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Category: Community

Black Maternal and Child Health Alliance launched to improve the birth outcomes of Black mothers and babies in Dane County

Noted: The group will be co-chaired by inaugural members Dr. Tiffany Green, assistant professor in the Departments of Population Health Sciences and Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Alia Stevenson, Chief Programs Officer with the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness.

“The Black Maternal & Child Health Alliance is comprised of Black women serving in important roles in health care, our community, and as decision-makers and knowledge experts. Our highest priority is to ensure that the health and wellbeing of Black mothers remains front and center,” says Co-Chairs Green and Stevenson in a statement. “As the Alliance moves forward, we are pleased to join the Dane County Health Council as we work together to advance the health of Black mothers, babies and their families in this county.”

Protesters hold Justice for Jacob Blake march in Madison


Nearly one week after a police officer in Kenosha shot Jacob Blake, protesters in Madison marched for justice Saturday afternoon, marching from UW-Madison’s Library Mall to the Wisconsin Department of Justice building. The DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is investigating Blake’s shooting.

Online panels Thursday to focus on anti-racist schools, virtual learning

Wisconsin State Journal

The first event, which requires registration, is hosted by the UW-Madison School of Education’s Professional Learning and Community Education department, or PLACE, and Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. The 3 to 5 p.m. discussion on anti-racism in schools is the first in a “Real Talk for Real Change” symposia series that will continue through the fall.

Paul Fanlund: On race, a reminder that Madison is two cities

The Capital Times

Let’s be honest. Madison has always struggled to expand or even maintain its ranks of professionals of color. I’ve witnessed firsthand the turmoil felt by Blacks about the price their families pay to live in a city where their numbers are so few and their sense of being scrutinized so constant. Which makes the perspective of Patrick Sims so relevant. Sims came through Chicago’s troubled public schools to graduate from Yale University and earn a master’s degree in the professional theater program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The Wisconsin Black Market

The Daily Cardinal

The Wisconsin Black Market is an Instagram page that showcases Black business owners in Wisconsin. The creators, Nalah Shea and Jalia Labre, hope this page will foster a prosperous Black market in Wisconsin.

New program brings learning, interaction for 3rd and 4th graders at Penn Park

The Capital Times

Shortly after finding out about the money from the county, Mt. Zion lead pastor Rev. Marcus Allen called University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Gloria Ladson-Billings about getting something started. “Like this,” he said while snapping his fingers, “she had a whole acronym and everything ready to go.” Ladson-Billings said she’s “been thinking about questions of summer slide for a while,” and this was a good opportunity to put some of those thoughts into practice.

Proposal would rename Madison elementary school after late Black community leader


“Two summers ago, we became aware of some research that had been done that had been commissioned by Chancellor Blank at UW-Madison looking into the KKK’s presence at the university,” said Adam Zingsheim, principal of Philip H. Falk Elementary. Zingsheim says that research found Philip Falk — a former Madison superintendent — had also been a member of a KKK student group.

Women’s suffrage exhibition at DeForest Area Historical Society

DeForest Times-Tribune

Noted: Before that, on Thursday, Aug. 6, there will be a virtual program entitled “Black Male Suffrage in Early Wisconsin,” presented by Dr. Christy Clark Pujara, assistant professor of history, Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It will tell the story of Ezekiel Gillespie, a Black Milwaukee resident, who asked that his name be added to the list of eligible voters on Oct. 31, 1865.

COVID-19 antibody detection up slightly as cases, hospitalizations rise

Wisconsin State Journal

The state Department of Health Services is partnering with UW-Madison’s Survey of the Health of Wisconsin to embark on a study of the prevalence of COVID-19 antibodies throughout the state. Past SHOW participants, from 10 randomly selected counties and the city of Milwaukee, will receive antibody testing quarterly over the next year.

COVID-19 posing difficult choices for Wisconsin’s immigrant workers

Wisconsin State Journal

Shiva Bidar, UW Health chief diversity officer and a Madison City Council member, confirmed that Wisconsin residents can come to their health facilities and receive care, no questions asked. “We’ll make sure they go where they need care and nobody’s asking them to pay up front for anything,” Bidar said. “We will figure out on the back end what we need to do to make sure that their bills are covered.”

Indoor face mask mandate to start Monday in Dane County

Wisconsin State Journal

Face masks will be required indoors except at home in Dane County starting Monday, officials said Tuesday, announcing Wisconsin’s first mask mandate in response to a recent increase in COVID-19 cases especially among young adults and those who have attended large gatherings.

