Recent Success Results and COVID-19 Response

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). Or you can make a gift to the Fund for a Just Recovery to support nonprofits effected by COVID-19.

Freedom Inc. Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Led by co-directors Kabzuag Vaj and M Adams, Freedom Inc. is a Madison-based organization formed to advocate for the rights of Southeast Asian and Black communities through education and direct action. Founded 15 years ago as an after-school program, Freedom Inc. has grown to become an internationally-recognized non-profit organization serving low-income Black, Southeast Asian, and LGBTQI+ communities in the Madison area. The organization holds various community social justice programs such as a Books and Breakfast club that meets weekly, which provides hot breakfasts and books to Black, Khmer and Hmong youth, and Debra’s Love, a program aimed at supporting Black seniors, women, and queer folks who are survivors of gender-based violence. Currently, Freedom Inc. continues their advocacy work through the COVID-19 crisis, which has proven to be crucial in a time of increasing violence toward people of color. More recently, the Southeast Asian team of Freedom Inc. released an open letter decrying violence against Asian communities while calling for solidarity with Black communities which have been disproportionately affected by the current pandemic. “Black folks and southeast Asian folks have struggles that are similar. And our liberation is tied to each other,” said Vaj.

Voces de la Frontera on the Impact of COVID-19 on Latinx Workers in the Meatpacking Industry

Voces de la Frontera has been advocating for the rights of Latinx workers in the meatpacking industry over the course of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Highlighting the disproportionate challenges faced by immigrants and people of color, Christine Neumann-Ortiz describes the experiences of Guadalupe Páez, a Wisconsin meat processing plant worker who recently recovered from COVID-19: “People are really afraid. You’re forcing them to make a choice between their life and this job. Workers see what’s happening, and in the case of Mr. Páez, his life was at stake.” Last month, Christine held a press conference with workers, management, and union representatives following the explosion of COVID-19 cases in plants that Voces had criticized only a week prior for unsatisfactory worker protections.

Kids Forward on Paid Sick Leave and its Importance in Stemming the Coronavirus

As we think about strategies to mitigate the deadly spread of the coronavirus, we have to take a close look at the large gaps in access to sick leave and health insurance. Kids Forward is helping us understand how lack of paid sick leave and health insurance are exacerbating the COVID-19 outbreak in our country. “State politicians and private sector leaders need to take additional steps to ensure the safety of all Wisconsinites”, announced Kids Forward in their March 10, 2020 blog “Ensuring Protections for the Few Often Benefits the Many” Kids Forward outlines four steps lawmakers could take to address health disparities.

WCBVI and DRW Collaborate as Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition to Advocate for Safe and Accessible Elections

Disability Rights Wisconsin along with other community groups, such as the Wisconsin Council for the Blind & Visually Impaired, formed The Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition (WDVC). The WDVC is a non-partisan effort to help ensure full participation in the entire electoral process of voters with disabilities, including registering to vote, casting a vote, and accessing polling places.

Voting already poses a challenge for people with disabilities, including those who are visually impaired. One advocate said of the election such voters are now facing an especially difficult decision: risk your health to vote in-person Tuesday or give up the right in an act of self-preservation.

“My deep concern is that folks will just not vote,” said Denise Jess, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Council for the Blind & Visually Impaired. “If they haven’t voted already and haven’t been able to file their absentee ballot, they may opt to simply let go because the physical risks are way too scary.”

Source: WKOW Channel 27

NAACP of Dane County Addresses Impact of COVID-19 on Communities of Color

The NAACP of Dane County states that “Because of the racial and economic inequities embedded in our country’s systems, the effects of the coronavirus could be compounded for Black, Brown, Asian, and indigenous communities, as well as other population groups”. The NAACP released the “Ten Equity Implications of the Coronavirus COVID-19 Outbreak in the United States”, a resource to guide officials responsible for addressing health, economic, and other impacts in remediating some of the issues that are disproportionately affecting communities of color.

