Walk Against Poverty campaign

The Problem

It’s more than just a walk. It’s a movement. Passionate community members from all across the greater Milwaukee area have come together to start and support the Walk Against Poverty campaign to raise awareness of poverty in Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin and to create the start of lasting solutions to all forms of poverty. Poverty affects all of us. Join us in this movement to break the cycle in our community. The campaign has, in the past, consisted of events in December that reflect on the year behind us and the year(s) ahead of us. Events are solution and action-focused. The issue of poverty and the issues surrounding it (education, racism, job opportunties, violence, and more) have been talked about for year -- this campaign charges every person, from every community to rally together in action-oriented steps that are focused on the community as a whole. In 2006, 50 people walked the streets of Downtown Milwaukee in the cold of December, holding signs high stating the horrible poverty rate and related issue statistics. We carried them past restaurants, businesses and through rush hour traffic. We also heard from city politic and grassroots leaders in the Milwaukee community. In 2007, the campaign was expanded to a series of events of the course of three days in December. More than 400 people participated. These events included: *Stocking Stuffers of HOPE: Milwaukee Area Technical & UW Milwaukee students facilitated conversation with over 500 elementary & middle schools students from the Greater Milwaukee area regarding social justice and issues in their community. Each student created an ornament "Stocking Stuffer" that depicted one of the issues they discussed and also an action step that they will take in 2008 to help that issue. Every walker in the WALK AGAINST POVERTY recieved a Stocking Stuffer as a voice of inspiration from the youth of our community to take action today and every day and what needs to get done. *Faces of Poverty: A Community Art Show depicting poverty through the eyes of students and youth of Milwaukee. The art reception featured spoken word artists and street theater. *Personal Finance Workshop providing basic finance skills to all those that attended. *Workforce Development Panel Discussion featuring major city and community organization leaders. *Community Resource Fairs that featured organizations and volunteer opportunities across the SE Wisconsin region. *The WALK AGAINST POVERTY: Over 150 community members walked through downtown Milwaukee on their lunch hour, including high school and college students, city political leaders, and more. The Mayor of Milwaukee, Tom Barrett; President of Milwaukee Area Technical College, Dr. Darnell Cole; Executive Director of Hunger Task Force (food bank and advocacy group), Sherrie Tussler; and Executive Diretor of Repairers of the Breach (Milwaukee's only daytime shelter and 'homeless helping homeless' advocacy group), MacCanon Brown all spoke at the walk. The city-wide planning committee continues to meet monthly and take action throughout the city to help end poverty and alleviate the main issues that contribute to poverty here in Milwaukee: education, job opportunities and racism.

Plan of Action

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