Andre Lee Ellis, an activist, community leader, and theatre director, and Rose Daitsman, a lifelong advocate for many human rights issues, have been named the 2016 recipients of the Frank P. Zeidler Public Service Award.
Mr. Ellis and Ms. Daitsman will each be presented with the Zeidler award during a special ceremony at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 20 in the third floor Council Chamber Anteroom (prior to the start of the regular meeting of the Common Council) at City Hall, 200 E. Wells St.
“The Committee’s decision recognizes these two outstanding leaders from different segments of our community, who share the common vision of empowering young people to overcome special obstacles in our society. Their positive examples and inspiring messages are things that our city needs to honor and grow,” said Arthur Heitzer, chair of the Frank P. Zeidler Public Service Award Selection Committee.
Mr. Ellis has worked diligently to improve the lives of young African American males, while also investing in and improving the community, Mr. Heitzer said.
Mr. Heitzer continued: “Mr. Ellis’s creative and hands-on work to improve the lives of young African American men and boys on the north side has won well-deserved local and national recognition, including his appearance earlier this year on the Steve Harvey show and being named a ‘Harvey’s Hero.’ Every Saturday morning, young people, and their mentors, can be seen at 9th & Ring Streets, beautifying the area with a community garden.”
Mr. Heitzer added: “Their involvement has also decreased violence, and inspired many young men to work positively for their neighborhood while breaking negative cycles and committing themselves to high and realistic goals. His leadership in the ‘We Got This’ movement shows what caring and listening people can do in some of the most challenged situations in our city.”
About Ms. Daitsman, Mr. Heitzer said: “Rose Daitsman has truly been an indefatigable, lifelong advocate for many human rights issues, including gender, racial and economic equality. An activist for peace for many decades, she lives and breathes the understanding that we can only have a secure peace if it is based on justice.”
Alderman Robert J. Bauman, vice-chair of the award selection committee, said Mr. Ellis and Ms. Daitsman are role models who have worked to make Milwaukee a better city. “Andre Lee Ellis exemplifies what an engaged activist and mentor looks like – putting forth his own energy and vision for improving the lives of others in our city and doing it for the pure joy of watching others prosper, of seeing the betterment of total strangers,” he said.
“Over the years Ms. Daitsman has selflessly pursued causes that are of great import to our city, looking to bring human rights and social justice issues such as human trafficking and equal rights to the fore, and keeping her energy and focus strong for an extended period of years. Her work is worthy of recognition for any number of reasons,” Alderman Bauman said.
June M. Perry, a member of the Frank P. Zeidler Public Service Award Selection Committee, said Mr. Ellis “is someone who takes action when he sees a need in the community.”
“He saw young African American boys who didn’t know what it meant to get dressed to go out to dinner…and he did something about it….the 500 Black Tuxedos project that brought together men and boys who were all dressed in tuxedos to go out to dinner,” Ms. Perry said.
“He saw boys who wanted to work but had no jobs so he created ‘We Got This’ to pay them $20 for showing up on time on Saturday mornings to plant and grow vegetables in a community garden. He is a role model, mentor, activist and father figure to many who look to him for guidance and advice. Andre is saving lives and helping boys become responsible men. I wish we could clone him!” Ms. Perry said.
Mr. Ellis moved to the Borchert Field neighborhood in 2011 and instantly began questioning the negative behavior he witnessed there. He took his interest a step further when he asked the young African American men he engaged with how he could help and what assistance they needed. His four decades of experience in theatre has helped him build relationships with the young members of his community and initiate programs that directly impact them and the community in which they live.
In the summer of 2014 Mr. Ellis started the nationally-recognized and aforementioned “We Got This,” campaign. It began when one 12-year-old boy asked Ellis for advice on how to stay out of trouble. He responded by putting him to work and paying him $20 in exchange for the boy’s improved behavior. Mr. Ellis’s idea grew, and now “We Got This” sponsors nearly 100 boys every Saturday to clean up their neighborhood. Ellis uses social media to find black men to help pay each boy $20.
