Grant Concept For Saint-Gobain & Certainteed Foundations

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

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

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

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

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

Arthur Camberon and Armon Of Juice Kitchen Preparing Snack #3

Arthur Camberon and Armon Of Juice Kitchen Preparing Snack #3

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

Healthy Snack #1.  Apples & Almonds

Healthy Snack #1. Apples & Almonds

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

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Inseparable Cities by the Love of Comrades

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

Whitman text

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

From Milwaukee

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


SWF Perru Ave Commons

Emmanuel and Jia?

St. Louis

Miss Betty’s Boys

Norm and Paulette?

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Sweetwater Community Aquaponics Network

Dear Stacy and All,

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

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

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

One World Aquaponics

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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Godsil and Fraundorf Community Guild School Experiments

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

Community Roofing’s Guild Network Healthy Food Experiments

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

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

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

What say?

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

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

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

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

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

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

F: Sure

Community Sweet Water Regenerative Placemaking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Michael,

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

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

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

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

Dear Fr. McDonagh,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My very best regards, in appreciation for your contribution,

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

​So there you have it!

What say?

Why not?


Sweet Water Vision Inspired By Andre Gorz


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • are not harmful to the environment; and

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

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Why Elections Are The Problem And How to Make Democracy Real

By David Grant

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

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

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


Also at — but requires logging in —:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Fr. Seán McDonagh SSC

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

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

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

Written by Thomas Friedman of NYT.

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

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East Coast Great Lakes Heartland Mighty Collaboration Experiments

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

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

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

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

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

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Seed Milwaukee Map — 2017 Programming and Partners

UW Extension SEED Program Year One Report

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Milwaukee Green World Fairs and Bridge Walls In Museums Alive!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Proposed DNA For Backsteeet Harvards New Schools

Loeb Network disrupts HGSD with Backstreet Harvard

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

Can we democratize Super(New) Schools?

Can we sculpt and perform backstreet Harvard New Schools

Why not?

Metis Coming Out Of The Closet

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

Coming Out of the Closet

Squat in a clammy closet,
Stacking eggshells upon eggshells,

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

In tennis shoes and a black robe

Knows I’m doing my duty.

Exultant in an open field,

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

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

My Mother calls.

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

How will you win your prize
So indulged?”

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

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

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

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


First Big Snow
Milwaukee the Mecca
Of the Sweet Water Seas

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Merlin Donald-JamesCScott-FrSeanMcDonagh

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

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

Wisconsin Idea And Health Insurance Premium Reduction

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

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

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

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

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

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Wisconsin Idea In 1911 Milwaukee City Plan

1911 “Milwaukee City Planning” Document

  • 10,000 acres food production

  • agriculture school

  • urban homesteading

[From a Carriere manuscript]

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

Infrastructure not just brick and morter.

There’s a metabolic rift to fix.

Got to heal the people, heal the planet.

Bring urban and rural into natural and cultural balance.

Student intern apprentices flow within Detroit Chicago Milwaukee Wisconsin

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

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

The Wisconsin Idea In A City Planning Document

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

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

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

Yes! embrace, as Boggs solutionaries have advanced…

  • new work

  • community production

  • grow our souls

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


Social Capital
Cultural Capital
Natural Capital
Soul or Spiritual Capital

Green dollar capital as necessary and appropriate

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



New work creating Flow!

Outside, increasingly, the job economy.]

Out Forward Our Agenda

STEA+M Homes and Hamlets In Rainbow Commons

To science, technology, engineering, and math add

Alliance Design

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

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


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

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

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

Hallelujah grateful,


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

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

Dear All,

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

Baptized Jesuit Trained Catholics

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

Baptized Jesuit Trained Catholic

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

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

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

Entire appeal here:


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DeStigmatizing Mental Health Challenges At Year Round Garden Places

With mindful mental health professionals

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

At SEED Gardens growing Health.

Why not?


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Native Wellness Garden Renaissance Moment

One Of 8 Seed Gardens!

Dennis Lukaszewski, Unsung Hero of Milwaukee Renaissance

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

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

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

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

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

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Dear Tim and Mikal,

With drum beats as background…Story sharing and growing…

Food garden playgrounds as art

Tim A Food Garden Mon w Ties to Mayor

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

Fermentation Fest Flow—drum bus party expressed(Jahmes)

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

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

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

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

Are most probably among the

10 Story Circles
Of the Fermentation Fest DTour Flow!

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

A Milwaukee Chicago Reedsburg Cirque de Soleil Imaginal

You would be among the original charter story performers

Deserving as much!


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Become Empowered To Register Voters In Milwaukee!

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

Dear Members and Friends,

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

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

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

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

Sharing Fine Meal With Olympian Mensch

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

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Laudato Si Half Earth Sweet Water Fair Land Commons

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thomas Friedman, NYT, 9/7/16

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Food Garden Playgrounds

As place of the art of life and fun!

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

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

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

Nice Irish radio show featuring Pratt

And text summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emmanuel Pratt with Tanad Williams.

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Global Ignatian Community Laudato Si Conversations 2016

Dear Father McDonagh,

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

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

Click here for the full article
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Roofer Jim On Donald Trump

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

Milwaukee Now Must Share Its Nobel Prize

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

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

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

‘You can’t make this s… up.”

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

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

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

Metis G

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3 + 2 = 5 At 325

Aquaponics Mind Jazz

Aquaponic’s Vector Sums: Calculating Over The Years

The outputs of Aquaponics Systems(APS) inputs

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

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

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

A focus on schools and innovation centers

In hybrid networks of “free professionals.”

