Milwaukee Prevention Journal 
March 19, 2018
Issue 7-6

Thank you for your commitment to making Milwaukee a better place by investing in prevention efforts. Do you have:
  • Job openings?
  • Upcoming events?
  • News to share?
  • Suggestions?

Forward the information to Elysse at Thank you for your service to Milwaukee!

Yours in prevention,
Elysse Chay 
Prevention Services Manager
Community Advocates
Public Policy Institute 

Why are some smokers able to quit, while others try again and again but are never able to give up tobacco, despite knowing how harmful it can be?

The answer might be in their brains.

At last week's quarterly meeting of the City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance, Jeff Engelmann, Ph.D., of the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center, provided an overview of a feasibility study he's hoping to launch soon that will look at how smoking cues stimulate the brains of a diverse sample of smokers.

"We have two goals," he told members of the Alliance. "We want to better understand why it is that people smoke with the goal of developing better interventions. We also want to include people from diverse backgrounds and provide them an opportunity to participate in research that might help us understand nicotine dependence, with the ultimate goal of developing and disseminating better interventions."

Since African Americans, Native Americans, and LGBTQ individuals are more likely to smoke in Wisconsin than other demographic groups, Engelmann will be looking for study participants who reflect the realities of smoking today.

The study will build on work he did at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston that studied smokers who were actively trying to quit.

Engelmann used brain imaging techniques to look at how their brains lit up when they saw images of cues that typically trigger smoking, as well as images of other pleasurable activities. He discovered that smokers whose brains were more reactive in response to the smoking-related images had a more difficult time quitting smoking than smokers who took pleasure in a wider variety of stimuli.

"The higher risk group really had trouble quitting and needed more in-depth interventions, counseling, medication, that sort of thing," Engelmann said.

About 100 high school students spent their day off from school at the Second Annual Youth Summit sponsored by the Milwaukee County Substance Abuse Prevention (MCSAP) coalition, held at Neu-Life Community Development on March 9 .

Students from Neu-Life, Running Rebels Community Organization , United Community Center , and WestCare learned about how marijuana can impact their educational opportunities, job prospects, athletic performance, and health and well-being.

The theme was "real talk" about marijuana and the students got plenty of it, beginning with keynote speaker Emilio De Torre , Director of Youth Programs at the ACLU of Wisconsin, who spoke about the intersection of race, marijuana, and contact with police and potential employers. 

He also encouraged the students to get in touch with their elected officials and leaders of color in their community and in business, all of whom are ready and willing to help them and inspire them to do better, De Torre said.

"Elevate your community and elevate yourself," De Torre said.

Workshops and educational games were led by Adam Hauer of the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office , John Eshun of the 53206 Drug-Free Communities Project , Selma Aly, Drug-Free Communities Organizer at Safe & Sound , Anthony Harris from Diverse & Resilient , and Jaquawn Seals from Neu-Life.  The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office provided two deputies to talk about the dangers of driving impaired with marijuana. 

And Anneke Mohr, Coordinator of the  City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance -- with Neu-Life FACT Movement youth leaders Destiny Yarbrough, Ayanna Martin, and Amunique McGee -- held an interactive session on marijuana and tobacco.

Justin Roby provided an inspiring talk about marijuana and job opportunities, while Destinny Fletcher read two of her own poems and gave away copies of her book of poetry.

As incredible as these speakers were, a highlight was the homemade lunch (a wing bar!) cooked by Neu-Life youth and the trivia contest conducted by Milwaukee County BHD's Nzinga Khalid and Healistry's Natalie Cooper, who also helped to organize the summit with Neu-Life's Jody Rhodes.

One trivia question that stumped many: How many young people in Colorado consume marijuana, following legalization for adults? Answer: Just one in five.

"They have a lot of initiatives to encourage young people not to prematurely engage," Cooper explained. "Don't make the assumption that just because it's legal for adults, more people who are your age are going to consume."

MCSAP Coordinator Kasaundra Brown would like to thank everyone who organized, participated in, and enjoyed the day.

"All of the youth volunteered to spend their day off of school at the summit," Brown said. "That speaks volumes about the importance of this topic in their lives and how intensely they want to succeed."

Oprah Winfrey talks to Belinda Pittman-McGee of Nia Imani Family Center; Photo Credit CBS News
Oprah Winfrey Reports on Addressing Childhood Trauma in Milwaukee

In case you missed it, last week's "60 Minutes" featured Oprah Winfrey's reporting on the work being done in Milwaukee on childhood trauma, led by the team at SaintA, which has trained 50,000 people on trauma-informed care, and Nia Imani Family Center, which provides transitional housing for homeless women and their children.