That same summer Mr. Ellis founded another program to empower young African American men in Milwaukee. His “500 Black Tuxedos” event invites black men to sponsor boys in renting a black tuxedo for a day on the town. In the first year, 50 boys and 50 men participated, and under his leadership, the program continues to grow both locally and nationally.
Mr. Ellis has dedicated his life to “putting ‘neighbor’ back into our ‘hoods’” and has served as a positive influence to many. He also helped establish Milwaukee’s Juneteenth pageant as well as Garfield Avenue Blues, Jazz, Gospel and Arts Festival. He previously worked with Jomandi Productions, an African American theatre company in Atlanta, Georgia, before moving back to Milwaukee, where he was born and raised.
Rose Daitsman has been a resilient, lifelong advocate for many human rights issues, including gender, racial and economic equality. When Ms. Daitsman notices inequalities, she aims to correct them through working with existing organizations, or creating coalitions to unite around that particular issue.
With a background in Chemical Engineering, Ms. Daitsman has been a longtime proponent of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. She personally developed an engineering program for minority students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as well as a Peace Studies curriculum for Milwaukee Public Schools. Mr. Heitzer noted that “one of her special and unique contributions was promoting the involvement of Native American Indian students in the fields of science and engineering.”
In 2006, Ms. Daitsman created the Greater Milwaukee Human Rights Coalition, which soon after produced a report in 2007, titled: “The Status of Racial Discrimination in Criminal Justice, Employment and Housing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.” She assembled 10 endorsing organizations and 20 individuals to help research and publish this 30-page report, which was later submitted to the U.S. Human Rights Network and the U.N.’s International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) Committee. This report then led to her involvement in the revitalization of the city’s Equal Rights Commission, which was reinstated in 2009.
Ms. Daitsman has been nationally recognized for her dedication and advocacy. She was also instrumental in forming the Human Trafficking Task Force of Greater Milwaukee. Now 90-years-old, Ms. Daitsman leads the Milwaukee branch of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). She earned her B.A. in Chemical Engineering from Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science & Art and her M.A. in Educational Research from Xavier University.
On May 30, 2015 Keller Auditorium hosted the 5th installment for TEDx Portland. Hip-Hop trailblazers Arrested Development’s lead singer Speech had the opportunity to speak at this event. Speech spoke on human spirit, and making the best life that you can for yourself. His wise words left 3500+ audience members inspired and infused with life.
Speech founded the Grammy Award-winning group Arrested Development, which has been a pioneering force in the music industry since the early 1990s. He serves his community by supporting the plight of the homeless through the Mr. Wendal Foundation with love, communication and respect.
Chakara @KaraPublishes (Rap Rehab)
Dear 2012 Dope Boy
So, street corners don’t spare feelings.
You know that.
There were risks outlined when you began – but you know that.
You picked up a bunch of “homies” and friends along the way – but you’re always questioning them. Living your life on the edge wouldn’t even be proper terminology – because you and I both know there are no boundaries in this “dope boy” hustle. So let me begin.
So you’re written off.
Can you believe it?
Some of you aren’t even 16 years old yet. You’re written off by the politicians who tell the world that you are the ones trashing our neighborhood – with petty priced drug creations – igniting useless crime amongst brothers of your same class.
You’re a creation of your environment.
The closed doors killed your hope. Being prejudged sparked your anger. Being less fortunate built your ambition, but most importantly the struggle built your tough endurance.
Its time you understand this. Its time you see your value, and its time for you to come out of the “trap”. The trap is an illusion – it isn’t a building made of natural and man made material. Its a “state of mind”. Its a caged perception of the future – its the dark tunnel that makes it hard for anyone to see the measure of their true potential.
Money comes fast – but it comes with consequences.
Charges are multiplying – and the only person taking score is the district D.A.
So what are you going to do?
