Issue 9-13 | June 23, 2020
Spotlight On:
Racism as a Public Health Crisis
Two issues that are top of mind right now -- the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement -- shed light on how racism is a public health issue since both the coronavirus and police brutality disproportionately affect the health and safety of communities of color. The public discussion around structural racism and health disparities provides an opportunity for prevention and public health experts and policy makers to address institutional racism through a public health lens.
In a 2015 American Journal of Public Health Commentary that's relevant to today's crises, Jennifer Jee-Lyn Garcia, PhD, and Mienah Zulfacar Sharif, MPH, recognized racism's place in the social determinants of health. They also called on public health professionals to acknowledge racism as a public health issue and to work to reduce racialized health disparities. They wrote, "public health, at its core, is antiracist work."

Highlighting Prescriber Education Training
Over the last year their hard work and this new partnership has helped contribute to the fight against the opioid epidemic in Milwaukee County. Over 80 health care and medical providers throughout the region attended in-person presentations and participated in online educational webinars. These webinars focused on training providers on "Alternatives to Opioids in Treating Acute and Chronic Pain" by Dr. Michael McNett.

By educating these medical providers, we are helping to prevent the overprescribing practices that lead to prescription drug misuse and overdoses in our communities. According to the Medical Society, "80% of patients dying from heroin overdoses started with prescription drugs." We congratulate the Wisconsin Medical Society on their great work to continue to improve the lives of individuals in our communities and thank them for their continued support in our shared mission. We also look forward to continued partnership and future opportunities to work together on these important issues.
Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee Announces Section 8 Wait List Housing Lottery Opening
Applications Accepted Online June 23 - 26
The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee will be opening their Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Waiting List Lottery beginning at 9 a.m. on June 23 and ending at 6 p.m. on June 26. Any qualified person may register anytime between Tuesday, June 23, at 9 a.m. and Thursday, June 25, at 6 p.m. After the wait list pre-application closes on June 25 at 6 p.m., a random lottery will be held to select the 3,000 households that will be added to the Housing Choice Voucher wait list. This number was chosen to allow qualified applicants a reasonable expectation that they will be offered a Housing Choice Voucher within 2-3 years. Pre-applicants will be notified of their status in the lottery after July 31 with information on next steps. Pre-applications will be accepted online only at .
Learn How to Talk with Kids about Underage Drinking
Kids who drink alcohol are more likely to have problems at school, with their friends, and with the law. Worse, alcohol can harm kids’ physical and mental health. But you don’t need a big speech to help a kid understand the dangers of underage drinking. Start small instead. Having a lot of small, casual talks—at the store, in the drive-thru, or between video games—can make a big difference in a kid’s health. Start around age eight to prepare kids to make a lifetime of healthy decisions. Relax. Talk. Listen. Repeat. Visit  for talk tips, facts, and more. This campaign is sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. 
Become a Member of the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force
The Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force annual membership drive is underway. Your new or renewed membership will support their work as a positive force for systems change, cover a portion of staff costs to coordinate the task force, support their website and communications, and ensure their programs are open to all. The task force welcomes organizational members as well as "community supporters," individuals who want to support the task force.  You can get details and download the materials on the task force website . Deadline to apply is July 31.
Free Cloth Face Coverings for Community-Based Organizations
The HHS Partnership Center is supporting HHS and FEMA’s efforts to make face coverings widely available in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. The face coverings, produced and delivered in partnership with USPS and the National Council of Textile Organizations, are being made available to community-based organizations at no cost (and while supplies last). Download details about the masks here. Click here to order

A few things to note:
  • Face coverings are 100% Cotton Jersey, bind around face and ears, and are treated with a 0.5% OWG Agion AMB-10 Antimicrobial (contains silver and copper, which will help to prevent the growth of viruses and germs. Washable up to 15 times). Adult One-size fits all. 
  • They do not replace the N95 face mask used in health care settings and should not be used when caring for those with COVID-19. **They are intended to expand the community's capacity to limit the spread of COVID-19.
  • The face coverings come in cartons of 500 masks per carton. (Minimum order is one carton.) Larger orders may be expedited more quickly.
  • They are not to be sold and are to be used within US States/Territories/Tribal Nations.
  • Delivery locations must be USPS deliverable addresses.  
  • Allow 10-15 days to process your order. Shipments will vary in arrival time. Please be patient.

