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Congratulations to the 2014-2015

Community/University Partnerships

(CUP) Grant Award Winners

Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival


Najeeb, Milwaukee Muslim Women's Coalition; Sehar Javed, UWM Muslim Students Association

This project will bring together students, faculty, interfaith community members, educators and the Muslim community in a collaborative effort to use the common language of art as a transformational experience. The experience of sharing and reacting to artwork plays a strong role in breaking down boundaries between cultures, religions, socio-economic distinctions, and other perceived differences. This project will launch the first Muslim Film Festival in Milwaukee, showing S-7 films highlighting the American Muslim experience. These films will include talk back sessions with either community members or film directors. The films will be chosen by a wide group representing a variety of university student groups and organizations in the greater Milwaukee area, this group will develop criteria for selecting the films, shape the educational component, and co-present a film of mutual interest. Evaluation tools will include festival organizing committee composition and meeting summaries; list of film co-presenters; partner qualitative feedback; list of films presented; attendance/box office receipts; feedback from filmmakers and artists; evaluation surveys; media coverage; social media comments; and anecdotal feedback. The Milwaukee Muslim Women's Coalition in collaboration with the UWM Muslim Students Association hope to introduce the breadth and depth of the local Muslim community and its diverse experiences to the student body and the greater Milwaukee area.

            Muslim Film Festival Debut in Milwaukee 2015

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Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures Field School in Washington Park, Milwaukee

This yearlong community engagement project located in Washington Park, Milwaukee, revolves around a summer field school organized by students, faculty, advocates, residents and community members. The objective of this project is to collect, interpret and circulate stories of homes as repositories of community memory, spaces of caring and markers of civic pride. The homes of Washington Park are as diverse as the people who live in them. Their tales of triumph, struggle, culture, imagination, and home making will all be part of this project. The project also offers skills workshops free of cost to community volunteers and young adults. By training local residents in oral history, architectural documentation, archival research, and multimedia production the field school organizers hope to contribute to this neighborhood's renaissance and keep alive the art of telling and collecting stories of places that matter-long after they depart. Year long dissemination includes signage and artistic markers that will be deployed across the neighborhoods, a series of resident run heritage tours, site-specific dance events, docu-dramas, art exhibits, architectural exhibits, scholarly presentations, multi-media documentaries, website and a monograph- designed to sustain a long-term conversation among diverse urban stakeholders.

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Washington Park Peacebuilding Project (W3P)

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's new Master of Sustainable Peace building program, in partnership with the Urban Ecology Center, will develop and implement a systems-based framework for understanding and addressing conflict in the Washington Park neighborhood. Over the past several years, the Washington Park neighborhood has experienced a level of violence and conflict that has exceeded the capacity of neighborhood organizations, such as the Urban Ecology Center, to manage. The first step in managing the conflict safely and sustainably is to gain a broad understanding of local conflict dynamics and perceptions about the state of conflict in the area. W3P will engage the Washington Park community-non-profits, businesses, churches, citizens, and law enforcement personnel- about conflict in the area through a series of targeted focus groups, interviews, and "systems mapping" exercises. Upon completion of the community systems map(s), the W3P working group will identify potential interventions in the neighborhood and give presentation to the community on their findings. The Urban Ecology Center and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee plan to seek additional external support for carrying W3P forward to the intervention phase.

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Johnsons Park Neighborhood Association Community Art Project

Bently Turner, Johnsons Park Neighborhood Association; Elizabeth Drame, UWM Exceptional Education
Bently Turner
, Johnsons Park Neighborhood Association; Elizabeth Drame, UWM Exceptional Education

The Johnsons Park Neighborhood Association Community Art Project will address the large number of vacant lots in Lindsay Heights that create a negative impression on the neighborhoods. There will also be a concentration on beautification of occupied commercial properties. In order to address this issue, service learning projects will be developed for students enrolled in Art 150: Multicultural America and Art 306: Introduction to Community Arts. The other departments involved in this project are the Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership and Research, and the Department of Art. The service learning students from Art 150 and Art 306 would engage with and develop projects with community members and local artists beginning in Fall 2014.

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New Days: Assessing Milwaukee’s LGBT Aging Communities

New Days AssessingColleen Carpenter, Milwaukee LGBT Community Center; Mark Williams, UWM Social Work Department, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare

The New Days project will bring together UWM students and LGBT Milwaukee older adults (age 50 and older} to explore the strengths and needs of LGBT older adult communities. The Milwaukee LGBT Community Center and the SAGE program (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders} have begun to re-examine the needs of Milwaukee's LGBT elders in light of organizational changes, evolving national and local policies, and the rapid growth of the older adult population. UWM's social work department challenges students to deepen their awareness of the strengths and needs of socially marginalized people, including LGBT older adults. For the New Days project UWM students will co-facilitate 2 focus groups to identify service and advocacy concerns of LGBT elders today. Based on these findings, students and faculty will design a community survey to mail to Milwaukee-area LGBT older adults to assess sources of strength and sites of need in the community to guide future efforts of Milwaukee- SAGE.

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The Puente Project: Bridging Communities by Combining Personal Stories with English<>Spanish Interpretation

The Puente Project
Megan McGee, Ex Fabula, Inc.; Ana Paula Soares Lynch, CORE/EI Centro; Leah Leone, UWM Translation and Interpreting Studies

This project brings together foreign language interpreting students, storytelling coaches, a nonprofit natural healing center, and members of the Latino community. CORE will invite native Spanish speakers from a network of Community Health Workers/Promotores de Salud, to workshops about sharing true, personal stories; following the workshops, selected participants will further develop stories to share at Ex Fabula's December Spectacular, an annual noncompetitive StorySlam held at Turner Hall Ballroom. At the workshop, and at the Spectacular, students facilitated by Dr. Leone will interpret Spanish<> English exchanges. The inclusion of Spanish-language stories in the Spectacular will validate and value the stories of native Spanish speakers, provide meaningful practice for interpreting students, give non-Hispanic audience members a meaningful cross-cultural experience, and create the conditions for strangers to empathize and connect with one another. Following the event, the Ex Fabula team will leverage audio gathered from the event to create one or more pieces that can be shared with Community Health Workers and submitted to other media distribution platforms, thus expanding the reach of stories that are underrepresented in English-language media. Throughout the process, we will refine best practices for bilingual events, as we hope that this is the first of many multilingual storytelling events in the city of Milwaukee.

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Urban Roots Freedom School/Freedom Summer Project

Urban Roots, Inc. in partnership with UWM's Institute for Intercultural Research and Black Cultural Center along with supporting community-based collaborators will birth a new generation of young social activists through the Urban Roots Freedom School/Freedom Summer Project. Through the project 70 "scholars" will not only strengthen and increase their literacy skills and love for reading and learning, but will also learn the important role local social activists played in securing equal rights and protections for disadvantaged people and communities of color in Milwaukee and around nation. The project will engage and work with community youth through the summer months and school year in a research gathering mission that explores and then shares the experiences of the past generation and their contribution to the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project, this year celebrating its 50th year mark of impact on the country and world. UWM students will accompany scholars in historical research gathering tours and educational field trips, and help to create and inform the curatorial development of a Freedom Rider Mobile Museum over the course of a year. Youth scholars and students will be connected to living era activists and will have an opportunity artistically express their personal reflections, aspirations and experiences during a culminating finale and community gala.