Kids Forward Teaches How We Can Fight for Racial Justice With Our Vote

Earlier this year, Kids Forward launched Race to the Polls, a project that encourages Wisconsin voters to prioritize racial justice when they head to the polls. Participants can learn about the systemic issues that impact racial justice in Wisconsin and pledge to support candidates who are committed to listening to and addressing the needs of communities of color.  Potential voters are also provided a variety of educational resources to deepen their understanding about the electoral process. To learn more or to pledge your support, visit

The Progressive Provides a Platform for Diverse Opinion Pieces

The Progressive founded the Progressive Media Project (PMP) in 1993 to diversify and democratize our nation’s op-ed pages. The PMP trains activists and nonprofit staff on how to write powerful op-eds. Kiki Monifa, a featured op-ed writer says: “As a black, queer mother, there are not many avenues in the mainstream media to have my voice heard. PMP provides the avenue and does it well.” Kiki recently had an op-ed published in papers nationwide with an estimated readership over two million. The Progressive Media Project hosts workshops throughout Wisconsin. To learn more visit: To read Kiki’s piece visit:

CSW Member Groups Making Nature More Accessible

CSW member groups Madison Audubon Society and Wisconsin Council on the Blind and Visually Impaired partnered to host workshops to teach community members to bird by ear. Attendees who were blind and visually impaired, as well as those who are sighted, learned ways to better identify birds through birdsong–all with the aim of increasing opportunities for people to experience nature in new ways. One attendee said: “Everyone in my group was very interested in learning. Everyone was so willing to share what they knew.”

Arts Wisconsin Emphasizes Creative Growth

Arts Wisconsin believes in growing and strengthening Wisconsin through the arts, culture, creativity, and innovation.

Arts Wisconsin, in partnership with the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, recently released 21st Century Wisconsin, a report on local, regional, and statewide opportunities for 21st century growth through investment in Wisconsin’s creative sector. The report addresses data, trends and models, and provides best practices, strategies, and actions to leverage and grow assets and creative resources throughout Wisconsin. More information can be found at:

Sierra Club Continues Making a Better Tomorrow

Last year, members of the Sierra Club-John Muir Chapter petitioned the Madison City Council to adopt a community-wide resolution to move to 100% clean energy, which was unanimously passed in May 2017.  One Sierra Club member who was part of the effort said: “Transitioning to 100% clean energy is only one of many steps that must be taken to prevent my generation from facing the long-term consequences of past and present environmental degradation. As a young person, I am thankful to know that there is an organization working to protect my future.”

Project Home: Over 40 years in Service to the Community

Project Home provides weatherization and other home repairs to seniors, veterans, and low-to-moderate income families to help reduce energy consumption and costs. In their over 40 years of service, Project Home has provided over 6,000 home repairs that have not only helped to make our community more sustainable, but helped to keep countless families in their homes.

Housing Initiatives’ Ongoing Support Services Offer Full Continuum of Care

Housing Initiatives works to end homelessness in Dane County, one person at a time. In order to deepen the support they can offer their clients, Housing Initiatives launched a new housing first program for 15 chronically homeless clients with mental illness. What makes Housing Initiatives programs unique, is that clients are housed within reach of services to support their wellness and healing. The new program launched this year takes this a step further and offers a full continuum of care for clients, including crisis stabilization services and an on-site office support.

Wisconsin Wetlands Association: putting wetlands to work improving local water system health

The Wisconsin Wetlands Association (WWA) provides training, technical support, and field-based outreach to help communities understand and act on opportunities to put wetlands to work to improve local water and watershed health. Recently, WWA worked closely with partners in Mequon identifying opportunities to protect and restore wetlands and other open spaces, and to conduct outreach to build broad public support for the city’s plan for open space protection.

Legal Action Wisconsin Defends Against Unlawful Evictions

Legal Action of Wisconsin (LAW) provides free legal services to community members who could not otherwise afford representation. Earlier this year LAW began the Eviction Defense Project in Dane County. The aim is to provide representation to more tenants facing an eviction and homelessness by defending against unlawful evictions and negotiating settlements in other cases that will allow clients to remain in housing or to find new housing.  In its first three months of operation, this project has already assisted 61 households.

REAP Food Group Launches Food Truck: bringing healthy, locally-sourced lunches to high schools

Each year, REAP Food Group’s Farm to School program provides over 80,000 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables for snacks and school lunches in the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD). In the classroom, kids learn about nutrition, sustainability, farming, and the local food system. This spring, REAP partnered with MMSD to launch UpRoot by REAP, a food truck for Madison-area high schools to make fresh, healthy, and locally-sourced lunches more accessible to high school students.

NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin: empowering women seeking abortion services with compassionate, affordable care

As a result of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin’s Patient Stays program; which provides free accommodation, transportation and child care to women seeking abortion services in the Madison area; several women were able to receive affordable health care in a compassionate setting. One mother of two young children was able to drive to Madison using a gas card sent to her by NARAL, as well as enjoy free lodging and childcare with a kind Patient Stays host. Her choice to terminate her pregnancy ensured she could leave her abusive partner and begin a new life with her children.

Wisconsin Early Childhood Association Supports Early Childhood Professionals

The Wisconsin Early Childhood Association (WECA) works to advance positive change for children by focusing on the early childhood professionals who provide care for well over 70% of Wisconsin’s kids. When Patricia Atkins, a child care provider in Milwaukee, wanted to expand her knowledge on leadership and advocacy, WECA sponsored her to attend the Wisconsin Women’s Network’s Accelerated Policy Institute.  About her experience, Atkins said: “The Institute was awesome! […] It helped me become an advocate for the families at my center.”

Sustain Dane Brings the Community Together to Share their Stories

Sustain Dane believes in the power of stories to inspire change. That’s why they partnered with Living In Balance on The Megaphone project.  The Megaphone provided the space and tools to craft and share stories between people from different backgrounds, races, ages, genders, and geographies—people who are working on and want to inspire others to build more sustainable and inclusive communities. The culmination of the workshops was the Megaphone Story Slam where participants shared their stories in an intimate environment.

Clean Wisconsin Fights for Safe Water

Last fall Clean Wisconsin, in partnership with The Pleasant Lake Management District, persuaded the Dane County Circuit Court to order the DNR to vacate, or invalidate, seven high-capacity well permits and remand one for reconsideration. They had filed this challenge against the DNR after the agency issued a series of high-capacity well permits that ignored its own scientific analysis of the impacts the wells would have on neighboring water bodies. The court’s ruling is a first step in restoring the scientifically-based review of the impacts of high capacity well pumping.

Women in Transition Assists Women with Mental Illness

CSW member group Women in Transition provides residential, case management, and social services to women with mental illness.

Cheri moved into her own apartment after participating in the programming at Women in Transition (WIT), where she worked on her recovery goals of improving her living skills. Cheri was homeless before admission to WIT and states that WIT was able to assist her in achieving her goals. She especially enjoyed the holiday parties and birthday cakes. Cheri describes WIT as supportive, friendly and improvement-oriented.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Pushes for Redistricting Reform

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign has galvanized a county-level movement for redistricting reform.  In 2017 alone, at least 27 county boards passed resolutions calling for fair voting maps, bringing the total to 35 of 72 counties stating their support for instituting a nonpartisan process for legislative and congressional redistricting to Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Literacy Supports Adult Learners

Wisconsin Literacy

When Layla and Katie earned their high school equivalency from Literacy Green Bay’s Children First Family Literacy program, they took advantage of GED Ready and Subject Test vouchers provided by Wisconsin Literacy. Layla, originally from Somalia, plans to enroll in the Diagnostic & Medical Sonography program at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Katie plans to enroll in a Vet Tech program.

Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger Celebrates 25 Years of Advocacy

Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger

25 years ago, Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWAB) posted a billboard (pictured) on Highway 12 near the Badger Ammunitions Plant in Sauk County to urge public support of environmental restoration in the area. After years of advocacy and coalition-building, the lands around Badger Ammunition are being restored. CSWAB continues to work hard to ensure government authorities are held accountable for past pollution at the plant, and neighboring communities have safe drinking water.

Chrysalis Pops Create Confidence

Chrysalis Pops are made and sold by clients of Chrysalis, which helps people with mental illness achieve greater independence through work.

In a recent interview with The Capital Times, participant Mark Carey said that the program, “…Gave me confidence. Confidence that I didn’t have before. I started to believe in myself. It most definitely helps build those skills.”

Gathering Waters: Wisconsin’s Alliance for Land Trusts Hosts Statewide Conference

Gathering Waters: Wisconsin’s Alliance for Land Trusts – (Photo Credit Tom Eddy)

Gathering Waters: Wisconsin’s Alliance for Land Trusts protects Wisconsin’s special places and grows healthy, vibrant communities by strengthening Wisconsin’s land trusts.  They advocate for funding and policies that support land conservation and foster a community of practice that promotes land trust excellence and advancement.