Webinars & Events
Urban Ecology Center Free Summer Meal Program
Weekdays through August 28
The Urban Ecology Center’s Washington Park Branch (1859 N. 40th St., Milwaukee) and Milwaukee Center for Independence are serving breakfast and lunch packs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, through August 28.
Youth-Led Neighborhood Cleanup
Friday, June 26
Help out at this youth-led, substance use-focused neighborhood cleanup organized by 27th Street West DFC, Safe & Sound, and Hold On To Your Butt MKE to get rid of bottles, butts, and blunt wraps. Meet at Bethune Academy, 1535 N. 35th St., from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, June 26. All ages are welcome. Click here if you need a cleanup kit or a receptacle kit.
Bike Drives
July 18 & August 15
Milwaukee County Parks, the Milwaukee County Office on African American Affairs, the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, Milwaukee Police Department, the Office of Violence Prevention, and the City of Milwaukee Health Department, in partnership with Feeding 100 Mouths, will be hosting Bike Drives throughout the summer so that kids can ride bikes and practice social distancing safely. They’re looking for volunteers and new or gently used bikes and equipment for their next three events. Each event will provide volunteers with PPE gear and volunteers will be asked to practice social distancing. Contact Prianca Lal for more information at

  • July 18: King Center, 1531 W. Vliet St., and Kosciusko Center, 2201 S. Seventh St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • August 15: Washington Park, 1859 N. 40th St., and Brown Deer Park, 7835 N. Green Bay Road, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
5th Annual Peer Recovery Conference: Thriving Amid Adversity
Thursday, August 13 & Friday, August 14
Registration is open for the 2020 Wisconsin Peer Recovery Conference. This will be a virtual conference using Zoom. The registration fee is $50. Scholarships are available. Organized by Independent Living Resources, with funding from the DHS Division of Care and Treatment Services, this event features workshops on how to provide effective peer support within community services for mental health and substance use concerns and innovative applications of peer support.  Click here for details .  
Prevent Suicide Wisconsin 2020 Virtual Conference
September 8 & 9
Prevent Suicide Wisconsin’s annual conference is tentatively scheduled to be held virtually on September 8 and 9. Originally planned for April 28 and 29 in Wisconsin Dells, the conference will be held on Zoom to protect the health and safety of attendees. For details, click on this link.
Ask MHD Launched
The City of Milwaukee Health Department launched "Ask MHD" to respond to questions about COVID-19. Email to ask your question.
Food Resources
If you are looking for where to get food right now, visit 211 Wisconsin , dial 211, or text your ZIP code to 898211. FoodShare is another great way to get the food you need for your family! If you are interested in applying to receive EBT benefits, please visit Wisconsin's  Access website . Find more information from Hunger Task Force .
Mental Health First Aid Resources
Community Advocates Public Policy Institute has trained hundreds of community members, human services professionals, and first responders on Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid so that they can identify and help those who may be experiencing a mental health crisis. The National Council for Behavioral Health has a number of new resources for those who want to continue to apply Mental Health First Aid to their work and their personal lives during this stressful time.

Office of Children's Mental Health
Social and Emotional Skills Fact Sheet
The State of Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health Director Linda Hall announced the publication of a new fact sheet focused on building children’s social and emotional skills and what our communities can do to increase these skills.  Download it here .
REDGen COVID-19 Resources
REDGen offers resources on coping during the pandemic, Playworks activities for young people, telehealth services, and more at this link .
Making Contact:
A Training for COVID-19 Contact Tracers
A new self-paced, online course from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the National Coalition of STD Directors, Making Contact is a free, on-demand training for entry-level COVID-19 contact tracers. Making Contact: A Training for COVID-19 Contact Tracers   will support ongoing public health agency efforts to prepare new contact tracers for their work of helping identify COVID-19 positive cases and those they've been in close contact with.
Covering Wisconsin Health Insurance Help
If you have questions about your health insurance options, Covering Wisconsin can help—for free, over the phone. To make an appointment, call 414-270-4677 (Milwaukee) or 608-261-1455 (statewide) or go to Click here for FAQs about COVID-19 and health insurance coverage.
Community Advocates' COVID-19 Resource Pages
Home To Stay
Home To Stay is a new website full of resources for people returning from incarceration developed by the Milwaukee County Community Justice Council’s Milwaukee Reentry Council and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. New entries are being added, so check this site often.
Get Counted
The 2020 Census is underway and the most important thing you can do is respond when you receive your invitation. Responding now will minimize the need for the Census Bureau to send census takers out into communities to follow up. Go to   to be counted.
Job Opportunities
Milwaukee Prevention Journal Readers -- do you have:

  • Job openings?
  • Upcoming events?
  • News to share?
  • Suggestions?

Forward the information to . Thank you for your service to Milwaukee!
Community Advocates Public Policy Institute | 414-270-2950  |
Community Advocates is supported by ReCAST MKE, 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.