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

50th Anniversary of SCLC Chicago Open Housing Marches Coming Up

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

James Godsil As Momentary Body Guard For Dr. King

Here is where picture came from

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

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

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

Co-Founders Sweet Water Foundation Emmanuel Pratt and James Godsil

Nesbitt Note

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

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

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

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

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The Joseph and Mary Godsil Guild House

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read entire post here.

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


*Urban Agriculture

*Skilled Trades

*Buddha Mind In The Space of Art

*Digital and Robotics Technologies

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

*Global Water Centric Network Co-Creations

Why not?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much Gratitude!

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Growing Up Black and Quiet in Milwaukee

It was not a freeway of love

September 2017

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

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

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

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

Click here for the full entry
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Beyond the Numbers: The Voice of Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Democracy Crumbles Before Our Eyes: Vote!

Wed. 9/13/17: Why Are US Universities Arming Themselves With Grenade Launchers?

Sun. 9/10/17: “(H)e has already done great damage through executive orders, through appointments hostile to public missions and the allocation of political commissars to run the executive branch…”

Wed. 9/6/17: Mattis and Tillerson Aren’t Mitigating Trump — They’re on a Path of Destruction

Wed. 9/6/17: Opinion | Bannon’s grand, disruptive designs are only getting started

Click here for more
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Across the Divide: Where is school choice headed under President Trump?

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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Katie Beckett Funding for Kids with Special Needs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for defending access to justice!

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

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

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

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EXPO’s First Newsletter

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

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

Reservations are required. Click here to RSVP.

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

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

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

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

View the entire memo.

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Transit Conference. Monday, September 25

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

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

Monday, September 25th
, Monona Terrace, Madison

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

Topics include:

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

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

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

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Registration for the Dryhootch Wisconsin Warrior Summit 2017 is now open

Register here:

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

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

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

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

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Public Hearing on Acid Mining Bill

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

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

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

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

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

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

Attend the hearing! Sign up now!

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

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

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

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DOJ draft details recommendations for Milwaukee police

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

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

DOJ draft details recommendations for Milwaukee police

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

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New Content on Youth with Disabilities

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for sharing this resource!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sat. 7/29/17: Trump’s White Nationalism Torments Us Now, But the ‘Centrality of Whiteness’ Will Fade Away

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Stand with me in Milwaukee tomorrow evening

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

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

Date: Friday, August 25th

Time: 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

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

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

>>Let me know you’ll join us.

In peace,

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

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Friday Unity March for Peace at NRA Milwaukee Expo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Talking Points for Parole Commission Hearing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Action Alert: Parole Commission

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

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

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

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

The request of the ROC Wisconsin Campaign leadership is:

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Reminder 2018 Milwaukee County Budget Input Sessions

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

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

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

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

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

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here if you will stand with us.

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

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

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Why won’t Trump denounce white nationalists?

By Richard Cohen, President, Southern Poverty Law Center

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

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

The problem is that Trump’s words are hollow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Meet other parents from the community.

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

  • A light breakfast will be provided.

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

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Upcoming Family to Family Class-NAMI Greater Milwaukee

What is NAMIs ’s Family to Family Education Program?

NAMI Family-to-Family is for families, caregivers, and friends of individuals with mental illness. The course is designed to facilitate a better understanding of mental illness, increase coping skills, and empower participants to become advocates for their family members. The course duration is 12 weeks, meeting once a week for a 2 1/2 hour session. Trained family members teach the course who know what it is like to have a loved one living with mental illness. The Family-to-Family Program is offered at no cost to the participants.

NAMI Greater Milwaukee will offer its NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program For the fall, beginning Tuesday September 12th , 2017.

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

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Milwaukee County Budget Briefing - next steps with the County Budget

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

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

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

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

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

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NRA receives your tax $ to bring guns to Milwaukee

from Jeri Bonavia, Wisconsin Anti-Violence Education,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Words of WISDOM Newsletter

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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Foxconn Listening Sessions

Dear neighbor,

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

In service,
Jonathan Brostoff

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

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

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

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

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

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

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

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Safe Surrender Criminal Traffic Warrants

Dear Religious Leaders and MICAH Supporters,
In Milwaukee, thousands of outstanding warrants lead to fear, reckless driving and difficulties commuting to work and other places. MICAH has created an opportunity for Criminal Traffic (CT) warrants to be cleared in a safe environment. Please let your congregants and the public know about the opportunity by announcing the program and posting this flyer in as many places as possible.

Is your DRIVER’S LICENSE REVOKED and you have a “Criminal Traffic” warrant for missing court?
MICAH’s Safe Surrender Project can help you get back on track!
Call 414–374–8029

We will figure out if you have a Criminal Traffic (CT) warrant and set up up a risk-free appointment to meet with a lawyer and an assistant district attorney, in a safe place, to see if you can clear your warrants for driving after license revocation.

  • Get your your CT warrant cleared and
  • Get help reinstating your driver’s license

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ACTION ALERT: Stop the “gun training in schools” bill TODAY

We need your voice right now! State lawmakers are holding a public hearing today on the bill that would force the Department of Public Instruction to include firearms shooting training in the high school curriculum.
This bill is not about safety—it’s about helping the gun industry find new customers. And they even admit it: The founder of the high school shooting sports league said that he decided to go to the schools because “that’s where the money is.”

Click here to send a message TODAY to the members of the Assembly Committee on Education to demand they reject this bill.
Tell the committee that our public education system should not be forced to prop up the gun industry, which is in a panic because its customer base is getting older, and they’re having trouble attracting new, younger customers.