Listen. I don’t think you understand your power. You’ve learned the actual art of manufacturing – except by playing with devil’s candy. You’ve learned how to dodge a business world full of snakes – set out to do you harm – by adapting to survival techniques that no “cradled” child given everything by mommy/daddy – could have learned. You’re so 1up on the world – that you must take a safe time to exit your lifestyle. You learned math – in huge quantities. You learned the art of barter and exchange – down to a tee.
Numbers can’t get by you incorrectly. You became a human calculator – and learned a HEAVY deal in “saving” and “stashing” for a rainy day. Although your morning may begin with heavy phone calls, by a nuisance crowd of addicted individuals – you learned the arts of fulfilling a customer’s needs in a timely manner.
Leave it to me to pull out the positives from a negative situation.
I know the money’s long – but the hustle is wrong. It eventually will put you in a place where you will never advance to your highest level of success. The world will not allow this type of hustle to “lift” you. It will only thin you out. It will make you thin – and then begin its destruction on those close to you. Your family. Your children.
While you live a life – watching every corner – every second – you’ve actually conditioned yourself to withstand the mightiest forces of any “corporate world’s” ups and downs – but instead of men in dress pants and ties – you were trained by take the blows of other dope boys in baggy jeans and white tees. It’s 2012.
Federal indictments are at the hands of many political officers who desperately want convictions.
Charges are carrying heavier consequences and extra months – and Federal court room sentencing feels equivalent to modern day legal “lynching”.
The prison time consequences are coming with so many months – that the intergrity and loyalty of men who swear they’d never “squeal” in an interrogation room is now being questioned.
The ONCE bravest heart on the street corner – is now becoming an employee of drug investigations – providing all detail necessary to clear his own case.
What are you going to do?
Will you continue to use all of your golden learned behavior – in the company of powdered substance and/or basement manufactured cannibus or pills? Or will you take your learned behavior and invest it in a more safe – legal – production business – keeping you available always to the ones who truly NEED you out here with them?
Only two doors and thats death and prison.
But if you trade in your product – and keep all of the things you’ve picked up – while living such a life – you have the opportunity to use the things you’ve learned to bring your family revenue for a lifetime.
Minus the funeral bells and the obituaries.
Dear 2012 Dope Boy
ITS THAT TIME
Switch Up Your Hustle – like your life depends on it.
Because it does.
(Editor’s Note): This week, the Community Journal kicks-off an ongoing, biweekly series profiling successful African Americans in our community. The series will be written by Michael Brox, an educator in the Milwaukee Public Schools and the founder of the first Afro Fest (now African World Festival).
This series attempts to counter the negative news we’re flooded with by the local mainstream news media by detailing the positive aspects and influences of Black people who give back to their community in various ways, whether it be volunteer service or owning businesses employing members of our community. Either way, the individuals we will profile are dedicated to bettering the lives of others who are less fortunate and only need an opportunity to succeed.
This week, we profile Robert Robert Pyles, a mininster who pastors at Abundant Faith of Integrity, and is the owner (along with his wife Betty) of 12 McDonald’s restaurants in the Milwaukee and Menomonee Falls areas. orn Bernard Ridley in 1964, Robert Pyles started his humble beginnings in Hobson City, Alabama. His mother, Magnolia P. Ridley, worked hard to support the family by taking on domestic jobs.
His father, Robert A. Pyles, a career military man, joined the U.S. Army in 1964. He later retired in 1976 and returned to Hobson City.
Robert (Bernard) was raised with his two brothers and six sisters in a three bedroom project. Robert, who learned the value of hard work at an early age, always wanted to help provide for his family, and at the age of seven he worked after school every day and every summer until he was 13 years old.
At age 14, Robert attended Oxford High School in Oxford, Alabama. Oxford High was a segregated high school with a 20% African American student population . Interestingly, the town where he lived was 100% African American.
Upon graduating high school in December of 1982, Robert went into the U.S. Air Force as a security police officer. While serving as a raw recruit in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Pyles was exposed to things in the military he had never experienced growing up in Alabama. Among those new experiences was snow, sub zero temperatures and whiteouts. His first roommate in the military was a Native American.
