2023 Reasons for Hope MKE grants

Alaafia Women’s Corporation: $10,000 to provide vocational and technical training by removing barriers that target communities of color in Milwaukee. It will collaborate with different organizations to ensure their job vacancies are filled with applicants that participate in the program including victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual abuse, African immigrants and people living with sickle cell disease.

America SCORES Milwaukee: $1,800 for its Healing through Sport program. During the six-week program, SCORES will partner with Children’s Hospital’s Camp Ujima. Through Camp Ujima, children affected by traumatic events work to regain their childhood by participating in safe and unique experiences that not only offer many healing activities but allows a child to “be a child again.” America SCORES will help create a safe space using soccer and intentional relationship- and confidence-building activities, allowing youth to engage with a trusted coach, form positive relationships with peers, and will promote healthy physical activity that over time will help them better regulate stress responses.

ArtWorks for Milwaukee: $10,000 for a graphic design and mental health advocacy internship program. 

ATK Ministry: $5,000 to provide a platform for teens to create and produce rap and hip hop music and dance that is saturated with positive messages.

Albright United Methodist Church: $10,000 for the Capitol Heights Summer Youth Work Program. The program will help youth between ages 14 and 18 to establish healthy work habits and participate in building a positive image of their community. 

Center for Leadership of Afrikan Women’s Wellness: $10,000 for the Sankofa Drum Circle. The program offers a way for people to release some of their stress and trauma, boost their immune system, build community and a sense of belonging.

City Champs Foundation: $5,000 for City Champs, a program that provides a structured, educational environment for youth interested in mixed martial arts and boxing.

City on a Hill: $10,000 to engage families in neighborhood-based strategies that promote growing, connecting and healing. This program offers strategies that strengthen resilience factors in families, including engagement in positive and educational activities, promoting connection and community among caring adults, training in how to maintain and strengthen personal resilience, access to a strong youth and neighborhood center and a community garden that serves as a bridge to engaging families in healthier lifestyles.

CORE El Centro: $10,000 for a program that will provide children’s and family wellness services in tandem with its natural healing clinic and wellness activities for adults and its outreach and community engagement. The program is designed to address several significant barriers to health and wellness that are prevalent in the neighborhoods, including high rates of stress, lack of healthy food outlets and lack of health insurance, it serves which lead to poor health.  

CORE El Centro: $8,280 to support a project that builds upon the work of Mujeres con Poder de Transformacion Social that was started in and around Kosciuszko Park related to reckless driving and neighborhood improvement.

Data You Can Use: $10,000 to convene Black and Latino male youth to learn about using data to make decisions, apply what they have learned to a youth-led summit, and present their work at its Data Day, a free annual event. As Black and Latino youth, the high school students it seeks to educate are more likely to be disenfranchised from access to data as well as a seat at the table where decisions affecting their communities will be made. By empowering these youth with the knowledge and skills to access, analyze, and interpret data, they can act and be heard when it comes to the decisions that affect their daily lives now and in the future.

Devine Women Foundation: $10,000 for its Teen Mom Program, a support program designed to help teenage mothers navigate the challenges of parenting and build a brighter future for themselves and their children. The program provides a range of services and resources including parenting education, counseling and mental health support, health care services, education and career development resources, financial assistance programs and prevention education. 

Diverse & Resilient: $10,000 for the House of History project, which captures the stories of local Black LGBTQ+ heroes before we lose them and reclaims Milwaukee’s Black LGBTQ+ history, thereby reducing the physical, mental and emotional violence enacted upon Black LGBTQ+ people as a result of their identities. The cornerstone of the project is oral history interviews conducted with Black LGBTQ+ elders.

Dominican Center for Women: $10,000 to install a community art gallery and peace garden at 26th & Burleigh streets on a vacant lot. The gallery and garden will be a visible symbol for community peace that builds on partnerships to improve traffic and pedestrian safety along 26th Street between Locust and Burleigh streets. 

Enduring Truth Fellowship: $10,000 to create a safe and nurturing environment where children and teenagers can develop their interpersonal and decision-making skills through after-school and summer camp experiences. By engaging participants in community development projects, it aims to foster a sense of civic responsibility and belonging among the younger generation. Its program emphasizes a balance of academic learning and personal enrichment, with special attention given to non-violent prevention through theatrical workshops and performances.

Essentially Empowered: $5,000 to create a toolkit, an infographic map to support the community organization’s services, and access to care and support for the children. 

Food for Health: $8,350 for its Be3 Community Health Hub, which is designed to empower people to engage in healthy lifestyles by integrating clinical practice, education, research and community programs. The hub will serve to increase awareness, knowledge, and access to health, fitness and lifestyle programming to disrupt diet-related disease in our community. 

Generation Of Excellence Trendsetters: $10,000 to promote mental health awareness, provide early intervention and prevention strategies, and offer support and resources to young people who may be experiencing mental health challenges.

Genisx Inc: $5,000 to help young adults ages 16-29 become resilient and strategically approach their futures in a rapidly advancing world. Genisx is conducting micro and macro projects to enhance research on how Gen Z’ers are disrupting the workforce and modern culture: Pathway to Purpose (Micro project) is designed to help high school juniors and seniors develop life and entrepreneurial skills, while aiding in their transition to the real world. Generations Decoded (Macro project) is a weekly community podcast and monthly networking event that brings together its target audience and diverse generations to build strong and resilient communities.

GLOW 414: $10,000 for its GLOW Mental Health Outpatient Program, which intends to expand its reach to provide persons with mental health services regardless of insurance status. 

Grace Fellowship Church of Milwaukee: $10,000 for its Saturday Scholars program, an annual program focused on outreach to youth (K-12) that encourages them to enjoy reading. This free program is open to all youth regardless of their race, location, faith tradition or ethnic group or ability to read. Sessions this year will include a number of creative art sessions designed for youth and adults. These sessions are crucial in helping youth/adults to deal with trauma and ongoing community violence and will help participants find meaning in the arts, learn how to paint, use acrylics, watercolors, sand art, collage art, papier mâché, colored pencils and sharpies. All paintings will be put on display and for community murals.        

Health Connections Incorporated: $5,000 for its health & wellness clinics.

Health Connections: $10,000 for the MKE Safe Summer Program, an intergenerational, primary prevention effort that uses the power of sports and social connectivity to bring together youth and their families to develop life, health, and wellness skills and practices. The six-week summer basketball camp will be held in the McGovern Park neighborhood, meet two weekday evenings per week and target 200 youth ages 5 through 16 and their families. Families will have access to health resources, yoga, meditation, sound baths and health walks for the entire duration of the basketball camp. All camp participants will be provided with a healthy meal, access to health resources and referrals to services.

Hope Through Restoration: $10,000 to offer peer specialist and lived experience mentorship, along with comprehensive education on the essential elements of thriving independently. It does so by providing weekly classes in halfway houses in partnership with Wisconsin Community Services. It also provides housing so those coming out of incarceration have a safe, sober, non-chaotic environment where they can learn the skills needed for successful independent living.

Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee: $10,000 to support the Best Babies Zone team of resident health and wellness ambassadors to continue its work fostering the community and supportive social network through which they and partners can reach community members with critical resources for maternal and child health.

Lead2Change: $10,000 to directly address two critically linked challenges confronting Milwaukee: Persistent educational and economic disparities facing African American, Latinx and other communities of color and a chronic shortage of professionals with the educational level, technical skills, and career-readiness skills needed to meet the demands of a global workplace. Lead2Change uses the research-based National Career Clusters Framework to help young people explore a wide variety of careers, and students engage in deep reflection about who they are, and how they want to contribute to the world.

Mahogany CARES Foundation Inc: $10,000 to address and combat the issue of domestic violence within the community. This project aims to provide support, resources and interventions to individuals who are experiencing domestic violence and to prevent further incidents from occurring. It also aims to raise awareness, provide support, safety planning and education and prevention.

Mental Health America of WI: $9,880 to support five Black-owned grassroots mental health providers, enhancing their brand, service awareness and community presence. Collaborating with Black and Brown therapists, it will develop a resource guide that will promote access to mental health services, aligning with the Blueprint's goal of providing comprehensive care for resilience. 

Milwaukee Community Resources and Empowerment Services: $7,500 to provide training that can provide youth with access to the necessary tools and skills needed to navigate and excel in the digital world. This training will empower youth from disadvantaged backgrounds to express themselves and tell their stories effectively.

Milwaukee Preservation Alliance: $2,400 for MPA Metro Monthly.

MOMMY BEAUTIFUL SUNRISE INC: $10,000 to support a number of family fun events including apple picking, a community pumpkin patch, Kwanzaa and Christmas events. The group provides African American families in Milwaukee and surrounding areas with the resources needed for child development. It delivers assistance, information and advocate for families to help their children improve and reach their full potential in education, health, and culture.

Near West Side Partners: $10,000 to enhance the Martin Drive Neighborhood Association garden and green space that reengages and involves more teens and young adults, in collaboration with the elders in the community. With this project, it intends to continue to foster a safe strong neighborhood.

Safe & Sound, Inc.: $10,000 for Youth Preventing Violence, a program designed to empower and inspire youth to become ambassadors of change within their communities. Through comprehensive training and influential mentorship, it aims to equip youth with the necessary skills, knowledge and resources to effectively address and prevent violence among their peers. The program fosters a culture of empathy, respect, and non-violence, enabling youth ambassadors to become role models and catalysts for positive transformation.

Sherman Phoenix Foundation: $8,000 for its youth Black wellness program. To help break cycles of poverty, disenfranchisement, and marginalization fueled by structural racism and lack of access to health resources and financial education, Sherman Phoenix Foundation created Black Wellness Weekend, which will become an annual event focused on financial, physical, and mental wellness. To address the access and inclusion gap for youth, the Friday of Black Wellness Weekend will consist of programming for middle and high school students.

SOS Center: $10,000to provide a safe place with engaging, productive and healthy activities for youth. Youth will do the work (painting, creating art, designing, organizing, managing, scheduling, presentations and providing tours.)   

WestCare Wisconsin: $5,000 for the Healing for Prevention project, which is designed to teach teens 16-21 about coping techniques and rooted behavior norms that add to or reduce violence in their personal space.

Victims of Milwaukee Violence Burial: $5,000 to provide informational resources to the low-income, underserved communities in Milwaukee.

Walnut Way Conservation Corp: $10,000 to help increase the presence and engagement of Walnut Way and Lindsay Heights residents in the Healing Garden, a former empty lot on the 2300 block of North 17th Street.


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hines-janel.jpgContact Janel Hines to learn more about our grantmaking strategies.