Gloria Miller has been named special events director at St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care, with an emphasis on programming for the new outdoor Indaba Band Shell at the Bucyrus Campus, 2450 W. North Ave.
The band shell, set to open later this spring with hillside seating for 250 and a wheelchair-friendly covered area in front of the stage, will host family-friendly entertainment: music, dance, puppetry, and a live Nativity at Christmas, said Miller, the former executive director of African World Festival.
“My goal is to find community entertainers and artists of all ages who can share their talents on this wonderful stage,” she said.
Also planned: special worship services and events conducted by Parklawn Assembly of God, a founding partner and sponsor of the band shell.
The name “Indaba” in traditional African culture refers to a gathering to resolve issues affecting the village. Designed by Zimmerman Architectural Studios, and built after a major soil remediation project, the band shell seeks to bring together youth, families, adults, people with disabilities and elders and “to showcase and celebrate the talents in our neighborhood, right where the community can enjoy it,” said Tony Phillips, vice president for pastoral care at St. Ann Center’s Bucyrus Campus.
The accessible stage features a wheelchair ramp, accessible restrooms, dressing rooms and prop storage area. The grounds will feature a refreshment stand, children’s splash pad and lighted walkways.
Performers interested in applying may contact Miller at (414)210-2428, or [email protected].
Compiled by MCJ Editorial staff
“No further comment at this time.”
So read part of a statement by Milwaukee Public Schools regarding the federal charges against former MPS Board member and president Michael Bonds for his role in a bribery scheme that also involved two executives of Universal Companies, a non-profit education and real estate organization.
Noting it had been made aware of the federal charges against Bonds, the district declined further comment citing the matter was still an “ongoing federal investigation.”
According to Bonds lawyer, the former school board director will plead guilty of bribery and conspiracy charges.
Universal Companies is a 25-year-old Philadelphia-based entity founded by legendary Philadelphia music producer Kenny Gamble.
Gamble, who gained fame with partner Leon Huff in the 1970s for developing the distinctive “Sound of Philadelphia,” was not implicated in the filing and has not been accused of wrongdoing.
One of Universal’s top executives, former Universal CEO Rahim Islam, oversaw two charter schools in Milwaukee: the former Green Bay Avenue School and former Webster Middle School. Both school buildings had been vacant before Universal got MPS board approval to open independently-operated schools in the facilities.
A third school was added later, the former Lee School.
While in the city, Islam was active in the Black community. Not only was he running two schools, he was also a contributing columnist for a time at the Milwaukee Community Journal. He also had a radio talk show on WNOV 860AM.
According to Philadelphia news reports, Islam is one of the main figures in the bribery scheme.
The other Universal official allegedly involved is Shahied Dawan, who was reportedly relieved of his CFO and acting CEO position by Universal a few days after the news of the charges against Bonds broke.
In an interview, outgoing school board director Wendell Harris said it was unfortunate to see his former colleague in the situation he’s in, recalling Bonds’ contributions to education in the district’s schools.
“Dr. Bonds has done so much for children and education in Milwaukee—in public schools and on the university level (Bonds was an instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee). It’s unfortunate he finds himself in a situation such as this.”
Harris, who lost his reelection bid for the board in the April 2 elections, said he has no idea what led Bonds to do what he did. But Harris stressed, it shouldn’t overshadow his efforts to improve the quality of education for Milwaukee school children.
“He cared deeply about the children and education in the city, state, and nation. (Dr. Bonds) has a long history of fighting for children. My prayers go out to his family.”
According to news reports, the two former Universal officers allegedly paid kickbacks (to Bonds) to secure benefits for their charter school operations in Milwaukee, which was abandoned by Islam and Universal in 2017 in the middle of the school year.
Court documents indicate Bonds received payments shortly after supporting favorable measures for Universal- totaling at least $6,000. He’s accused of ignoring financial issues in support of the company.
Bonds reportedly disguised the bribes with a fake company and created fake invoices and records.
Bonds faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted and up to $518,000 in fines.
After backing out of its Milwaukee schools, Universal Academy was supposed to pay the district back about $1 million. Despite months of asking, the district reportedly hasn’t received any payments from the company.
“Green-Ribbon” Status of the Lindsay Heights Neighborhood Grows with New Green Infrastructure, Solar Installations and Eco Tour Designation
Partners and Residents Celebrate the Neighborhood Improvements
Milwaukee, Thursday, April 18th, 2019— Today, Walnut Way Conservation Corp., a neighborhood-based nonprofit known for its innovative work in economic and environmental health and wellness, and the City of Milwaukee’s Environmental Collaboration Office, hosted a ribbon cutting at Fondy Market to celebrate the completion of green infrastructure and clean energy projects in the Lindsay Heights Neighborhood, as well as the city’s first Eco Tour designation.