His roommate had never seen an African American until he enlisted in the military. Robert and his roommate began to realize their own social barriers. Through this time, beyond his own beliefs, Robert realized there was a much bigger world.
From Grand Forks, Robert’s military career took him to Texas where he continued his advanced training for his overseas duties at an American Air Force base in Kunsun, South Korea. While stationed in Korea, two very significant things occurred in his life. One, he met his future wife Betty. Their friendship continued at their next duty station in Cheyenne, WY. Robert and Betty’s lengthy friendship transitioned to courtship, and in 1986 they were married. Together, they have three lovely children; Anthony, Ebony, and Katrina Pyles, and five grandchildren. In addition, his retired father was stationed in Korea at the same time working with the U.S. Department of Defense. There they bonded, prompting Robert’s father to ask him to change his last name from Ridley to Pyles.
Upon his return from South Korea, Pyles continued helping his mother with his younger siblings. Mounting debts forced Robert to take on a part time job.
Little did Pyles know the career path he was taking. He began working at Long John Silver seafood restaurant. He was later hired as a crew person at the local McDonalds.
Not knowing his deepest call and purpose, he loved serving others and was quickly promoted to part-time swing manager working the afternoon and weekends.
During this time, Robert was balancing his career and family but was rapidly being promoted in the military.
As a Master Sergeant, he approached the owner to see if he could have a leave of absence from McDonald’s to receive additional training and schooling to continue his military career. That is when the owner, Jack Priess, suggested Robert consider becoming a McDonald’s owner. Jack, a white owner, saw something in Robert that was special. He took Robert to Denver, Colorado to meet African American owners/operators.
After meeting other owners and operators, Robert decided he wanted to become an owner/operator. He was later interviewed by the Franchising Manager for McDonald’s corporation and was accepted into the program to become an owner/operator.
In 1998 the Pyles family relocated to Milwaukee where they planned to raise their three children. Little did they know the profound impact their move to Milwaukee would have on the soon to become Pastor Robert and Lady Betty Pyles.
In February of 1998, Robert and Betty bought their first McDonald’s restaurant on 76th and Mill Road. When Robert and Betty moved to Milwaukee, they thought they were relocating to sell burgers; however, it was much more than that.
They have taught their employees how to dress, how to purchase cars, how to work with the public, how to change their mindsets, and become homeowners. Robert and Betty view their restaurants as ministry opportunities not only to their employees, but to their customers as well. Robert and Betty Pyles are currently the owners of 12 McDonald’s franchises. Eleven restaurants are located in the Milwaukee area, and one in Menomonee Falls. Overall, they employ roughly 700 people.
In addition to Robert’s many accomplishments, he is the first African American President of the Milwaukee co-op.
Pastor Pyles received his religious education under Bishop Milton Gannison. Pastor Pyles also acknowledges Pastor Walter Harvey, the pastor of Parklawn Assembly of God, as his trusted mentor, and Pastor Leroy Jackson as his spiritual father.
Pastor Pyles puts Christ first and center in everything he does. However, Pastor Pyles understands that in order to keep his ministries relevant to the community he must minister to the physical as well as the spiritual needs of others through the various services he offers such as The Life Course, The Men’s Fraternity, and additional ministries. Pastor Robert and Lady Betty Pyles have initiated new ways to improve the community by giving people hope through helping them to move from poverty to prosperity. This is what Pastor Pyles refers to as his “Up and Out” philosophy. Asked what three immediate goals he hopes to accomplish in the near future, Pastor Robert Pyleslisted three goals: “1) To acquire a Doctorate Degree in Theology, 2) To become debt free within the next five to seven years, and 3) Develop his “Up and Out” Ministry (help individuals move from hourly wages to ‘salaried careers’).”
In conclusion, I would like to say that it is people like the Pyles’ who have been blessed, and unselfishly give back to the community, provide hope and encouragement in our daily lives. This is their story, what is yours?