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Nutrition For Young Farmer

The "Nutrition Education for Young Farmers and Dreamers Project" expands the partnership between Groundwork Milwaukee (GWM) and UWM's Nutritional Sciences Program to include youth from the I Have A Dream Foundation at the Clark Street School. UWM faculty and students of the College of Health Sciences' will provide nutrition education to GWM's Young Farmers, and "Dreamers" while developing assessment tools and methodologies. This community-university partnership advances the establishment of the Nutritional Sciences Department and BS in Nutritional Sciences degree program. Students and faculty gain practical hands-on education and experience working with a hard-to-reach population. Support letters from Deans Peck and Stojkovic attest to UWM's interest in this project. The Young Farmers Program is GWM's method of expanding urban agriculture to low-income youth .We will build on the successful first year CUP partnership, by involving Young Farmers in training younger students. This new component, in which older or more experienced youth affirm educational goals, using a proven education method known as peer education which has been especially effective in the public health realm. Peer education will both reinforce the Young Farmers' understanding of lessons learned in the 2013-14 CUP funding cycle make this year's lessons more accessible to the "Dreamers."

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A Bridge Over Troubled Water: Africology Now Youth Initiative

Derrick Rogers, Transition High School; Crystal Edwards, Anastacia Scott, UWM Africology NOW Student Organization

africology nowThe Africology NOW student organization at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will partner with Transition High School to empower students that demonstrate a desire to learn but have yet to reach optimal potential through the use of academic support, college preparation and the SANKO FA Book Club. We hope to address the failure of traditional curriculum to effectively engage students with culturally relevant material that places them at a heightened level of disadvantage. This project seeks to improve academic performance and cultural awareness. At the end of this initiative, the students will produce a final project using information gained through book club readings and discussions to share with their family, friends and community members in which they reside via an online blog. This initiative will become the foundation for a long-term relationship between the Department of Africology and Transition High School---bridging the gap between the university and the community.

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The Other Side of the Mirror:
Fostering Creative Expression and Literacy in Communities Impacted by Incarceration

Other Side of the Mirror

Wendel Hruska, Project RETURN; Ching-ln (Elizabeth) Chen, UWM Department of English
Cream City Review

This project is a partnership with UWM's non-profit literary journal, cream city review (ccr) and Project RETURN. Project RETURN provides support services for people who have experienced incarceration and are seeking a positive and permanent return to community and family. Our partnership combines the teaching and writing expertise of ccr staff with Project RETURN's community outreach and its relationship with Milwaukee minimum security jails, in particular the Marshall E. Sherrer Correctional Center. This would allow us to create a series of modules of writing workshops for incarcerated individuals, which include mentorship opportunities that will work to foster writing and communication skills, literacy and creative self-expression. Participants will be encouraged to submit their work for a curated print edition of ccr, entitled The Other Side of the Mirror, and possible publication on ccr 's website. In addition, creative writing workshops held at Project RETURN offices will provide additional revision opportunities and a therapeutic and creative outlet for participants post-incarceration and for impacted families. Finally, with the foundational experience gained in the implementation of these workshops, we hope to develop a service-learning creative writing course at UWM to establish a more permanent literary community within this underserved population of Milwaukee.

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Everyday Health Program

Many of the Milwaukee residents who visit the Outreach Ministry of Central City Churches, Inc. (CCC) come to receive food. While enjoying a meal or waiting for a bag of groceries, our neighbors can also take advantage of free opportunities to learn about resources for improved health. The "Everyday Health Program" is a collaborative effort between CCC and the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (UWM) student organization, "Local to Global: Creating Healthier Communities". Local to Global members will provide 7 presentations on topics that were requested by neighbors during the 2013-2014 project: Resources for Healthy Living in Milwaukee (summer 2014), Freedom from Smoking, Freedom from Alcohol, Living with a Disability (Fall2014) and Employment Readiness: Resume writing, on-line job search and applications, Interviewing skills (Spring 20 15). By meeting, mentoring, and presenting to Milwaukee residents, the Local to Global students will enhance their knowledge of the health issues that face members of our community. Participants will help assess the sessions by completing an evaluation form to be handed out by CCC staff. Local to Global members will record the number of participants for each presentation and materials given out.