As WAVE volunteers from across the state gather in the Capitol this morning to testify against the bill, it’s critical the committee hears from you.
The voices of concerned citizens like you have stopped gun-lobby-priority bills already this legislative session. Now, we have to step up and do it again.

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August 8th Briefing on 2018 Milwaukee County Dept. Budget Requests as Submitted to the County Executive

The Milwaukee County Budget funds many important services for people with disabilities and older adults. Please plan to join us for an August 8th Milwaukee County Department Budget Request Briefing, sponsored by Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force and the Make It Work Milwaukee Coalition.

Briefing on Proposed 2018 Milwaukee County Department Budget Requests

As Submitted to the County Executive

Tuesday, August 8, 2017
IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st St., 3 PM – 5 PM

Sponsored by
Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force, In partnership with, Make It Work Milwaukee Coalition

The budget briefing will be followed by a short business meeting of the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force, including a discussion of 2018 County Budget priorities– all are welcome

Briefing Agenda:

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
City Hall Rotunda, 200 E. Wells St., Milwaukee 53202

Difficulties? City Hall Phone No: (414) 286–2150


1. Call for strong support of Milwaukee’s Fire & Police Commission (FPC).

2. Voice support for adherence to the policy stating that all material changes to Milwaukee Police Department SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) must be ratified by the FPC and that public comment must be allowed.

3. Request releasing to the public, as it is the property of the City, of the U.S. Department of Justice’s draft of the collaborative reform document.

4. Call for an independent audit of the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) as related MPD’s effectiveness and to the implementation and utilization of Problem-Oriented Policing principles.

5. Strongly suggest that the SOPs, goals, and objectives advocated by CC4QP be reviewed for possible ratification by the FPC (Fire and Police Commission) and subsequent implementation by MPD (Milwaukee Police Department).

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Thurs. 7/27/17: Keep pushing your legislators to do the right thing:

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Math. History. Science. Guns??

Wisconsin’s “guns everywhere” lawmakers are at it again.

This time, they’re proposing shooting classes as part of the high school curriculum!

Click here to tell your legislators to keep the gun industry out of our schools by rejecting AB 427.

Let’s be really clear about the purpose of this legislation: Introducing kids to guns at an early age means more money for the gun industry. The National Shooting Sports Foundation determined that the average target shooter spends about $75,000 over his lifetime, if he is recruited by the age of 16.

And, in case you have any doubt this is purely about gun industry profits, check this out: Jim Sable founded USA High School Clay Target League “after watching the average age at his gun club jump to the mid-fifties.” Worried about the trend, he thought, “Why not go to the schools? That’s where the money is.”

AB 427 will have a committee hearing on August 3 at 11 am. We will send you more info about the hearing soon.
Right now, it’s critical that you let the committee chairs and your legislators know our kids’ education and safety is far more important than gun industry profits!

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Wed. 7/27/17: Royal: Save the Internet - for all Americans

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Banks Should Stay Out of Payday Lending

In past years, WISDOM took on payday lending in Wisconsin and was successful in gaining protections to cap interest rates and limit the number of rollovers allowed. We believe regulation of lending is a moral issue. No amount of corporate lobbying or campaign contributions can blind people of faith to the clear moral and ethical imperative to protect the needy from the unscrupulous.

Banks want to back in to the payday lending business. They are attacking hard won consumer protections like the ones we fought hard to win in Wisconsin. We have to stop them!

Here’s what you can do to help right now:
Sign on to this letter urging banks to pledge not to enter the payday lending business. Share this with members of your congregation and ask them to sign on too.

Predatory payday lending has devastating effects on Wisconsin families and communities. It strips consumers of their hard-earned money, traps borrowers in a never-ending cycle of high-cost debt, and preys on American families precisely when they are struggling with the most difficult circumstances.

Wisconsin’s predatory lending industry profits exceed 500% interest on loans. These loans disproportionately impact communities of color. The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions reports there are 222 licensed payday lenders operating in Wisconsin. Wisconsin consumers to pay over $500 million dollars annually in excessive fees.

Thanks for your support. Click here for more information and a report by the Center for Responsible Lending.

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Tues. 7/25/17: “If we do not act, American fascists, clutching Christian crosses, waving American flags and orchestrating mass recitations of the pledge of allegiance, united behind the ludicrous figure of Donald Trump, will ride this rage to power.”

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State Transportation Budget Action Alert

We still don’t have a Wisconsin state transportation budget!


1. Calls: Now more than ever it’s time to contact your elected officials. Find your Assembly Representative and Senator here. Script: Hi, my name is ____ and I’m a constituent from [hometown]. I’m calling because I want to encourage the Representative/Senator to focus on meeting important local needs in the transportation budget. Please cut spending on highway mega-projects and invest in local needs like repairing existing roads and funding public transit that connects people to jobs and the places they want to go. I also want to make sure that public transit stays in the segregated transportation fund. Thank you!

2. Photo Petitions: Take a photo with a message of why you support public transit. We’ll post it on social media as part of a state-wide campaign to keep transit in the public eye. Send us ( your photo, and then email it also to your elected officials… or tag them on Twitter and Facebook! Contact the WISDOM office for details.

3. Write a letter-to-the-editor with your thoughts. Elected officials read them!

4. Join WISDOM’s Transit Task Force. Contact Dawn at

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Businesses Recognize Employees Want Access to Public Transportation ‌

By Mantill Williams

Voices for Public Transit Community Coordinator

Our latest blog, “Public Transit Matters to Local Businesses,” tells a compelling story about why businesses are choosing to locate in communities with strong public transportation systems.