In March Gathering Waters hosts a statewide land trust conference to support communications and collaboration between conservation leaders.

UNIDOS Wisconsin Supports Male Domestic Abuse Survivors

UNIDOS Wisconsin

UNIDOS Wisconsin recently launched support programs for male survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse, who often face unique cultural and systemic challenges that discourage them from seeking support.

Thanks to the welcoming team at UNIDOS more Latino survivors of assault are able to receive the culturally appropriate support they need to build safety and well-being for themselves and their families.

Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger: mobilizing communities to maintain Wisconsin wildlife

Citizens for A Wisconsin bird protected by Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger's workMore than 1,400 people signed member group Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger‘s online petition to the National Park Service supporting protection of our disappearing grassland birds.

The Badger property currently hosts some of the largest populations of grassland birds in southern Wisconsin – 103 bird species have been recorded here, of which 21 have critical status in our state. With the Baraboo Hills adjacent to the north, the Badger lands provide a rare continuum of grassland to oak forest. Badger is critically important in maintaining and recovering some of the biological richness of Sauk County’s native grasslands.

Freedom, Inc.: taking a stand for social justice for Southeast Asian and Black communities

Freedom, Inc. members speak at a march in MadisonMember group Freedom, Inc. works to challenge the root causes of discrimination at Wisconsin; at the Day Without Womyn March in Madison on March 8, 2017, staff members Jessica Williams and Zon Moua spoke about ending violence against Black and Southeast Asian communities. They were joined by over 700 womyn and allies from across the city who celebrated International Women’s Day with a march.

View Zon and Jessica’s speeches here and here.

End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin: ensuring all Wisconsinites have a safe place to call “home”

End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin staff membersEnd Domestic Abuse Wisconsin worked with a number of partners to make the Safe at Home address confidentiality program a reality in Wisconsin; the initiative provides victims of actual or threatened domestic abuse, child abuse, sexual abuse, stalking, and trafficking with a legal substitute address to be used for both public and private purposes.

Find more information on #SafeAtHomeWI here.

Arts Wisconsin: protecting the arts in a a changing political climate

Arts Wisconsin representatives take a selfie while doing advocacy work in Washington, D.C.For twenty-five years,  Arts Wisconsin has advocated for the arts’ place in our state and nation. This year, representatives from the organization traveled to Washington, D.C. to join with over 700 advocates from across the United States. Executive Director Anne Katz, Board Director George Tzougros, and Milwaukee native and NYU grad student Kathryn Walker spoke to lawmakers about the importance of the 8 million Americans that work in arts and culture and contribute $730 billion to the national GDP.

Learn more about the role of the arts in our state and nation’s infrastructure on Arts Wisconsin’s  website here.

Wheels for Winners: biking towards more resilient Madison communities

Wheels for Winners volunteers pose with the refurbished bicycles that they've earned through volunteer hours.Member group Wheels for Winners know that working together to create change can start at any age!

By pairing Madison youth as young as 4 with volunteer opportunities at 21 area organizations, Wheels for Winners paves the way for a resilient community in generations to come. In addition to learning the value of volunteerism, participants who demonstrate their commitment to making a difference by completing a number of community service hours earn a refurbished bicycle: 119 “winners” received their wheels in 2016!

Head here to check out more successful 2016 stories from Wheels for Winners.

Perfect Harmony: celebrating 20 years of song and social justice

Perfect Harmony Men's Chorus celebrates 20 years with "Silver Screen" show“[We] focused on how we sing as one and come together as one and how our voices build together. That, to me, is why I come back.” — Perfect Harmony Men’s Chorus Board President Franzo Law II

Congratulations and thank you to member group Perfect Harmony Men’s Chorus for your 20 years of dedication to celebrating the diversity that makes Wisconsin wonderful; read more about Perfect Harmony’s LGBT advocacy and their successful “Silver Screen” show in March in the Wisconsin State Journal here.

Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault: collaborating to provide community resources

WCASA By Your SideWisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault‘s recent launch of their By Your Side Wisconsin campaign is an excellent example of the power of collaboration: by working with Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, the Wisconsin Department of Justice, and the Joyful Heart Foundation, WCASA is making help more accessible to victims of sexual assault in our state.

