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2019 Game Changer Awardees

December 16, 2019

The Men of Vision mentoring program works with African American youth in and around the Fond du Lac area to provide educational, academic, social and emotional support that promotes positive behaviors that will enhance their respect for others and themselves. 

One of the driving forces behind the Men of Vision program can be conveyed through a quote from Fredrick Douglass. “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

Men of Vision understands the importance of engaging these individuals while they are young so they can share the tools that are needed to become the leaders of tomorrow. These tools can then be utilized throughout their lives as they mature, move onto college and become husbands and fathers for their families.  

November 21, 2019

Health Watch Wisconsin is creating a four-part video series, Buena Salud, dedicated to Spanish- speaking immigrant communities to inform them of their rights regarding health care coverage in Wisconsin. The series, which will be presented in Spanish, is a result of research conducted by Health Watch Wisconsin; the findings concluded that Spanish-speaking immigrant communities are selecting not to enroll in healthcare programs because they are worried that receiving coverage could negatively impact their immigration status. 

October 24, 2019

In response to business owners of color in the Fox Valley feeling isolated and having difficulty finding community support and resources, Fit Oshkosh created a space intended to harbor a safe space of empowerment where people of color can conduct and expand their businesses and emphasize social and community connections. 

Rajon Hall, a research assistant with Fit Oshkosh, interviewed over 50 African American business owners and found they feel they aren’t given the same opportunities as their White counterparts and, at the same time, feel more comfortable working with people who look like them. They relate best to other Black business owners because they have likely gone through similar situations while trying to build their business.  

September 18, 2019

Souled Out Ministries Inc., based in Appleton, is an organization that works with at-risk youth through partnerships with parents and educators. Their vision is that ALL youth and young adults in Appleton have equitable access to educational opportunities, graduate from high school and can achieve their full potential. 

Part of achieving this vision includes their Student Assistance Program. This program assists students, families and school staff in the identification, and removal of barriers that stand in the way of student development and learning. 

August 21, 2019

Padres E Hijos En Accion envisions a world in which all Latino children with disabilities can enhance their quality of life and expand their participation in the community. Padres achieves their goals by engaging children and families in activities not previously available to them, including cooking, gardening, biking, and rock climbing. These activities are important to children with disabilities because they are instrumental in developing communication skills, building independence, and improving fine motor skills.

“The gardening program provides benefits that are not available in a classroom setting. We have found that gardening enhances creativity, improves self-confidence and reduces stress, anxiety and frustration in these children,” notes Hector Portillo, lead organizer for Padres. 

July 25, 2019

The vision of We All Rise: African American Resource Center in Green Bay is to create a vibrant African American community and promote healing by targeting the root causes of systemic oppression. To do this, We All Rise uses a holistic approach to inspire a village mentality, creating safe spaces and connections in Green Bay’s African American community. 

For We All Rise, “healing” means many things: it translates into victim and mental health services, housing, education, employment and transportation services and legal assistance.

June 19, 2019

As the Wausau area population has become more diverse, residents have had more opportunities to learn about cultures, lifestyles and views different than their own. At the same time, the community has been exposed to real ethnic cultural and gender divisions with deep roots that are rarely acknowledged, much less understood. 

One Wausau brings together community members from all walks of life to talk openly, listen earnestly and act in unity to make the greater Wausau area safe, welcoming and an attractive place for all and not just some. From September 2017- October of 2018, more than 600 community members participated in listening sessions, story circles and deliberate dialogues that were designed to help people learn about living in an increasingly diverse community and making Wausau a welcoming place for people of different ethnic, cultural, religious, gender, socioeconomic and other backgrounds. This project aims to help people talk openly and, where possible, to find common ground for action around addressing these complex issues in a constructive way.

May 28, 2019

Under the leadership of Maydm’s founder, Winnie Karanja, Maydm equips young girls and students of color in grades 6 to 12 with the technical skills and experiences to become STEM innovators and technology leaders. Through passionate instructors, creative minds, exciting workshops and semester-long programs, Maydm teaches students programming and computer science fundamentals, while instilling in them the confidence to dream BIG!

Every Maydm student is matched with an industry professional who serves as a year-long mentor, exposing them to careers in the technology industry and helping them understand how their passions can intersect with STEM. 

April 24, 2019

Sisterhood is a “sisterhood” of adolescent Hmong girls from grades 7 to 12 in the Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids area that was formed in 2017 when a group of friends were looking for a safe, supportive and culturally-competent space to talk about issues ranging from dating to healthy relationships to teen violence. 

Their focus expanded when a neighboring community was the scene of a racially-charged shooting incident. The shooting sparked Sisterhood into action as they quickly saw how the violence within their own lives was related to the violence in the broader community. 

FCI’s Game Changer Awardee for February is Layton Boulevard West Neighbors!

March 28, 2019

Layton Boulevard West Neighbors (LBWN) applied on behalf of Neighbors in Action (NIA), a program managed and supported by LBWN. NIA builds people power in Silver City, Burnham Park and Layton Park neighborhoods via a seven-week leadership program designed to meet the unique personality of each neighborhood’s residents. 

A different expert is invited each week to speak to program participants about a variety of topics including the importance of valuing diversity, civic participation, project planning and development, crime and violence prevention through a public health lens, understanding local government and effective communications skills.

FCI’s Game Changer Grant Awardee for February is Allied Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Wellness Center!

February 26, 2019

The Allied Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Wellness Center is a neighborhood center with the purpose of promoting health and wellness of the mind, body and spirit of people living in the Allied, Belmar, Dunn’s Marsh neighborhoods in Madison. 

The Center was established in 2004 to serve what is now an area population of 4,480, of which 63% is nonwhite. The Center, a holistic ministry, promotes health with the help of a community health liaison along with volunteer health professionals who average 100 contacts per month. Services offered by the Center include health education about hypertension, diet and diabetes; direct assistance with medication copays; bus fares and gas cards for transportation to medical visits, support for people with addiction as well as referrals for a myriad other health concerns.

Scholars on Target to Achieve Results (STAR) is awarded FCI’s Game Changer Grant for January!

January 31, 2018

STAR (Scholars on Target to Achieve Results) is an academic engagement intervention program for middle and high school black students in the Appleton and Menasha school districts. It’s a collaboration involving the two school districts, Lawrence University, St. Norbert College, Fox Valley Technical College, University of Wisconsin System, African Heritage Inc. and ThedaCare. The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley fulfills the role of the backbone organization.

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