Created in late fall, the Reasons for Hope MKE Fund grantmaking cycle supported community-based actions and activities designed to encourage social connections, promote peace and build community cohesion in Milwaukee neighborhoods. Listed below are the projects and programs that received funding.

Center for Youth Engagement: $16,500 to support a series of events and activities in Sherman Park and nearby neighborhoods the weekend of Aug. 26 to encourage community cohesion and peace.

5 Points Neighborhood Association: $5,000 to support collaborative efforts of city block clubs working in several neighborhoods who share the common goal of building a holistic community. The groups will bring together young people and older adults to create an intergenerational engagement event that will honor seniors and renew the joy and peace in the neighborhoods among children, youth, older adults and families alike.

Andre Lee Ellis & Company: $5,000 for the third annual 500 Black Tuxedos Event, which will bring together 250 adult black males with 250 young black men. The evening culminates with a black-tie dinner at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center in downtown Milwaukee.

Crossing Jordan Ministry: $5,000 to support the Tis’ the Season to Unite project, which involves weekly Sunday events at the Parklawn YMCA that will offer family-focused activities.

Dominican Center for Women: $5,000 for the Spotlight on Youth project, which will bring together youth ages 12 to 17 to participate in discussions on the state of area neighborhoods. The session will be recorded and produced into a video that will be used at community events and meetings to ensure youth voices are heard. Youth will have the opportunity to participate in the culminating talent show event.

Express Yourself: $5,000 to support its Girls Voice artistic expression pilot project, which aims to strengthen relationships and amplify the voice of girls in group homes in Milwaukee. Nearly 150 girls at 10 to 12 group homes will be provided one time multi-disciplinary therapeutic arts, focused around the theme soul. Art created during the projects will be presented to the public at Express Yourself’s open house in December and exhibits on stage at a performance in May 2017.

Families Moving Forward: $5,000 to support Families Moving Forward's Youth Speak Out & Act Out...With Solutions project. The goal is to serve 100 youth by providing a safe platform to share their concerns, thoughts and solutions for creating a healthy community. A clinician will be present to provide assistance for those dealing with trauma.

Frank Zeidler Center for Public Discussion: $5,000 to support training for young adults ages 12 to 17 in emotional and social skills through conflict resolution. The three 2-hour trainings included listening circles and restorative conferencing, a structured dialogue process that explores options to heal the harm.

Havenwoods Economic Development Corporation: $5,000 to support a Christmas decorating contest event organized by residents of Milwaukee’s Lighthouse neighborhood. The event seeks to build intergenerational and interagency relationships between residents and neighborhood organizations.Ina Onilu Drum and Dance Ensemble: $5,000 for Kwanzaa workshops and a mini concert.

Northtown Church: $5,000 to sponsor two events in Millwood Park Neighborhood: Fall Family Fest at Maple Tree School and a “community Conversation” event, in partnership with Milwaukee Police Department’s District 4, which allowed residents to have a discussion of neighborhood and citywide issues with police officers.

Our Nation for Youth Arts and Healing: $5,000 its UMOJA Unity Peace project, which over the course of six weeks will teach students the fundamentals of African drumming and dance with an emphasis on character building using the seven principles of Kwanzaa. The project will culminate with a recital at various schools and community centers showcasing the talent and knowledge learned.

PeppNation Sports Leadership Camps: $5,000 for its efforts to provide a fun-filled daylong workshop for middle and high schools students from the Amani neighborhood that will explore provide hands-on athletic activities and challenges, as well as introduction to careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

Sherman Park Community Association: $5,000 for Peace Garden Project MKE’s efforts to serve community members, families of homicide victims and youth through peace-inspired art. The community focused art projects repurpose vacant lots and replace makeshift memorials.

Sherman Park Community Association: $5,000 for the Center Peace Neighborhood Council’s Warm Hugs project that will bring residents together for a community resource event and provide families in need with winter accessories for school-aged children.

Silver Spring Neighborhood Center: $5,000 for the agency’s financial literacy for positive impact project, which will teach more than 40 middle and high school students about various aspects of financing, credit management and investments.

Walnut Way Conservation Corp: $5,000 to cover two weeks of restaurant and culinary training for 20 Lindsay Heights residents who will be employed at The Tandem, a new restaurant in Lindsay Heights.