Read more about the campaign here

Madison Audubon Society: breaking down language barriers in the classroom through birds

Madison Audubon, Madison Metropolitan School District, Community Shares of WisconsinStudying 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 of Wisconsin: member groups’ female leaders recognized by Brava Magazine

Women to Watch, Brava Magazine (Community Shares of Wisconsin)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.


Chrysalis, Inc: making powerful connections between persons with mental illness, local businesses

Chrysalis Community Shares of Wisconsin2016 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.

CSW: collaborative “Inspiring Voices” raises over $10,000 for emerging nonprofits

Inspiring Voices, Community Shares of WisconsinThis 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+.

CSW: members harness the power of philanthropy, social media for #GivingTuesday success

#GivingTuesday, CSWWe asked Wisconsin to #Give4Justice to build the social and environmental justice movement on #GivingTuesday—and our state showed its support!

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!

Housing Initiatives: putting veteran homelessness in the public eye

Housing Initiatives, Vietnam War Photo Exhibit“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.

OutReach: speaking out to break LGBT stereotypes

Darla, LGBT Advocate at OutReach

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.

Project Home: providing resilient housing for resilient community leaders

Madelyn Project Home“I’ve lived here since my parents brought me home from the hospital, when I was three months old. This has always been home to me.”

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.”

End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin: memorializing abuse victims

End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin Purple Ribbon Walk

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.

ABC for Health: helping everyone have a healthy start

ABC for Health

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 Empowerment Project: stretching the body to care for the mind

Community Shares of Wisconsin, Grassroots Empowerment Project

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.

ABC for Health, Inc.: ensuring children’s learning needs are met during summer

Community Shares of Wisconsin

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.

Dane County TimeBank: helping Burnett become a role model

Community Shares of Wisconsin / Dane County TimeBank

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.

Housing Initiatives: providing shelter for those who served our country

Community Shares of Wisconsin“Dean is like a brother to me. He pulled me and my family out of a dark hole.”

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.


Madison Audubon Society: watching birds and building youths’ confidence

Madison Audubon-- Community Shares of Wisconsin

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.

Community GroundWorks: recycling, bicycling to a more sustainable diet

Community GroundWorks--Community Shares of Wisconsin


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.

Midwest Environmental Advocates: protecting new generations from nitrates

Midwest Environmental Advocates -- Community Shares of Wisconsin“Families in our area needed help.”

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.

Tenant Resource Center: listening to Madison residents during their most challenging moments

Tenant Resource Center--Community Shares of Wisconsin

“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: planting possibilities for youth

WECA-- Community Shares of Wisconsin

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: sending bikes to Botswana

Wheels for Winners--Community Shares of Wisconsin

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.

Perfect Harmony Men’s Chorus: making music, making a difference

Perfect Harmony-- Community Shares of Wisconsin

“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!

Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health: bridging the gap between high school students and healthcare

PATCH, WAWH--Community Shares of Wisconsin

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.

Bayview Foundation: creating summer fun for all ages

Bayview Foundation--Community Shares of Wisconsin

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.: “Testing the Waters” of Wisconsin

Rock River Coalition--Testing the Waters--Community Shares of WisconsinRock 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.

Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger: working to keep gunpowder out of Wisconsin’s groundwater

Tammy Baldwin--Community Shares of Wisconsin

“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.


Nuestro Mundo Inc: running to build healthy relationships

Nuestro Mundo Inc. -- Community Shares of Wisconsin

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.

Sierra Club Foundation – John Muir Chapter: working to prevent oil accidents

Sierra Club SignsSarah 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.

Legal Action of Wisconsin: helping April go from debt to the home of her dreams

Legal Action of Wisconsin“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.”

Disability Rights Wisconsin: CHIP® Chat on self-advocacy

DRW CHIP ChatYour mind matters; learn how to advocate for it under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA).

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.

CFFPP: evaluating the effects of fathers’ imprisonment on their famillies

CFFPPThe Center for Family Policy and Practice (CFFPP) highlights a new study looking at the effects of incarceration on kids, families, and communities:

– 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.

Midwest Environmental Advocates: protecting the precious gift of Wisconsin water

April of Midwest Environmental Advocates“The water in the Bad River watershed means everything to our community,” says April Stone Dahl.

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.”

WCCN: using microloans to turn seashells into sand dollars

Nohemi sorts seashells

Photo courtesy of Zacary Smucker-Bryan

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.

Common Wealth: building confidence and work skills

Common Wealth's Tili

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.”

GSAFE: empowering young leaders through education

GSAFE Leadership

“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.


League of Women Voters of Wisconsin: identifying the pitfalls of Voter ID law

Blind Person's Cane“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.


Midwest Environmental Advocates: calling for action to solve CAFO contamination

Midwest Environmental Advocates Community Shares of WisconsinMore cows than people live in Kewaunee County–thanks to concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

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.”

Sustain Dane: congratulations to 2016 MPower Business Champions!

Sustain Dane MPower Community Shares of Wisconsin 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: investigating the pros and cons of voter ID laws

Andrea Kaminsky Community Shares of Wisconsin

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.

Community GroundWorks: sustainable snacks, satisfied smiles

Community GroundWorks Wisconsin

“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.

Center for Family Policy & Practice: working to stop the imprisonment of unemployed men who can’t afford child support

CFFPP WisconsinHow 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.

Housing Initiatives: rebuilding lives for those like Paul and Julie

Paul and Julie Housing Initiatives

“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.

Wheels for Winners: CHIP® Chat on community building through bicycles

Wheels for Winners

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

Sierra Club Foundation – John Muir Chapter: assisting transportation advocates

Milwaukee UnemploymentAdvocates 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.

Nuestro Mundo: celebrating children in the multicultural classroom

Nuestro Mundo, Inc.

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!

WCCN: making a difference (and cheese) with microloans

WCCNMiriam Morales is in a business close to the heart of many Wisconsinites: cheesemaking.

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.

Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired: providing veterans with visual aids and valuable relationships

Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired

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.”

End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin: reversing sexual assault statistics

End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin

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! 

Wisconsin Farmers Union: CHIP® Chat on summer camp, co-ops

Kamp Kenwood-Wisconsin Farmers Union
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.


Community GroundWorks: cultivating carrots and conservationists

Community GroundWorks--Carrot King

“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!”

Sustain Dane: MPowering local businesses to build a sustainable Wisconsin

Sustain Dane MPower

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.


Project Home: Hammer with a Heart celebrates 15 years

Project Home--Hammer with a Heart

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!

UNIDOS Against Domestic Violence: art as sexual assault awareness

UNIDOS Against Domestic Violence Creative Revolution

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.

MEA: what kind of footprint will frac sand mining leave?

Midwest Environmental Advocates--Frac Mining

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.

Nuestro Mundo: CHIP® Chat on dual-language immersion and multicultural education

Nuestro Mundo, Inc CHIP Chat

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: feeding vets who fought for their country

Housing Initiatives provides Veggies for Vets

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.

ICWJ: connecting historic culture to contemporary social issues

Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice Wisconsin

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!

ACLU of Wisconsin: social activists and artists reimagine Milwaukee

ACLU of WisconsinEveryone 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.

OutReach LGBT: making Wisconsin a safe refuge for LGBTQ people

Salman OutReach LGBT

“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.”

WCASA: Wrap Around the Capitol in solidarity with sexual assault survivors

WCASA Wrap Around the CapitolRome, 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.

For more information on Wrap Around the Capitol, head to Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault or check out the event here.

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Institute: 28,996–way to go!

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters

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.

Rock River Coalition: CHIP® Chat on citizens and stream testing

Rock River Coalition CHIP Chat

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.

Wisconsin Literacy: celebrating writers and readers

Wisconsin Literacy Strong InsideFrom 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.

Disability Rights Wisconsin: ensuring that all Wisconsinites can access the polls

Lisa Pugh @ Disability Advocacy Rally (3-15)

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.

Housing Initiatives: Hollywood takes on homelessness

Time Out of Mind--Housing Initiatives
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!

Chrysalis: Moving for Mental Health

Moving for Mental Health Chrysalis

Movement and mental health go hand-in-hand; promote fitness of the muscles AND the mind by participating in Chrysalis’ annual Moving for Mental Health 5k on May 1!

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: working with Latino men as allies

UNIDOS Against Domestic Violence


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.

FairShare CSA Coalition: connecting families to farmers who grow their food

FairShare CSA

“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.”