Racial Justice Summit Breakout Sessions

The Summit will feature the following Breakout Sessions and Speakers.

Check back to this page for updates on additional breakout sessions, as well as when each session will be offered. 

A printable version of the Breakout Session information is also available.

Be Ready: Children Will Ask about Race

Children are more than ready to talk about race, but are adults ready to facilitate these important conversations? In this session, we will learn how to engage children in discussions on race in a way that maximizes both emotional safety, understanding, and character development.

Audience: Open to All

Kevin Gordon owns Camp Kupugani Multicultural Summer Camp—the only black-owned private residential camp in the U.S. Proud papa of a seventh-grade son, Kevin is a published author, former attorney, former semi-professional tennis player and backpacker, having traveled to 50+ countries on five continents. A Harvard University graduate in psychology and Canadian-born son of Jamaican immigrants, Kevin has worked with children for 35+ years and is a former vice-president of the Board of Directors of the American Camp Association Illinois Section. Besides spending time with his wife Natasha and adventurous son Mico, Kevin enjoys playing goalie on his men’s ice hockey team.

Chloe Besser grew up going to and is now a staff member at Camp Kupugani. Over her years as staff, Chloe has become an expert at having difficult conversations of many kinds with children. Recently, she wrote a Social Justice curriculum to add to Kupugani’s multicultural programming geared towards helping young people understand complex racial and social justice issues in engaging ways.

Kevin Gordon
Chloe Besser

Breaking the Ocean: A Conversation on Belonging

Belonging is our individual and collective birthright. It is what happens when human structures shift to make room for other humans: it is a place at the intersection of the political and psychological, where privilege and wounding are both a part of the story. Tending it is our most human job. Join author, inclusion specialist and change-maker Annahid Dashtgard in this deep dive into the challenge of our times: how to create, cultivate and commit to cultures of belonging? This afternoon session is for equity leaders, organizational consultants, activists, entrepreneurs, healers and coaches… anyone who wants to sharpen their chops to address the growing polarization on issues of race and identity.

Audience: Open to All

Annahid Dashtgard (M.Ed.) is author, change-maker and co-founder of Anima Leadership, a highly respected international consulting company specializing in issues of diversity and inclusion. Previously she was a leader in the anti-corporate globalization movement, responsible for several national political campaigns and frequently referred to as one of the top activists to watch in the 1990s. She is the host of the podcast series Breaking the Ocean: Soundwaves of Belonging and the director of two award-winning documentaries, Buy-Bye World: The Battle of Seattle and Bread. Her writing has appeared in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and Briarpatch magazine. Dashtgard lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.

Audience: Open to All

Annahid Dashtgard

Madison Hip-Hop: Loved, Hated, Embraced, and Feared

While Hip-Hop music and imagery has infiltrated pop culture, it remains misunderstood and even feared. This not only impacts social opportunities in our city, but also marginalizes a community and reinforces stereotypes that keep us locked in the status quo. In this workshop, we will look through the lens of Hip-Hop history and culture to help attendees envision a future where all artists have space for expression, and all forms of expression are valued.

Audience: Open to All

Karen Reece is a founding member and President of Urban Community Arts Network. Karen develops programming, writes grants and curriculum, and facilitates community organizing in the Hip-Hop community. Karen served as chair of the City of Madison’s Task Force on Equity in Music and Entertainment.

ShaH Evans, aka Mr Get Your Buzz Up, is an artist manager and social media influencer who manages I-20 and DJ Pain 1. He has worked with Wiz Khalifa, Waka Flocka, Curren$y, and many more. ShaH is the co-founder and Vice President of Urban Community Arts Network, a non-profit that uses Hip-Hop to educate in schools. ShaH also speaks about positive life choices with youth and young adults in Madison and surrounding areas.

Corey “Dash DUB” Whitmore comes to us from Harrisburg, PA by way of Milwaukee. Corey has extensive experience doing teen programming and coaching basketball as part of the Boys and Girls of Greater Milwaukee and in Madison with Urban Community Arts Network. Corey is a rapper, producer, studio engineer, and owner of record label and management company, Media 22.

Karen Reece
ShaH Evans
Corey Whitmore

Building Community to Transform: Communities of Practice as a Tool to Disrupt Whiteness in Youth Programs

What happens when a group of youth workers from across different community organizations commit to spend all spring interrogating how their practices reinforce or interrupt white supremacy? What happens when they have a facilitator able to challenge them to think how structural and institutional norms of white supremacy manifest in their own organizational practices regardless of their worthwhile visions. Come learn how communities of practice can nurture community and build the skills needed to challenge white supremacy in our own “do good” organizations, and lay the groundwork for larger cohorts working at the structural level. 

Audience: Open to All; The workshop will be most relevant to audiences who work with and for young people.

Dr. Bianca Baldridge earned her PhD from Columbia University’s Teachers College. Her scholarship examines the political and social context of community-based educational spaces and afterschool education. Her work examines the confluence of race, class, and gender, and its impact on community-based-educational-spaces engaging Black youth in marginalized communities. Further, her scholarship explores the organizational and pedagogical practices employed by youth workers/community-based educators and their connection to school spaces amidst neoliberal education restructuring. As an ethnographer, she closely examines the experiences of youth and educators within community-based educational spaces. Her experiences within community-based youth programs continues to inform her research in profound ways.

Nathan Beck is the Madison Out-of-School Time Coordinator for the City of Madison and the Madison Metropolitan School District. He has been in the Out of School Time field for over a decade where he has directed and scaled nationally recognized programs, published about the field, and has led the OST intermediary for Madison, WI.

Bianca J. Baldridge
Nathan Beck

Niceness is Not Anti-Racism: How White Women Can (and Must) Step Up Their Game

It’s not a secret that White women have continually failed Black women as allies. In this workshop, we will encourage White woman-identified participants to think more deeply about their allyship, discuss their failings honestly, and decide on some actions to improve. Presenters will deliver content and provide space for discussion around three main themes: Intersections of White Supremacy and Patriarchy, Anti-Blackness, and Ally vs. Co-Conspirator.

Audience: White women, women and femme-identified folks. Appropriate for people who have had some experience/exposure to racial justice/equity analysis.

Nestic Morris is the Outreach Coordinator at the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Since taking on this position, she has worked to bring the voices of communities of color to the anti-sexual assault field. She offers statewide trainings on intersections of oppression in Black women’s lives and is Co-Chair of WCASA’s reconstructed group, the Wisconsin Women of Color Consortium.

Jessi Corcoran, MPH is the Training & Technical Assistance Coordinator at the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault. She has a BA in English and Gender Studies from Indiana University and a Master of Public Health from Boston University. Her studies and work have focused primarily on sexual violence prevention and the intersections of sexual violence and oppression. Jessi’s professional ambition is to integrate social justice activism into public health work.