As you’ll read in our blog, company leaders across many industries recognize public transit is important to attract employees and grow. And that means public transportation benefits more than just the people who ride it.

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Materials on CCS for youth from Mental Health Task Force

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Thank you to Mary Jo Meyer and Brian McBride of WRAP Milwaukee for their informative presentation at Tuesday’s Mental Health Task Force meeting about the rollout of Comprehensive Community Services (CCS) to Milwaukee youth. This is a tremendous opportunity that has the potential to benefit thousands of Milwaukee youth with mental health or substance abuse treatment needs.

The materials shared at Tuesday’s meeting are attached for your reference and we encourage everyone to help with increasing awareness in our community about CCS, and providing guided referrals. Please share the materials with your network and help spread the word about CCS.

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New MTM How-to Sheet from Covering Wisconsin - Using Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT)

Mental Health Task Force / Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) is a covered Medicaid benefit for Wisconsinites enrolled in Medicaid. We often see that Medicaid participants may not understand what is covered by NEMT and what their rights are. See below for a link to a new “How-to Sheet” which explains how to use Medical Transportation Management (MTM) to get to appointments. This is especially important as the GO Pass is no longer available to some community members, and is no longer free. Please share this new resource widely.

Click here for the MTM Sheet

This new how-to sheet explains in plain language how to use Medical Transportation Management (MTM) to help consumers get to medical appointments.

  • Gas money reimbursement
  • Bus tickets sent in the mail
  • Rides to appointments
  • Rides for urgent care

This service is for consumers who are enrolled in a program that uses the ForwardHealth card.
Our how-to sheets are provided freely for use as needed. Consumer testing has been conducted.

If you or your agency would like to add your logo or distribute these materials more widely, or as part of a standard routine, please contact Allison Espeseth at

Click here to view Covering Wisconsins full series of How-to Sheets

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Mental Health Effects of Racial Trauma

Mental Health Task Force Update

We want to share the powerpoint on the Mental Health Effects of Racial Trauma, presented by Terri Elzey as “Something to Think About” at today’s Mental Health Task Force meeting. Thank you to Terri, Dr. McManus, Martina Gollin-Graves, and Brenda Wesley for their leadership in advancing “Something to Think About” and we encourage you to share these resources far and wide.

Stay tuned for information on our forum Building Bridges Towards Authentic Inclusion scheduled for Tuesday September 12th at IndependenceFirst.

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Updates on health care reform

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will keep the Senate in session the first two weeks of August to finish work on health care reform and other items, This is a good reminder that it is still timely to contact your US Senators to share your views on the Senate health care bill.

Here is some recent coverage:

Click here for more information
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Register for the FREE screening of Care, a documentary about the caregiver workforce crisis

This FREE screening of Care, a documentary, addresses the beauty and social importance of home-based care. It also reveals a broken system, where workers make poverty wages and families struggle to pay for the care they need. The film sounds the alarm about a rapidly aging population and an impending crisis of care. Q&A session following the film.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 6:00 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.) UW Parkside Cinema in the Student Center, 930 Wood Road, Kenosha, WI
Parking fees are waived

Call 262–605–6646 by 4 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, July 12 for reservations.

Sponsored by the Kenosha County ADRC and Long Term Care Workforce Alliance.

Please share with other concerned and interested people.

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National Call-In Date to Save Medicaid – Wednesday July 12th

A National Call-in Day to save Medicaid is planned for WEDNESDAY. Despite national news coverage saying a Senate vote on health care changes has stalled, behind the scenes, Senators are working to negotiate passage. The date is uncertain, but Senators are under huge pressure to take a vote before the August recess. The more than $740 billion in cuts to Medicaid are still on the table. Call both Senator Ron Johnson and Senator Tammy Baldwin with your stories. Tweet/Facebook pics and stories. Share with your network and have them make calls.

Here Is How You Can Take Action:

1. Call your legislators and tell them: No Cuts! No Caps! No Carve Outs!

Senator Ron Johnson

Phone: (920) 230–7250
Twitter: @SenRonJohnson

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Phone: (608) 264–5338
Twitter: @SenatorBaldwin

2. Take to Social Media and tell your Medicaid story using video and pictures with #SaveWIMedicaid

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Notice of DVR Public Meeting on updated DVR Policy Manual

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

DVR Public Meetings Notice
Monday, July 31, 2017: 3:30 - 5:00 PM

On Monday July 31, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) will hold public meetings regarding a recent update to the Policy Manual for Vocational Rehabilitation Services. The purpose of the public meeting is to provide the public, including individuals with disabilities, an opportunity to comment on the policies and procedures governing the provision of services through DWD’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR).

Click here for more information
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Registration is Open - Salute to Service 5K

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Join Dryhootch, Milwaukee Fire Department, and Milwaukee Police Department for the 2nd Annual Salute to Service 5K, on Sunday, September 10th, 2017

Find out more!
Click here to sign up!

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July 11th meeting - Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force

Please join us for the July 11th meeting of the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force. The meeting will include new information about the rollout of Comprehensive Community Services (CCS) to Milwaukee youth – this is a great opportunity to connect more children and teens to services and supports. Please join us to learn more!

Meeting Details: Tuesday July 11, 3 – 5 PM: IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st st.

Our agenda will include the following:

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Tell your state do not hand Trump the personal information of every voter.

