WUWM: Race & Ethnicity Reporting

Race and ethnicity impacts so much. In a place as diverse as metro-Milwaukee, news fails to capture thousands of stories, including the unexpected or positive ones.

You can help WUWM’s Race & Ethnicity Reporter Teran Powell discover and tell those stories by sharing your question below.

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Bad stuff happens. And, this can really impact how people learn, react to situations and form relationships. 

The American Psychological Association defines trauma as "an emotional response to a terrible event." Trauma is different for everyone, and some experience it a lot more than others.

What questions do you have about how trauma impacts life in Milwaukee? Submit your questions below to help inform my future reporting on this topic.

Support for Race & Ethnicity reporting is provided by the Dohmen Company Foundation.

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Milwaukee Urban League

The Milwaukee Urban League is celebrating 100 years of service to the community.

The local chapter is an affiliate of the National Urban League that began in 1910. At the time, millions of African-Americans were migrating north from southern states in search of greater opportunities.

The League's mission is: "Empowering Communities. Changing Lives."

Teran Powell

Updated on Tuesday at 9:40 a.m. CT

The Menomonee Falls School Board voted 5-2 on Monday to retire Menomonee Falls High School's "Indians" nickname at the end of this school year. 

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Wisconsin has some of the worst disparities between black and white people in the country. That's according to a new report that outlines the causes of these disparities — and possible solutions.

Teran Powell

Despite the job market doing better than it has in previous years, some people are still having a hard time finding work. That's especially true for black Wisconsinites.

In 2018, the black unemployment rate in Wisconsin was nearly three times that of whites, according to American Community Survey data.

Teran Powell

With street names like Winnebago and villages such as Mukwonago, there's no denying the historical presence of Native Americans in Wisconsin.

That spurred one of our listeners to reach out to Beats Me:

"What groups of Indigenous people lived in southeastern Wisconsin?"

We're going to answer that question. But we're also going to explore the importance of not just talking in the past tense when it comes to Native Americans.

Teran Powell

Pow wows date back hundreds of years. These celebrations of native culture and traditions bring native people together to sing, dance and drum in honor of their heritage.

The tradition continues right here in Milwaukee, and they're not just for native people to enjoy.

I went to the 15th Annual Hunting Moon Pow Wow that took place recently at the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee. It's a three-day competition that includes dancing, drumming and singing.

Mahdi Granberry

Milwaukee-area photographer Corey Fells has unveiled a new documentary and photography series – and this time, he's putting men under the spotlight. His name may be familiar because we met Fells at the beginning of the year, when he introduced his “100 Womxn Project.” That project highlighted millennial women of color in Milwaukee.

Teran Powell

Gov. Tony Evers has declared the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day in Wisconsin — the day federally recognized as Columbus Day. The state joins a growing list of others, such as Minnesota and New Mexico, that have chosen to celebrate native peoples instead.

Nadiyah Johnson / Jet Constellations

Women and people of color are drastically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). According to the Pew Research Center, black people only make up 9% of STEM jobs. Hispanics are7%, Asians are 13%, and whites make up 69% of STEM jobs.

Jet Constellations CEO Nadiyah Johnson thinks those numbers are alarming.

Teran Powell

Bela Suresh Roongta is a woman of many titles. She’s a published author and a clothing designer. She’s also the Pfister Hotel’s current narrator in residence, which means she tells the stories of guests, staff and visitors of the hotel through blogs.

But Roongta’s own story is one about becoming confident in her identity to become the woman she is today.

Teran Powell

Hip-hop and chess may seem like an unlikely pair. But a new club has combined the two in a way that’s educating young people about the art of chess and the art of making music.

The Hip-Hop Chess Club celebrated its grand re-opening Tuesday at Flip 'N' Styles, a barbershop on Milwaukee's south side. Even from the rear of the shop, you could hear the echo of ODB’s Shimmy Shimmy Ya hit you as you walk through the doors.

Future Urban Leaders

Supporting and pushing students toward academic, professional, and personal success is the driving force behind Future Urban Leaders (FUL). The Milwaukee nonprofit's mission is to create opportunities that support youth in realizing their unique potential.

The organization currently serves more than 150 students in Milwaukee Public Schools. These third-12th graders are primarily African American, from the city’s north side.

Alesandra Tejeda

Hundreds of communities across the United States have designated themselves a "sanctuary" for immigrant families. Some have created policies vowing they won’t share information about a resident’s immigration status with the federal office of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE).

But what does a "sanctuary city" really mean? And who has a say in the matter?

Sara McKinnon, a UW-Madison associate professor, says a sanctuary city isn't an official government term.

Nearly 4,000 people die from drownings every year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That’s about 10 people a day. But the racial and ethnic disparities within those drownings are equally alarming.

The CDC has found that swimming pool drowning rates for black youth ages five to 19 are 5.5 times higher than whites in the same age group.

