The site of white construction workers working on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive while able bodied and unemployed Black men walk up and down the street speaks volumes to the hyper-segregation–even racism–that still exists in Milwaukee’s labor market. We could not find one Black man or woman working on the reconstruction of the street named after a man who tried to bring all the races together in the fight for economic reciprocity and civil rights. How ironic and sad! (Photos by Harry Kemp)
Archives for September 2010
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and Waukesha County Executive Daniel P. Vrakas have all proclaimed Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010 as SHARE Day.
SHARE is a nonprofit volunteer-run food buying club based in Butler, WI that welcomes everyone to save 30–50% on groceries. This year SHARE celebrates its 25th anniversary of service to the community.
The local elected officials have all issued proclamations that encourage citizens to join in celebrating SHARE volunteers for their accomplishments and dedication as they continue their efforts to improve communities across Wisconsin.
Every month more than 1,000 volunteers in more than 100 communities throughout the state make SHARE possible.
Emeritus SHARE Board Member Bill Banach, who has been involved for all 25 years, said, “In the early 80s there was a need for the service in Milwaukee,” and that is why he became involved. Bev Krass is the volunteer team leader at the SHARE site at St. Josaphat in Milwaukee.
She said, “SHARE was a good thing for my church and for its people.” SHARE would like to thank all the wonderful volunteers who give so much time to their communities through SHARE.
When SHARE began in 1985 the need for the program was widespread, and now the need for families to stretch their budgets is equal if not greater. In its last fiscal year alone, SHARE members saved over $1.5 million on groceries.
“Even after people get back to work after a lay-off, they are having trouble finding jobs with comparable pay. People want and need alternatives to help their own resources work better for them,” said Paulette Flynn, SHARE’s executive director. “SHARE can uniquely respond to the economic crisis because everyone is welcome to use SHARE. There are no fees or eligibility requirements to purchase food through the organization.”
SHARE has come a long way in the last 25 years. In May 2008, SHARE deepened its service to the community through Mobile Market, a program that provides access to fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and other grocery items in Metro Milwaukee neighborhoods that previously lacked affordable, convenient access. With Mobile Market, families can purchase items on the spot with no pre-ordering requirements.
SHARE’s goals for the future center around becoming more convenient for more people. Executive Director Flynn says, “SHARE needs to keep growing so that more and more people who need SHARE will discover it.” Another important goal for the organization is to use more locally grown food. “The more we can support our own community, the better,” says Flynn.
Building community is also central to SHARE’s mission, and by gathering people together for common work whose paths might not otherwise meet, new connections are made, new community leaders born and more families are served with care and compassion.
SHARE invites the public to get involved either by purchasing food, volunteering with SHARE, or by making a donation to the SHARE Cares Food Fund to help feed families in need. For more information, call 800-548-2124 or visit www.sharewi.org.
A newly released study from the Gallup organization, based on surveys in 114 countries in 2009, shows globally 84 percent of people say religion is an important part of their daily lives. But what’s really interesting about the study is this:
“Each of the most religious countries is relatively poor, with a per-capita GDP below $5,000,” Gallup analysts state.
“This reflects the strong relationship between a country’s socioeconomic status and the religiosity of its residents.
“In the world’s poorest countries — those with average per-capita incomes of $2,000 or lower — the median proportion who say religion is important in their daily lives is 95 percent.
“In contrast, the median for the richest countries — those with average per-capita incomes higher than $25,000 — is 47 percent.”
One theory about why this is the case is that religion plays a more functional role in the world’s poorest countries, helping many residents cope with a daily struggle to provide for themselves and their families, the Gallup analysts said.
A previous Gallup analysis supports this idea, finding the relationship between religiosity and emotional wellbeing is stronger among poor countries.
What’s even more interesting in the new study: “The United States is one of the rich countries that bucks the trend.
“About two-thirds of Americans — 65 percent — say religion is important in their daily lives.”
In other rich countries, the percent is much lower:
• Sweden: 17 percent
• Denmark: 19 percent
• UK: 27 percent
• France: 30 percent
Zella Nash, a fiery and well-respected community leader and a tireless advocate for the poor, families and the elderly, died Sept. 14. She was 102.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, Sept 21 at Tabernacle Community Baptist Church, 2500 W. Medford Ave., where Nash was a member for more than 70 years.
