Volume 02 |April 2022

As I reflect on the past month, I am experiencing a resurgence of hope.  Mayor Cavalier Johnson elected as the first black mayor in Milwaukee’s 176-year history indicates that our community has shifted - becoming more inclusive.  Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson becoming the first black woman to serve as Supreme Court Justice on the highest court of our land blazes a trail toward justice.  I am having thoughts of a brighter future and momentum for our organization.

YWCA Southeast Wisconsin gains momentum from such powerful moments in history.  We stand for justice and now is a time in our history that we can celebrate newness in leadership.  The reason we can celebrate is because we gain new perspectives, increased access, and ongoing impacts from the inspiration of others who walk different paths.

I also find inspiration from the students we serve who are making a difference in their families and communities.  They are reaching goals and we should celebrate.  I am also very proud of our board members, staff, and supporters who continue to create change through their lives and careers.  

Empowering women and eliminating racism is a journey and taking time to acknowledge positive changes others are making along the way spurs the hope we need to continue our mission.
In the Pursuit of Justice,
Tracy L. Williams
President & CEO
In this Issue:
  • Stand Against Racism – April 27th & Online 
  • Circle of Women June 8, 2022 – Registration opens May 4th
  •  2021 Impact Snapshot Report 
  •  Adult Ed Program Impact (Part 3 of 3)
  • Join our Team at YWCA SEW 
  •  YWCA SEW & Mke Film – Community Partners
  •  YWCA USA News
Collective Impact
We invite you to join us and share with your networks these opportunities to eliminate racism and dismantle barriers.

You’ll find incredible information that will engage you, build your awareness and hopefully prompt conversations with family and friends.
Using Your Power and Position to Shift Systems: Case Study of Collective Impact in Racine

WHEN: Wednesday, April 27th
8:30am - 10 am

WHERE: Racine Public Library

When your city is reported to be one of the worst places to live for African Americans - how do you identify ways to improve conditions for those most affected? Can improving conditions for one group impact the whole? Join us to learn about how different leaders in Racine have come together to make our community more equitable and how each of us have opportunities to Stand Against Racism and influence positive change.

If you have any questions about the Racine event, feel free to reach out to our Sr. Director- Race and Gender Equity, Paula Phillips
Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans

WHERE: Jewish Museum Exhibit

The afternoon of Tuesday April 26th, YWCA SEW’s Racial Justice & Gender Equity team joined community members to view the exhibit, Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans, at the Milwaukee Jewish Museum. The exhibit tells the story of the forced removal of 120,000 Japanese American citizens and legal residents from their homes during World War II without due process or other constitutional protections to which they were entitled. This multimedia exhibition illustrates the impact this fear-based rebuke has on those who experience it firsthand and the lasting repercussions on the generations that followed.
We encourage our supporters to grow in their understanding of the internment camp experience, the discrimination and government policies that deeply impacted families, neighbors and communities, by visiting this important exhibit.
Stand Against Racism Challenge – Personal Learning Online or Via the App  

ONLINE: YWCA SEW has joined YWCA USA’s virtual Stand Against Racism Challenge, which is designed to create dedicated time and space to build more effective social justice habits, especially those dealing with issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership.
With resources and practical examples, this online tool helps you build racial justice “muscle” – and to the extent you want, connect you with others committed to racial justice. The links provided each day have been thought-provoking, important reminders of our mission work, and an invitation to engage. Although in it’s final week, if you sign up for the challenge now, you will have access to all earlier material.  

27th annual Circle of Women: I Show Up
Our #OneMission is focused on sustainable, transformative change. Success requires committed resources – time, money and intentional action – with a lot of teamwork.  So “show up” on June 8th and join us as we reinvent the Circle of Women experience with

  • An interactive pre-dinner reception
  • Intentional dinner networking
  • #OneMission action focused program (June 8th is just the start!) 

Single tickets go on sale May 4th.

Sponsorship and Partnership opportunities can be found here.

To keep up with all of this year’s Circle of Women news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  To get updates directly in your email box, send a message with the subject line “2022 Circle” to communication@ywcasew.org
2021 Impact Snapshot

2021 was quite a year!  Learn how we navigated the second year of a pandemic while also collaborating to expand services and recalibrating our work to build sustainable future impact.  Our snapshot of 2021 program outcomes and collective impact, features Adult Ed Team Lead Janita Bonner and Opportunity Advancement Manager Ciara Hartzog along with a special greeting from President & CEO, Tracy L. Williams.  
News & Updates
Adult Ed Program Deep Dive: 
Shared Values Are the Foundation for Successful, Collaborative Adult Education Services
(Part Three of Our Three-part Series)
In parts one and two of this series on YWCA SEW’s Adult Ed program, we shared how the program has been built on a foundation of expertise and trusted relationships with key organizations, leading to expanded service and eliminating implicit bias barriers in testing.  As we wrap up this series, we highlight the foundation of our learners’ (and our) success. Shared values.