Winfrey was inspired to explore the topic after reading the Journal Sentinel's series "A Time to Heal." She later said that reporting on this story was "life changing" and impacts the way she interacts with others.

" It's not lost on me the irony of being back in the same city, Milwaukee, where I grew up on welfare, poor," Winfrey said in her "60 Minutes" segment. "A lot of negative experiences. Sexual abuse and all of that."

She then asked Dr. Bruce Perry, a leading expert on childhood trauma, "What's the difference between a really bad childhood and being able to overcome that and a traumatic childhood and someone not being able to overcome that?"

His response? "Really it boils down to something pretty simple. And it's relationships."

Oprah Winfrey talks about her
Oprah Winfrey talks about her "life-changing" report on trauma in Milwaukee

Want to learn more? While Oprah focused on the impact of trauma on individuals, trauma can also be felt at the community level. Instead of asking "What's wrong with this community?," the Prevention Institute suggests we ask, "What happened to this community?" 

In fact, the ReCAST Milwaukee initiative is tackling this very issue in Milwaukee as it seeks to address community-wide trauma from a specific incident (a fatal police shooting, for example) or  lingering trauma created by living in a segregated neighborhood with concentrated poverty and violence. The City of Milwaukee's Office of Violence Prevention's Blueprint for Peace is grounded in this wider understanding of trauma.

Take a look at the Prevention Institute's materials on community-level trauma and learn more about what we can do to address trauma throughout Milwaukee.

MCSAP Sheds Light on Root Causes of Substance Abuse

The Milwaukee County Substance Abuse Prevention (MCSAP) coalition held its March meeting last week, featuring keynote speaker Jeremy Triblett, Resource Coordinator for ReCAST Milwaukee, the citywide initiative to address trauma. Triblett spoke about the intersection of trauma and prevention, asking attendees to consider whether trauma causes substance abuse or if substance abuse contributes to the risk of trauma. 

MCSAP members are also preparing to release another public service announcement, mark International Overdose Awareness Day in August, and better engage with youth. MCSAP's data committee is also relaunching to capture solid data on prevention and substance use. Interested in joining the coalition? Contact MCSAP today.

JUULing Is Latest E-Cigarette Craze

You may not have heard of JUUL yet, but it's quickly becoming the trendiest way to use tobacco among young people. According to a recent Journal Sentinel article, " Over the last year, JUUL has become ubiquitous on college and high school campuses. As of the last quarter of 2017, it accounted for nearly 47% of the market share for e-cigarettes -- in comparison to 25% a year earlier, according to data from Wells Fargo."

JUUL is easy to conceal or pass off as a thumb drive and features flavors like mango and creme brulee, which easily appeal to young people. High school students in the area have been JUULing in school bathrooms even though they shouldn't be sold to minors. 

Although JUUL is the latest tobacco product to appeal to youth, young people are educating their peers about the dangers of using any kind of tobacco. The article quotes teens from FACT, the statewide youth tobacco prevention program, about their perceptions of the problem. 

"I see a lot of people using them and teachers don't know how to look for them," Danielle Foster, a 15-year-old student at Nicolet High School, told the Journal Sentinel. "They [JUUL users] think it's better than smoking weed or cigarettes."

Thanks go out to the Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network, Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention and Poverty Network, and FACT Movement youth for raising this issue in the community.

Where American Kids Are in Crisis

City Lab published this good review of what we know about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) right now. 

According to a 2016 study, the most prevalent ACE that American kids experience are economic hardship and divorce or separation of a parent or guardian. Not surprisingly, states that are home to the children with the most ACEs are those with a high rate of childhood poverty. Black and Hispanic kids tend to have the highest number of ACEs, while white and Asian kids have the lowest.

Author Mimi Kirk wrote, "As the  potential policy effects of [the mass shooting in a high school in] Parkland  continue to ripple out, this mounting attention given to ACEs suggests that the long-term effects of childhood trauma -- both from horrific incidents like school shootings and from chronic exposure to poverty, hunger, and homelessness -- need to be part of the conversation."

