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What We Do

2018 Game Changer Awardees

Black Youth Alliance - WI is the Game Changer Grant Awardee for August!

Black Youth Alliance - WI is an afterschool program started in 2017 with a mission of teaching Black history and culture to Black youth in three schools in the Green Bay School District.

“With the ability to teach Black history, developing Black culture and teaching healthy relationship skills we are able to support Black youth with information that sets a tone for a lifetime of healthier decision making,” states Robin Tinnon, Black Youth Alliance - WI’s Prevention Coordinator and Program Manager.


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Youth Emerging Successfully (YES!) receives Game Changer Grant for July

YES! is a program focused on Madison’s Northside that will work with youth of color to help mitigate violence in nearby neighborhoods. At the same time, it’s expected that YES! will create new pathways that allow for greater community engagement. This program is a partnership with the City of Madison and UW-Madison’s Pre-College Program that will span the summers of 2018 and 2019.

“Youth will participate in trainings that incorporate mindfulness, conflict resolution, relationship building, strategic planning, project management, business development, fund development, social media management and event programming.” states Eric S. Upchurch, Chief Visionary at Opportunity Inc. which is one of the partnering organizations of YES!.


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The June Game Changer Grant is Awarded to Project RETURN!

Project RETURN – Returning Ex-Offenders To Urban Realities and Neighborhoods – is a Milwaukee-based organization working to give second lives to returning citizens, post-incarceration. Project RETURN provides men and women with employment assistance, alcohol and drug abuse treatment, individual and group counseling, housing referrals and a wide array of other services. Their goal is to offer returning citizens a chance to make a positive and permanent return to their community, family and friends.

“Milwaukee is the worst city in the nation as far as poverty goes. When our clients return from the prison system, they are looking for resources but struggle to find them,” says Brian Osei Project RETURN’s Community Organizer.


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Lussier Community Education Center’s Youth Action Summer Internship is the May Game Changer Grant Awardee!

Lussier Community Education Center (LCEC) is this month’s Game Changer Grant recipient. LCEC’s Youth Action Summer Internship (YASI), led by Daniel Steinbring, takes 13 high school students – most of them persons of color – through an 8-week intensive course in which they learn about different social issues and how to take action on them. According to Julieta, a 3-year member of YASI, “The Youth Action Summer Internship program is a safe space. Everything we say there, stays there. We respect each other, love each other and care for one another.”

Not only does YASI provide a safe space for students to learn from each other, it also provides them with an opportunity to travel to Washington DC and learn about life outside of their Madison backyard. While in DC, they have a chance to visit the National Museum of African-American History and Culture. Sophie, a 3-year member of YASI said, “Visiting the museum was very interesting. It gave me a lot of knowledge on things that are not taught in school.”


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FCI's Apirl Game Changer Grant Goes to Safe & Sound
Safe & Sound is a Milwaukee-based organization dedicated to creating safe neighborhoods via the power of communication. Their Face to Face workshops engage community residents, youth and law enforcement officers for the purpose of whittling away at the barriers caused by racial stereotyping.

Face to Face was initially created to work with youth but its success led Safe & Sound to add adults to the mix of voices. Previous workshop participants include Mayor Tom Barret, members of the Milwaukee Bucks, multiple levels of law enforcement and residents from various Milwaukee communities.

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Arts@Large is the recipient of FCI’s Game Changer Grant for March
Milwaukee-based Arts@Large is a dynamic educational organization that connects arts to academic learning and social justice for nearly 10,000 Milwaukee Public School students. Teri Sullivan, Founder and CEO, says, “Arts&Large is committed to bringing the arts and making it accessible to every student in the Greater Milwaukee community.”

In 2017, Arts&Large started the Fabric of Milwaukee, a peacemaking initiative that focuses on Milwaukee’s growing immigrant and refugee student population. At numbers reaching 8,000 in the Milwaukee Public Schools, these students often report experiences of bullying, harassment and depression.

The Fabric of Milwaukee 10-week initiative provides students with opportunities to celebrate cultures and honor the diversity in Milwaukee’s schools. It gives young immigrants and refugees a chance to network with peers outside of the classroom and build systems of support that displace feelings of being alone in a new country.


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MultiCultural Outreach Program receives Forward Community Investment’s Game Changer grant for February!
Southwest Wisconsin's immigrant population has risen sharply in the last decade as dairy farms, cheese factories and small manufacturing plants have turned to immigrant workers to meet their unmet employee needs. These new neighbors work hard and provide cultural diversity to the rural communities of Grant, Iowa, Lafayette and Richland counties. At the same time, these immigrants, like their neighbors, need help accessing basic social and legal services.

This is where the MultiCultural Outreach Program (MCOP) steps in as an innovative link between families, local schools, government agencies, farmers, employers, landlords, medical providers, churches and other community groups.


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CUPED Corporation is awarded the January Game Changer Grant
Cultivating Urban Plans & Economic Development (CUPED) Corporation is the brainchild of its founding member and president of Maures Development Group, Melissa Goins. Based in Milwaukee, CUPED is a community-driven nonprofit dedicated to promoting development in urban Milwaukee neighborhoods that have been ignored by mainstream capital resources. CUPED is committed to bringing back the pride, hope and love needed for these neighborhoods to regain their economic mojo.

CUPED’s current project involves the redevelopment of the former Reader’s Choice bookstore, the last Black-owned bookstore in Wisconsin. After serving the Milwaukee community for more than 28 years, Reader’s Choice closed in July 2017 and, soon after, CUPED purchased the building with the intent of re-creating a robust community space.


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