This is the type of work that’s possible only with your support. You can make a secure donation to any of our member groups—or to all of them (by selecting “CSW” in the drop-down list).
This is the type of work that’s possible only with your support. You can make a secure donation to any of our member groups—or to all of them (by selecting “CSW” in the drop-down list).
Studying the theories and terms in science classes can be difficult, but becomes even more so when you’re not familiar with the language it’s taught in. However, a dual immersion classroom at Lincoln Elementary and member group at Madison Audubon Society have found a way to bridge the barrier between ESL students and local environmental enthusiasts: a love of birds.
Thanks to the hands-on partnership between Lincoln and Madison Audubon, Madison Metropolitan School District students have become more engaged while learning about the way their world works and Audubon staff have learned new bird-related words in a variety of languages!
Community Shares is proud to have three fantastic female leaders from our family represented in Brava Magazine‘s 2017 Women to Watch List: FairShare CSA Coalition‘s Erika Jones, Wisconsin Council on Children and Families‘ Wenona Wolf, and Erin Thornely Parisi of Dane County Rape Crisis Center!
Each of these women detailed how they plan to forward social and environmental movements in Wisconsin in 2017:
*Erika Jones discusses her efforts to unite the community and promote sustainable environmental practices, including the launch of the first Organic Vegetable Production Conference and the soon-opening Giant Jones Brewing Company.
*Wenona Wolf speaks to her role as a board member of several local Community Shares member groups and her work as a founding board member for We Are Healers: a new national organization focused on assisting Native American youth develop their interests in health care-related fields.
*Erin Thornley Parisi is preparing to expand and diversify the staff and clients of Dane County Rape Crisis Center; one of the ways she’ll accomplish this is through a partnership with local nonprofit Lilada’s Living Room, which serves African-American women.
2016 was a year of new starts thanks to the Employment Specialists at Chrysalis, Inc: 47 clients with mental illness found jobs last year thanks to our member group’s experienced staff!
Chrysalis believes that, with the right support, every person with a serious mental illness is capable of finding meaningful employment. With their staff’s skills, 2017 is sure to be another great year for Chrysalis clients and their employers in the Madison community.
This year, we found just a few of the emerging nonprofits that are making their marks on Madison–and we helped to make these Inspiring Voices heard. In bringing together their lived experience and our knowledge of digital outreach; we produced a collaborative project that raised over $10,000 for Positive Women for Change, Mentoring Positives, Inc., Hmong Language and Culture Enrichment Program – HLCEP, and Orgullo Latinx LGBT+.
In 24 hours, 34 social advocates gave $3,460 directly to our member groups and $2,455 to support CSW’s member support system. We’re grateful to all of our supporters for making a difference in our community with the power of philanthropy!
“We are committed to ending veteran homelessness for the good of our vets and our community,” says Dean Lumos, Executive Director of Housing Initiatives. Thanks to a recent collaboration between Housing Initiatives and the Overture Center for the Arts, the state of housing in Madison is in the public eye.
To mark Veteran’s Day 2016, Housing Initiatives enlisted the photographic talents of two Wisconsin Vietnam War veterans, Peter Finnegan and Bob Seitz, to show Madisonians the Vietnam War as it happened, as it affects the world today, and as it has affected those who fought to protect their country.
Veteran homelessness in Madison has decreased in the past two years from 120 to less than 60 veterans. Wisconsinites have demonstrated a will to put an end to veteran homelessness; With the continued help of public leaders and organizations like Housing Initiatives (which currently houses 40 veterans), there is great opportunity to find a solution.
Read more on Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and County Executive Joe Parisi’s thoughts on veteran homelessness in WKOW’s coverage of the exhibit here.
To achieve true social justice, each individual must be heard–which is why OutReach’s Darla Lannert decided to share her lived experience as a transgender woman to become an advocate for LGBT right in Wisconsin.
Thanks to the support of Intellectual Ratchet, nonprofit Design Coalition Institute, and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art; Darla became one of five subjects in a documentary by Wisconsin-based Justice and Justice Productions: a film focused on dispelling stereotypes and revealing society’s commonalities through storytelling.
61 year-old Madelyn Link’s life has been inextricably linked to hearts, for better and for worse: she’s been at the heart of her Sun Prairie as a crossing guard at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary School, has had two stents placed into her heart, and, in 2015, was a Project Home Hammer with a Heart recipient.
“Madelyn’s resiliency, spirit and outlook on life are truly inspiring,” says Hammer with a Heart Coordinator Jason Hafeman. “We can’t wait to see her reaction as we work together to repair her home.”
At least 58 Wisconsinites lost their lives as a result of domestic violence in 2015, the highest number on record since End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin began reporting the total in 2000.
Yesterday, community members participated in the 10th Annual Purple Ribbon Walk as a memorial and a promise to the victims that their memories will carry on with the movement to end abuse.
Every child deserves a healthy start.
Thanks to ABC for Health; new father “Luis” was able to provide a healthy start to his child’s life. As a Spanish-speaker whose job as an auto-mechanic did not offer health insurance benefits, the family was struggling to make ends meet. ABC’s bilingual health benefits counselor helped the family apply for the BadgerCare Plus program and followed up to ensure the family had sufficient coverage for both mother and child at the time of birth and after.