“Environmental stewardship and climate resilience are critical to the overall revitalization of the Lindsay Heights neighborhood, and mitigating the effects of poverty and disinvestment from the ground up. Walnut Way is honored to help drive this important work through our social enterprise, Blue Skies Landscaping, and many cross-sector partners locally and nationally. In this regard, we hope Lindsay Heights can be a model for the City of Milwaukee,” said Antonio Butts, Executive Director of Walnut Way.
In 2017, Walnut Way Conservation Corp. and the Lindsay Heights neighborhood were selected by the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), based in Montpelier, Vermont, for a highly competitive national initiative to support community-based climate resilience. The neighborhood was one of two communities nationally to receive ISC’s Partnership for Resilient Communities (The Partnership) award. The Partnership provided technical resources, access to a large national network of sustainability experts and peers, and provided $150,000 for Walnut Way to expand its work on climate resilience, specifically regarding energy and water.
“The Institute for Sustainable Communities is excited to partner with Walnut Way to support the realization of these valuable community assets. Every community deserves to have assets that promote health, safety, economic opportunity and that help make for a fun place to live. ISC is committed to supporting communities that are often overlooked when it comes to these types of investments. We tremendously value our partnership with Walnut Way and applaud their hard work and dedication. Congratulations!” said Sarita Turner, Director for Inclusive Communities at the Institute for Sustainable Communities.
The initiative mobilized Walnut Way’s social enterprise, Blue Skies Landscaping, to complete the green infrastructure projects at Fondy Park, Greater Galilee Missionary Baptist Church, and Alice’s Garden rainwater harvesting project. The projects capture and divert storm water from the sewer system to be used as a resource rather than redirected as waste. Blue Skies Landscaping provides job training in landscape horticulture and infrastructure for individuals who have traditionally faced employment barriers.
“The City of Milwaukee is working to make Milwaukee a world class eco-city, and that starts in our neighborhoods,” said Erick Shambarger, Director of Environmental Sustainability for the City of Milwaukee’ Environmental Collaboration Office. “We’re proud to partner with Walnut Way because of their grass roots leadership and success in creating local green jobs.”
Additionally, with the support of the City of Milwaukee’s Milwaukee Shines program, Walnut Way and its partners contracted with Arch Electric and Mindful Staffing Solutions to install photovoltaic solar systems at four neighborhood sites. These systems convert sunlight to electricity; the systems at three sites lowers billed electricity, and at Alice’s Garden, the system provides off-grid stored power. Solar systems were installed at Walnut Way, 2240 N. 17th Street; the Innovations and Wellness Commons, 1617 W Fond du Lac Avenue; Fondy Farmers Market, 2200 W. Fond du Lac Avenue; and Alice’s Garden, 2136 N. 21st Street.
“These solar panels prove that renewable electricity is truly universal. Walnut Way and Alice’s Garden are not only taking the initiative to be more self-sufficient, but more importantly, they’re improving the health of the entire community by cutting carbon emissions, reducing stormwater runoff into lakes and streams, and growing nutritious food right in their own neighborhood,” said Sam Dunaiski, Program Manager for Renew Wisconsin/Solar for Good who provided additional funding for the solar projects.
The Partnership also helped Walnut Way collaborate with the City of Milwaukee’s Environmental Collaboration Office to certify Lindsay Heights as the first ECO neighborhood and Eco Tour destination in Milwaukee. The Eco Tour route highlights the significant environmental interventions in the neighborhood through signage.
Many additional partners helped bring these projects to fruition, including Arch Electric, the Fund for Lake Michigan, GZA Engineering, Mindful Staffing Solutions, ReFlo, Milwaukee JobsWork, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), Rivet LLC, Rozga Plumbing & Heating Corp., Social Development Corporation, Solar for Good, MorganDezine, and the Wally Schmidt Redevelopment.
About the Institute for Sustainable Communities
Since 1991, the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) has worked in the United States and around the world to help communities, cities, industry, and NGOs accomplish their environmental, economic, and social goals. ISC uses training, technical assistance, peer-to-peer learning, and demonstration projects to help unleash the power of local people and institutions to address immediate challenges and opportunities – all while building those on-the-ground solutions into national and international best practices and policy. At the heart of the organization’s approach is results-focused, authentic and pragmatic engagement with all stakeholders, which unearths locally-driven and equitable solutions to the biggest challenge we face – global climate change. Learn more at sustain.org
About Walnut Way
Walnut Way Conservation Corp. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit neighborhood organization founded in 2000 by Lindsay Heights residents to reclaim and redevelop the economic health and vitality of their community. In the years since, Walnut Way and its partners have rolled out a series of successful and innovative programs and initiatives addressing the neighborhood’s most pressing economic, environmental, and health issues. The Walnut Way Center is located in a carefully renovated, formally infamous drug house. Understanding the importance of valuing place, residents restored this 1910 house, slated for demolition, into an active center where youth, families, elders, homeowners and renters participate in community development. Learn more at www.walnutway.org
MADISON – On Saturday, May 4, 2019, the 7th annual Performing Ourselves Showcase “Hand in Hand” will feature two performances by approximately 125 youth from schools and community centers across Madison.