It may surprise many, but YWCA SEW’s adult education team understands that the biggest barrier to adult learners securing their high school credential is simple: they have adult lives. 

In a traditional HS classroom, the demands and distractions of teenagers are commonly understood.  But adult education students aren’t juggling sports or prom; they are juggling adulthood (even when age-wise they are teens). Almost all have jobs, often to help pay for family housing or put food on the table.  If they don’t have children of their own, they are commonly responsible for younger siblings.  Some type of trauma has often interrupted schooling.  All this makes success in a “regular” classroom a particular challenge.

Classrooms are micro-communities and when a learner has an “adult” life, a traditional HS classroom culture is a poor fit for learning.  Teachers who recognize this and value a classroom where adult learners’ realities are respected make all the difference. These teachers embrace the competency-based learning embedded in YWCA SEW’s HSED curriculum and partner with us – we provide adult learners assistance navigating barriers outside the classroom, including instructional support if needed, and teachers provide a classroom that is stigma-free, has clear rules (e.g., 90% attendance is required), and treats learners as responsible adults.  

These mutually shared values are the crux of YWCA SEW’s adult education success in all its settings.  Whether learners come to us by way of our collaborations with MATC or Gateway Technical College, through our work with community schools, or are part of our credit recovery program in collaboration with Racine Unified School District – mutual respect between learners and teachers creates trust.  As our Adult Education Director Jake Gorges notes, “If you have a foundation of trust, academic success will follow.”

Our collaborating teachers agree.  As a Racine Horlick High School teacher in our HS credit recovery partnership tells us, “This is my 8th year teaching and I love my job so much this year, it feels like my first year of teaching all over again.  I absolutely love coming into work every day; I never thought I’d feel this way.”  We think she might be the coolest teacher at Horlick HS and her students think so, too.
YWCA SEW Continues its Community Partnership with MKE Film

MKE Film is back in-person and we are proud to be a community partner, promoting these four films that deeply resonate with our #OneMission.  Put these films on your calendar and let them know YWCA SEW sent you.
The Milwaukee Project
Thursday, Apr 28 | 3:45 PM & Saturday, Apr 30 | 1:00 PM | Times Cinema

Follow a diverse group of teens on their paths to adulthood while facing issues surrounding gender, race, sexuality, health, and poverty over the course of five years. Starting with their time at Alliance School and following them on their personal journeys of becoming, their participation in a provocative art and photography project fosters intimate revelations and allows the viewer to track the teens’ personal development as the years progress.

After Sherman
Saturday, Apr 30 | 6:30 PM | Oriental Theatre: Lubar Cinema

This story explores how racial violence has inflicted trauma upon Black residents amid two high-profile Charleston killings that resulted in the deaths of Walter Scott and nine church parishioners. Lyrical filmmaking style and fluid form of documentary storytelling capture the geography of Charleston's past and present, establishing Gullah cultural retention and land preservation as paths toward attaining individual and collective personal pride.

The Exchange. In White America. Kaukauna & King 50 Years Later
Sunday, May 1 | 3:15 PM | Times Cinema

Milwaukee filmmaker Joanne Williams' documentary captures an experiment of sorts. In 1966, amid the Civil Rights era, students from Milwaukee's Rufus King High School and students from Kaukauna High School participated in an exchange program that culminated in a production of Martin Duberman's play IN WHITE AMERICA. Now, over fifty years later, the original participants come together with a new generation, reprising this play with reflection amid our current racial reckoning.
Speaking Truth to Power
Wednesday, May 4 | 7:00 PM | Oriental Theatre: Abele Cinema

This film is an intimate, inspiring, and timely portrait of Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), the highest-ranking Black woman in the US Congress and a true pioneer of American civil rights. The documentary also explores her current work (including a visit to Milwaukee with local Rep. Gwen Moore) and illuminates her uncompromising and conscientious nature as a steadfast voice for economic and racial justice and peace.
YWCA USA CEO Margaret Mitchell will host a virtual event with Dr. Bernice A. King on April 28th at 2:00 PM central time, during which they will discuss the deep-seated systemic racism and inequities faced by communities of color —from civic engagement to economic development, from education to health care, and even the way people of color are portrayed in the media. The conversation will also highlight how YWCAs across the country work to root out inequity in the communities they serve and in societal institutions to demand justice and equity. 
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.