Already, twenty states have refused to comply with Trump and Kobach’s voter suppression commission. Tell the remaining holdouts to protect the privacy of the voting booth! Trump’s handpicked voter suppression henchman, Kris Kobach, has demanded the voting rolls from every Secretary of State or Chief Election Official in the nation as a part of his role as co-chair of the sham Pence-Kobach Presidential Advisory Commission on Voter Integrity. This commission has been designed to attack our freedom to vote and this request is a clear pretext to nationalize Kobach’s Interstate Voter Crosscheck program which has been repeatedly used in voter purges targeting Black voters. Elections officials from forty-five states have already refused to legitimize this commission by declining to comply with Kobach’s order. Demand the Elections officials from the remaining 5 states have not commented at all on Trump’s fraudulent attempt to attack our freedom to vote — Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, Hawaii Lieutenant Governor Shan S. Tsutsui, Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale, and New Jersey’s Lieutenant Governor Kim Guagdano. We demand that every Secretary of State or Chief Election Official refuse to comply with Kobach’s illegitimate and unlawful order demanding the personal information of every voter in America!

Every Secretary of State or Chief Election Official must pledge to protect our private information from Trump’s commission.

Click here for more information
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8th Annual Children Come First Conference - Registration is Open

November 13 & 14, 2017: Glacier Canyon Lodge Wisconsin Dells

The Children Come First Conference is for those caring for, working with, or interested in the well-being of children and youth with social, emotional or behavioral challenges.

Theme: “HOPE!”
25 Workshops - 8 Advanced Seminars - complete descriptions available soon on the CCF website, A Youth Track will also be offered

Registration Is Open!
Register from the Children Come First website?, or from this link: - all the details!

$165 until Sept. 18th; $190 after Sept. 18th; $120 student rate for full time students at an accredited college or university Youth (ages 12–26) $85
See Keynote Flyer on the conference website.
Jessie Benash - Darrin L. Harris - Tamra Oman

Sponsorship & Exhibitor Opportunities available - contact Alison at 262–617–6775 or

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DSA Milwaukee Presents ART+EDUCATION

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Landscapes Gallery Artist Reception

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NAMI Monthly ED

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Coverage of Health Care legislation/ reminder to share your perspective

Mental Health Task Force /Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Updates on Senate Health Bill and Related Coverage

Action Opportunity:

  • The Congressional Budget Office score on the latest version of the Senate health care bill estimates 35% cuts to Medicaid by the end of a decade…that means ALL populations using Medicaid will experience cuts.

  • The Senate Finance Committee Office (202–224–4515) is keeping count of Americans requesting public hearings on Senate health care bill. 8:30am - 6:30pm weekdays. They just ask your first name and your ZIP code.

  • If the mailbox is full, try back later. OR SEND EMAILS & HARD COPY LETTERS since ‘mail box is full’ often occurs on phone

Click here for more information
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US Pres. Cozies Up to Dictators: Resist Authoritarian Rule with WISDOM

This is a big week for WISDOM and our EXPO members!

  • 20 Wisconsin EXPO members are currently in the Gamaliel National Weeklong Training
  • Tomorrow is the kick-off of EXPO’s #CloseMSDF Campaign
  • EXPO’s first Banquet is on Friday
  • Several EXPO leaders gave presentations in a variety of venues

You can follow the excitement through the following links. Also featured here are EXPO leaders in educational presentations. EXPO proves the WISDOM principle that those who are closest to a problem are best able to solve a problem!

#CloseMSDF Launch Event Facebook Page
EXPO (Ex Prisoners Organizing) Panel Discussion on MSDF

EXPO of Wisconsin Banquet Website

Kathleen Dunn Show
Once Prisoners, Now Justice Reform Advocates

MSDF Promo Video
MSDF Cruel and Unusual PROMO

Thanks for your support!

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TOMORROW! - Die-in and Eulogy to save Healthcare

Today it was revealed that the Senate will not vote on its repeal bill of the the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, until AFTER the July 4th recess! This is great news in the short-term, because it means they currently don’t have the votes to pass it. However, as you might expect, the fight to protect healthcare in Wisconsin and across the United States is far from over.

What can we do in the meantime? Well, to start with, you can join us TOMORROW, JUNE 28TH at 6PM for our DIE-IN and EULOGY action outside of Senator Ron Johnson’s Milwaukee Office. At the event, we will discuss the latest updates on the ACA repeal and plan our next moves to see that they never get the votes they need in the Senate to pass this mean-spirited legislation which trades the lives of millions of our most vulnerable citizens for tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals. Here are the details:

WHO: Citizen Action/Acción Ciudadana Organizers and Members, Reverend Rasheed El, concerned citizens
WHAT: Die-in and Eulogy to save Healthcare
WHEN: Thursday, June 28th at 6:00pm
WHERE: Senator Ron Johnson’s Milwaukee Office - 517 E Wisconsin Ave in Milwaukee (Event held outside)
Click Here to RSVP!

While we celebrate this small victory, we must use every moment we have between now and the resumption of Senate business on July 10th to make sure they never get the 50 votes they need to pass their ACA repeal, which would lead to 22 million people losing healthcare (430,000 in Wisconsin alone!) and over 1 million jobs lost. People’s lives are in the balance - we must act now!

Luz Sosa and Anthony Herring
Click here to join our Healthcare for All Co-op!

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Today is Day #3 in the Final Countdown to Stop the AHCA and its Cuts to Medicaid.

The U.S. Senate is set to take a vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) before July 4. The AHCA contains a devastating 25% cut to Medicaid, and the Senate wants to make these cuts even bigger. Cuts to Medicaid mean cuts to 20 Wisconsin programs like Family Care, IRIS, the Children’s waiver, BadgerCare, mental health programs, Katie Beckett, autism services, personal care, and important therapies like speech, OT and PT.

Time is running out to stop these harmful cuts!