Grassroots Wellness Peer Run Respite & Learning Community, a part of Grassroots Empowerment Project, has been promoting self care this summer through Sunrise Salutations.
With the help of instructor Teresa Kruger, Grassroots Empowerment has led 9 AM yoga classes at Menomonie Public Library to provide Wisconsinites meaningful mental health breaks.
Click here for more information on upcoming classes.
School might be out of session, but that doesn’t mean that learning should stop for the summer.
Noah’s special health care needs require that he receive regular speech therapy. While Noah receives his therapy at school during the academic year, his family’s private insurance denied coverage for speech therapy during the summer months and stated that the family’s plan was “exempt from ACA guidelines.” After working with the family to review a copy of their policy, ABC for Health found language that identified speech therapy as a covered service. The attorney helped prepare Noah’s parents to file a grievance and move forward in the appeal process so he could get the therapy he needed during the summer months.
As a young man, Burnett was referred to Dane County TimeBank’s youth court program for fighting. He took the second chance seriously, became one of TimeBank’s most thoughtful jurors, and came back from the negative path he was going down. After graduating from high school, Burnett continues his passion of working with youth: as a TimeBank employee and a father.
When Housing Initiatives’ Executive Director Dean Lumos met Va Chua Vang, he and his family were close to living on the streets. While Va Chua had fought valiantly for the US as a Captain in the Vietnamese War, the small government stipend he was rewarded with upon immigrating to the States lasted only 5 years. Without English skills or opportunities for employment, the Vang family faced instability ahead–that is, until the Housing Initiatives team stepped in and provided the Vang family with a home. With a solid foundation, the family flourished: Va Chua’s son is now a PhD student.
“I feel very blessed to be part of the Housing Initiatives community,” says Va Chua.
A few years ago, Evan* had a hard time concentrating in school. Distracted by hardships at home, he rarely spoke to other students or raised his hand.
One day, however, his fourth grade teacher noticed a change: on a walk led by Madison Audubon staff to see neighborhood nature around their school, Evan’s teacher saw him grin and open up, pointing at a nearby chickadee. “I see those birds at my house, too,” he said to a nearby classmate. “Do you?”
Madison Audubon’s education programs have not only educated students in Wisconsin’s natural beauty, they’ve provided kids like Evan confidence-boosting experiences that will last a lifetime.
Pesto tastes better when it’s pedaled!
Thanks to a donation from The Bicycle Recycle and a repurposed blender, Community GroundWorks at Troy Gardens‘ younger visitors at Goodman youth farm are able to join in on the pesto-making process.
15 years ago, Doug and Sherryl Jones purchased their 11-acre property in Spring Green with the hopes of creating a peaceful place for their grandchildren to gather. Unfortunately, the manure from neighboring farmland has polluted the Jones’ oxbow lake and sloughs have made that vision difficult to fulfill.
With the nitrate levels in his water 2 times that of which the EPA considers safe, Doug took action and joined the Midwest Environmental Advocates to protect his community by organizing town meetings, distributing water testing kits, and calling on the EPA for assistance: “Families in our area needed help.”
Read Wisconsin Watch’s story on Doug here.
“Clients come into our office to tell us about what is often the worst moment in their lives: when children are sick because of the mold; when they can’t pay the rent. They come because of the moment in which their housing is on the line, where they might really have to figure out how to live outside, be rained upon, shiver in the cold, figure out where to sleep, shower, get a meal, and go to the bathroom. We use our donations to buy tissues to soak up their tears, and print papers filled with resources. We listen. We talk about their options. We know it’s really, really hard.”
–Brenda Konkel, Tenant Resource Center Executive Director
With about half of the Madison’s residents living in rented housing, Tenant Resource Center has, and continues to be a place for the city’s renters to understand their rights and responsibilities and to be understood by others.
Wisconsin Early Childhood Association stopped by the Sun Prairie Farmers Market a few weeks ago to help smaller shoppers plant lavender, dill, and sweet savory for their dads; the organization’s activities will continue again at upcoming Farmers Markets!
Wheels for Winners recently took some bikes for a ride–to Botswana!
By partnering with Chicago non-profit Working Bikes, Wheels made an international impact with their contribution to a load of 400 pedal-powered vehicles.
“Creating, enriching, and transforming community through music.”
Last week, Perfect Harmony Men’s Chorus held a combined concert with City of Festivals Men’s Chorus–and raised $1,000 to donate to the Watertown Unified School District High School’s Gay Straight Alliance!
It can be hard to bridge the communication gap between Instagrammers and inpatient treatment.
That’s why PATCH, a project of Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health, completes the conversation with their Teen Educators. In the past year, these 12 high school students have held 31 workshops, 423 sessions with providers, and given presentations to 825 students to strengthen the relationships between healthcare professionals and their adolescent patients.
Summer fun has just begun!
Between the planting of the Family Heritage Garden, an elders’ pontoon ride on Lake Monona, and the start of 1st-5th grade Summer Study with Madison Metropolitan School District; Bayview Foundation is keeping busy in the beautiful Wisconsin weather.
Rock River Coalition, Inc. gave a new meaning to multitasking this spring with their “Testing the Waters” project: by attaching scientific gear to the front of kayaks, the group’s designated paddlers were able to continually test the Rock River’s water quality while enjoying some beautiful Wisconsin scenery.