MCSAP Drug Take-Back Drives
Thursday, April 12

Don't let unwanted medications clutter your medicine cabinet or get into the hands of the wrong people. It's easy to get rid of medication, vitamins, and patches during MCSAP and partners' Drug Take-Back Drives on Thursday, April 12, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This year, the coalition will receive medications at two convenient locations:

  • Milwaukee: Hayat Pharmacy, 1919 W. North Ave.; look for the orange Children's Community Health Plan tent
  • West Allis: Summit Place, 6737 W. Washington St.; look for the white Skywalk Pharmacy tent

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training
Wednesday, May 9

Professionals who work with youth ages 12-17 and their caregivers are encouraged to attend this Youth Mental Health First Aid training sponsored by the Public Policy Institute. You'll learn how to assess and assist young people who are experiencing a mental health crisis. This is a free, eight-hour training to be held in the second floor conference room of Community Advocates, 728 N. James Lovell St., Milwaukee. Register and get more details here. Note: Our April 5 training reached capacity quickly, so please RSVP as soon as you are able to secure your spot.

SponsorshipSponsorship Opportunity
Community Advocates 
Public Policy Institute
10th Anniversary Celebration
Thursday, April 26
Keynote Speaker
Richard Rothstein
with Reggie Jackson

~Individual Tickets Go on Sale This Week~

On April 26, 2018, Community Advocates Public Policy Institute will celebrate our 10th anniversary with a special night at the Milwaukee Public Museum featuring keynote speaker Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction. Local historian Reggie Jackson, Head Griot of America's Black Holocaust Museum, will also address the audience.

Richard Rothstein

Reggie Jackson

The Public Policy Institute is now offering organizations an opportunity to sponsor this one-of-a-kind evening event. Benefits vary based on sponsorship level, but they can include access to a VIP reception with Rothstein and Jackson, tickets to the main event, complimentary copies of The Color of Law , and recognition in all promotional materials. 

Individual tickets will go on sale this week. Check our website or your email in-box this week for details. 

Contact PPI Deputy Director Kari Lerch at or 414-270-2950 for details about partnering with the Public Policy Institute on this event.

Contributing Sponsors

Save the Date

Suicide: The Ripple Effect
Reserve Your Tickets Now
May 1, May 9 & May 16

Purchase your tickets now for screenings of "Suicide: The Ripple Effect," at theaters in the area. The film chronicles the journey of  Kevin Hines, who'd attempted suicide 17 years ago. Now, he's trying to understand the ripple effects his suicide attempt had on his family, friends, and the first responders who helped save him. He's also working to shine light on inspirational individuals, families, and organizations who are using personal pain to help others find the hope they need to heal.

These screenings are sponsored by Rogers Behavioral Health and Milwaukee County, along with WISE, Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division, Mental Health America, Prevent Suicide Greater Milwaukee, NAMI Waukesha, and REDgen. Earlier screenings sold out, so reserve your ticket now by downloading this PDF and following the link for the screening you'd like to attend.

Alliance for Wisconsin Youth
Regional Training 
in the Works

Members of the Northeast, Southeast, and Southern regions of the Alliance for Wisconsin Youth should save May 21 and 22 for this training opportunity. Registration will open soon for this Milwaukee-area conference. 

UWM Pride 
Discovery Camp
Tuesday, June 19 
through Sunday, June 24

UWM Pride Discovery Camp is designed to inspire LGBT+ high school students to embrace their multiple identities and gain a better understanding of marginalized identities through community building, activism, self-expression, and connections in the LGBT+ Communities. Pride Discovery Camp provides a unique camp experience that empowers and enriches students with confidence and leadership skills and encourages campers to realize their full potential. Click here to apply; deadline is June 1. However, May 17 is the priority deadline for scholarship consideration.

2018 Trauma in Our Community Conference
Wednesday, June 20

The UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education is hosting Trauma in Our Community, which is intended for teachers, school and youth counselors, psychologists, social workers, medical providers, parents, and those interested in addressing the vital subject of trauma care throughout the community. The daylong conference will be held on Wednesday, June 20; cost: $199, or $179 if registered by May 30. This conference qualifies for 0.7 Continuing Education Units and seven Continuing Education Hours. Register here. 

How to Be Free Series
Thursday, March 20 & 27
COA Youth & Family Centers Goldin Center and the 53206 Drug-Free Communities Project are sponsoring a series of talks on how to live in a state of freedom.  Through interactive and organic discussion, learn about strategies that will strengthen individual and family lives.

The discussion on Tuesday, March 20, will explore dealing with marijuana and alcohol; the talk on Tuesday, March 27, will cover opioid addiction. Both sessions will run from 5 to 6 p.m. Light refreshments and childcare will be provided.

This series will provide an inviting, safe, and flexible atmosphere for all. Please stop by for this insightful discussion, even if you arrive late.