Nestic Morris
Jessi Corcoran

Person-to-Person Activism: Disarming Microaggressions and Leveraging Personal Narratives

Through small group discussions and reflective inquiry, participants will gain both practical skills and knowledge of recent literature about facing prejudice and promoting self-advocacy. Facilitators will share tactics to disarm microaggressions and will guide attendees as they develop personal narratives through text and/or art. This workshop will explore ways in which those from minoritized and privileged backgrounds alike can respond to indignities in ways that reduce the power of microaggressions. The potential of small-scale, individual activism will be highlighted and celebrated.

Audience: Open to All

Stephanie Campbell is a podcast/audiobook-obsessed, food-loving, half-Filipino 3rd year school psychology doctoral student at UW–Madison. She was born and cultivated in rural Arkansas, and attended the University of Arkansas for undergrad. Her current research interests center around the impacts of body image and weight bias on the mental health of children and adolescents—particularly in relation to the implications of culture, family, SES, and societal expectations. She cares deeply about these intersectional topics from a social justice perspective. She plays trombone in Madison’s activist, community-based, music-making collective—Forward! Marching Band.

Alexandra Barber is a Chicago native in her second year of graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, pursuing a doctorate in school psychology. She examined the effects of racial microaggressions on measures of emotional well-being while at Amherst College for her Bachelors, and hopes to continue studying issues specific to the experiences of minoritized youth in schools. She loves all things outdoors, cooking with fresh produce from the farmer’s market, and watching romantic-comedies.

Melina Knabe grew up in Berlin, Germany, as a German-American. Currently, she is a third year PhD student in Educational Psychology. Having lived between two languages and cultures, her research interests now lie in supporting language learning in mono- and multilinguals. She is also very interested in comparative education and improving the affordability and quality of early childhood education in the United States. Outside of lab, you can catch her on a run to Picnic Point, in conversation with a friend over coffee, or ice skating. Long-term, she hopes to serve students from all backgrounds through teaching, mentorship, and scholarship at the university level.

Stephanie Campbell
Alexandra Barber
Melina Knabe

Transforming Ourselves: The Liberating Power of Storytelling

“The Odyssey Project helped me unwrap my gifts and rewrite the story of my life.” This interactive workshop, led by Odyssey graduates, focuses on the transformative power of storytelling to heal trauma and give voice to those marginalized by racial and economic inequities. Storytelling is a powerful way to begin transforming ourselves and our community by allowing other people to see the struggles, challenges, victories, defeats, and dreams that shape our lives. Our stories balance the personal and the political, allowing for a fuller expression of our diverse experiences while at the same time informing the larger conversation about social justice. This workshop will explore storytelling as a public form that can lead to discoveries and new insights for both the writer and the audience, and how it can be used as a tool for social change. We will look at a few examples where storytelling was used to make inequity more visible, hear from those who have used their voices to influence larger conversations on racial equity, and spend some time exploring how our own stories can be used to heal, liberate, and advance social justice. The presenters are writers of color experiencing or who have overcome obstacles such as poverty, single parenthood, addiction, incarceration, depression, and domestic abuse.

Audience: Open to All

Marisol Gonzalez is a Mexican writer, Spanish teacher, and owner of Aprende LLC. She is a 2017 graduate of the UW Odyssey Project and also works as an assistant teacher in Odyssey Junior. She writes bilingual books for children to foster culture, and she also loves to write poems and political critiques.

Bio for Char Braxton: As I write, I explore. The execution of powerful words – roast and roar!

Bios for Tekeyla Benton and James Horton Coming Soon.

Synthesizing Different Perspectives on the Meaning of Liberation

What do we mean when we use words like liberation or freedom? This workshop will guide participants through different perspectives of what liberation and/or freedom means, from Black liberation to women’s liberation, from left to right of the political spectrum, from the materialism of Marx to the spiritual liberation of Buddhism, and from the individual to the collective. We will learn about local and global moments/movements in history where the goals or ideas behind liberation for these different identities and ideas have been in conflict and resulted in harming each other, as well as brilliant moments/movements when they have intersected and come together in solidarity and unity. Often the moments of conflict have come about because we allowed the means to become the end and the moments of unity have been when we were able to keep our eyes on a new imagined vision of the future. We will discuss our own perspectives of these definitions and explore methods of transcendence that can lead us to a synthesis of these understandings.

Audience: Open to All

 Kimberly Cho is a pirate looking for treasure, doing her best to become a more ‘human’ human being.

Kimberly Cho

Media as Healing & Liberation: Tuning and Turning the Private and Prosecuted into Public Proclamations

Four radical souls of color and queerness decide to claim community airwaves to share their most intimate pasts and most liberated futures, despite being silenced and prosecuted by country, society, and family. In this session, Nadya and Natalia will break down how “Unlearning” or “Desaprendiendo” came to be as a series of unashamed and unapologetic intimate conversations about our deepest internalized and externalized racist, classist, sexist, queerphobic, and other oppressive toxic norms which is featured monthly on one of the last completely live, uncensored, uncut, unedited, free public platforms. Being a transformative journey both personally and communally, we invite you to learn our process on how we fostered friendships and used media as a form of activism, healing, and liberation, from building bravery to asking truth-provoking questions!

Audience: Open to All

Natalia Hildner draws from her indigenous Andean roots and years of travel to India as a dancer, activist and teacher to now focus on fighting rape culture through education and prevention of sexual violence in her Latinx community. Renowned in her field as a dance performing artist who utilizes her craft as a means of raising consciousness on social justice issues, she continues to find new ways of dismantling white supremacy, patriarchy, and toxic social norms.

Nadya Mariam is a non binary, queer person of color, born and raised in Mexico City, who has made Madison their residence for the past seven years. Not only an artist, bike enthusiast and activist, they have been a radio host for Wort’s En Nuestro Patio since 2014 and have used this platform to bring the voices of the Latinx community, from the local and  to the international throughout Latin América, opening social justice conversations about our interests, our problems and our solutions.

Natalia Hildner
Nadya Ponce

White Women Doing the Work: Racial Conflict and White Fragility

This workshop is facilitated by white women, and is designed for participants who identify as both white and a woman. Understanding the power dynamics between gender and race and the intersectionality is a critical and necessary step in dismantling white supremacy and the oppression that comes with it. Participants will gain skills to effectively navigate racial conflict and the healing work that is required and necessary in relationships with themselves and with others. We will peel back the layers of how white women perpetuate racism with their own white fragility, and learn skills, tools, and knowledge that will proactively build racial resilience in an effort to move white women from the silent oppressor to co-conspirators for anti-racist social justice advocacy at a local and national level.

Audience: This session is intended for white women, but is open to anyone who is interested.

