Created in fall 2016, 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 in 2018.

City of Light: $4,800 for its efforts to foster safe and strong neighborhoods. The agency will adopt several blocks within the Sherman Park neighborhood and, in tandem with residents, conduct cleanups, cookouts and connect residents to local resources.

Groundworks: $4,800 for efforts to promote healing and restorative justice through its Victory over Violence Park renovation. Funds will support the creation of a performance stage for the park to host youth programming and performances.

Ina Onilu: $4,800 to support its Heal Thy Self Health Summit, which connects residents to resources to improve their quality of life. Ina Onilu will offer culturally engaging activities including Afro-aerobic, yoga, cardio class and a community drum circle. 

Havenwoods: $4,000 to increase summer employment opportunities for at-risk youth. In partnership with Lighthouse Youth Center, youth from the Havenwoods area will be recruited to work within their own neighborhood, earning work experience while building their leadership skills.

Layton Boulevard West Neighbors: $4,000 to support LBWN’s efforts to transform two alleys through art. As part of the project, the agency will host neighborhood painting days where residents, youth and artists will paint 10 murals and install 20 floodlights on garages throughout two alleys. They will work with the city of Milwaukee to install new signage.

Unity in Motion: $3,750 for a six-week summer program focused on leadership, responsibility and compassion with black history at the core. Each week focuses on a principle of Kwanzaa: unity, self-determination, communal work, entrepreneurship, economics, purpose and creativity.

Hmong American Women’s Association: $3,000 for the nonprofit’s community building efforts to connect Southeast Asian boys and men, primarily Hmong, Karen and Burmese, in a positive way. Through its Brotherhood program, it will provide a space for Southeast Asian young males living in Milwaukee between the ages of 12 and 24 to learn life skills together and build healthy relationships with one another.

Above and Beyond the Playground: $2,500 for its efforts to provide literacy workshops that support children, youth and families. The five-week session consists of three components: public speaking, use of root words and organizing ideas. Students’ final project is a presentation on a college they have researched.

Street Angels: $2,500 to host a south side community mixer to bring neighborhood residents, churches, the homeless and businesses together for a summer celebration. The inaugural event aims to strengthen relationships and build trust between people and community sectors and ultimately create a safer, more engaged neighborhood and community.

Clarke Square: $2,000 to create resident leadership and collective action through a series of community building sessions for residents, business owners and other key stakeholders.

Northwest Side CDC: $1,750 for its efforts to create safe and accessible community spaces, build resident leadership and collective action.


Learn More

dunn-web.pngContact Kathryn Dunn to learn more about our grantmaking strategies.