WestCare Wisconsin: $5,000 for its Youth Action Council’s efforts to provide gun safety education and social media campaign to help Harambee residents better understand the dangers of unlocked guns.

Milwaukee African Women Organization: $4,950 in support of its social cultural exchange event that is designed to promote understanding and remove barriers that may exist between cultures, neighbors and even within small groups.

Riverworks Development Corporation: $4,475 for Peace Fashion Show hosted by the Harambee Youth Soundbox. The show aims to promote peace and build community through understanding y presenting different cultural experiences in the form of entertainment. The show will specifically feature youth and young adults expressing their creative talents and abilities. Youth will produce and direct the entire show, which will feature fashion food and entertainment of different neighborhoods and cultures.

Spread Love Initiative: $4,253 for its Youth Gentlemen project, which is designed to build positive relationships among young men and the community. Fifty young men will participate in leadership, entrepreneurship, etiquette, hygiene, coping and mentoring workshops. They also will receive bags that include hygiene products, T-shirts, underwear and socks.

Woodlands Resource Center: $4,250 supported Woodlands Family Fest, a one-day festival for residents of the Woodlands Community neighborhood located north of Brown Deer Road at North 95th Street.

Safe & Sound: $4,000 for an event at COA Goldin Center for residents in Milwaukee’s Amani and Harambee neighborhoods. At the event, called “Pulling Together for Peace," resident leaders will discuss and present the success and challenge of neighborhood leadership and innovation with the goal of building new and stronger social connections and inspiring others to activate their engagement in the neighborhoods.

Sherman Park Community Association: $3,500 to support the efforts of Center Street Business Improvement District #39 to improve the perception of the business district located in Sherman Park by working with families and business to locate Little Free Libraries on the Center Street corridor.

North Division High School Alumni Association: $2,650 for its Efficacy Student Success Program, which aims to help students boost their self-confidence, develop ownership of their academic and career goals, create a dialogue about challenges they face and build a network of peers from across the United States.

Journey House: $3,480 to support the efforts of the Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative to host an evening of dialogue for 100 residents and business owners, 20 representatives of the Milwaukee Police Department and other public safety entities to engage in public safety conversation. The Zeidler Center will facilitate small group discussion and provide structure to the conversation. The event provides a new opportunity for residents of various ages and backgrounds to meet, address issues in their neighborhood and build community.

Safe & Sound: $2,075 to help the Middle Ground resident group and Safe and Sound unify three sections of the Metcalfe Park and Sherman Park neighborhoods in a fun-filled event celebrating children, youth and families.

Safe & Sound: $2,000 to support the efforts of multiple faith-based groups in Sherman Park, Safe and Sound and Milwaukee Police Department to host a Thanksgiving event in Sherman Park, providing families with Thanksgiving meal packages and building social connections by concluding the evening with food, fun and football.

Lighthouse Youth Center: $1,975 for the agency’s “Taste of the Good Life” project, which will provide social and dining etiquette skills to youth ages 10 to 18 to help build self-confidence and foster respect for others. Students will participate in a three-course meal and attend the Black Nativity musical at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.

Safe & Sound: $1,355 to support the Heroes Operating in Milwaukee Everyday project, a collaborative effort of Amani and Harambee neighborhood youth, Safe & Sound, COA, Auer Avenue and Nova High School. Through the project, youth will receive an activity book filled with puzzles, word searches and neighborhood mazes. The coloring book portion will include neighborhood assets, depictions of elected officials and residents and youth at neighborhood clean ups or meetings. The project also will recruit teens from NOVA and COA to serve as safety leaders or HOME Goldin Ambassadors who will help children cross the busy intersection of Burleigh and Hopkins before and after school. They will also join the Moody Park Safety Task Force to hone their leadership skills.

Safe & Sound: $1,100 for A Cry for Help Foundation’s efforts to host a community baby shower for parents in the Sherman Park neighborhood who are in need of basic baby supplies. At the event, parents will learn about the benefits of breastfeeding and general practices.

Havenwoods Economic Development Corporation: $550 to support the “Poetry in the Forest Community Engagement” project, an event that will take place at Havenwoods State Forest and bring together community members, musicians and poets in an effort to build camaraderie and ignite community change in Milwaukee’s Havenwoods neighborhood.

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