The series will be held at  COA Goldin Center's  Ethel Gill Family Resource Center,  2320 W. Burleigh St.,  Milwaukee. Call  414-265-7689 if you want to register or if you have questions. 
Perils and Pitfalls of Pills: Your Role in Medication Safety
Thursday, March 22
Certified Senior Advisor Claire Sedushak will help participants understand how to ask the right questions when prescribed an opioid medication, as well as how to take them safely.

Sedushak's talk is sponsored by Volition Franklin, a Partnership for Success partner,  and the Franklin Health Department. Details: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 22, at the Franklin Public Library, 9151 W. Loomis Road, Franklin. To register, contact the Franklin Health Department at 414-425-9101 or fill out this registration form.

The Dress Sequel to Benefit 
Light and Unite Red
Saturday, March 24 
& Sunday, March 25
The Dress Sequel is a dress resale event featuring gently used prom, bridesmaid, and women's formal dresses. At its next event, to be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 24, and from 10 .m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 25, at the Farmhouse Paint and Sip (4511 S. 6th Street, Milwaukee), a portion of the proceeds will benefit Milwaukee County's Light and Unite Red

Admission is $5 on Saturday, but free on Sunday. 

In addition to the dress resale, participants can take advantage of discount painting sessions after the event as well as a wide array of coffee drinks, smoothies, mocktails, and cocktails.

The Dress Sequel is currently looking for sellers, those who have had dresses sitting in their closet and who are interested in making some money back on their initial investment. Sellers can sign up here. 
Amani United Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, March 27
Be the change we seek. Join Amani United and make a difference in your neighborhood. Amani United meets every 4th Tuesday of the month at 4:30 p.m. at COA Goldin Center Library (2320 W Burleigh St.). Come and discuss neighborhood events and resource opportunities. Contact Barbara at (414) 444-9930 or go to the Dominican Center's website for more information.
Community Wellness and Substance Abuse Prevention Event
Wednesday, March 28
Community Alliance: Hales Corners and Greendale Communities and the Greendale Health Department are hosting this panel and resource fair devoted to raising awareness and prevention of substance misuse. This event will be held at Greendale High School, 6801 Southway, Greendale. The resource fair will begin at 6 p.m.; the speaker panel will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The Greendale Health Department is a Partnership for Success partner. 

Learn more and register on the group's Facebook page or call 414-423-2110.

Five Protective Factors Training
April 6 through June 15
The Parenting Network is sponsoring this six-session strength-based training for family service providers this spring. The Five Protective Factors of the Strengthening Families Approach  (Parental Resilience, Concrete Support in Times of Need, Social Connections, Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development, and the Social and Emotional Competence of Children) helps to strengthen families, support a child's development, and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect.

These no-cost sessions will be held on April 6, April 20, May 4, May 18, June 1, and June 15 from 9:30 a.m. to noon at The Parenting Network, 7516 W. Burleigh St., Milwaukee. To register for individual sessions or all six sessions, call the parent helpline at 414-671-0566. Questions? Email Andrea Libber at
Opioid Forum
Wednesday, April 11 &
Thursday, April 12

This forum, presented by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Division of Care and Treatment Services, will cover the best practices in harm reduction, prevention, and treatment of opioid use disorders. It will be held at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, 333 W. Kilbourn Ave., Milwaukee, on Wednesday, April 11, and Thursday, April 12. Cost is $55 per person. Registration will open soon. Register here.

Prevent Suicide Wisconsin 2018 Annual Conference
Promoting Resilience and Hope to Prevent Suicide
Friday, April 13

Prevent Suicide Wisconsin's eighth annual conference is targeted to school professionals, emergency services, law enforcement, mental health and AODA professionals, veteran groups, clergy, health care providers, community coalitions and anyone interested in suicide prevention on the local and state level. Keynote speaker Mettie Spiess, CWP, has trained more than 15,000 students, educators, and corporate leaders in her signature "Empowered Voices Save Lives!" program and support curriculum. 

The Wisconsin Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Counseling, and Social Work Examining Board has authorized the National Association of Social Workers-Wisconsin Chapter (NASW-WI) to approve 6.25 continuing education hours for the Prevent Suicide Wisconsin Conference .

Pre-conference trainings will be held on Thursday, April 12. Sponsorships and exhibiting opportunities are available. The conference will be held at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, where a block of rooms is being held until Monday, March 12, or until the rooms are gone. Register here.