Sara Alvarado is an entrepreneur, writer, speaker and co-conspirator in Madison WI who believes that the way to tackle difficult topics in both life and business is to show up real, raw, bold, vulnerable and always ready for fun. Through her speaking and trainings, Sara creates awareness and inspires change by challenging people to think differently and feel deeply. Sara skillfully pushes people out of their comfort zone with her straight talk and loving ways. Sara and her husband, Carlos, lead a thriving bilingual/bicultural family and a successful real estate business, the Alvarado Real Estate Group. Sara is the creator of the Conversation Challenge: helping parents talk about race with their teenagers and is also the co-founder of Step Up: Equity Matters in the Workplace.

Dr. Mel Freitag is the Diversity Officer in the School of Nursing at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Freitag serves underrepresented populations through mentorship, recruitment, programs, and professional development. Freitag strives to transform the curriculum through her work with health equity and social justice. Her scholarship explores how students’ voices shape what it means to be a welcoming, supportive, and safe/brave school for all. Mel enjoys teaching, writing, running, riding her bike, hanging out with her 4.5 year old daughter Bennett, playing with her two geriatric cats and dog (Bailey, Dante, and Fred respectively) and surfing the net while she’s procrastinating.  

Sara Alvarado
Mel Freitag

Sin Hogar: Interrupting Homelessness in the Latinx Community

This workshop will focus on how housing first is a stronger model for supporting families who also need support with family stabilization, immigration support, school attendance, etc. There is also the almost near total gap in housing services for families who don’t speak English. In order to address the disparity in the homeless and doubled up system that underserves Latinx community members we invite ideas on advocacy in the state and national level including campaigns, working with advocacy agencies, and direct engagement with legislation. We will also discuss how to engage landlords, especially in renting to undocumented immigrants. We will also talk about how to collaborate with other agencies, services, and the resourcefulness within the Latinx community in Dane County.

Audience: This workshop will benefit individuals and service providers that are bilingual, but is open to anyone who is interested.

Helyn Luisi-Mills is the bilingual housing specialist at The Road Home. She supports families with children in housing search and stabilization, getting settled into their new homes, and navigating housing resources that are not available in English. Helyn has a Master’s of Science in human ecology; program evaluation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Throughout her career, she has helped families connect to community resources in the midst of difficult situations. She enjoys the networks and partnerships that come from working with hundreds of volunteers, a variety of staff and other community partners. She loves being part of closing gaps in health and economic disparities.

Bio for Julio Garcia Coming Soon. 

 

Helyn Luisi-Mills

Assessing Organizational Racism and Advocating for Anti-Racist Work Spaces

Creating and supporting teams with diverse skills, knowledge, backgrounds, and experiences is essential to developing vibrant workplaces where we value people and their journeys, as well as leverage their talents. Yet, workplaces persist where racism continues to disrupt employee engagement, belonging, collaboration, innovation and productivity. Over time and with intention, organizations, like individuals, can evolve to become anti-racist. The evolution begins with assessing organizational culture to gain a comprehensive understanding of how racism and oppression operate. In this session, we’ll explore evaluative tools to determine how racism shows up in your organization. From decision-making and budgeting to accountability and power, you’ll have a chance to think about your work environment and learn ways to advocate for the change necessary to transform individuals, teams and organizations.

Audience: Open to All

With a calm, level-headed approach, keen listening, insightful questioning, and a passion for individual and organizational belonging and thriving, Deborah Biddle influences individuals and teams to successfully rethink and redo the ways they engage with people and make decisions.

Deborah runs the diversity and inclusion consulting, coaching, and training firm, The People Company LLC. She works with organizations who want to leverage the power of change to heighten development and performance for their people. Deborah designs and delivers thought-provoking and challenging experiences that help people THINK better, DO better and BE better at what matters most.

Deborah Biddle

Identity, Basic Human Needs and the Trauma Nexus: Implications for Social Policy and an Improved Response to Mental Health

This session will help participants have a much more rounded understanding of Trauma – its impact in-utero, how it affects growth & development, and physical & emotional health outcomes. Much of what we see as cultural pathology is better viewed through the lens of “normalized trauma.” The effects of “normalized trauma” on a culture are mind-altering. We need a shift in social policy if we want to truly tackle this challenge.

Audience: Open to All

Dr. Algernon Felice Sr. is the Director of Cultural Bridges Treatment & Consulting LLC based in Madison Wisconsin. Dr. Felice, the Developer of Constructive Locale Regenerative Therapy (CLRT), an intersectional culturally-centered treatment model for children and families, is also a writer and storyteller. In addition to providing services to his clients, Dr. Felice offers supervisory support to other therapists. He currently holds positions as Adjunct Professor at Edgewood College in the Department of Psychology, Expert Witness to the Dane County courts, and Psychological Consultant to the Community Restorative Courts (CRC) – as well as other culturally-based entities within the Madison Community. 

Dr. Algernon Felice

Transforming Our Legacy Through Advocacy

If we expect the present and future to change we must be willing to change ourselves in preparation. How do you advocate and weigh in on community change? How do you re-imagine what it means to be engaged? As a person of color what is being asked of us today in this community (City and Dane County)? Annette Miller will share what she has learned past and present on how engagement and advocacy has changed and where it is headed? She will share what she sees is being asked and what should be considered in terms of preparation in being heard.

Audience: People of Color Affinity Group. Appropriate for people who have had some experience/exposure to racial justice/equity analysis.

Annette Miller has lived in Madison since 1989. She spent 11 years in state government. Another 2 years as Mayoral Aide for the city of Madison focused on expediting and advancing community and economic development issues and projects on behalf of the Mayor. Following this, Ms. Miller went to MGE where she spearheaded projects and partnerships that developed MGE’s brand in diverse communities and neighborhoods. After 12 years, Annette stepped away in May 2017 from her role as private sector executive with MGE to pursue her own business venture, EQT by Design, LLC. Her business focuses on building sustainable, diverse and inclusive design strategies for organizations and for public engagement and equitable development projects that centers decisionmaking around the perspectives and needs of the present and growing diverse customers and community.

Annette Miller

Re-Imagine Advocacy within Systems

If we expect the present and future to change we must be willing to change ourselves in preparation. You do not need to be in power to make powerful change! The purpose of this session is to discuss how to dismantle policies, practices, and organizational culture to be inclusive and open and welcoming to all regardless of their identity and life choices. We will talk about how you can advocate for and make change within the system. Annette Miller will share what she has learned on how to make change in the space you work, live and play. She will share what she sees is being asked of people who don’t see themselves as leaders but in action truly lead change. Let;s explore together what it means to be a change agent!

Audience: Appropriate for people who have had some experience/exposure to racial justice/equity analysis and/or for practitioners who provide training in the field of racial justice/equity.