“This will help prevent the kinds of negative public health and ecological impacts that can occur at military sites like the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant,” says U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin of the Senate National Defense Authorization Act.
By advocating for new methods of munitions disposal, public figures such as Senator Baldwin are helping the Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger accomplish their goal of preventing groundwater pollution.
This past school year, 10 Nuestro Mundo Community School students from 4th and 5th grades participated in Let Me Run: a running program designed to harness the power of running inspire boys through the power of running to be themselves, to build healthy relationships and to live an active lifestyle.
Sarah was shocked to learn that she and her family lived in the ‘blast zone,’ an area along a major rail corridor that is at high risk of disaster from trains carrying oil. The number of train cars carrying oil in the United States has grown from about 6,000 car loads a week in 2006 to nearly 16,000 today.
Sarah, working with Sierra Club Foundation – John Muir Chapter, has begun organizing in her community to call for stronger rules for trains carrying oil and has helped her neighbors understand the risks and action needed if an accident were to occur.
“Really they were towels, sheets and a couple of blankets,” says April Homesly, recalling the “pallets” on the floor of her mother’s Middleton apartment that she and her five children slept on for several weeks after being unfairly evicted from their Madison residence.
Between an illegitimate lawsuit from a former landlord and a lost job, April was unable to keep up with unnecessary debts and consequently saw the removal of her Section 8 public housing assistance and her current lease. “I lost half of my possessions, furniture, clothing, everything,” she remembers. “I had no place to bring them.”
Thankfully, April didn’t have to fight the injustice alone: with the help of Legal Action of Wisconsin, she had her Section 8 assistance restored and was able to secure a new duplex complete with a front yard. “We didn’t have this before,” she smiles, the new duplex fostering dreams of a dynamic future as a private investigator and homeowner. “We’ll get there. We just have to take it one step at a time.”
On Wednesday, June 22, Join Disability Rights Wisconsin for a CHIP® Chat covering self-advocacy strategy and hypothetical scenarios to help prepare consumers to take a stand for their rights under MHPAEA.
Can’t make the 6 PM Chat at Willy Street Co-op East on June 22? Head over to Willy West at 6 PM on June 27 for an encore presentation.
– From 1980 to 2000, the number of children with a father in prison or jail rose by 500%.
– African-American children are more than seven times more likely than white children to have a parent incarcerated.
– Children with fathers in prison, particularly African-American children, are at higher risk of ending up homeless. Research suggests the rise in incarceration has helped lead to a significant increase in child homelessness, especially among African Americans.
CFFPP is a national leader in asking policymakers to stop jailing poor and unemployed men who are unable to pay their child support debt.
In 2014, however, the watershed’s future was in jeopardy: bacterial contamination from agricultural runoff made even afternoon swims in the lake hazardous. Due to an inconsistent dialogue with the DNR, April decided to take measures into her own hands. Each month, she volunteers to take water samples, and brings her children along to learn the importance of environmental preservation. April signed on as part of Midwest Environmental Advocates‘ Petition for Corrective Action, which was sent to the EPA.
“In my community, we’re taught that water is a precious gift,” said April. “We have to take care of it because we are all the protectors of the water. I’m not a scientist. I’m not a lawyer. I just know it’s important to protect the water. Clean water is a human right.”
Meet Nohemi Ramirez: a Salvadoran who sells seashells by the seashore!
Thanks to Working Capital for Community Needs (WCCN) and its partner INTEGRAL, Nohemi’s business is booming—they stepped in to lend a helping hand when conventional banks wouldn’t lend to Nohemi, who lacked collateral or proof of income. After receiving her loan from WCCN and INTEGRAL, however, Nohemi’s produced ample evidence of her profitability; her sales have increased from $12 a week to as much as $60 a day!
When you support WCCN, you help offer microfinance loans to low-income people—often women—in Latin America so they can accomplish their entrepreneurial dreams and work their way out of poverty.
Antilica Xiong said that being a part of Common Wealth’s Youth-Business Mentoring Program changed her life. “I’m not antisocial anymore,” said Tili, a high school freshman. After being in the mentoring program, Tili was placed in a job at a frozen yogurt store.
Tili said her confidence has improved, and “being with other people has helped.” She learned how to interact with her supervisor–both giving and receiving feedback. Tili now foresees not only college but law school in her future, so that “I can stand up for things I’m passionate about.”
“I am a Leader because I am intelligent. I am passionate and I have good intentions. When I put my mind to it my voice can be heard.”
–Naomi, Foundations of Leadership participant
Through GSAFE’s Foundations of Leadership course, Madison area high school students are taught to harness their power as leaders and learn how they can help racial LGBTQ, and social justice win in Wisconsin.
“What changed? When did being an American citizen stop being enough to be allowed to vote?” asked Leroy, who has voted in every election in the past 40 years–but who was denied his chance to vote last April. Legally blind since birth, Leroy has never had a driver’s license and has a problem with his birth certificate. He was allowed to cast only a provisional ballot because he did not have an acceptable photo ID.
And it’s not for lack of trying. He arranged transportation and got to the DMV, but they would not issue him an ID, despite the many official documents he brought with him. His ballot was not counted.