A Special Message from Mettie Spiess
A Special Message from Mettie Spiess

Motivational Interviewing Training
Tuesday, April 24

Wisconsin members of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) are presenting a conference on Motivational Interviewing (MI) to assist helping professionals, including nurses, physicians, social workers, psychologists, specialty addiction treatment providers, and health educators, in effectively working on behavioral health issues with clients/patients.  A variety of sessions will meet the interests of people new to MI as well as those who want to expand their knowledge and skills in MI application and implementation.
When: Tuesday, April 24, 2018, 8:30-4:30
Where: Great Wolf Lodge, Wisconsin Dells
Cost: $129.00 Early Bird (before March 15); $159 regular; Group discount for groups of five or more from same organization with $25 off per person
For more information and to register, click here.

2018 Health Equity Summit
Thursday, April 26

Registration is now open for Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers' 2018 Health Equity Summit, which will explore ZNA (ZIP code) v. DNA and children's health. Topics include social determinants of health, social drivers of health care costs, local look at health equity, putting local data into action, driving systemic change, CEOs reimagining solutions, and funders moving the needle. 

Details: Thursday, April 26, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago Street, Milwaukee. Light breakfast, lunch, and beverages included. $25 registration fee; sponsorships are available for students to attend free. Register here.

resourcesResearch & Resources
PEARLS for Teen Girls
Spring Groups 2018

PEARLS groups are girls-only, safe-space gatherings that meet once a week. In addition to fun activities and snacks, girls will participate in guided conversations about healthy relationships, self-esteem, self-development and smart goal setting. 

Groups are forming, so  sign up now. 

Vital Signs 
March 2018 Issue

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this issue focuses on opioid overdoses treated in emergency departments, which rose 30% in all parts of the country from July 2016 through September 2017. " People who have had an overdose are more likely to have another, so being seen in the ED is an opportunity for action," editors write, stressing the need for coordination of services to prevent another overdose.

Earn & Learn 
Community Work Experience

Six- to eight-week summer jobs are available for those ages 14-24 through the Earn & Learn Summer Youth Employment Program. Young people earn a subsidized wage for a maximum of 20 hours each week while developing work readiness skills, such as worksite communication and punctuality, and gaining job-specific skills and abilities.  Employ Milwaukee will release Earn & Learn job applications on Monday, March 19. Go to to complete the pre-registration form and get more information.

Adolescent Exposure to Toxic Volatile Organic Chemicals from 

From Pediatrics: Findings of this study on teenagers challenge the idea that e-cigarette vapor is safe, because many of the volatile organic compounds found in e-cigarette users' saliva and urine were carcinogenic.

Keep Up with Community Advocates

Want to know more about energy assistance benefits, new resources for men and women experiencing homelessness, and ways to improve your personal safety? All of that -- and more -- will be covered in Community Advocates' spring newsletter, which will be released shortly. Sign up here to receive this quarterly conversation about serving Milwaukee's basic needs. Enter your email and select "General Community Advocates e-Newsletter" when prompted. Thank you!

Free Tax Prep  

Households earning less than $58,000 are eligible for free tax prep, thanks to the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). This year, five Milwaukee County locations will offer VITA services. Questions? Contact the Social Development Corporation at or 414-963-2694 or call IMPACT 2-1-1 for details.

How to Properly Document Your Contact with Your Insurance Company

This Q&A from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids focuses on the many questions parents have about insurance coverage for their child's mental health or substance use disorder needs. "What many parents don't know is that your insurance provider has to cover your child's substance use disorder. It's actually the law," the authors write.

Aurora Family Therapy Training Institute Accepting Applications Now

The Aurora Family Therapy Training Institute (FTTI) at Aurora Family Service is approaching a June 1 application deadline for Fall 2018 coursework. FTTI is a key player in developing the mental health workforce within Aurora and the greater Milwaukee community. If you have a Master's degree and are interested in the field of marriage and family therapy, now is the time to take action. Visit or contact Kevin O'Brien or Ashley Bowers at 414-342-4560 to learn more.

nominationsNominations Sought
18th Annual WACYCP Youth Work Awards

The Wisconsin Association of Child and Youth Care Professionals is seeking nominations for their 2018 awards in a variety of categories. Click on this link to submit your nominations for youth care worker of the year, youth work supervisor of the year, newcomer of the year, program/agency of the year, and more. All nominees and nominators will receive a special invitation to this free awards ceremony to be held on Thursday, May 10, at the Doubletree Hotel in Milwaukee, which includes a free dinner, entertainment, and a cash bar. Please turn in your nominations by April 13.

Our Partners & Allies Are Seeking...
Elysse Chay
CA-PPI Prevention Services Manager
728 N. James Lovell Street, Milwaukee WI 53233  |  414-270-6936

Community Advocates is supported by ReCAST, a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services, under Grant No. 5H79SM063524.