Annette Miller has lived in Madison since 1989. She spent 11 years in state government. Another 2 years as Mayoral Aide for the city of Madison focused on expediting and advancing community and economic development issues and projects on behalf of the Mayor. Following this, Ms. Miller went to MGE where she spearheaded projects and partnerships that developed MGE’s brand in diverse communities and neighborhoods. After 12 years, Annette stepped away in May 2017 from her role as private sector executive with MGE to pursue her own business venture, EQT by Design, LLC. Her business focuses on building sustainable, diverse and inclusive design strategies for organizations and for public engagement and equitable development projects that centers decisionmaking around the perspectives and needs of the present and growing diverse customers and community.

Annette Miller

Minoritized Yet Excluded: Dismantling the "Model Minority" Myth

Masked by the positive stereotype, Asians are often left out in the discussion of institutional racism which is faced by many, if not all, Asian subgroups. The implicit racial biases against the Asian community (e.g., Asians are wealthier and better at academics), have deprived them access to resources that could help with poverty issues, mental health stigma, and education problems. Through skill-building activities, didactic presentations, and interactive inquiries, participants from all racial backgrounds will learn to recognize and identify how “positive stereotypes” could hurt not only the Asian community, but all racial/ethnic groups. This workshop will help increase attendees’ confidence in interacting with, advocating for, and assisting individuals who fall victim to such biases. 

Audience: This session is intended for Asian communities, minority ethnic groups, educators, teachers, mental health professionals, and multi-racial individuals, but is open to anyone who is interested.

Shuzi Meng is currently a second-year doctoral student in school psychology at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She gained her master’s degree in developmental psychology from Columbia University in 2016. Before joining UW, Shuzi worked in schools that treated children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Her current research and career interests are identifying evidenced-based treatments for girls with ASD diagnoses, increasing accessibility of treatments for minoritized groups within the Autism community, and combating stigma against ASD in China. Shuzi is also a first generation immigrant, a feminist and an amateur painter. 

Soobin Im is a third-year graduate student studying School Psychology in the Department of Educational Psychology at the UW-Madison. Her current research interests include understanding multiple layers of contextual issues in supporting social-emotional development of students from immigrant families and advocating for the students and their families who may face added stressors as a minoritized group.

Stephanie Campbell is a podcast/audiobook-obsessed, food-loving, half-Filipino 3rd year school psychology doctoral student at UW–Madison. She was born and cultivated in rural Arkansas, and attended the University of Arkansas for undergrad. Her current research interests center around the impacts of body image and weight bias on the mental health of children and adolescents—particularly in relation to the implications of culture, family, SES, and societal expectations. She cares deeply about these intersectional topics from a social justice perspective. She plays trombone in Madison’s activist, community-based, music-making collective—Forward! Marching Band.

Shuzi Meng
Soobin Im
Stephanie Campbell

The Taming of a Wild Tongue: Americanization and the Loss of our Native Languages

 “Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity- I am my language” – Gloria Anzaldúa.

In this workshop, we will discuss how Americanization and schooling “encourages” us POC to abandon our native tongues and adopt English as our primary language. We will discuss the history behind this push for linguistic assimilation, what part our families and the dominant white supremacist culture plays in this, and come to acknowledge the pain behind this loss. We will then end by sharing our rebellion stories/strategies, encouraging self care as we work to reclaim our linguistic narratives and transform our futures.

Audience: This workshop is intended for People of Color who feel the loss of their native languages, either because they are native american or immigrants/children of immigrants. It should be noted that the facilitator is a descriptivist when it comes to language; AAVE, Castellano, etc can be and should be considered languages themselves.  

This session is intended for the focus audience above, but is open to anyone who is interested.

Manuel Cerda is recent UW-Madison graduate, currently dedicating his time to the non-profit world and serving his community. He loves cooking, video games, and listening to his partner baby talk to her plants. 

 

Manuel Cerda

Intergenerational Trauma and Reconciliation: Considering Rwandan approaches for Mental Health Services with Communities of Color in the United States

This session will start with a brief overview of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda then go into an exploration of therapeutic approaches and community organizing strategies we learned through our Amplify Madison project in this country. During our time there, we learned from professionals and organizations working with clients and communities of color, they shared with us holistic approaches to historical trauma that is making healing possible in the Rwandan context in the midst of challenges and against all odds. As mental health practitioners ourselves, we are excited to share our experience,  finding connections and applications with participants in this workshop in a way that can better serve and facilitate healing for communities of color in the United States. 

Audience: Open to All

Lynneta Latham joined UW Health in July 2019. As a Behavioral Therapist. She brings diversity, compassion, experience, and dedication, to bridge the gap between clients and the community so they are able to sustain an independent high quality of life. Lynneta earned her Masters in Social Work Mental Health from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2019. Her passion is to promote mental health inclusiveness in spaces of color. She works with individuals using an eclectic approach tailored to the unique needs of each client. 

Brittany Neal is a graduate from the University of Madison Part-time Social Work program with her Master’s in social work with a focus in Mental Health. She is currently working as a therapist at Anesis Therapy; where she provides psychotherapy to individuals and families in the community. In May, she graduated from Justified Anger Leadership Institute where she launched her self-care group for women which focuses on empowerment, self-awareness, and self-care resiliency.

Karma Tsedon strives to promote mental health awareness for people of color to end stigma and barriers. She has earned her Masters degree in Mental Health Social Work from the University of Wisconsin Madison. Her passion is to assist clients enhance their quality of life through interconnections of healthy mind and body.

Belinda Richardson received her master’s degree in rehabilitation psychology in 2012 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and obtained her LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) certification in 2016. Belinda has had an interest in psychology since childhood. Her grandmother was a strong local activist in her community when Belinda was young. She took Belinda to her first protest and told her, as a person of color, she had to work together with others to break down walls. Belinda loves helping families become stable and being apart of reducing racial disparities.

Lynneta Latham
Belinda Richardson
Brittany Neal
Karma Tsedon

Mindfulness: A Skillful Response to Racism, Oppression and White Supremacy

In this workshop we will explore how mindfulness can support and benefit us in responding to the racialized stress in our lives. We will examine our relationship to the stress and oppression we experience and its consequences to the body, mind, and spirit. We will engage in an experiential exploration of ways to cultivate mindfulness. Finally, we will delve into what the benefits might be of developing a mindfulness practice as a skillful response to racializes stress and oppression and white supremacy.