Both Leroy and League of Women Voters of Wisconsin’s Director Andrea Kaminski testified recently at a federal trial about the effects of the state’s new stringent Voter ID law. The lawsuit was brought by One Wisconsin Institute to challenge the voter ID law and an array of other voter suppression measures. Kaminski was there to present similar cases of voter disenfranchisement from League observers statewide. The League continues to fight every day to keep Wisconsin elections fair and accessible, while helping people understand the increasingly restrictive and confusing new laws.
With so many animals in such a small space, Kewaunee’s manure levels have risen high enough to contaminate surrounding well water–and send Lynn and Nancy Utesch’s six-month old neighbor to intensive care with E. coli poisoning. To save other citizens, the Uteschs signed on as part of Midwest Environmental Advocates‘ Petition for Corrective Action, recently sent to the EPA.
Lynn explained that the problem needs to be addressed now rather than later: “once pollution gets into the water, it’s difficult and expensive to fix. At the end of the day, there is no way to compromise over clean water.”
It’s no wonder Sustain Dane‘s MPower Business program is nationally recognized: in addition to cutting carbon use and saving kilowatt-hours of electricity, participants report such benefits as positive behavior change, more community connections, and greater workplace engagement!
Congratulations to Sustain Dane’s 2016 MPower Business Champions, who are ready to embark upon their own intensive environmental evolution! Check out the complete list of Champions here.
League of Women Voters of Wisconsin’s Director Andrea Kaminski testified recently at a federal trial, noting cases of voter disenfranchisement submitted by League observers statewide. Wisconsin’s stringent voter ID law and registration restrictions are “perhaps hardest on young people who try to register to vote and cannot,” Andrea said.
Case in point: a young man who lived with his girlfriend but couldn’t provide acceptable proof of residence. Even the Chief Inspector in the polling place was frustrated by the situation: he lived next door to the couple and knew them.
Before the law passed this young man–and many first-time voters who still live with their parents–could have registered when another qualified voter verified their residence. That’s no longer possible under the new law.
The League continues to fight every day to keep Wisconsin elections free, fair and accessible, while helping people comply with the increasingly restrictive and confusing new laws.
“The best part of eating is cooking,” said one young girl.
From Crispy Kale Chips to Fresh Basil Lime Ice Cream, more kids than are learning about (and sampling) sustainable food at Community GroundWorks‘ Troy Kids’ Garden. Good food fuels good times at the garden: yoga, fort building, and chicken feeding are always crowd pleasers.
How does the government ensure that people pay the child support required of them? “We can suspend a driver’s license, deny a passport—or send the person to jail. Just the threat of these actions usually means that middle and upper income parents pay their child support,” said Jacquelyn Boggess, the Director of the Center for Family Policy and Practice (CFFPP).
And what about poor families? “Studies show that low-income men do not pay child support because they simply do not have the money. To take away their driver’s license or put them in jail merely prevents these men from getting or keeping jobs, which in turn prevents them from paying their child support. It’s a vicious cycle that doesn’t benefit either the parents or the children. And it keeps huge numbers of black men in jail.” CFFPP is a national leader in asking policymakers to stop jailing poor and unemployed men who are unable to pay their child support debt.
“We had it all: jobs, a home, a life.”
“All,” that is, until Paul and Julie both lost their jobs in their early 60’s. Paul, a Vietnam vet who still struggles with PTSD, could no longer do the physical work of a furniture mover. Evicted from their home of 18 years, they spent five years living on the streets–and under a bridge–before Housing Initiatives moved them into a permanent apartment home. “The thing I missed most was a hot meal. Nearly all the food we ate for 5 years was mostly out of cans. We are so grateful for our home. I’ve been cooking up a storm ever since!” said Julie.
Housing Initiatives knows how to solve the problem of chronic homelessness due to mental illness. This nonprofit has an innovative, successful model for ending chronic homelessness, with over 95% of program participants never returning to living on the streets.
Since 1992, Wheels for Winners has been building community through a successful formula of volunteerism, recycling unused bicycles, and encouraging responsible actions among young people.
Learn more about Wheels, ways get involved, and enter to win a fabulous door prize at their upcoming CHIP Chats at Willy Street Co-op!
May 11 & 23 from 6-7:00 PM at Willy East
Karl isn’t just Adan’s tutor, he’s his friend.
The pair met through Northern Waters Literacy, one of Wisconsin Literacy’s 77 community organizations. But their 1:1 meetings became as much about achieving life goals as it was about academics. With volunteers providing literacy lessons to all ages and group sizes, Wisconsin Literacy’s work is record book-ready.
Advocates often don’t set out to become advocates. Jackie was just making ends meet when her car broke down. Unable to afford the needed repairs, she began taking the bus to her job across town. But when transit funding in Milwaukee was cut, her bus route was eliminated.
Jackie tried to string together bus routes to get to work, but the multiple transfers sometimes meant missed buses—and being late to work. Eventually she was let go from her job for arriving late too often.
She saw the pressing need for more transit in her community, which has a 20% unemployment rate among African Americans (the highest in the country). That’s why Jackie started working with the Sierra Club – John Muir Chapter and their Coalition for More Responsible Transportation. Jackie began speaking at press conferences, helped organize the community, and became an advocate for better transit that can connect workers to available jobs.