For more information on the ministries and opportunities available through Pastor and Mrs. Pyles, you may contact Abundant Faith of Integrity at 6737 N. Teutonia Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53209, (414) 464-5001.
Strengthening neighborhoods and the community overall through better health outcomes by confronting racism in society was the message shared by epidemiologist Dr. Camara P. Jones to a sell-out audience at the Community Journal’s 36th Anniversary Sunday Jazz Brunch held at the Italian Conference Center near Milwaukee’s lakefront.
Using a powerpoint presentation and her down-to-earth style that held the audience in rapt attention, Dr. Jones described the three levels of racism impacting Black people, their health and their ability to access health care: “Institutionalized racism” (access to goods, services and opportunities by race), “Personally mediated racism” (prejudice and discrimination, where prejudice means differential assumptions about the abilities, motives, and intentions of others according to their race, and discrimination, differential actions towards others according to their race), and “Internalized racism” (which is defined as acceptance by members of the stigmatized races of negative messages about their own abilities and intrinsic worth.
Fifteen college students were recognized as recipients of Terence N. Thomas scholarships. Each student received $2,500 in stipends each, which totaled $32,500 in awards.
As attendees “brunched,” they were serenaded by the awesome jazz sounds of Christopher’s Project.
Cassandra McShepard, co-host of FOX 6’s “Real Milwaukee,” was the Mistress of Ceremonies.
While in Detroit on Saturday for his promo tour of G.F.I.D., Rick Ross’ tour bus was broken into and trashed after the thief (or thieves) stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, clothes and other personal property.
The whole team were sleeping in their hotel when it happened. See the photos of the ruins to the right.
There are no suspects as of yet.
Marking good news for churches and non-profits, the number of donors giving online has jumped to nearly 60 percent. So says a national study of online giving commissioned by Dunham+Company.
According to the study, the percentage of donors who say they have given online has increased from 48 percent in 2010 to 57 percent in 2012.
The overall increase in online giving is largely attributable to a jump from 44 percent in 2010 to 58 percent in 2012 among the Baby Boomer generation (people born from 1946 through 1964). In other words, the survey indicates that the raw number of Boomers giving online has increased by almost one-third in the last two years.
Even donors over the age of 65 increased their online giving, from 29 percent to 36 percent. In addition, nearly two-thirds of females (64 percent) say they now have given online compared to only half in 2010.
“The growth in donors using charity websites to make their donations is moving up at a rapid pace,” said Rick Dunham, president and CEO of Dunham+Company. “What is especially telling is the increased engagement of two critical donor demographics: Baby Boomers and females. Women make up the majority of donors in America, and Baby Boomers are by far the most important age demographic for charitable giving.”
The study also found that households making $75,000 or more per year showed the most dramatic growth in online giving of all households. Nearly 7 out of 10 donors in these households stated they have given online. In the 2010 study, only 58 percent of donors in these households had made an online gift.
There was no sizable change in the behavior of those under 40.
“This study continues to reinforce the importance of a charity’s website being optimized for giving,” Dunham said. “Nonprofits must understand and respond to the reality that donors are increasingly inclined to make their contributions online. This includes older donors who are responding to direct mail or other offline communication. There is every indication this behavior will only continue to increase, which makes it critical for nonprofits to ensure it is as easy as possible for a donor to make a gift online.”
by: Jonathan Benson (NaturalNews.com)
While millions of Americans were busy celebrating freedom from tyranny during the recent Independence Day festivities, Monsanto was actively trying to thwart that freedom with new attacks on health freedom. It turns out that the most evil corporation in the world has quietly attached riders to both the 2012 Farm Bill and the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill that would essentially force the federal government to approve GMOs at the request of biotechnology companies, and prohibit all safety reviews of GMOs from having any real impact on the GMO approval process.