Audience: People of Color Affinity Group

Michael Waupoose is a member of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin and belongs to the Turtle Clan. He is a son, a brother, an uncle, a husband and an 8 year veteran of the United States Air Force. He is also a Licensed Clinical Social worker and Certified Substance Abuse Counselor with over 30 years of experience treating substance use and mental health disorders and supervising programs in a wide range of settings.  He has been teaching meditation with the UW Health Mindfulness program since 2012. He has developed and teaches a MBSR Teacher Practicum for those interested in learning to teach Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. Most recently he offered a MBSR class for People of Color. He has completed intensive teacher training with the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. Michael’s interests include the role mindfulness plays in quality of life issues, its integration in the treatment of substance-use disorders and most recently in the benefits that mindfulness might have for People of Color as they live with and confront racism, oppression and white supremacy.

Michael Waupoose

Awakened Justice: Heightening Awareness to Heal

We will be sharing introspective practices and the power of healing in justice and activism. Together we will explore our relationships to power and the structures that uphold a white-centered culture. We will enable you to leave with practices to continue your journey in awakened justice– a lens through which we live utilizing awareness for the purpose of disrupting patterns and tendencies that stagger and separate us from one another.

Audience: Open to All

Antonio Hoye has been working with kids for the past two decades. Since 2010 he has served families and youth in the Middleton-Cross Plains School district both as a Student & Family Engagement Specialist and as a coach. He facilitates Middleton’s racial justice programming for students (Student Equity Institute) annually and passionately disrupts the norm every day. His vision is to not only create just and equitable environments for our students to learn and thrive, but spaces and places to uplift and empower a sense of belonging in every child he encounters. Through reflection, insight, and most recently contemplative practices, he brings wisdom and pain from working in our education system to our attention and hearts– the place from which all the work begins and lives. 

Betsy Delzer has been an educator in Middleton-Cross Plains School District since 2001. She first knew she would work for the hearts of kids when she herself was one and couldn’t bear to leave anyone sitting alone at the lunch table. In her fifteen years in the classroom, a passion for the hearts and minds of teachers and leadership blossomed. She has taught yoga to educators since 2012 and brings mindful practices to schools around the country. Bets has stepped out of the classroom and continues her work in MCPASD as the Coordinator of Mindful Education and Leadership Development, a position on the Leadership Team to offer staff and leaders support in the area of emotional intelligence training, resilience, self-care, and mindful practices for personal and classroom application. The heart of education begins in the heart of the educator and to that end, her pursuit of creating just and loving spaces to learn is boundless.

Antonio Hoye
Betsy Delzer

Both/And: Implementing Racial Justice through School-Based Mental Health Programs

This presentation will (a) nurture the courage to further explore belonging, intersectional equity, and racial justice in school-based mental health, (b) consider the common language and key concepts to support the implementation of culturally responsive practices, and (c) reflect on innovative ways to create the personal and organizational context needed to disrupt inequities and support all students.  

Audience: This is likely best for mental health, healthcare, human service, and school staff/practitioners, but is open to anyone who is interested. 

Dr. Armando Hernandez is a Licensed Psychologist who has over 15 years of experience in the areas of mental health, education, and healthcare. As a trainer, supervisor, consultant, and administrator, he specializes in the areas of behavioral health consultation, multicultural practice, and equity. He is a national consultant in the area of integrated healthcare and has provided numerous workshops and academic courses in the areas of equity, behavioral health, and collaboration. Throughout his career he has worked in various community-based settings, assisting professionals and organizations in their organizational development and implementation of evidence-based practices. Dr. Hernandez is known as a dynamic and engaging speaker and trainer. He completed his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently works as the Assistant Director of Integrated Health Psychologist for the Madison Metropolitan School District in Madison, Wisconsin. 

Armando Hernandez

Integrated Schools By and For Youth

Our idea is to show the public the process of school designing by actually letting them build a rough draft of their own High School. We also want to show them a little bit about our process and how did we get with Milestone Democratic School by the consensus process in which everyone agrees with the ideas proposed. Lastly, we want to reflect on our own ideas and how they will actually look in a high school where students are being affected by the racial and segregational issues that are possible by the system that is currently in place.

Audience: Open to All

Gersely Rios is a 14 year old student from James M. Memorial High School in the Madison Metropolitan School District. She was born and raised until the age of 13 in Venezuela. She is part of the Design Team of Milestone Democratic School is am part of the Latinx community. She understands the racial issues that the school system of this country is passing through as any other immigrant does. She decided to join the school designing project because is one of the ways she can raise my voice and speak her truth and the truths of others that can’t do it. 

Jurie Mayo is 19 years old, and I has been a community organizer with Freedom Inc for four years. She joined the Governance Board of Milestone Democratic School because she feels like having a queer, black, and gender nonbinary voice would be able to help shape the school.

Gersely Rios
Jurie Mayo

Become a Changemaker!

You are invited to roll up your sleeves and join us in this interactive workshop where you will learn the first steps to transforming an idea into a business or business-like activity for social good. You’ll begin to identify a problem you care about, understand the considerations needed for impact, and plot out an entrepreneurial plan to address it. Leave this hands-on workshop with a draft plan in hand! 

Audience: Open to All

Dr. Roxie Hentz is the Founding Executive Director of CEOs of Tomorrow, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to guide youth in unlocking their entrepreneurial gifts and use them to make the world a better place. Extending her commitment to social entrepreneurship education, she is the author of It’s My Business: Inspiring Students’ Ideas for a Better Community, a resource book packed with fun lessons and engaging activities designed for educators to guide their students in creating their own classroom business for social good.

Roxie Hentz

American Indian Studies: Implementing Wisconsin Act 31

The presentation will provide in-depth presentation and discussion on American Indian Studies in Wisconsin (often referenced as Wisconsin Act 31). The focus of the training is to help participants understand and implement Wisconsin Act 31, which is a state law requiring all public school districts and pre-service teacher programs to provide instruction on the history, culture, and tribal sovereignty of the eleven federally-recognized American Indian nations in the state of Wisconsin. 

Audience: Open to All

David O’Connor is originally from and is a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. In January 2012, he became the American Indian Studies Consultant at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). He is the Grant Director for the Network for Native American Student Achievement (NNASA) and the Culturally Responsive Early Childhood Tribal Project with the Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network “The Network”. In David’s role at DPI, he supports school districts’ efforts to provide instruction on the history, culture and tribal sovereignty of Wisconsin’s American Indian nations and tribal communities and the education of Native American students.

David O’Connnor

What Effect Has History Had on Our Culture & Our Soul?

We explore the etiology of many of the adaptive survival behaviors in African American communities throughout the United States and the Diaspora. We’ll also explore how the historical practices of White American–including cognitive dissonance—has created a culture where empathy and compassion are almost non-existent. Leading to the dehumanization of White people and the people known as Black.  A consequence of multi-generational oppression of Africans and their descendants resulting from centuries of chattel slavery. A form of slavery which was predicated on the belief that African Americans were inherently/genetically inferior to whites. This was then followed by institutionalized racism which continues to perpetuate injury. How do we break free of this insidious cycle? How do we begin to heal?