Children are our future; which is why many in Mexico are celebrating today as El Día Del Niño (Children’s Day)!
Nuestro Mundo, Inc. is creating a more diverse environment in our state through multicultural projects like Nuestro Mundo Community School: a rare educational experience that has kids racing to the classroom!
Cream and cuajada, a type of cheese, are among Miriam’s chief sources of income right now. But with the help of Working Capital for Community Needs and a microloan of $384 from its partner COOPEFACSA, she has plans to build an oven and open a bakery.
Miriam used previous loan from COOPEFACSA to build a house with a concrete rather than a dirt floor, and to add a better bathroom. This has greatly improved her and her children’s health–keeping them healthy and ready to carry on their mother’s entrepreneurial legacy.
54 years ago, Korean interpreter Jack Allord’s ears provided him with information vital to our country. Today, his eyes have provided him the opportunity to reconnect with fellow veterans through the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired.
The Veteran Low Vision Support Group gave Jack the tools that he needed to secure VA benefits, update his 20 year old visual aids, and create valuable relationships. “I’ve even met some veterans from World War II,” says Jack. “We all have different backgrounds and deal with different things, but I’ve learned a lot from talking to them.”
About 46 deaths a year, 684 deaths in a decade and a half.
Between 1999 and 2014, Wisconsinites died in domestic violence incidents at a rate of one death every eight days.
End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin works to promote policy changes that will make Wisconsin safer for all families and to help prevent dating violence among teens; we’re expressing our support for their efforts during Sexual Assault Awareness Month!
Sure, Kamp Kenwood offers your usual summer camp swimming, hiking, and bonfires–but it also features lessons in charitable giving, board elections, and a camp co-op.
Think you know a young camper that would be into this unique opportunity with Wisconsin Farmers Union? Attend one of two CHIP Chats at Willy Street Co-op!
Tuesday, April 26 from 6-7:00 PM at Willy Street East
Thursday, April 28 from 6-7:00 PM at Willy Street West
Click here for more details.
“This is the first time I’ve ever pulled food out of the ground!” marveled one young boy harvesting carrots at Community GroundWorks‘ Troy Kids’ Garden this past summer.
After being shown how, he became the “Carrot King” for the day and showed his peers a thing or two about perfect picking techniques. He left the garden with a big bag of carrots and a smile: “you guys got some good stuff going on here! I can’t wait to take these carrots home to my dad!”
7 years. 400 sustainability projects. A savings of $1,689,000 and 26,540 tons of CO2.
Sustain Dane’s MPower Business Champions Program has done amazing work engaging Wisconsin organizations in their sustainability projects. And we know their 2015 cohort of environmentally aware businesses will keep our state thriving far into the future.
Some stifle a yawn when they hear “housework.” But Project Home’s over 250 April volunteers and sponsors? They have to suppress their excitement!
Between 2002 and 2015, Hammer with a Heart has provided $1.2 million in home repairs to 106 low-income households in Dane County. There’s nothing more rewarding for those involved than seeing the smiles of deserving veterans, single parents, and seniors when their houses become a homes.
Happy 15th Anniversary, Hammer with a Heart! Here’s to many more!
Creative Revolution is a sexual assault awareness month project and fundraiser sponsored by UNIDOS Against Domestic Violence. This project uses art as way to send positive messages to victims and survivors of sexual assault. We applaud the mission as well as the beautiful art.
If frac sand mining can cause a dust and silica storm over Trempealeau County, what are its potential effects on the rest of Wisconsin?
Join Midwest Environmental Advocates for “Sifting the Future:” a discussion on how frac sand mining might impact our state’s environment and our environmental landscape. All are welcome to UW-Madison’s Union South at 7 PM on Wednesday, April 20.
Find more details here.
The diverse and multilingual culture of Madison is part of what makes it such a great place to live. Nuestro Mundo, Inc. works to promote the continuation of cultural variety through their charter school.
Learn more about Nuestro Mundo’s success at a free CHIP Chat–10 AM this Sunday at Willy Street Co-op East.
Housing Initiatives is partnering with Veggies for Vets, which connects area veterans and their families to locally grown, organic produce. Veggies for Vets provides weekly CSA (community supported agriculture) food shares through a partnership with Peacefully Organic Produce and CSA.
Thanks to Veggie for Vets and Peacefully Organic Produce, CSA shares will be delivered to Housing Initiatives’ veteran clients. “This is an excellent opportunity to help some of our newly housed vets who are struggling with their physical and emotional recovery. Connecting these vets with Peacefully Organic is also a chance for them to visit the farm, meet other vets, and get introduced to an important support system,” said Tony Castaneda, Housing Initiatives Property Manager.
Stand with low-wage workers with the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice at the Fight For $15 National Day of Action on Thursday, April 14, 6:00 a.m. at the McDonalds on Regent St.
Later that day you’re invited to the “Madison Labor Seder: Bringing Contemporary Worker Justice Issues to Our Passover Celebrations”–where you can share fellowship in the march toward worker justice. This free event begins at 6:30 p.m. at Beth Israel Center. Donations to Interfaith Worker Coalition for Worker Justice are encouraged!
Everyone sees solutions to our state’s problems in different ways, but on April 14 and 15, supporters of the ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation are sharing their visions through Juxtapose: a multimedia art installation.
After a summer searching the streets of Milwaukee for evidence of its greatest strengths and challenges; students and ACLU staff are ready to share their findings through photography, poetry, and printmaking.
In the Milwaukee area this week? Check out the event details here.
“I felt very alone,” said Salman, a young gay man. With an expiring student visa and the prospect of persecution in his home country of Pakistan, he didn’t know where to turn for help.
Fortunately, Salman found OutReach LGBT Center, where he “was greeted with warmth and compassion.” OutReach provided Salman with the necessary tools to gain social asylum and has put him on the path to U.S. citizenship: “I am extremely thankful, OutReach helped me to start a new life as a gay man here in Madison.”
Rome, 1992: A 45-year-old driving instructor is accused of raping his 18-year-old student. Due to the teen’s tight-fitting jeans, the Supreme Court overturns the conviction, arguing that the girl’s jeans could not have been removed without her help.
On April 9 at 2:00 pm, sexual assault survivors and their supporters will encircle the Capitol Rotunda with strips of denim to show solidarity with efforts to end sexual violence in Wisconsin and beyond.
Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Institute (WLCVI) celebrates that an astounding 28,996 messages were sent to legislators during the 2015-16 session–from WLCVI members and other concerned citizens.
The results? Saving the Stewardship Program. Making vast improvements to polluter and developer “grab bags.” Protecting our lakes from harmful plastic microbeads. With help from citizens across Wisconsin, WCLVI is working to make sure the power of people prevails in our state.
Give spring cleaning a new meaning with Rock River Coalition!
From 6-7:00 PM on Thursday, April 7, head over to Willy Street Co-op East for a hands-on introduction to stream sustainability. After a session of stream critter identification and water monitoring, you’ll be a part of Rock River’s 13 year-old tradition of citizen water quality experts!
Thirsty for more information on water wellness? Check out some of CSW’s other H20 heroes; like Midwest Advocates, WWA, River Alliance, and Clean Wisconsin.
From that humble Little House in the Big Woods to the sensation that is Once Upon a Time, some of the nation’s favorite stories and their authors call Wisconsin home. But what are great writers without their readers?
On April 11, Wisconsin Literacy is recognizing the work our state’s literacy leaders have done to improve access to the written word at Monona Terrace! Join us from 11:00 AM-1:15 PM for a celebratory luncheon and keynote speech by author and Madison native, Andrew Maraniss.
Register here by April 4.
All Wisconsinites deserve to have their voices heard; regardless of race, gender, or disability. But according to Disability Rights Wisconsin, the disabled in our state vote at a rate 15% lower than that of the general population.
Throughout Developmental Disability Awareness Month, Disability Rights has been working to increase awareness in hopes that, on April 5, citizens of ALL abilities will have access to a Wisconsin ballot.
Homelessness is temporary; humanity lasts a lifetime.
On March 30 at 6 PM, join Housing Initiatives for a FREE special viewing of the independent film Time Out of Mind: a glimpse into the life of New Yorker George (Richard Gere) and his struggles with mental illness and homelessness.
While this Madison Central Library event is free, please RSVP here if possible–we want to make sure that our generous sponsor, Roman Candle, will know how much complimentary pizza and beverages to provide!
Join us for a peaceful jog through Tenney Park, complimentary massages, and celebratory snacks that will benefit both participants and Chrysalis clients mental well-being.
Register before the end of March with the promo code “Early Bird” and save $10!
UNIDOS Against Domestic Violence calls on Latino men as allies to help end domestic violence in the Latino community. Through this Proyecto Dignidad (Project Dignity), UNIDOS recognizes that men can be victimized as well.
“Joining a CSA, through FairShare CSA Coalition, has been one of the best decisions we’ve made,” said Caroline. “We’ve had a chance to show our children where their food is grown, making them more interested in trying new things. My kids get excited to come with me to pick up our boxes. I feel really good about feeding my family meals made with local and organic ingredients from a place we can visit, grown by people we’ve actually met.”
Thomas was born prematurely. Sadly, medical bills quickly rose and benefit denials emerged for the family. The hospital referred the family to an ABC for Health advocate. Due to low birth weight and age, Thomas should have qualified for Social Security SSI benefits. However, paperwork issues led Social Security to reject the application.
Much to the financial and emotional relief of the family, ABC for Health staff helped them cut through the paperwork and bureaucratic red tape to secure the needed benefits and coverage for Thomas!
“Three of your boys are pounding on the door and yelling for you to come, they say it’s an emergency!” At her colleague’s warning, Madison elementary school teacher Laurie Solchenberger darted to the playground, expecting the worst. However, she found her students unharmed, yelling and pointing, “Ms. S! It’s a godwit!”
Thanks to Madison Audubon Society’s free, nature-based education, Laurie has been able to ignite her students’ interest–so they can become the next generation of environmental stewards.
Why support Clean Wisconsin’s statewide work?
“We feel an essential way to effect positive change is through our legislative process. Clean Wisconsin is qualified to take on that challenge. It takes a dedicated staff that can communicate with both sides of the aisle and endure an ever-changing political landscape. We feel Clean Wisconsin represents us.”
-Gayle Chatfield and Bill Bailey, owners of Bailey’s Greenhouse.
The Fair Housing Center of Greater Madison (FHCGM) recently achieved a housing victory.
What the victims of discrimination found: a housing provider repeatedly refused to rent one-bedroom apartments to single parents with a child, saying that the family would need a two-bedroom apartment. In each case she then stated that there were no two-bedroom apartments available. These practices were uncovered by FHC by sending out “testers” to the apartment complex.
What FHC did: filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Equal Rights Division (ERD), because the actions limited families with children from living in the complex, and having children in a household is protected under the Wisconsin Open Housing Law. The judge at the ERD agreed. The case resulted in a settlement, in which the housing provider agreed to pay monetary damages and to complete a fair housing training program.
“At OutReach, some of our clients are homeless, unemployed, or have a variety of health problems,” says Angie Rehling, program director. “Our clients often have no resources to help themselves through difficult times. We are so grateful to be a part of their success stories: clients who were homeless and got a job and an apartment, clients who have mental health problems and improve with treatment, people who attend support groups and find help through new relationships, and many more.”
Pack up that popcorn and tuck away some tissues–this year’s Wild and Scenic Film Festival is going to be an emotional journey you won’t want to miss!
At 7:00 PM on Wednesday, March 16, Join River Alliance at The Barrymore Theater for their ninth annual cinematic celebration of the great outdoors.
Be engaged and inspired by 10 short-medium length films like Denail: the story of photographer Ben Moon and his beloved dog.
General admission tickets are $12 in advance, $15 dollars at the door.
VIP tickets are $30 each, with 4 VIP tickets for the price of 3: a steal for the pre-party food, drink, and fun included in the price!
It’s International Women’s Day, and Jiyu Zhou noted that “joining the Mentorship Program of Wisconsin Women’s Network has been one of the best decisions I have made.” With her mentor, Jiyu has been able to set and accomplish many personal and professional goals. And kudos to her for being the first Wisconsin student to serve on the National Student Advisory Council for the American Association of University Women!
“It has been an insightful, inspiring, and enlightened experience,” said Jiyu. “My mentor and I will likely continue our mentorship relationship beyond this one-year program.”
Not only is factory farming unsustainable, the pollution that it funnels into our water harms smaller farming operations.
Join Midwest Environmental Advocates for a CHIP Chat on how Wisconsin citizens can voice their opinion on these issues. The discussion will be held on March 9 from 6-7:00 at Willy Street West.
With help from Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Institute, the Chippewa County Board challenged this “mine now, ask questions later” approach. In just four days, conservation voters sent 340 messages to County Board members urging a scientific study on the health, economic, and environmental impacts of frac sand mining.
This hard work paid off – the County Board passed a resolution asking the state to investigate the effects that frac sand mining has on our air, land, water.
Art is more than decor for your wall; it’s a fundamental part of our state’s economy, educational system, and quality of life.
On March 9, join Arts Wisconsin for Arts Day 2016: a day of celebrating, networking, learning, and voicing your creative ideas. You’ll also learn about Creative Economy Development Initiative, designed to grow the state’s creative economy. Find out about registration and the day’s program here.
Ready to learn more about sustainable food systems (beyond the choice to buy local and organic)?
Join Center for Resilient Cities for a CHIP Chat! We’ll discuss the complexities of our current food systems and opportunities for making fresh, healthy food available to all.
Willy Street Co-op East: March 9, 6:00-7:00 PM
Willy Street Co-op West: March 30, 6:00-7:00PM
After being out of the workforce for 10 years due to mental illness, David recently got a restaurant job with the help of Chrysalis. Last year Chrysalis staff helped 32 people with mental illness find permanent jobs.
“From Chrysalis, I got good advice, and the regular, weekly meetings kept the momentum going and encouraged me. It’s easier to persist with someone working alongside you. Having this job has really improved my mood,” said David. “I’ve gotten a lot better.”
Teen Dating Violence and Prevention Month is wrapping up. Though they may not always be visible, the impacts of teen dating violence are wide-reaching, and combating this issue is increasingly important.
End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin is working to prevent teen dating violence. In 2015, the group started their Teen Council: a space where teens and prevention educators can network, share resource, and aid in developing resources.
Learn more about the work of Fair Wisconsin Education Fund, our statewide LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning) civil rights advocacy group on March 3, from 6-7:00 pm Willy Street Co-op West.
Fair Wisconsin is one of the nearly 70 local nonprofits that you support when you say yes to Community CHIP at the Co-op. Registration is preferred; just stop at the Willy West Customer Service desk or call (608) 284-7800.
Artwork is a great way to contribute to the development of children’s social emotional health. In honor of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, encourage your child to participate in a poster contest supported by Wisconsin Family Ties.
Entries for this year’s theme, “My Feelings Matter,” are due by March 18: just a few more weeks to mail those masterpieces!
Last year 727 people received 1:1 support from the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired. These people received in-home vision rehabilitation visits, mobility training, low vision evaluations, and other services. If you know anyone with low vision, you know how important it is to have help from WCBVI!
Mark your calendar for a CHIP Chat at Willy Street Co-op West: on February 22, 6:00-7:00 p.m., the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families will discuss their Race to Equity project and its efforts to eliminate racial disparity in Wisconsin through systemic change. Join in the discussion!
