Volume 02 |May 2022
Today, I am pausing and reflecting. Two years ago, George Floyd was murdered in eight minutes and 46 seconds. This happened in broad daylight at the knees of police officers. This happened in front of a diverse and multigenerational group of community residents who pleaded on his behalf, but they killed him anyway. Their collective voices fell on deaf ears.
Since that time, millions of people saw the video and joined those voices and cried out that racism was a factor in George Floyd's murder. One of the most heart wrenching moments was him calling out to his deceased mother as he was taking his last breaths. The world also learned about his endearing relationship with his daughter who will carry his legacy into her adulthood. Most felt the pain of racism and became compassionate when learning about these significant women in his life.
Mr. Floyd's death is a catalyst for transformative change. Our transformation is clearly underway through new civic collaborations, multigenerational leaders working together, and partnering organizations committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
YWCA SEW’s transformation is a story of renewal and I look forward to sharing a new vision with you, all summer long.  And, we will first share it on June 8th at the 27th annual Circle of Women: I Show Up. 
Change requires deep reflection transformed into strategic action. George Floyd has forever changed the world and affirms the need for our organization to boldly forge ahead. We are showing up by reaffirming our mission to make a lasting impact.
I invite you to join us through the next phase of our journey to eliminate racism and empower women.
In the Pursuit of Justice,
Tracy L. Williams
President & CEO
In this Issue:
  • Circle of Women: I Show Up June 8, 2022 
  • Stand Against Racism – Snapshot Report 
  • Spectrum, Digital Bridge & YWCA SEW Adult Ed
  • Personal Financial Management Program Impact (Part 1 of a 3-part Series)
  • AAPI Month
  • YWCA Western New York
27th annual Circle of Women: I Show Up
Get Your Tickets Now for Our Iconic Celebration 
YWCA Southeast Wisconsin’s signature event focused on philanthropy and its power to transform lives of women and their families is back in person after two years!  And, this evening is our first in person event with our new President and CEO, Tracy Williams.

At this reimagined event we will reconnect and newly connect, uplift our mission and launch new ways to build networks and community.  Join us and experience:
  • An interactive, pre-dinner reception
  • Intentional dinner networking
  • A dynamic #OneMission program
Collective Impact
Stand Against Racism 2022 – A Snapshot Report

This year, our Stand Against Racism efforts included a number of in person gatherings, a community partnership promoting four films offered by MKE Film, as well as a month-long online personal learning challenge. The online challenge welcomed nearly 100 new people seeking to learn more about the way racism, and racism intersecting with sexism, affects our daily lives and our civic and community systems. 
In person activities included a private tour of the Then They Came for Me (above) exhibit at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee (see AAPI Month news later in this newsletter) and a panel discussion at the Racine Public Library: Using Your Power and Position to Shift Systems. The panel was moderated by YWCA SEW’s Sr. Director for Racial Justice & Gender Equity, Paula Phillips (below), and included our Opportunity Advancement Manager, Ciara Hartzog.

And the week of April 25 – May 1 was declared Stand Against Racism week by Governor Tony Evers
Spectrum Supports Community Partners YWCA Southeast Wisconsin and Digital Bridge
On May 10th, YWCA Southeast Wisconsin welcomed representatives of Spectrum and Digital Bridge, elected officials and members of the current HSED adult education cohort to a special gathering, during which Spectrum presented grant checks to YWCA SEW and Digital Bridge.  The grants support different aspects of collaborative efforts by YWCA SEW and Digital Bridge to help community members overcome the digital divide.  YWCA SEW’s grant supports digital access and basic digital skilling orientation to users of our Opportunity Advancement Center, while Digital Bridge’s grant supports its work to distribute laptops to those without equipment; access that is needed to complete their educations, seek employment, and secure telehealth services. 

After welcome remarks from YWCA SEW President & CEO, Tracy Williams, the group heard from Adult Ed Program Lead Janita Bonner, Digital Bridge Executive Director Jeff Hanson and Spectrum representatives, as well as State Senator LaTonya Johnson, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley, and Milwaukee Public Library Director Joan Johnson.  Then the HSED class headed outside to the Digital Bridge delivery truck where each received a laptop to support the completion of their studies.
Education & Training
Personal Financial Management Program Deep Dive: Financial Education as an Essential Tool for Personal Empowerment
(Part One of a Three-part Series
There are a number of options for adults to secure the financial literacy skills they may lack but according to YWCA Southeast Wisconsin’s Economic Empowerment Director, Jackie Carter, the key to success is personalized education and coaching.  She notes, “we offer workshops and those are essential to understanding concepts and terms.  But taking control of your own financial future requires self-reflection and personal coaching.  That’s where we see real change.  That’s where confidence comes to life.”  Jackie advises that without people understanding what motivates them personally, it will be very difficult to change spending habits, develop a budget that supports their goals, or even know where to begin.
YWCA SEW’s Personal Financial Management Program is offered to the general public and in collaboration with sister organizations.  It often welcomes YWCA SEW adult ed students who want to master financial skills beyond the HSED curriculum.  Offering fundamental workshops on budgeting and credit management, the PFM program builds on the skills taught in workshop settings with one-to-one financial coaching, assuring participants are focused on their own goals.  Those goals vary greatly: cleaning up credit, saving for a home, or starting a business are common examples.

Collaborations are especially important to building a financially literate community.  Frequent YWCA SEW partners include META House, Dominican Center and the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation.

According to Jackie, “Trust in also an essential ingredient to successfully completing the PFM program.  Sharing financial information can be quite humbling.  We take great care to be respectful of everyone we work with.”  Next month we will explore how trust builds confidence and understanding in PFM program participants – helping them to take charge of their financial futures. 
May is AAPI Month – An Opportunity to Learn

Asian American Pacific Islander Month is an opportunity to learn about the varied cultures that make up our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and their contributions to our nation.  Here’s a sampling for the rest of May.
Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans During WWII and the Demise of Civil Liberties.  
  • This extraordinary exhibit at the Jewish Museum of Milwaukee is free to all and runs through May 29th.  It tells the story of the forced removal of over 120,000 Japanese Americans from their homes during WWII and the legacy of that travesty.

The AAPI Coalition of Wisconsin is comprised of over 20 organizations and leaders committed to supporting full engagement in community life and dispelling stereotypes.  
  • Two members of the Coalition’s executive Committee, Jessica Bolling and Lorna Young are Milwaukeeans.  Listen to their recent NPR interview; they explained how the Coalition seeks to assure all students have the opportunity to learn about AAPI history and contributions to our nation and State. 

AAPI Dining Week May be over but Visit Milwaukee has a terrific resource page.
  • Continue your diverse dining and get easy links to background information on seven AAPI cultures found in the metro-area.  
YWCA Western New York - We Stand with You

Our hearts go out to our sister organization, YWCA Western New York, which serves the Buffalo, New York metro area.  The vile, racist shooting that community has endured is an all too painful, and completely unneeded reminder of YWCA’s mission relevance and urgency.  If you wish to learn how to support that community, please visit YWCA Western New York’s Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/ywcawny

As always, we encourage you to stand with YWCA Southeast Wisconsin, as we together, Stand Against Racism in our region.
Thank you for continuing to support YWCA's mission!
Thank you to our generous funders, including these anchor supporters
Why should you support YWCA SEW’s #OneMission to eliminate racism and empower women? 

Because the work we did in 2021 and will expand in 2022 are the building blocks for a shared vision of a thriving, inclusive and just southeast Wisconsin defined by racial and gender equity. 
Have a question about our work or want to request a speaker, please reach out at communication@ywcasew.org.