Audience: Black people and Racial Justice Practitioners

Brandi Grayson is an entrepreneur, change maker,  advocate, program manager and organizer. She has been on the front lines of racial and social justice for many years. Today, she’s the CEO of Grayson Consulting, LLC specializing in Program Management and Strategic Development. She’s also the Executive Director of Urban Triage, whose mission is to foster Black families self sufficiency, community leadership, advocacy and family success through parent engagement and cultural heritage. Brandi also runs a community lead and funded Eviction Prevention Fund for Black families. She’s an amazing orator on issues of racism and our personal roles in eradicating oppressive systems and thought.

Jael Currie is a Madison born and raised social worker currently practicing as the Housing Director at YWCA Madison. Jael considers herself a servant leader who is passionate about promoting positive outcomes for families, especially through the method of community partnership. Along with her job duties she is active in several committees, community groups, and task forces addressing issues of race relations, access and equity in education, homeless services, and creating equitable and inclusive organizations in the Greater Madison area.

Brandi Grayson
Jael Currie

Storytelling Our Future: Transformative Communication Skills for Social Justice

Informed by the legacies of global civil rights leaders across intersecting movements (gender, race, religious, labor and immigrant rights), this workshop will equip participants with the critical messaging skills to craft narratives that align with intersectional justice and bridge the gap between personal and political values. Participants will hone their writing and public speaking talents to produce press releases, campaign mission statements, op-eds and other significant writings that support the forward movement of social justice projects.

Audience: Primarily for People of Color with a racial justice lens and ongoing practice. White attendees with a racial justice lens and ongoing practice may also join.

Anjali Misra is a Chicago-based nonprofit professional, freelance writer and  community theater director. She attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison where she earned a BA in English Literature, a minor in Gender & Women’s Studies and a Master of Arts in Gender & Women’s Studies. Over the last 10 years, Anjali has had the immense privilege to support the work of organizations and groups like Free Spirit Media, GSAFE, YWCA, MEChA and South Asian Sisters Madison – focusing on inter-ethnic solidarity, interracial coalition building, and gender justice.

Anjali Misra

Internalized Islamophobia: Dismantling White Supremacist Notions of Orientalism Within Young American Muslims Through Advocacy and Activism

One of the most understudied aspects of Islamophobia is the way young Muslims ingest negative stereotypes and attitudes towards their faith. According to a recent study by the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, 1 in 2 young Muslims didn’t know if they could be American and Muslim at the same time. This is due to tenants of white supremacy that have cast Muslims as perpetual others to be feared. This workshop will be a deep dive into the impact of Islamophobia and racialized othering on American Muslim identities and provide a space for collaboration on how to dismantle those notions through empowering Muslim youth through youth-led activism.

Audience: Open to All

Mouna Algahaithi is a Yemeni-American, Muslim woman dedicated to educational accessibility and equity as well as Muslim women empowerment through activism. A recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin- Madison, Mouna obtained her B.S. in Education Policy with a Certificate in Criminal Justice. Mouna currently works at a Madison-based non-profit as an Education Engagement Specialist.

Sedgwick Smith Jr. is the Dane Country Program Director for the Zeidler Center for Public Discussion, facilitating access to dialogue and solutions between polarized communities. Sed is also a Lead Elementary Summer & After-School Teacher with the Lussier Community Education Center, as well as a Development Officer for the grassroots coalition, Young, Gifted and Black. Additionally he attends UW- Milwaukee, acquiring his B.A. in Urban Planning. 

Sedgwick Smith & Mouna Alghaithi

The 1.5 Generation; A Historical Uncovering & Stories of Latinx Education

Within the time frame of the Chicano Movement, there is emphasis on the setbacks and successes in achieving economic, social, and political civil rights for Mexicans in the United States. As a result of El Movimiento Chicano, today we are able to witness the evolution of education amongst Latinos in Wisconsin. When comparing the University of Wisconsin-Madison with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the staff, support, resources, outreach, and programs have had different results in fulfilling that goal. We invite you to partake in the uncovering and stories of local Latino students in the movement for educational rights since the 1950s to today. See how you can be part of El Movimento.

Audience: Open to All

From México to Madison and from Madison to Milwaukee, Alondra Quechol-Ramirez is a DACAmented student currently at the UW-Milwaukee. Ms. Quechol has been living in the United States since the age of three. She is the oldest out of four in her family. After three years of passion and ambition, Ms. Quechol worked as a co-founder and co-facilitator of [Re]Genaerción at Centro Hispano of Dane County while also being a full-time student at Madison College. Simultaneously, during her spare time she served as a member with UW-Dreamers, the president of Orgullo Latino Student Club at Madison College, finishing off by serving as an intern at United Way of Dane County. Recently, she was awarded the Youth Visionary Leadership Award from the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice and the YWCA Women of Distinction Leadership Award. Ms. Quechol has played a vital role in organizing with the youth and is still standing strong and now more than ever as an advocate as she marches down the streets as an activist with youth and families of Dane County.

Margarita Garcia Rojas is a senior Latin American, Caribbean, & U.S. Latinx Studies, Spanish, and History student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She was born in Mexico, migrated at the age of three with her family, and has lived in Milwaukee ever since. Drawing from her own experience, her current research project, “So American it Hurts: Stories of the 1.5 Generation,” focuses on the experience of growing up undocumented or in a mixed status family. As a Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Scholar, her research focus is on the experiences of Central American refugees in the 1980s at the Port Isabel Detention Center. Ms. Garcia Rojas aspires to pursue a doctorate in Latin American History in addition to working directly with immigrant communities.

Alondra Quechol-Ramirez
Margarita Garcia Rojas

Clothing, Music, and Social Media: Transforming our Future through Children of the Diaspora

Of the Diaspora is a multimedia platform that explores diaspora communities through mediums of photography, film, music, clothing, writing and art. Through this initiative and through storytelling, we will be exploring transnational social causes and the way that they impact the identity of youth of color. More importantly, we will learn how to better our shared future by amplifying the voices of children of the diaspora.

Audience: Open to All

Ali Khan is an undergraduate, double-majoring at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Political Science and Communication Arts. Raised my whole life in rural Wisconsin as a brown, bearded, Muslim child of immigrants in a post-9/11 America–now Trump’s America–has made a large impact on my identity. While constantly surrounded by a conservative white majority, I learned through interaction and connection that with storytelling others cannot only be tolerant of diversity, but appreciative of it. This cultivated my passion to use visual media as a tool for storytelling to spread awareness and engage people with issues that may seem unrelated to them. In my free time, I enjoy producing short films and music videos, writing poetry and screenplays, and designing diaspora-themed clothing.

Ali Khan

You drank the Lemonade, took a Seat at the Table and won a seat in Congress. So, Now What?

This workshop will explore health care policy as revolution for women of color and use a historical lens to speak to the structural and institutional racism against women of color as it relates specifically to policy. From this point we will briefly analyze Governor Evers “Healthy Women,  Healthy Babies” initiative to facilitate a guided exercise in writing healthcare policy that would bring about change for women of color.

Audience: Open to All

T.R. Williams was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated from Vassar College located in “upstate” New York. After working in New York City’s educational non- profit arena, T.R. returned home to Wisconsin to attend law school. Williams began her legal career practicing family law, she later joined the criminal defense practice then went on to combine these experiences by serving as a Spanish bilingual family law and criminal defense attorney focusing on domestic violence for the non-profit law firm Centro Legal. Prompted by her role as a board member for the Wisconsin Women’s Network and graduate of the Policy Institute T.R. shifted her professional focus to policy advocacy and health care. T.R. currently serves as the Advocacy and Government Relations Specialist for the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association (WPHCA). Williams considers advocacy an art form that allows one to bridge the gap between current reality and aspired reality.

T.R. Williams

Leadership Development starts on the BLOC(K)

In order to develop leaders in an intentional way, people need to invest and be patient when it comes to developing directly impacted people. In this session, we will talk about one model on how to be intentional about how we center directly impacted people and empower people to discover their power and agency to be change makers.  We will also dig into the issues, concerns, and values that our investment and engagement in the Black community in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin has revealed. 

Audience: Open to All

Angela Lang was born and raised in the heart of Milwaukee. She has an extensive background in community organizing. In the past, Angela served as both an organizer and State Council Director for the Service Employees International Union, working on such campaigns as the Fight for 15. Before joining BLOC’s team as Executive Director, Angela was the Political Director with For Our Future Wisconsin. She is a graduate of Emerge Wisconsin and has had the pleasure of being the featured trainer for Emerge’s Diversity Weekend since 2015. Angela is motivated by making substantial and transformative change in her community while developing young, local leaders of color. Her journey in organizing hasn’t always been easy, but through it all she has remained a fierce advocate for securing more seats at the table for those who represent the New American Majority.

Angela Lang

Justified Anger--Session 1: Grassroots Leadership Development

In session, learn more about Justified Anger’s strategies for supporting the critical work African American grassroots leaders are doing in Madison neighborhoods. Part of these strategies highlight the need to activate organizations and funders to recognize these leaders as experts and key thought leaders in Madison and beyond.

Audience: Open to All

Harry Hawkins is the Executive Vice President of Nehemiah Community Development Corporation. He brings with him over ten years of management experience in the business world, with a specialization on implementation in the workplace. Mr. Hawkins offers consulting services and training for businesses seeking to improve equity and inclusion for their workforce and programming.  

Rev. Dr. Alexander Gee, Jr. is the lead pastor of Fountain of Life Covenant Church, a multiracial, multigenerational and multi-class congregation in Madison, WI. In 1992 he also pioneered The Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development, a non-profit organization that enhances the quality of life for his entire city by inspiring, developing and mobilizing emerging African American leaders to become key partners in revitalizing and transforming their city. His commitment is to work to reveal grace and hope in every sector of the city of Madison, including the business community, The University of Wisconsin, City Hall and the State Capitol. Gee has worked to empower countless fatherless children, ex-offenders, drug addicts, teen parents and racially divided communities. He is passionate about promoting hope, transformation and justice for disenfranchised African American people everywhere.

Harry Hawkins
Rev. Dr. Alexander Gee, Jr.

Justified Anger--Session 2: Creating Community and Capacity for Black Professionals

In this session, learn about Nehemiah/Justified Anger’s Leadership Institute for black professionals. For years, Madison has seen highly talented professionals leave for other cities due, in part, to micro and macroaggressions in predominantly white work spaces and lack of social gathering space. This Leadership Institute, along with other strategies, are designed to develop African American professionals through skills training and network building. 

Audience: Open to All

Harry Hawkins is the Executive Vice President of Nehemiah Community Development Corporation. He brings with him over ten years of management experience in the business world, with a specialization on implementation in the workplace. Mr. Hawkins offers consulting services and training for businesses seeking to improve equity and inclusion for their workforce and programming.  

Rev. Dr. Alexander Gee, Jr. is the lead pastor of Fountain of Life Covenant Church, a multiracial, multigenerational and multi-class congregation in Madison, WI. In 1992 he also pioneered The Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development, a non-profit organization that enhances the quality of life for his entire city by inspiring, developing and mobilizing emerging African American leaders to become key partners in revitalizing and transforming their city. His commitment is to work to reveal grace and hope in every sector of the city of Madison, including the business community, The University of Wisconsin, City Hall and the State Capitol. Gee has worked to empower countless fatherless children, ex-offenders, drug addicts, teen parents and racially divided communities. He is passionate about promoting hope, transformation and justice for disenfranchised African American people everywhere.

Harry Hawkins
Rev. Dr. Alexander Gee, Jr.

Justified Anger--Session 3: Mobilizing Greater Madison for Change

In this session, learn about what Justified Anger has been doing to mobilize primarily white community members to impact Black:white racial disparities in the Greater Madison Area. From educating about US history to cultural engagement training, hundreds of volunteers are learning to recognize and reduce racist behaviors and thought patterns while focusing their skills on tasks to fight racism on many levels using their own spheres of influence.

 Audience: Open to All

Harry Hawkins is the Executive Vice President of Nehemiah Community Development Corporation. He brings with him over ten years of management experience in the business world, with a specialization on implementation in the workplace. Mr. Hawkins offers consulting services and training for businesses seeking to improve equity and inclusion for their workforce and programming.  

Rev. Dr. Alexander Gee, Jr. is the lead pastor of Fountain of Life Covenant Church, a multiracial, multigenerational and multi-class congregation in Madison, WI. In 1992 he also pioneered The Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development, a non-profit organization that enhances the quality of life for his entire city by inspiring, developing and mobilizing emerging African American leaders to become key partners in revitalizing and transforming their city. His commitment is to work to reveal grace and hope in every sector of the city of Madison, including the business community, The University of Wisconsin, City Hall and the State Capitol. Gee has worked to empower countless fatherless children, ex-offenders, drug addicts, teen parents and racially divided communities. He is passionate about promoting hope, transformation and justice for disenfranchised African American people everywhere.

Harry Hawkins
Rev. Dr. Alexander Gee, Jr.

Transforming Youth Justice in Wisconsin: Are We Ready?