Q&A: District 8 alder Max Prestigiacomo takes on systemic change

Capital Times

As an 18-year-old rising sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, District 8 alder Max Prestigiacomo is already pushing for change after being elected to the City Council in April. He introduced a bill on June 16 to remove funding for less lethal weapons for the Madison Police Department, and it passed unanimously.

Amid rise in COVID-19 cases, Dane County tightens restrictions on bars, restaurants, indoor gatherings

Wisconsin State Journal

Last month UW officials released their “Smart Restart” plan for opening campus in the fall. It allows in-person teaching with precautions and with instruction moving completely online after Thanksgiving. But officials made clear that if COVID-19 cases spike early in the semester, that shift could happen earlier.

‘Until I’m free you are not free either’: Civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer has Madison connection

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

When Fannie Lou Hamer spoke to a predominantly white audience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1971, the civil rights icon spoke of the time when she was 13 and asked her mother a seemingly innocent question.

“How come we wasn’t born white?”

It was the question of a young teenager growing up in the heart of the South, when ruthless racism was the norm.

What’s next for Madison art created after George Floyd protests?

milwaukee journal sentinel

Shiloah Symone Coley, 21, just graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison this spring when she was asked to paint a mural on State Street. She’d done a few pieces of public art before on campus, but this was her first community piece. Her mural depicts Aiyana Mo’Nay Stanley Jones, who was killed at the age of 7 when she was mistakenly shot by a SWAT team member in Detroit, and Cameron Tillman, who was killed at the age of 14 by a deputy in Houma, Louisiana.

Local experts weigh in on black communities disproportionate share of COVID-19 deaths


Quoted: UW-Health Doctor Tiffany Green studies the causes and consequences of racial disparities in health.

“We see across the country that Black Americans are dying disproportionately relative to our share of our population, and that is especially true here in Wisconsin unfortunately,” Green said.

“Currently we’re talking about what can we do about the police, but the police are not the only issue, every other social system was built on the same inequities,” Alvin Thomas, UW-Madison Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Human Development and Family Studies, said.

Borsuk: On the education front, one way to move from anger to action would be to make sure all youngsters are proficient in reading

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: I read this past week an article in the New York University Review of Law and Social Change by McKenna Kohlenberg, a Milwaukee area native who is in the home stretch of getting both her law degree and a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

It uses Madison as a case study in what Kohlenberg calls the “illiteracy-to-incarceration pipeline.” She cites research that 70% of adults who are incarcerated and 85% of juveniles who have been involved with the juvenile justice system are functionally illiterate.

“Literacy strongly correlates with myriad social and economic outcomes, and children who are not proficient by the fourth grade are much more likely than their proficient peers to face a series of accumulating negative consequences,” Kohlenberg writes.

Maps show ZIP codes with highest percentage of people at risk of severe complications from COVID-19

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: “We found substantial variation across communities in the proportion of people who had these risk factors for severe complications,” said Maureen Smith, a physician and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. “That finding suggests that matching community with the right resources needs to take into account that communities are different.”

The information compiled by UW researchers can help identify potential hot spots, said Jessica Bonham-Werling, director of the Neighborhood Health Partnership Program, which prepared the reports, at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. That in turn can help public health and other officials make decisions on where to allocate resources, from testing and contact tracing to community services, such as delivering groceries.

Black Lives Matter protests continue peacefully Saturday night at Capitol

Badger Herald

Since Friday, the group of previously unaffiliated youth activists organizing the protests officially created an organization, which they’re calling Impact Demand. Impact Demand will help organize future protests and work with other community organizations to create policy change in Madison, Co-Creator and University of Wisconsin rising sophomore Ayomi Obuseh said.

‘We gotta call out racism’: Milwaukee Muslim students lead march against police violence

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: Last spring, Milwaukee teenagers Dana Sharqawi and Sumaya Abdi organized protests after mass shootings at mosques in New Zealand.

On Wednesday, they brought people together again at the Islamic Society of Milwaukee — this time to remember George Floyd and to protest police violence. They said they were guided by their Muslim faith.

“Our religion tells us that if one part of your body’s in pain, then the whole body’s in pain,” said Abdi, now 19 and a student at UW-Madison. “So if our black brothers and sisters are in pain, we’re in pain, too.”

To our readers: what can we do?

The Daily Cardinal

The recent protests in Madison demonstrated pent-up frustration with broken, white-dominated systems that have perpetually — and disgustingly — violated Black bodies, souls and freedoms. The presence of COVID-19 has only pushed the injustice further as more and more Black lives are taken daily.