Greater Milwaukee Foundation to host series of virtual, curated community discussions

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Milwaukee, Wis., Oct. 8, 2020 – Reimagined as a three-day, fully virtual experience, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s On the Table MKE aims to bring community together this year through meaningful interaction around the theme “Healing Justice.” Activities begin Oct. 12 with a keynote address by activist Frank Nitty Sensabaugh and go on to feature a range of discussion formats and topics suited to the current times, concluding on Oct. 14.

Since 2017, On the Table MKE has offered people throughout greater Milwaukee a unique opportunity to build relationships with others, engage in productive dialogue and turn ideas into positive action that benefits the community in a variety of ways. The past three Octobers, thousands have gathered at hundreds of places across the region on a single day to take part in these community-driven conversations. Although 2020 will look different, the brave spaces and collaborative spirit of On the Table MKE will continue.

“When you consider the burdens our community is carrying right now – whether a result of COVID-19, persisting racial injustice, economic hardship, or all of the above – we just cannot overvalue the need for healing,” said Foundation president and CEO Ellen Gilligan. “On the Table MKE has a track record for bridging perspectives and ideas, which can be a powerful catalyst for a healing during our collective journey toward a more just and thriving metro Milwaukee.”

Visit for more information and to register for as many sessions as you like. As always, participation in On the Table MKE is free. The anticipated itinerary (subject to adjustment) is as follows:

MONDAY, OCT. 12, 2020

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Keynote speaker: Frank Nitty Sensabaugh

Also featuring: Ellen Gilligan, Greater Milwaukee Foundation; Rep. Kalan Haywood II; Tiffany Henry, Milwaukee Urban League Young Professionals; others TBD
Join as us we launch Healing Justice, featuring well-known Milwaukee activist, Frank Nitty Sensabaugh. Frank, who recently led a march from Wisconsin to Washington, D.C., will kick off the day by discussing his journey as a local activist, why his role is critical during this time, and how this road led to him speaking at the March on Washington on Aug. 28.


TUESDAY, OCT. 13, 2020

9 to 10 a.m.

Featuring: Piper Anderson, Create Forward

Throughout the pandemic, many of us have experienced a loss of control, a great sense of vulnerability for ourselves and others, and a whirlwind of challenging emotions, including fear, guilt and grief. Mindfulness is a practice of paying attention to present-moment experiences with curiosity and compassion. Learning how to cultivate mindfulness will allow community members to not only help themselves but to help others within their wider social network.


10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Featuring: Local philanthropists

As the demography of America changes, the face of philanthropy is changing along with it. Join us in this engaging conversation to discuss the landscape of giving by African American and Hispanic communities. We will share different ways philanthropists of color are giving and will debunk myths and misconceptions about the giving power of Black and Brown communities.


Noon to 1 p.m.

Featuring: Corry Joe Biddle, Fuel Milwaukee; Oby Nwabuzor, American Heart Association and One MKE; Sam Woods, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service and Bridge the City Podcast

Each generation has its own culture and ideas about leadership. With an increasing number of generations working alongside one another in organizations and across various movements, this table will discuss different styles of leadership and strategies to bridge the gap for shared decision-making and accountability.


1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Featuring: LaShawndra Vernon, Artists Working in Education; Kennita Hickman, Imagine MKE

Every community has artists. Artists offer hope. And hope heals. Join us as we discuss how art and culture play an important role in creating healthier, more equitable communities, as well as the existing barriers that artists face to creating a thriving art ecosystem.


3 to 4 p.m.

Featuring: Danell Cross, Metcalfe Park Community Bridges; Zeno Franco and David Nelson, Medical College of Wisconsin and ThriveOn Collaboration; others TBD

We believe that change won’t happen if we continue to work in silos. The challenges facing our communities – gentrification, homelessness, lack of health care – are all interconnected, and we all have a role to play in creating a better future. This conversation will explore innovative strategies for community transformation rooted in our shared vision for a thriving, inclusive and equitable community.


4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Featuring: Camille Mays, Peace Garden Project MKE; others TBD

Through our work with community leaders, we have found that a number of solutions for a more equitable community already exist. Still, there is an immense need for greater communication and collaboration between funders and grassroots leaders who are building within communities. Join us as we discuss the barriers that hinder authentic relationships and discover new opportunities to build bridges in this space.


WEDNESDAY, OCT. 14, 2021 

9 to 10:30 a.m.

Featuring: James Causey and Angela Peterson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Also featuring: Ellen Gilligan, Greater Milwaukee Foundation; George Stanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Join us for a solutions-focused conversation with James Causey and Angela Peterson – journalists with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – about their current series, “Milwaukee’s Promise.” Learn how Milwaukee can reclaim its future as a community where every life is valued, and people of color realize their full potential in a welcoming, thriving community. Editor George Stanley will also talk about the need for public service journalism and its role in supporting an informed community.


For all sessions, Anita Mogaka and Fiesha Lynn Bell of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation will provide facilitation and guidance for participants.

About the Greater Milwaukee Foundation

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is Wisconsin’s largest community foundation and was among the first established in the world. For more than a century, the Foundation has inspired philanthropy by connecting generous people to community needs that align with their interests. The Foundation was founded on the premise that generosity can unlock an individual’s potential and strengthen the community as a whole for everyone who lives here. We work in partnership with those who are committed to ensuring greater Milwaukee is a vibrant, economically thriving region that comprises welcoming and inclusive communities providing opportunity, prosperity and a high quality of life for all.



For media inquiries

Please contact: 
Jeremy PodolskiMarketing and Communications Manager