Over the past year, the implementation of Act 185 (closing of Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake state correctional facilities) has brought a great deal of attention to the racial and gender disparities and underlying issues within the youth justice system.  It has also indicated that youth incarceration does not “work” for girls or boys and that we need to do something totally different to eliminate racial and gender disparities, harm caused by confinement, and the poor outcomes of the current system. Other states have seen success in these areas by closing youth prisons and switching to a community-based continuum of care for young people and families.  The question is: are we ready to confront our negative stereotypes, outdated policies and public spending habits to implement strategies that promote health, safety and justice for all?  

From Learning to Action: This workshop will summarize the opportunities and challenges young people, families, and system partners face as we transform youth justice in Milwaukee and Wisconsin.  Using current data, group exercises, and discussion, we will take the participants from learning to action and offer recommendations to become part of the transforming youth justice movement.

Audience: Open to All

Erica Nelson is the Director of the Race to Equity Project, an initiative to dramatically reduce racial disparities in Dane County, Wisconsin (Madison) and throughout the rest of the state. The multi-year project, which was launched in 2012, has resulted in a vast increase in public awareness of the community’s deep racial inequalities, generated scores of public and private policy and practice initiatives to advance inclusion and equity, and fostered the development a widely embraced comprehensive community plan to level the playing field and improve outcomes for the region’s families and children of color. Before taking up this work, Erica practiced public interest law for three years in New York City, representing low-income families involved in the child welfare system in Manhattan Family Court. Her legal work followed a six year career as a dancer/choreographer with New York-based contemporary ballet companies. Erica received her BA Degree in history from the University of Wisconsin in 1994 and her Juris Doctorate from Rutgers Law School in 2004. She as well as the Race to Equity Team are the recipients of numerous honors and awards, including recently: Urban League of Greater Madison’s Whitney Young Award in 2014; the Rainbow Project’s Extra Mile Award in 2014; her selection as a “Woman to Watch in 2015” by BRAVA Magazine; the 2015 “M Awards for Social Innovation” to Race to Equity; and the Liesl Blockstein 2016 Community Leadership Award presented by Community Shares of Central Wisconsin. Erica is a frequent presenter and speaker on race, social justice and family policy issues.

Sharlen Moore has committed her life to building and sustaining grassroots leadership for change. She has a passion for community justice, which led to her co-founding Urban Underground in 2000, a nationally recognized grassroots youth development organization whose members have been at the forefront of youth-led social change in Milwaukee and the region. She is also the founding member of Youth Justice Milwaukee which is a broad-based youth decarceration campaign advocating for the creation of community-based, family-centered, restorative programs as an alternative to locking up youth in Wisconsin prisons. Sharlen’s efforts have touched the lives of countless youth and have inspired a new generation of young leaders that will carry forth the struggle for justice and equality. Sharlen currently serves as Director of Youth Justice Milwaukee, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

Erica Nelson
Sharlen Moore

Wisconsin’s Budget & Racial Equity

Governor Evers’ proposed budget included some policy recommendations that would have begun to help reduce the wide gap between white people and people of color in Wisconsin. However, the legislature removed almost all of those proposals from the budget. State government must reverse policies that contribute to our state’s shameful disparities and enact policies that will help make Wisconsin a more equitable state for people of color. However,  the final budget is more of a “business as usual” budget that fails to remove – and in some cases reinforces obstacles to success for families of color and those furthest from opportunity. This workshop will explore some of those missed opportunities in the budget in areas such as health, k-12 education, and taxes. We will then break into small groups to explore what’s missing from these proposals, what’s happening at the local level to address these issues, and ways we can advocate to advance a budget that prioritizes racial equity in the future.  

Audience: Open to All

William Parke-Sutherland is the health policy engagement coordinator for Kids Forward. William facilitates the WI Health Matters coalition and leads in Medicaid expansion, ACA defense, and Medicaid’s diagnostic and treatment benefit for kids (known as HealthCheck in WI). He serves on the board of Health Watch Wisconsin, Access workgroup for the Office of Children’s Mental Health, and WI American Academy of Pediatrics Public Policy Council.

Erica Nelson is the Director of the Race to Equity Project, an initiative to dramatically reduce racial disparities in Dane County, Wisconsin (Madison) and throughout the rest of the state. The multi-year project, which was launched in 2012, has resulted in a vast increase in public awareness of the community’s deep racial inequalities, generated scores of public and private policy and practice initiatives to advance inclusion and equity, and fostered the development a widely embraced comprehensive community plan to level the playing field and improve outcomes for the region’s families and children of color. Before taking up this work, Erica practiced public interest law for three years in New York City, representing low-income families involved in the child welfare system in Manhattan Family Court. Her legal work followed a six year career as a dancer/choreographer with New York-based contemporary ballet companies. Erica received her BA Degree in history from the University of Wisconsin in 1994 and her Juris Doctorate from Rutgers Law School in 2004. She as well as the Race to Equity Team are the recipients of numerous honors and awards, including recently: Urban League of Greater Madison’s Whitney Young Award in 2014; the Rainbow Project’s Extra Mile Award in 2014; her selection as a “Woman to Watch in 2015” by BRAVA Magazine; the 2015 “M Awards for Social Innovation” to Race to Equity; and the Liesl Blockstein 2016 Community Leadership Award presented by Community Shares of Central Wisconsin. Erica is a frequent presenter and speaker on race, social justice and family policy issues.

William Parke-Sutherland
Erica Nelson

You Ain’t Got the Answers: Community Driven Solutions and Non-performative Allyship

This workshop will speak on the necessity of community driven solutions (CDSs) in intersectional place-based work, specifically unpacking problematic funding practices and the critical role non-performative allyship plays in actualizing community defined visions. Participants will unpack these and other ideas, reflect on our individual/collective practices, and outline concrete goals moving forward in their professional/community work to uplift CDSs, support community leaders, and practice true allyship. This session builds on the experiences shared between Devon Hamilton and George Reistad’s often intersecting food systems work, from local grassroots initiatives to regional/national institutional level work.

Audience: Open to All

Devon Hamilton is a Posse program Alumni of UW Madison, and currently works for Community Services Unlimited (CSU), a community based organization in his hometown of South Central Los Angeles. Before his recent departure from Madison, he served as the Associate Policy Director for Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI) and served on the board of the Mellowhood Foundation, REAP Food Group, and the Organizational Council for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. He is a practiced educator, organizer, and cook around food and racial justice issues and advocate for sustainable agriculture practices.

George Reistad comes from a sustainable agriculture and local food systems background, formerly advocating for and advancing state and national policies related to agricultural conservation, local food market development, and creating programming on civic engagement around food systems for Wisconsin middle and high-schoolers. In his role at the City of Madison, George focuses on creating and continuing programs and advancing policies that increase food access for residents of the City, with particular focus being paid to initiatives that create healthy affordable food access and build more robust community food systems.

Devon Hamilton
George Reistad

 

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