On Sunday, July 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Amaranth Bakery and Cafe will make it’s debut appearance at the Vliet Street Green Market, which will be held at the Washington Park Senior Center, 4420 W. Vliet Street. Amaranth Bakery and Cafe, located at 3327 W. Lisbon Ave., focuses on local, fair-trade and organic ingredients. Children will have the opportunity to make drums for the community drum circle.
In an effort to boost slumping summer blood donations, BloodCenter of Wisconsin is offering Wisconsin State Fair tickets to blood donors through August 11. Donors will receive a free state fair ticket by giving blood at one of BloodCenter’s local donor centers:
- · Brown Deer, 5960 W. Brown Deer Rd.
- · Greenfield, 7210 W. Edgerton Ave.
- · Kenosha, 8064 39th Ave.
- · Milwaukee, 638 N 18th St.
- · Racine, 1120 S. Sunnyslope Rd.
- · Sheboygan, 1018 S. Taylor Dr.
- · Waukesha, 2111 Springdale Rd.
- · Wauwatosa, 8733 Watertown Plank Rd.
- · West Bend, 130 Valley Ave.
Donors are asked to mention “summer” when making their appointment by calling 1-877-BE-A-HERO (1-877-232-4376) or (414) 937-6199 or by entering “summer” into the comment box on the confirmation page during online registration.
BloodCenter’s Give Blood, Go Free promotion is an effort to increase blood donations during busy summer months when donations dip because of summer travel and fewer school and community drives. BloodCenter must see at least 800 donors each day in order to meet the needs of the hospitals it serves.
The unique gift of blood can help save the lives of children and adults who are seriously injured, undergoing surgery or being treated for cancer and other illnesses.
Anyone 17 or older who is in general good health and meets eligibility requirements is encouraged to donate blood. Parental consent is required for 16-year-olds to donate. The entire process takes about an hour. Donors should bring a photo ID that includes birth date. For more information, call 1-877-BE-A-HERO or visit www.bcw.edu.
About BloodCenter of Wisconsin
BloodCenter of Wisconsin is a private, not-for-profit organization that specializes in blood services, organ and tissue recovery, marrow donation, diagnostic testing, medical services and leading-edge research. BloodCenter of Wisconsin is the only provider of blood to hospitals in 29 Wisconsin counties. BloodCenter of Wisconsin advances patient care by delivering life-saving solutions grounded in unparalleled medical and scientific expertise. For more information, visit www.bcw.edu.
Question of the Week: “This year was Summerfest’s 45th anniversary. What positive memories stick out from any one of the festivals?”
Photos and question by Yvonne Kemp
“Lydia Johnson: “My favorite memory at Summerfest was seeing Frankie Beverly and Maze in 1997. Their music is smooth and just takes me back to a good place.”
Rev. Irene May: “In 1993 while walking on the Summerfest grounds we came upon the gospel stage and enjoyed the music of local church choirs and groups.”
Mac Weddle: “Going to see Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five…walking on gravel and stepping over cables. How exciting.”
Vel Summers: “Walking through the dirt parking lot at that time to see Donald Byrd and the Black Birds. His song, ‘Walking In Rhythm’ was playing.”
For Second Year, Liberty Mutual to Award $100,000 to Area Causes; Local Community to Decide Winners Through Votes at Facebook.com/LibertyMilwaukee
MILWAUKEE – Liberty Mutual Insurance, one of the nation’s leading auto and home insurers with three greater Milwaukee offices, recently launched the return of its ‘Like My CommunityTM Project,’ a Facebook-based campaign to provide $100,000 in support to local Milwaukee non-profit causes. Seven organizations identified by Liberty Mutual’s local employees will vie for residents’ votes on Facebook, with the top three charities each receiving $30,000 and the four runners-up each earning $2,500. Milwaukee residents can cast one vote daily for their favorite causes from June 25 through August 20 at facebook.com/libertymilwaukee. An additional daily vote can be cast by texting “LMMIL” to 61698 and selecting the preferred cause. Liberty Mutual will announce the winners in late August.
This marks the second year Liberty Mutual Insurance has presented the Like My Community Project in Milwaukee. In 2011, area residents chose the following organizations to receive $30,000 in funding from Liberty Mutual Insurance: the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Rescue Mission and Washington County Humane Society. Last year’s runners-up, each earning $2,500, were the Albrecht Free Clinic, Ozaukee Interurban Trail Advisory Council, Prevention & Protection of Abused Children (PPAC), and the West Bend Baseball Association. This year’s seven non-profit nominees are new to the Like My Community Project.
The Liberty Mutual Milwaukee branch offices nominated this year’s causes for their tremendous impact on the local community. “Our employees and agents are committed to helping customers protect their cars and homes, and are equally passionate about this community as a great place to live and work,” said Adam Boston, area manager for Liberty Mutual Insurance, the nation’s eighth-largest auto and home insurer. “The Like My Community Project received overwhelming support from the Milwaukee community last year, and we look forward to raising awareness of these inspiring causes and engaging with the local residents to provide much needed funds to support their programs and services.”
Large, three-dimensional Facebook “Like” buttons have been installed at four locations across the city to promote the campaign and to prominently identify the nominated Like My Community causes. The installations are located at the Brookfield Square Mall; the Johnson Creek Premium Outlets; the Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa; and the Southridge Mall in GreendaleMilwaukee Like My Community nominees include:
- COA Youth & Family Centers – Helps Milwaukee children, teens and families reach their greatest potential through a continuum of educational, recreational, and social work programs.
- Hope House – An emergency and transitional living facility which provides temporary refuge for people in need of a place to sleep.
- Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer – Aims to help find a cure for childhood cancer and blood related disorders.
- One Heartland – Serves suffering and at-risk children in the United States, including those who experience poverty, HIV/AIDS, grief, foster care, Tourette’s Syndrome and other obstacles.
- Pearls for Teen Girls (PEARLS)– Serves at-risk African American and Latina girls, ages 10 to 19, by helping them achieve in school and avoid teen pregnancy.
- Repairers of the Breach – Supports homeless people to act collectively to change their present living conditions through advocacy, education and direct action.
- Running Rebels – Dedicated to developing Milwaukee’s youth mentally, physically and spiritually.
Each of these worthy organizations also are featured in a short video on the Like My Community Milwaukee Facebook page, offering a behind-the-scenes look at each cause and the people they serve or missions they accomplish.
More than 20 Liberty Mutual Insurance sales and customer service agents serve the auto and home insurance needs of greater Milwaukee residents from three local offices: two in the city at 11800 West Park Place and 330 East Kilbourne Avenue, and one in Brookfield at 15700 West Bluemound Road.
About Liberty Mutual Insurance
“Helping people live safer, more secure lives” since 1912, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Insurance is a diversified global insurer and the third largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based 2011 net premium written as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Liberty Mutual Insurance also ranks 84th on the Fortune 100 list of largest U.S. corporations, based on 2011 revenue. The company employs over 45,000 people in more than 900 offices throughout the world.
The eighth-largest auto and home insurer in the U.S., Liberty Mutual Insurance (libertymutual.com) sells full lines of coverage for automobile, homeowners, valuable possessions, personal liability, and individual life insurance. The company is an industry leader in affinity partnerships, offering car and home insurance to employees and members of nearly 14,000 companies, credit unions, professional associations and alumni groups.
The Latino Community Center was founded in 1999 and has grown quickly from one small after-school program to a full array of programs serving community members of all ages.
The Center was featured in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article as one of the “Ten Reasons for Hope” for the city of Milwaukee.
The Center serves one of Milwaukee’s most diverse and impoverished communities on Milwaukee’s near Southside, including the 53204 and 53215 zip codes. It is a young, ethnically and racially diverse neighborhood, in which young people 17 and under make up almost a third of the population.
The Latino Community Center’s (LCC) mission is to “meet and respect youth and families where they are — re-empowering them to change their negative situations into positive personal, academic and professional outcomes through programs that strengthen their abilities and aspirations.”
Latino Community Center offers after school academic enrichment, gang and violence diversion, recreation, youth development, prevention programming, street outreach, summer programming, and healthy girls programming.
The Center’s programming is based on best practices in the field of positive youth development to ensure effectiveness. Structured and unstructured, bilingual and bicultural opportunities reach a wide variety of at-risk youth in the area, including gang members, young girls, out-of-school youth and teenaged males.
The strength of LCC lies in a strong grassroots community approach. The majority of the staff and volunteers were raised and continue to live in the neighborhood served by the LCC.
Youth seek out the Center as a safe place where they can be with positive adult role models and stay away from dangerous situations. LCC provides a Young Professionals Academy (YPA) where students are guided through three phases of comprehensive training: (1) Employability Skills (2) Job Retention Skills (3) and Life Skills.
In addition, LCC runs Community Learning Centers (CLC) at Kagel Elementary School and South Division High School and a program called ¡Soy Unica! ¡Soy Latina! (“I’m Unique! I’m a Latin Girl!”), designed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration as a bilingual initiative to help Latina girls ages 9-14 to gain the self-esteem needed to make healthy choices, learn refusal skills, and resist negative social pressures.
Teen Nights offered at the Center twice a week for teens only, featuring poetry, music, dancing and art to impart positive lessons about self-esteem, staying in school, and more. And Summer Programming gives youth and teens in the target neighborhood a safe place to go during the summer months, with a wide array of fun, safe, academic, recreational, social, and cultural activities including but not limited to summer school, homework help, and field trips such as swimming, bowling, miniature golf, movies, museum, zoo, basketball and football.
The LCC is a safe haven for many youth on Milwaukee’s near south side community and a good neighbor in the hood.
by Thomas E. Mitchell, Jr.
Two years ago, Lorenzo Brown, CEO of ReEnergyWorks, Inc., a company that specializes in renewable energy alternatives for businesses and homes, took the bold step of becoming an entrepreneur in the burgeoning “Green Movement,” with the vision of creating “green opportunities” for the community’s jobless and their families in the form of employment and business opportunities.
Two years later, that vision of providing jobs has faded due to the lack of contracting opportunities by–surprisingly–the very community Brown hoped to help…his own.
“Black consumers don’t trust Black contractors, Brown lamented in a recent interview. “If this continues, I’ll go out of business. We (Black contractors) need to do something to regain the trust of the community.
Brown recalled the time an area church promised him two jobs. “My bids were the lowest; but they gave the jobs to a White contractor and a Latino. I waited one year for those jobs based on word of the person I was dealing with at that church.”
In March, Brown had 10 roofing jobs promised to him. But out of those 10 only two materialized as actual work.
“It’s frustrating and discouraging as a Black contractor who has put a lot of time and training into what I’m doing only to have doors slammed in my face by other Black people.”
“People in our community would rather deal with Mexican or White contractors and pay the full amount, though I give my customers’ a deal (on the price of the work).
Brown did an informal survey of 100 people, some of whom were customers, asking them why they don’t deal with minority contractors. Brown said 95% of those who responded said they won’t deal with Black contractors and can’t be convinced to do so.
“A friend of mine called a contractor to do some work for him,” Brown recalled. “When my friend found out the contractor was Black, he backed out of giving that person the job.”
White contractors who are lax in their practices, Brown revealed, have no problem getting contracts. “We (Black contractors) give discounts and we still don’t get any work.”
Brown believes the number one reason for Black reluctance to do business with their own is trust; Black folks just don’t trust Black folks.
That trust, Brown says, has been eroded by unscrupulous Black contractors who take advantage of unwitting Black consumers; doing shoddy work for hundreds–and sometimes–thousands of dollars.
Another complaint is punctuality; being on time. “The people I’ve talked to complained they (Black contractors) were never on time–always late. When they did come, they didn’t finish the job on time and it was half-done.”
Brown admitted some Black contractors come to a job high on drugs or are frauds who prey on single women and the elderly. “You have contractors who aren’t even educated in their field, let alone licensed, bonded or have insurance”
There is also a fear of theft. Black people Brown questioned didn’t feel comfortable leaving their homes and belongings with another Black person–in this case a Black contractor.
Brown understands the negative feelings and frustrations of the community and believes he’s just as much a victim of the unscrupled contractors as consumers.
“I’ve talked to other licensed Black contractors who are going through the same thing of their own not hiring them. What do we need to do to move forward?
“For those of us who are legitimate, it’s hard,” Brown said. “We’re not begging or looking for handouts. We (Black and minority contractors) need to come together and help each other.”
Brown credited the Black chambers of commerce for their efforts in providing networking opportunities that can lead to contracts in the community.
He also credited the city and state for their efforts in providing work for him and other Black contractors.
But city and state work isn’t enough, said Brown, when their are opportunities in the community he and other Black contractors can’t get because of a “White ice gets cold” mindset.
“We just need an opportunity to prove we can do the work as well as anyone else.”
Despite his struggles, Brown’s business still manages to give back to the community that hasn’t been receptive to what he has to offer.
Though a non-profit 501-3C, ReEnergy Works takes 10% of its total profits and invests it back into the community.
“We’re striving to buy our own building for the business,” said Brown, who added the facility would be used to train individuals coming out of prison and provide them work.
“A lot of people will be coming out of prison who won’t be able to find jobs. I’m willing to provide jobs to them.”
If Brown’s dream comes to fruition, those former prison inmates would be trained in HVAC (heating and air conditioning), electrical, weatherization, roofing, home improvement and demolition.
“We’re a growing company,” said Brown, who added that despite his woes says business is okay. “But we can’t keep growing if we dont’ get hired to do the work.”
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
To the Editor:
It is a shame that during the days when Milwaukee temperature and humidity is breaking records for summer weather we have a place like the Calvin C. Moody Pool, located on 22nd and Burleigh Street is vacant and not being used.
This building sets idle, doors are covered with boards, weeds growing around the building and no sign of life exists near or around this beautiful brick building. It just sits idle and closed.
Just think of the impact it could make on this community if it was up and running. The community could cool off and learn to swim, thus helping to keep kids off the streets and assist in helping the youngsters say out of trouble.
We all know when it comes to the children, “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop!”
What a waste and where is the community outrage?
Lester L. Carter–Carter’s Drug Store
Question of the Week: “What did you do on the Fourth of July?”
Tyson Randolph: “I started my day working and finishing it off by the lakefront with my brothers watching the fireworks.”
Quintrell Harper: “I started my day on the fourth coming to the (barber) shop and cutting (hair). Then I made my way to my family’s house.”
Franchesca Langdon-Robinson: “We went to my parents’ house to barbeque. Everyone had to bring a dish and share it with the whole family.”
Arphelia Bynum: “I picked up my granddaughter and spent time with my husband and my children.”