Click here for more information.
The numbers show the impressive scope of the work at Community GroundWorks:
Dating violence, which is similar to domestic violence, is complicated by teens’ vulnerability–due to maturity level and life circumstances. Other barriers to seeking help: youth can feel intense peer pressure, and they may fear adults’ disapproval. It’s why End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin created its Teen Council, made up of educators specializing in this area.
Is your company ready for diversity? Sustain Dane doesn’t just promote sustainability as it relates to our environment. It offers Step up: Equity Matters sessions–and the next one, on February 5, is tackling company culture – what it is, how we can assess it, and how we can change it to be inclusive. More information and registration here.
Last week, Freedom Inc. was in Chicago testifying at the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent. The Working Group heard valuable insights from Co-Director M Adams and others from Freedom Inc.
Watch videos from the event here on Freedom Inc.’s Facebook page
With your support REAP Food Group can:
From 6:00-7:00 pm on February 1, join The Wisconsin Council for the Blind and Visually Impaired at Willy Street Co-op West to hear some thoughts on welcoming and interacting with diners with vision impairment. Our emphasis will be on restaurants, with most tips useful for any business. You will leave knowing how to create an enjoyable visit for persons with vision impairment.
Goodies, provided by persons who cook without looking, will be offered during the participatory demonstrations. This class may be helpful to anyone who has customers, family or friends with vision impairment.
Wisconsin Democracy Campaign has been among the pro-democracy groups–along with the Madison City Clerk and community leaders–to urge every citizen to register to vote.
The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin stressed that every qualified citizen “has the right to cast a ballot–but be sure to get registered long before Election Day.” Urge those you know to get registered–learn more here at My Vote Wisconsin.
Recently, the Sierra Club Foundation-John Muir Chapter worked with 25 other groups (among them 1000 Friends of Wisconsin and the ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation) to oppose a $1 billion expansion of I-94 in Milwaukee–and thanks to them the plan is now on hold.
After analyzing traffic trends and area needs, the coalition instead called for investing in local transportation and transit systems. The less costly transit alternatives would give much-needed access to jobs, health care, and other services for those who don’t or can’t drive. The coalition continues working to convince the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to replace the expansion plan with a transit alternative.
Meet Goose: a snowy owl.
Last winter, Goose chose an airport for his hunting grounds–a place that made the predator into prey. Madison Audubon Society teamed up with concerned citizens and local raptor experts, then relocated Goose to his namesake: Goose Pond Sanctuary.
Unfortunately, Goose’s story isn’t unique. As our environment evolves, big birds face new challenges arise. But you can make a difference for birds–support Madison Audubon Society and inspire new generations of environmental stewards in Wisconsin.
Teacher, author, athlete, student, husband, father, and occasional dishwasher: The titles that describe Ray Comeau are endless. Now, he adds another to the list: Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired Low Vision Clinic client.
Ray admits that he’s not sure what’s next for him as he continues to lose his vision. But, he knows that with support from his community, he will maintain his active academic lifestyle. “I’m so grateful,” shares Ray. “[Education and Vision Services Director Jean Kalscheur] came to my house with ideas and [a magnifier for my computer]. It made all the difference in the world!”
Inspiration is everything–find yours at Ignite Madison on Tuesday, January 19, at the High Noon Saloon.
Ignite may be an evening of presentations by people with an idea to share, but is is far from a lecture. In over 100 cities across the globe, participants use 20 autoadvancing slides to provide a 5 minute glimpse into their personal or professional passions.
The first of three Ignite Madison events this year, the presentations on the evening of the 19 will be centered around one theme and one organization: “Getting Away” with Arts Wisconsin. The stories shared will be from ten individuals who have found or continue to find unique ways to step away from their current lifestyle, home, day-to-day routine, mindset and more for a multitude of reasons.
To attend, purchase tickets ahead of time here for $9, or at the door for $14. Additionally, Ignite has a limited amount of special group packages available with 5 tickets for $25. The event will be filmed and live streamed here by Hinckley Productions.
All proceeds benefit Arts Wisconsin.
The Executive Director of the League of Women Voters has provided all you need to know about state and national elections, voter registration, and ensuring that you’re informed at the polls.
Click here to read more!
Join Working Capital for Community Needs (WCCN) for a CHIP Chat from 6:00-7:00 pm on February 10 at Willy Street Co-op West and on February 16 at Willy Street Co-op East!
Learn about how microfinance loans to organizations and farming cooperatives in Latin America can help people accomplish their entrepreneurial dreams.
Resolve to make 2016 the year to make your political voice heard!
The Wisconsin Wetlands Association (WWA), the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters (WLCV), and the Midwest Environmental Advocates (MEA) urge you to attend not one, but TWO hearings at the State Capitol in Madison at 11 AM and noon TODAY!
If passed, Senate Bill 464 and Assembly Bill 600 will make it easier for frac sand mining companies, factory farmers, and developers to build on Wisconsin wetlands.
Your personal testimony and presence is the most effective way to make make a statement to our legislators, but for there are other ways to make your opinion heard! For more information on the bills in question, specific Capitol rooms in which discussions will be held, and talking points for the hearings, visit the links below:
WWA Talking Points:
Take Action Online with WLCV and MEA: