms and urge them to show some political courage to stand up to the gun industry?

A few weeks ago, I stopped by an amazing #TownHallforOurLives organized by local students and Stop Handgun Violence volunteers in Natick, Massachusetts.

These smart, passionate young people made it very clear: they’re not going to stop fighting until we get the change we need to keep kids safe in their classrooms and on our streets. They aren’t giving up – and neither can we.

I’m going to keep fighting my heart out in Washington until we pass common-sense gun reform. But every change is important – and urging shareholders to use their financial muscle so that gun manufacturers and retailers they fund will regulate their own weapons is another tool in our toolbox.

This team has already helped get results with BlackRock – now let’s keep them coming. Go to to call or tweet at the investment firms that make money off of gun sales.

Thanks for being a part of this. Your hard work is powerfully important.


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Theory on Consciousness

By Claire Heile

Claire Heile is an artist, musician and research microbiologist with a focus on the bioremediation of pollutants.

The concept of existence and reality can be exposed as a hologram created from the combined conscious energy exerted by both animate and inanimate entities. This energy constructs a cyclical latticework on which all perceivable dimensions are assembled. By breaching the confines of reality, the notion of space and time can be transformed.

The sense of a “self” is shed down to a pit of a “being.” The sense of a “reality” is deconstructed into a tangible mindscape that is both instantaneous and infinite. The sense of a “presence” is clinging to the confines of consciousness. Streams of consciousness flow through this mindscape like an ethereal soup. Slip into its currents and let it carry you downstream through a fractal of tributaries, cascading, ebbing and flowing. Explore the cities of consciousness built within the vastness of eternity; hold onto the energy of others and surf the tides in unison.

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Suicide The Ripple Effect Film Screenings in May

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Please join WISE, PSGM, MHA WI, and NAMI-Waukesha for one of three May screenings of Kevin Hines’ powerful new film Suicide The Ripple Effect. Kevin tells his story of living with a mental health diagnosis, his suicide attempt, and his journey to recovery and world-wide advocacy for suicide prevention and emotional wellness.
Suicide: The Ripple Effect - Official Trailer- Sneak Peek - YouTube

This film has a limited theater presence-tickets must be purchased ahead of time through the Gathr websites noted for each screening.

A brief “talk back” will follow each of the screenings, and resource materials will be available.
For the May 1st Oriental Theater screening, there are about 60 free parking spots available in the Prospect Medical Commons parking garage, 2311 N. Prospect Ave., just across North Ave. from the Oriental.

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the screenings.


Barbara Moser, MD
Chair, Prevent Suicide Greater Milwaukee Coalition

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Policy Changes to IDAP - Interim Disability Assistance Program

Mental Health Task Force / Make It Work Milwaukee Update

We are writing to pass on information about some changes to the Milwaukee County Interim Disability Assistance Program (IDAP) Program. As a result of budget cuts in the 2018 Milwaukee County budget, there are some policy changes to IDAP, effective April 1 – please see the memo from Geri Lyday below with details. Note that the IDAP program is administered by Milwaukee County and operated by Community Advocates.

By way of background, IDAP is a County-funded temporary loan program that provides a small monthly payment to financially needy County residents 18 and older who are unable to work due to a disability, and who have a high probability of receiving federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The payment is issued until SSI eligibility is approved or denied, after which IDAP eligibility ends.

IDAP is not an entitlement benefit, but an interest-free loan and IDAP recipients must sign a contract to repay. If SSI is approved, repayment is deducted from the initial SSI lump sum payment. If SSI is denied, eligibility ends and the individual is expected to reimburse the County from any future income or non-exempt assets, or from their estate upon death. Since the wait for federal disability benefits which can extend to many months, IDAP provides a modest but crucial safety net for some of our neediest community members, who rely on the small monthly payment to help cover rent, transportation, and other basic needs.

Click for full size

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April 16th: A Call to Action

The Department of Corrections (DOC) is proposing to change its internal rule, DOC Rule 302, that governs classification and movement of people in prisons. By law, they had to take public comment on the rule, and many WISDOM people offered written and verbal comments, calling for some common sense changes that would help parole-eligible people and people eligible for “compassionate release.”

The DOC ignored the comments and basically made their new rules harder for those people.

When the Administration tries to change rules, they are overseen by the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules. It is the only body the DOC is accountable to, other than the Governor. But, if the Co-Chairs, one from the Assembly, and one from the Senate, decline to look at the rule or to hold hearings, the new rules automatically become official policy: they are, essentially, the law.

The Co-Chairs of the Committee have chosen so far to ignore DOC Rule 302, and if they do nothing, it will become law on April 28.

We need to ask Assembly Representative Joan Ballweg and Senator Stephen Nass to hold a Committee hearing on DOC Rule 302.

All you need to do is to contact their office by e-mail or, better, by phone, to ask them to hold a hearing on Chapter 302 of the Administrative Code before April 28.

You can reach them at:

Thank you!

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Last edited by g. Based on work by Tyler Schuster, 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 June 18, 2018, at 11:31 AM

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