The program, which is co-directed by Associate Professor and Chair Kate Corby (UW-Madison Dance Department) and Mariah LeFeber, has provided a series of experiential movement and performance classes to over 350 under resourced local youth throughout the past year. The showcase performances are the culmination of a year of instruction by program staff and undergraduate dance majors who work collaboratively with preschool, elementary, middle and high school school youth to create new choreography.
This year the program partnered with: the Allied Learning Center, East Madison Community Center, Elver Park Neighborhood Center, Goodman Community Center, Kennedy Heights Community Center, Lussier Community Education Center, Mendota elementary School, Vera Court Neighborhood Center, Aldo Leopold Elementary School, and the Madison Community Montessori School.
Performing Ourselves aims to foster creativity and connection, empower youth and develop leaders through dance. Corby says it facilitates an active learning experience for youth in Madison by engaging them in the process of creation and performance as a means of engendering empowerment and identity.
Since its launch in 2012, the program has grown exponentially. There are currently 11 UW student teachers, serving eleven community and school sites, under the leadership of Mary Patterson, the program’s Outreach Specialist and Dance/Movement Therapist.
May 4, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
H’Doubler Performance Space, Lathrop Hall
1050 University Avenue, Madison, WI
Admission to the event is free.
This year’s programming is supported by the UW Dance Department, Professional Learning and Community Education in the UW-Madison School of Education, American Girl Fund for Children, the Evjue Foundation, Inc., Endres Manufacturing Co. Foundation, the UW School of Education’s Virginia Horne Henry Fund for Women’s Physical Education and Movement, Dane Arts, Door Creek Church, Madison Arts Commission, the Wisconsin Arts Board and many generous individuals.
WHAT: Garden Homes Neighborhood Showcase
This is an opportunity to connect, inspire and engage more residents in the work of revitalizing neighborhood assets, renewing the collective spirit and energy, and restoring the soul of the community. The showcase also will provide residents with the calendar of events for the year.
The showcase will include booths and stations with information for residents, families and partners of the Garden Homes Neighborhood Initiative. Participants are encouraged to visit each station to learn more about neighborhood strategies, successful work already completed, supportive programs to help residents, and information for families and resource providers.
The showcase also will feature an “Ideas Wall”. Participants can add value to their experience by sharing their input.
Neighbors will share a meal as a way of encouraging people to get to know each other individually and thereby creating community.
WHEN: Monday, April 15 – 6:00-8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Garden Homes Lutheran School, 2450 West Roosevelt Drive
WHO: All residents, resource partners, and stakeholders working to improve the Garden Homes neighborhood
Alderman Ashanti Hamiltoninvites the community to join him THIS SATURDAY(April 13) during two “pop-up” clean ups to beautify two areas of the city. The firstof the two clean-ups will be at 10:00 a.m. at the corner of Teutonia and Capitol, partnering with the Rufus King Neighborhood Association, Rufus King High School, Program the Parks, Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful and Wisconsin Community Services to clean up that intersection. The secondclean-up will begin at 1:00 p.m. on the 5300 block of N. 35thSt. to clean up the Thurston Woods Neighborhood, in partnership with the Thurston Woods Block Watch, Keeping Greater Milwaukee Beautiful, Program the Parks, and Wisconsin Community Services.
“After the winter thaw, neighborhoods across the City are living with the litter from an entire winter. However, neighbors can take control of their environment and that is what we are encouraging through our clean-ups this weekend. We invite residents to reach out to our office for assistance with planning a clean-up in your area so that beautification efforts can spread across Milwaukee,” Alderman Hamilton said.
What: “Pop up” clean-ups with Ald. Hamilton
When: Saturday, April 13 – First clean-up at 10:00 a.m. Second clean-up at 1:00 p.m.
Where: First clean-up – The corner of Teutonia and Capitol
Second clean-up – The 5300 block of N. 35thSt.
By Thomas E. Mitchell, Jr.
Greg Stanford, a former columnist at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and a founding member and first president of the Wisconsin Black Media Association, will be remembered as a mentor and trailblazer who opened doors for Black journalists.
Stanford died recently after a long illness. He was 72. Current and retired Black journalists called their colleague and friend a voice for the city’s Black community; as its advocate who wrote stories that spoke to their challenges living, working, and raising a family in a hyper-segregated metropolis struggling with race and racism.