Our countdown continues today with fact #3. Call Senator Johnson and tell him you are concerned about the AHCA because:

Cuts to Medicaid will hurt Wisconsin’s economy and lead to job loss. Medicaid brings about $5 billion to Wisconsin which supports hospitals, providers, and jobs through 20 Medicaid-funded programs. There are 75,000 Medicaid providers in Wisconsin – many of them small businesses. Cuts to Medicaid will result in cuts to provider rates and make provider shortages worse!

Call Senator Johnson’s three offices:

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

WATCH BPDD Board Member Delores Demonstrate How To Make A Call Over at the BPDD Facebook Page:

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


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Is your community priority included? 6/29 public input opportunity on BHD budget

Mental Health Task Force / Make It Work Milwaukee Update

See below for an update from the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board on the 2018 BHD budget, and an opportunity to share your feedback on the budget and your budget priorities this week on June 29th. Please take this opportunity to share your priorities with the Mental Health Board. Hope to see you on the 29th!

Read the budget request Read the press release

People can contribute feedback in any of these ways:

  • ONLINE: Complete the online feedback form before June 23, 2017.

  • IN PERSON: Speak out at the June 29 board meeting during the public comment session. All comments will be limited to three minutes.

  • AMENDMENT: Ask a Mental Health Board Member to sponsor an amendment. An amendment can be submitted between June 8 and June 23, 2017. You can contact a board member and provide them with a brief description of your idea. The board member may then choose to sponsor a formal amendment to submit to the finance committee. Only Mental Health Board members may submit an amendment. All amendments will be discussed and voted on at the Finance Committee meeting on June 29.

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Today is Day #5 in the Final Countdown to Stop the AHCA and its Cuts to Medicaid.

The U.S. Senate is set to take a vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) before July 4. The AHCA contains a devastating 25% cut to Medicaid and eliminates key health care protections for children and adults with disabilities. Cuts to Medicaid mean cuts to 20 Wisconsin programs like Family Care, IRIS, the Children’s waiver, BadgerCare, mental health programs, Katie Beckett, autism services, personal care, and important therapies like speech, OT and PT.

Time is running out to stop these harmful cuts!

Call Senator Ron Johnson every day for the next 5 business days and tell him the fact of the day about why the AHCA is bad for adults and children with disabilities and older adults.

Our countdown continues today with fact #5. Call Senator Johnson and tell him you are concerned about the AHCA because:

It was drafted behind closed doors and there have been no public hearings on the bill. Senator Johnson is right, this bill is moving too fast and the public should have the chance to weigh in. Medicaid cuts and caps will hurt people with disabilities and older adults and need to be removed from the bill.

Call Senator Johnson’s three offices:

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

WATCH BPDD Board Member Delores Demonstrate How To Make A Call Over at the BPDD Facebook Page:

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

The Hill: Senator Johnson: I ‘can’t imagine’ voting yes on health bill in a week.

Wisconsin State Journal Editorial: Slow down and get health care bill right. “The public deserves details and plenty of time for input, too.”

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DSA-MKE Statement on Sylville Smith verdict

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Final Countdown to Stop the AHCA: Day #6 Devastating cuts to Medicaid mean cuts to Wisconsin programs that children and adults with disabilities need.

The U.S. Senate is set to take a vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) before July 4. The AHCA contains a devastating 25% cut to Medicaid and eliminates key health care protections for children and adults with disabilities. Cuts to Medicaid mean cuts to 20 Wisconsin programs like Family Care, IRIS, the Children’s waiver, BadgerCare, mental health programs, Katie Beckett, autism services, personal care, and important therapies like speech, OT and PT.

Time is running out to stop these harmful cuts!

Call Senator Ron Johnson every day for the next 6 business days and tell him a new fact about why the AHCA is bad for adults and children with disabilities and older adults.

Our countdown continues today with fact #6. Call Senator Johnson and tell him you are concerned about the AHCA because:

Devastating cuts to Medicaid will mean cuts to Wisconsin programs that children and adults with disabilities need.

Call Senator Johnson’s three offices:

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

Click here for more information and resources
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By William Rivers Pitt, Columnist and Editor: truthout

Very slowly, very quietly, the Trump administration has been barricading itself behind ever-growing walls of secrecy and deceit. Trump himself has not given a real press conference since February, the State Department has dramatically slashed its press availability, and Press Secretary Sean Spicer spent eight straight days refusing to let reporters record his press statements via audio or video. When administration strategist Steve Bannon was pressed on why this was happening, he replied, “Sean got fatter.” No other explanations were forthcoming.

Axiom: You only hide when you have something to hide. Maybe it’s the Russia investigations, maybe it’s this nefariously nebulous GOP health care bill being brewed in the Senate, or maybe it’s an administration-wide realization that Trump cannot be turned loose without defenestrating the nation’s reputation and standing. Whatever the reason, these people are in full duck-and-cover mode, and this level of secrecy is battery acid to any functioning democracy. It must not be allowed to stand.

Russia is only an accent in the symphony of bedlam this administration has unleashed. Health care, taxes, the budget, climate change, police violence, mass incarceration, Syria, Yemen, North Korea … our house is on fire, and the people charged with dousing the flames are hiding under the hoses.

They will not hide from us; we won’t let them. We will run these stories to ground no matter where they take us. But we need your help to make it happen.

PeaceOfMind urges you to:

Demand in writing and phone calls that your legislators Come out of the closet with healthcare intentions, revelations about ties to Russia, voter suppression — everything they seem to push that obstructs American Democracy, you, me, all of us who don’t have a bank account capable of withstanding one or more catastrophic events.