Nash was involved in a wide array of community-based organizations and could be counted on to speak her mind to city political leaders on a wide range of issues on behalf of the community such as gun control and the rights of seniors.
She was a member of the initial Area Council of the Social Development Commission (SDC).
In 1997, Nash was named one of the ten most admired seniors by Security Savings and Loan.
Two hundred forty-three thousand, six hundred (243,600) down, 20,500 to go, I-Witness touching Black people all over the city of Milwaukee and the world one event at a time.
Black People are the First Wonder of the World!
“Until the Lion writes his own story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”–African proverb
Ponte De Aria
Be Ever Wonderful – (Brazilian Rhyme)
Thought of the Week:
The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything they have.
Word of the Week
Definition: A slight trace, as of a particular taste or flavor.
Sentence: “Perhaps Deneuve is too restrained to be a gay icon, but the little twinkle in her eye signals to the audience that her grandeur has to be taken with a soupcon of indulgent humour.”
“I did have a soupcon of brandy last night, but I felt I’d earned it for enduring the funeral.”–Source Doctor Dictionary.
Hey Judge Valarie Hill. Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday.
Hey, Kwabena Nixon-You know you are one of I-Witness’s favorites. Just want to wish you a happy born day. As a very talented poet, I know your spoken words by heart. Love ya!
Hey Carol Hurrezvelo, a waitress at Perkins Family Restaurant and a bartender at Brother’s II. I had a great time and the blues is alright! Holla!
Hey Georgia Davis. I just want to say Holla!
We ended last week’s report on the Fellowship Open with the tournament’s organizers recognizing the PGA (Professional Golfers Association) and Ernie Ellison of the PGA for their leadership and contributions to the children in conjunction with the Fellowship Open. LaNelle Ramey shared with us how the PGA sponsored over 50 children from the Boys and Girls Club to Whistling Straits where they got a chance to meet real golf pros.
Every year the Fellowship Open sends a youngster to the Black Enterprise National Conference for Competitive Entrepreneurship. Ramey introduced James Kirk who attended the conference. Kirk shared his experience with us, thanking the Fellowship Open for hosting him and saying that “the conference was awesome. Every day was a learning experience.”
Kirk, who is a college student, was also presented with a brand new laptop computer to assist him with his studies. Kirk also recognized Thelma Sias of WeEnergies, the titled sponsor of the Fellowship Open. He presented her with a bouquet of beautiful pink roses.
Bob Yamacika and Shanee Jenkins were also introduced. They represent the Chuck Rhodes Fellowship Open /YMCA Youth Scholarship, named after Rhodes, who was a founding member of the Fellowship Open, who was dedicated to children.
This year’s scholarship recipients were Milwaukee County Council, Boys Scouts of America Youth Program, Solomon Community Temple United Methodists Church and Transitions: Men of Tomorrow. These organizations are having a tremendous impact on community and the thousands of youth they serve daily. Honored guest Junior Bridgeman and “famous” Darlene Austin presented the awards to the organizations.
Charles Harvey, vice president of Johnson Controls, shared with us that his company and the Fellowship Open will partner on a new mentoring program in the next year.
“Big Cheese” (as I call him) John Daniels bubbled with excitement as he thanked everyone in. for coming out and participating in the tournament. He introduced US Senator Herb Kohl who, Daniels said “has done great things for our city. (He’s) a true friend to our community, a philanthropist and a man who supports our youth and has opened many doors for them. Equally as important, Kohl is a friend of Junior Bridgeman. We asked him to join us in honoring Bridgeman with the 2010 Fellowship Open Legends Award.
The senator could not say enough about the former Milwaukee Bucks star. Kohl noted Bridgeman’s career as a basketball player with the Bucks, his team records and milestones, such as most games played as a Buck.
Kohl also talked about Bridgeman’s life after basketball, starting Bridgeman Foods, Inc., where he is chief executive officer overseeing more than 150 Wendy’s Restaurants that employ over 11,000 people. Bridgeman Foods, Inc. is number nine on Black Enterprise Magazine’s 100 Top Businesses, making him one of the most respected entrepreneurs in the nation.
The senator added that Bridgeman has a strong commitment to community service and is an active supporter of children’s organizations around the country. “In his disciplined and dignified way, Junior represents the best of what each of us seek to impart to our children,” Kohl said.
“He’s brilliant in every forum in which he occupies. (He’s) a humble advocate willing to be a champion of those who are less fortunate. We are honored to be able to celebrate Junior Bridgeman’s significant contributions as a leader and mentor. It is with great pleasure that we present to you, the 2010 Fellowship Open Legends Award.”
Sylvester Simms, one of the most brilliant artists in the Wisconsin, presented Bridgeman with a portrait he did of the honoree.
Bridgeman, in true humbleness, said, “I really don’t deserve this.” Thanking the Fellowship Open for all its great work. The former basketball star turned entrepreneur shared a story with us about a young man he hired who wanted to make money so that he could buy tennis shoes. As they talked, a man walked passed them with no legs. Bridgeman then asked him how important were having tennis shoes now.
You never know how you will impact a child’s life. Again, thank you!
Billy Young introduced Redonna Rodgers, co-founder of the Center for Teaching Entrepreneurship, who he called “one of Milwaukee’s most dedicated community advocates.”
“Redonna has a profound effect on the lives of countless young people, with an understanding and connection of education and the business world,” Young said. “The Center has assisted over 60 businesses started by young people under the age of 24. The Center has served over 14,000 young people in many of their endeavors. As a mentor and life coach, Redonna is an inspiration to all who encounters her.
Daniels and the tournament directors presented Rodgers with her commutative portrait done by Simms as well. It was Redonna’s lucky day she got to get hugs and pictures with all the guys–including Bridgeman. Holla!
Redonna with her million dollar smile embraced her surroundings in a God spirit. She begins to sing to all of us. “I need you, you need me. We are all apart of God’s Family.” She thanked everyone, calling off a few people who have made a real difference in her life, Sheila Payton, Senator Herb Kohl, their life is their business.
She says there are three kinds of people in the world; those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who scratch their head and wonder what happened. “This is a fantastic group of people here. You are doing so many things to help people.
“I’m fortunate to be in the group. I’m privileged to be. Please pray for us who serve children daily. Love, compassion and a push along the way is what we all need.” Redonna thanked Thelma Sias. Then she shared that there is a higher order that takes care of all of us. Again, thank you so much.
It was an all White Affair. I-Witness thought she was at the Academy Awards as I walked the red carpet.
The children, Aretha, Gerald, Caroline, Jackie, Pamela, Amelia and Bernard Gatson threw their father, Robert Hagler a huge surprise 70th birthday celebration at Gene’s Lanes and Lounge.
They were not half-stepping! Everybody was decked out in white and all the decorations were white.
The tables were filled with Hersey’s Chocolate Kisses and then there was a real red carpet. Everyone had their photo snapped as they walked the red carpet. I loved it.
Robert had four generations come out to celebrate with him. Many of his siblings Donald and Kathleen Edwards, Ronald, Randall, Jimmy and Tammy, Janice and Kiey Gatson and Cashmire Smith, came from all over the country.
As we entered Gene’s, DJ Ivory was already rockin’ folks with an I-Witness favorite-‘Come on Hommie lets do the twist!” Photographer Latoya Johnson was in the house capturing the memory moments.
Robert was truly surprised as everyone shouted “Surprise, Happy Birthday!” He was speechless. A retiree from Badger Casting, he didn’t look a day over 45. He had a very young spirit. His date was Ora Burt. He was also joined by Gene and Helen Hughes, Joe Highsham.
I loved this party! It was filled with happy people having a good time. DJ Ivory did a special dedication to Robert entitled, “Family Reunion” because it was a family affair.
Robert’s children laid out a nice spread that had a bit of everything. He had beautiful cakes. One cake had the number seven with Happy Birthday and the other cake had the zero.
One cake had “Happy Birthday” with all his children’s names on it. It was too cute.
Robert’s children added many nice touches to their dad’s birthday celebration. Upon everyone’s departure, we were given a wine glass and a bottle of Zinfandel to commemorate Robert’s 70th birthday celebration.
Hey Robert and Angie, I had a great time. Robert, you have beautiful children. They wanted their dad to party in style and they laid you out. It says something very good about you that your children wanted to celebrate your life and your siblings traveled from all over the country to celebrate with you. Happy Birthday to you!