“He was in a unique position to advocate,” said Mikel Holt, columnist and associate publisher of the Milwaukee Community Journal. Holt remembered that Stanford started—as most Black journalists in media did back in the day—with the Black press, more specifically the Milwaukee Star-Times, a Black weekly newspaper and precursor to the Community Journal.
Holt said he and Stanford would often do similar topics in their columns and call each other to compare notes afterward or just to talk issues and journalism.
“He would say the same thing I would say (as it related to covering Black issues) and get attacked by White readers, while I–writing for the Black press—wouldn’t because my audience was Black. He was a little jealous of that.”
The MCJ associate publisher recalled Stanford saying to him he was fortunate to be able to work in the Black media where he didn’t have to worry about his articles being “edited” to reflect “alternate facts” as it related to such particulars as the number of Black people participating in a protest march.
Holt said such methods by the mainstream (white) press reflects the fact that newspapers—and the media in general (the Black press admits it has an agenda in the way it writes)— have secret agendas as it relates to how the powers-that-be were portrayed in newsprint or on television news at six and 10 o’clock.
“Greg cherished his days working for the Black press,” Holt noted. “He laid the foundation for my work in it.”
Stanford would also, at times, express his frustration to Holt about being one of the few Black journalists on the staffs of the Journal and its one-time rival, the Sentinel.
“People don’t know how much racism he had to endure at the Journal,” Holt said. “He would get letters from racist White readers baiting him and calling him all sorts of racist names. But he never gave up.
“He had a lot of courage to endure what he endured. For a long time, he was the lone voice writing about Black folks (in the mainstream press). He was a mentor to James Causey (a Journal Sentinel columnist who knew and worked with Stanford).
“You could see the influence Greg had on James because James’ writing style is somewhat similar to Greg’s writing.
“He was a brilliant warrior.” MCJ Publisher Patricia O’Flynn Pattillo, who knew Stanford going back to his Star-Times days, called him a “solid man and a superb writer” who was “a devoted, impassioned foot soldier for justice.
“I shall long appreciate his willingness to journey with us when love of change empowered his every thought. He will be missed and his legacy shall long endure.”
Causey, who met Stanford when he was a 7th grader at Jackie Robinson Middle School at its career week and caught the writing bug listening to his future mentor talk about his passion for writing, called his friend in a lengthy Facebook post, “a major influence and supporter.
“Throughout my journalism career Greg has been there for me with words of wisdom and encouragement,” Causey wrote. “When I lost my father five months ago, he was one of the first people to express his condolences to me.”
Causey said when he finished a fellowship at Harvard University in 2008, Stanford was retiring from the Journal Sentinel’s editorial department.
“When he retired, he told me that it was my time to become the community griot. When I came back to the paper, I told them there was only one job that I wanted. Greg’s job.”
Another retired Journal and Journal Sentinel colleague, Eugene Kane, in his Facebook post about his friend, called Stanford: “the golden standard for Black columnists—any columnist really—in Milwaukee and set the bar for anyone who attempts to have the same impact with their words.
“I knew Greg for more than 30 years, from my first days in Milwaukee. I saw him as the ‘Dean of Black columnists’ and when I started writing a column, there was no better example to follow.
“He was a friend and a colleague and someone I respected.” After his retirement from the newspaper, Stanford started the Ayzha Fine Arts Gallery. He continued to give back to young people by judging writing contests and awarding scholarships.
Funeral services for Stanford will be held Sunday, April 14, at 2 p.m. at Wisconsin Memorial Park “Chapel of Chimes,” 13235 W. Capitol Drive.
He will lie instate Sunday 1 p.m. at the “Chapel of Chimes” until the start of the services. Visitation is Saturday, April 13, from 3 to 7 p.m. Family will receive guests from 6-7 p.m. at Northwest Funeral Chapel, 6630 W. Hampton Ave.
Alderwomen Milele A. Coggs and Chantia Lewis are hosting female students TOMORROW(Thursday, April 11) for Girls Shadow Day @ City Hall. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. the participants, a select group who attended Girls Day @ City Hall last month, will shadow employees of the City of Milwaukee. This event is a personalized continuation of Girls Day @ City Hall which exposes young ladies to careers in public service.
The day will be capped off with a luncheon with closing remarks from Alds. Coggs and Lewis, and the presentation of certificates to participants in theVel R. Phillips Ante Chamber (third floor) at City Hall, 200 E. Wells St.
What: Girls Shadow Day luncheon
When: 12:45 p.m. Thursday, April 11
Where: City Hall, 3rd floor, Vel R. Phillips Ante Chamber, 200 E. Wells St.