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Senator Ron Johnson : I ‘can’t imagine’ voting yes on health bill in a week | TheHill

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update –

See below for new coverage regarding the American Health Care Act, including quotes from Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson expressing concerns about voting yes for the health bill (American Health Care Act) next week.

Please contact Senator Johnson to share your concerns about the secretive process and the major cuts to Medicaid. See below for contact information for Senator Johnson and a link to the new coverage.

Contact Senator Johnson at the following numbers:

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

Click here for more information
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Community Coalition 4 Quality Policing & NAACP Present: How Do We Address the Rising Violence in Milwaukee

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Children’s Long Term Support Waiver Program: Elimination of the Disability Determination Requirement

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Some good news from Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Effective July 1, DHS will no longer require that children applying for the Children Long Term Support (CLTS) Waiver Program have a Disability Determination. Since many lower income families access Medicaid through BadgerCare, they may have not had a need to obtain a disability determination for their child. The requirement for a disability determination discouraged some lower income families from pursuing eligibility for the CLTS waiver, and caused delays in determining eligibility and access to waiver services for children and their families. See below for a link to the DHS memo regarding this positive policy change.

By way of background, note that this requirement was already waived since 2010 for counties that chose to participate in the Compass Wisconsin: Threshold unified intake project, which includes most large counties. Threshold provides a unified point for intake, application and eligibility determination for children’s long-term support (CLTS) services for families in the following counties: Adams, Columbia, Dane, Green, Jackson, Jefferson, Kenosha, LaCrosse, Lafayette, Marquette, Monroe, Ozaukee, Racine, Rock, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha counties. Families can apply for Katie Beckett Medicaid, Children’s Long-Term Support Waiver and the Children’s Community Options Program through CompassWisconsin: Threshold.

Milwaukee County and others that have not participated in Compass Wisconsin: Threshold continued to have the requirement for a disability determination which could delay access to waiver services for children and their families. By eliminating the disability determination requirement, there will be a consistent policy in all Wisconsin counties.

DHS info about Children’s Long Term Support waiver:
Milwaukee County Children’s Long Term Support Program:
Compass Threshold Wisconsin:

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New resource: Impact of the administration’s proposed budget on people with disabilities

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

See the attached new resource from Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations, which looks at the impact of the president’s proposed budget on people with disabilities. The budget includes extreme cuts to health care, benefits, legal services, housing, education, and many other vital services, which have the potential to put the health, safety, and lives of Americans with disabilities at risk.

This is a good reminder of the importance of turning out later today for Congresswoman Moore’s town hall on the federal budget, and submitting a question regarding funding for programs that are important to children and adults with disabilities.

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EXPO Events

One of the most exciting, powerful developments in WISDOM has been the emergence of EXPO, EX-Prisoners Organizing. Our formerly-incarcerated brothers and sisters are committed to changing the way we see and talk about people with conviction histories, and they are leading the charge to transform our terribly flawed criminal justice system. EXPO has given a tremendous boost of energy, passion and insight to WISDOM.

Yesterday, EXPO leaders Mark Rice and Carl Fields did a great job on the Kathleen Dunn show on Wisconsin Public Radio. You can access the interview HERE.

We have some opportunities in the near future to support EXPO and the serious agenda they have helped lead us to:

Close the MSDF Campaign Launch
Thursday, June 29: 5 - 7pm
MATC Room M605, 700 W. State Street, Milwaukee
Download a flyer HERE.
Click HERE for more info.

EXPO Banquet
Friday, June 30: 5:30 - 8pm
Ascension Lutheran Church, 1236 S. Layton Blvd, Milwaukee
Download a flyer HERE.
Click HERE for more info.
If you’d like to support EXPO or any of the work of WISDOM, you can make a donation HERE.

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This morning I announced the launch of my new “Engage Milwaukee” initiative, a hands-on, first-of-its-kind community outreach and education campaign throughout the entire County designed to give the public more opportunities to make their voices heard on important issues.

Milwaukee County has everything it takes to be the best-run government in the country, but we can only get there if we constantly aim to improve in all that we do. A more interactive model of civic engagement and public input greatly increases our chance of success.

This year, we’re using a new software platform, A Balancing Act, which allows County residents to design and share their own budget for Milwaukee County. This tool will help the public more easily visualize and understand the difficulties in balancing the needs of competing priorities with finite resources. The Balancing Act software uses clear and transparent language to describe the County’s revenues and expenses, and then lets users determine their funding priorities – the only catch is, they have to balance revenue and spending, just like elected officials do.

You can check A Balancing Act out for yourself here:

I feel strongly that the community should be heard as we make important decisions about where and how to invest our resources into programs and services that empower more people. We’ve made a lot of progress over the past six years but Milwaukee County is at a real crossroads. With an expected $40 million deficit in the upcoming budget, sustained progress will be difficult, but it’s not impossible.

Engaged, informed citizens like you are essential to ensuring that our shared responsibilities — caring for our most vulnerable citizens, protecting our natural resources, fostering economic growth, and improving quality of life for everyone – are fully funded now and in the future. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to check out A Balancing Act and submit your own budget for Milwaukee County, and to continue the conversation on social media using the hashtag #EngageMKE.

The budget you submit is anonymous and will be received by our budget office, which will compile all the feedback we receive over the summer and share with the community in the fall. Thanks for taking the time to learn more about the budget in Milwaukee County.

Chris Abele

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Transportation Budget Call to Action

The Joint Finance Committee is still working on the new Transportation Budget. We want to make sure that the new budget works for everyone!
Please contact the following state legislators and your own legislators. Be sure to include your address: we want them to know of the support of people all around the state. Please re-send your message regularly until the budget is finalized. Thanks.

Take action to create a transportation system that works for everyone in Wisconsin:

  • more money for Public Transit

  • more money for Specialty Transit for seniors and people with disabilities

  • more money for local roads

  • fund these important priorities by scaling back the huge highway projects that are not necessary

  • resist any attempts to remove public transit from the Transportation Fund.

Key Transportation Legislators:
Joint Committee on Finance
Sen. Alberta Darling____________________Co-Chair: (608) 266–5830
Rep. John Nygren______________________Co-Chair: (608) 266–2343
Rep. Dale Kooyenga___________________Vice-Chair: (608) 266–9180
Sen. Luther S. Olsen___________________Vice-Chair: (608) 266–0751
Sen. Leah Vukmir_______________________Member: (414) 453–0024
Joe Malkasian____________________________Clerk:

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By RL McNeely PhD; JD

Thirty feet below me lay Russell. I viewed the crumpled, lifeless form of what only vaguely resembled a human being. All at once I realized the stupidity to which we had fallen prey. How foolish we had been! Now I had to risk my life for one who might already be dead.

I began to think about the kind of person Russell was. He was a person who would risk everything he owned, including his life, for a friend. Then I thought about my own feelings. I thought about my wife, I thought about my children, I thought about the bad things I had done during my life, I thought about many things — I, I was scared. Then something peculiar happened. It was like being a different person. I was seeing myself as Russell would see me; I felt like throwing up.

All of this had occurred during only a few moments. After I had regained my composure I realized that it would be better to risk my life than to let Russell lay there dying. I would be condemning myself to a living death if I didn’t go down to help him.

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Join the June 15 Wisconsin Call-in Day to Protect Medicaid

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Members of the U.S. Senate are working behind closed doors on their own version of American Health Care Act (AHCA). The U.S. Senate is preparing to vote on the AHCA within the next two weeks. There is a lot at stake for Wisconsin in this vote. The AHCA cuts federal Medicaid funding by 25% over 10 years and eliminates key health care protections for children and adults with disabilities, including those with mental health needs. Estimates indicate Wisconsin could lose $1 billion in funding and put many essential programs and supports for children/adults with disabilities and seniors at risk.

Join the June 15th Wisconsin Call-in Day to Protect Medicaid. Share your concerns about the proposed cuts to Medicaid and loss of important health care protections. Today’s 3 PM meeting of the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force will also include an update on the AHCA and on the June 15th Call In Day to Protect Medicaid.

For information on what Medicaid means to Wisconsin children and adults with disabilities, check out this link :

More than 1500 people responded to Survival Coalition’s survey asking how Wisconsin’s disability community uses our state’s more than 20 Medicaid programs, and how their lives would be impacted if Medicaid changes. Here is a sampling of those statewide results, organized by Congressional district, Please share these stories widely with your local media and state and federal legislators.

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Legislative Update from Senator Lena Taylor

Supporting the Mental Health of Our Students

As a part of our budget deliberations on education, it is refreshing to see a measure that has been introduced by the Walker administration to address the mental health needs of Wisconsin students. Specifically, there is $2,500,000 in Mental Health Collaboration Grants intended to allow for the establishment of a program that would screen children for early signs of mental health issues or concerns. According to research from the US Department of Health and Human services, for adolescents, ages 13 to 18, the lifetime prevalence of mental disorders severe enough to cause significant impairment in daily functioning is approximately 20%. Poor mental or emotional health can impact a student’s school attendance, perceived competence, concentration, academic achievement and graduation.

The grant is based on similar legislation passed by the Minnesota legislature nearly ten years ago. The irony is that even 10 years ago, Minnesota passed their legislation with twice the amount of funding currently being proposed in our current budget. Once again, Wisconsin is playing catch up. It is time to lead and set examples of our own by improving our mental health care initiatives and outcomes. Therefore, I am introducing budget motions to adequately fund this grant. We must ensure that our children don’t receive Band-Aids but a get a cure.

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Call Your Senators RE: AHCA/ACA Repeal!

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Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force – June 13th meeting

Please join us for the June 13th meeting of the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force: Your input and participation are needed and valued.

Meeting Details:
Tuesday June 13th, 3 – 5 PM
IndependenceFirst, 540 S. 1st st. – note we are in rooms B and C, not the usual room “A”

Our agenda will include the following:

  • Mental Health Task Force Steering committee opening for a provider. Thank you to each of the talented individuals who were nominated – we hope each of you will become involved with the Task Force. The Steering Committee has advanced the names of two nominees who meet the position critieria. Nominees will speak to the task force, and members who attend regularly will complete ballots.

Note: If you are a regular participant in the Task Force and cannot attend Tuesday, you may email me to request a ballot and a packet with information about the nominees. Please contact email by end of business Monday.

  • ”Something to think about” segment, provided by Terri Elzey, as part of an ongoing series to support our work to advance inclusion.

  • “Race: the Power of an Illusion” DVD and discussion facilitated by Dr. Patricia McManus

  • Policy updates: County, state, and federal including Save Medicaid Day, Barbara Beckert

  • Patricia Obletz, a member of the CC4QP, community coalition 4 quality policing, will share with us the work of this new Coalition, including some upcoming opportunities to hear from author Michael Scott about moving from community policing per MPD to problem solving policing.

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NAMI Monthly Educational Meeting June 2017

For this month will be discussing PTSD with guest speaker Mark Flower. Thank for all that you do.

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Last edited by an anonymous user of Milwaukee Renaissance.   Page last modified on September 16, 2017

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