Teran Powell

Before meeting Moshe Katz, I don’t know if I ever considered “American Jew” and “Jewish American” to be different identities. But Katz says Jewish people are often asked which label represents them. For him, he says the answer is both.

"There are days of the week, or hours of the day, or seconds I respond to something that says, 'I’m a Jewish American.' There are certain things that the way I live my life is 'Jewishly' as an American. There are also days where I live my life as an American, who happens to be Jewish," Katz explains.

Philip Montgomery

Every year, there are thousands of evictions in Milwaukee County. A new exhibition based on the best-selling book Evicted brings the crisis to life.

The exhibition is in an event space called the Mobile Design Box on Milwaukee's near west side — minutes away from Marquette’s campus. When you walk through the doors, you're greeted by a bright yellow banner with the word "evicted" written across it.

Teran Powell

The Fourth of July is a time when many people in the U.S. celebrate their patriotism in whatever fashion they see fit. But a new art exhibition in Milwaukee shows that not everybody shares that patriotic vision. It's aptly titled, This Is America.

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The late Dr. Allen L. Herron set the pace for black physicians in Milwaukee, especially black men. He’s believed to be the first African American male doctor to practice here.

Andrew Trumbull / Burmese Rohingya Community of Wisconsin

The latest installment of I’m An American tells the story of a Rohingya man. The series explores what it means to be an American for people from underrepresented groups. It also gives them the chance to share their stories about their racial and ethnic identities.

I met Anuwar Kasim on a chilly Sunday afternoon in Milwaukee. It was at the headquarters of the Burmese Rohingya Community of Wisconsin (BRCW) on Howell near Layton Boulevard.

maksymowicz / stock.adobe.com

The CNN documentary series United Shades of America is nearing the end of its fourth season, and the second to last episode is all about Milwaukee.

The Emmy Award-winning series follows host W. Kumau Bell, a black standup comedian, who travels across the country. He goes to places he says the audience may not expect him to go, places he’s never been, or where he feels like he can learn something new.

Teran Powell

PrideFest Milwaukee has officially begun! Milwaukeeans have celebrated LGBTQ pride for more than 40 years, and the festival events are once again taking over the Summerfest grounds.

One group attendees can expect to see there focuses on connecting with LGBTQ men of color. 

RON REIRING / Flickr

We're looking at the impact of using "loaded" words, such as labels that describe certain areas of Milwaukee, in our latest Beats Me. For example, "inner city" is a term that may ignite many thoughts.

Teran Powell

In discussions about the health and safety of water, it’s typical to hear from experts, public health officials and government leaders. But you don't often get the opinions of younger people who are just beginning to learn and care about natural resources.

Young people working with Cream City Conservation Corps are having some real conversations about the environment. August Ball leads the discussion at the group’s regular Tuesday night meeting in the Silver City neighborhood on Milwaukee's south side.

Teran Powell

Since the beginning of the year, our I’m An American series has featured the stories of Muslim, Hispanic and Hmong people, who’ve talked about how the label “American” fits into their identity. Now, we hear from a Native American man who offers another unique perspective.

I first met Michael Zimmerman at the Indian Community School in Franklin, where he was teaching a biweekly Ojibwe Language course.

Screenshot/Shorewood School District

A gym teacher from Shorewood Intermediate School in Wisconsin has been placed on indefinite leave following an alleged racist incident with students earlier this month.

The instructor was teaching students about “games from around the world.”

District officials are looking into claims that say on April 1, the gym teacher separated seventh grade students in one class by race and assigned the black children to research games played by enslaved children.

District Superintendent Bryan Davis says the teacher was instructing students about games around the world.

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Editor's note: This piece was originally published on March 5, 2019. 

When you’re in your local corner store or gas station, it may not cross your mind that companies are using tactics to push certain products to specific customers. In Milwaukee County, there's evidence that tobacco products are targeted toward low-income communities and neighborhoods of color.

Teran Powell

The presence of Native American people in Wisconsin dates back thousands of years — before any of us knew America's Dairyland to be what it is today. But as the population decreased, so did the prevalence of its languages.

However, places like the Indian Community School (ICS) in Franklin, Wis., are continuing to move the culture forward and keep the languages current with biweekly language courses.

Teran Powell

If you ask a group of people what it means to be an American, or whether they consider American to be part of their identity, the answer can vary. You may even run into someone who isn't quite sure how to answer.

That was the case for Ramiro Castillo — a Hispanic man in New Berlin who’s featured in the latest installment of our I'm An American series.

Husband. Father. Owner of his own construction company. Community activist. These are just a few of the words that I came to realize describe Ramiro Castillo.

Teran Powell

For the last two days, hundreds of young black men in Milwaukee were at the center of conversation about how to thrive in society as men of color. It was the sixth annual Summit on Black Male Youth that gave them the platform to do so.

About 700 young black and brown boys filled the Wisconsin Room inside the UWM union Tuesday for day two of the summit.

The UWM African American Male Initiative organizes the event, and this year’s theme was Black Boys Thriving: Reimagining the Narrative.

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