A leading national voice on faith and race issues says in order to get to the heart of trauma's impact on Milwaukee, the community needs to confront issues such as segregation and racism.
A wide spectrum of people from across the Milwaukee community will meet later this week to address the profound effect trauma is having on many of the people who live here, and on the community at large. The Healing Trauma, Healthy Communities conference is being convened by a coalition called SWIM - Scaling Wellness In Milwaukee, and is sponsored by St. A, a social service organization which works extensively on trauma-related issues.
Reverend Jim Wallis, founder of the group Sojourners, will speak on a keynote panel on Wednesday. Wallis says the entire community needs to be part of the conversation, from policymakers in hearing rooms, to parents at the ballfield. "When moms talk to other moms," he says, "about the future for their kids - their hopes, their dreams, their fears - it's a powerful bonding time. But not enough of that crosses racial lines.
"That's what we have to do - understand what my kids' teammates and classmates, who are people of color, experience and feel and fear everyday - until we come to a deeper understanding of each other."