The Alliance for Natural Health – USA (ANH-USA), the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), and several other health freedom advocacy groups have been actively drawing attention to these stealth attacks in recent days, and urging Americans to rise up and oppose them now before it is too late. If we fail to act now as a single, unified community devoted to health freedom, in other words, America’s agricultural future could literally end up being controlled entirely by the biotech industry, which will have full immunity from the law.
You can fight back now against these threats to food freedom by visiting:
Full exemption from the law for the biotech industry
Authored by Congressmen and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Related Agencies Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill rider, known as the “farmer assurance provision” (Section 733), specifically outlines that the Secretary of Agriculture will be required, upon request, to “immediately” grant temporary approval or deregulation of a GM crop, even if that crop’s safety is in question or under review.
In other words, if the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is strong-armed into approving a new GM crop that is later legally challenged in court (which is basically what happened for GM sugar beets and GM alfalfa), the Secretary of Agriculture, under the provisions of the Kingston rider, will be required to approve the cultivation and sale of that crop anyway, even if a higher court has already ordered a moratorium on that crop.
“A so-called ‘Monsanto rider,’ quietly slipped into the multi-billion dollar FY 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, would require — not just allow, but require — the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is completed,” wrote Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins in a recent piece for AlterNet.
“All the farmer or the biotech producer has to do is ask, and the questionable crops could be released into the environment where they could potentially contaminate conventional or organic crops and, ultimately, the nation’s food supply.”
You can read the rider for yourself, which begins on page 86, Sec. 733 of the following document:
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Or.) introduces amendment to kill ‘Monsanto Protection Act’
According to the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations website, the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, with the Kingston rider, was already approved by the committee on June 19. (http://appropriations.house.gov) But it will move next to the House floor, where debate and further amendment proposals will take place — this means there is still time to fight it.
One amendment being proposed by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Or.) seeks to altogether eliminate the Kingston rider, which has now been dubbed by the health freedom community as the Monsanto Protection Act, from the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. You can urge your Congressmen to support Rep. DeFazio’s amendment to kill the Monsanto Protection Act by emailing (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_25711.cfm) or calling (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_25778.cfm) them.
Committee Farm Bill riders would destroy safeguards that protect farmers, environment from untested GMOs
Another serious food freedom threat exists in the House Agriculture Committee’s discussion draft of the contentious 2012 Farm Bill, where Monsanto et al. have inserted key language, via corrupt legislators of course, that will dismantle existing federal law as it pertains to regulating GM crops, and replace it with a free-for-all system where biotech giants are basically free to grow and market whatever GMOs they please without resistance or legal challenge.
“Deliberately buried in the House Agriculture Committee’s voluminous discussion draft of the 2012 Farm Bill, these significant changes to the Plant Protection Act (PPA) — one of the few statutes that regulate GE crops — will counter the gains that have been made to protect our food supply and the farmers who grow it,” writes Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety (CFS), one of the key groups fighting back against this Monsanto sneak attack.
“The provisions (Sections 10011, 10013 and 10014) would force the rushed commercialization of GE crops, create a backdoor approval for Dow’s ‘Agent Orange’ corn and eliminate any meaningful review of the impacts of these novel crops” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com).
These provisions would explicitly outlaw any review of the environmental or human impacts of GM crops under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), or any other environmental laws as well. Only the USDA would be allowed to review the safety of GM crops, and this review process would be so severely neutered that the USDA would essentially operate as a formal “rubber stamp” for approving the biotech industry’s offerings.
Both sets of riders threaten to eliminate every remaining semblance of regulatory power that “We the People” have over our own food system. If passed, these riders will abolish virtually all remaining protections over the American food supply, and allow Monsanto and the rest of Big Ag to completely control what is grown, and how it is grown.
There is still time to fight back against these heinous threats to food freedom, but swift action is necessary to stop Congress from hammering the last few nails into the coffin of American food freedom.
Be sure to contact your Congressmen right now and demand their support for Rep. Peter DeFazio’s amendment to eliminate the Monsanto rider from the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, as well as their opposition to Sections 10011, 10013 and 10014 of the 2012 Farm Bill:
Sources for this article include: