These individuals and their statements are presented here as a representation of the voices from 2016 that spoke in our published content. So many powerful words and images could not be included in this review. They exist in our editorial library, each one an important part of our daily effort to tell stories of transformative change in Milwaukee.


Chris Abele

“The single best way to honor Dr. King is to remember a lesson he spent his lifetime repeating. We need to make change, and the best way to make change is through love.”


John Chisholm

“We know Lincoln Hills doesn’t work. We fundamentally understand that. We are experiencing an epic fail from Governor Walker’s Department of Corrections as it relates to Lincoln Hills. I think they would like to simply wash their hands of all this, and dump the problem on Milwaukee County without additional resources. We cannot allow that to happen.”


Cedric Jasber

“I didn’t expect to see so many black people here at Anime Milwaukee. Growing up outside of Madison, there is a big crowd for Anime but you’d never think it is as diversified as it is here. Anime is an amazing way for all different races and all different cultures to just come together. It is one thing we can all get along under.”


Gretchen Mead

“I feel like they paint us as this heroic organization who is sweeping in to serve the poor. And I just don’t see it that way at all. We give orchards to people who could afford to buy them themselves. And those people might even be our donors at times. So if they wanted an orchard they could buy one. However, it is not the same thing as making the decision with your community to plan an orchard together, and winning an orchard through us.”


Cory L. Nettles

“I am a champion for Milwaukee because I think it is a phenomenal community of tremendous promise and potential. The city has great people in it who are passionate about making it a great place for all people who live in Milwaukee. One of the best solutions I know is to create opportunity for those folks who are hurting and who are suffering, and make sure they have jobs that pay family sustaining wages.”


Michail Takach

“Today is a day for LGBTQ community solidarity. While thoughts and prayers are welcome, action is required. Today is a day to come out, to be seen, and to be heard, in honor of those whose day was stolen from them. Today is a day to remember where we started and why we started.”


John Gurda

“No one ever asks why I think a book, particularly one as glossy and expensive as “City of Neighborhoods,” could do anything to solve the problems of the inner-city neighborhoods that take up so many of its pages. It’s just a book, after all, one that few residents could afford and fewer still might be interested in reading. I would agree, first of all; people struggling to make rent aren’t going to plunk down $50 for a book. But I would also point out that we have made 500 free copies available to schools, churches, community groups, and other nonprofits, with emphasis on central-city groups. And I would argue that perhaps the book’s greatest and most helpful impact will be on people who live in more comfortable surroundings. By giving places like Lindsay Heights and Metcalfe Park equal billing with the North Points and Bay Views of Milwaukee, we lift them in the public consciousness to a position of parity; their place in the city’s story is affirmed. My hope is that that knowledge will lead to understanding and understanding to compassion.”


Shauna Singh Baldwin

“The massacre of 2012 was a tremendous shock to us. We had been living in Oak Creek, among the people here, and never expected such a thing to happen. Our faith is all about building relationships, Since then, we have become more forthcoming and explanatory of ourselves. We were much more internally focused by contrast with what we are today. We believe in doing outreach. For example, we have always fed the homeless. But now we are taking pictures of it, because we’ve never talked about it.”


Reggie Jackson

“Despite the fact that many people believe we live in a so-called ‘post-racial America’ evidence to the contrary is abundant. The difficult burden on prosecutors to prove bias, especially racial bias, is directly related to how whites and African Americans see racial inequality in the country. Acts that African Americans perceive as racially biased are often seen by whites as having nothing to do with race.”


Dr. Reza Aslan

“That connectivity between the material world and the heavenly world, between the world that we see here and the world that we have only a spiritual connection to, is precisely what mythology is meant to do, to create that bridge, create that understanding of our role in this cosmic battle taking place. It is true that myths provide answers to a lot of fundamental questions asked, essential questions. But I think more importantly, what they do is help us frame the questions of reality a lot better so that we can say, who are we? What is important to us? What are the things that we would fight for, and the things that we die for?”


President Ashanti Hamilton

“Diversity nurtures our curiosity by exposing us to different peoples and cultures. It helps expand our thinking and our minds. And so it is important for us today to stand with our community as we work to help protect each other and stretch our horizons.”


Kalan Haywood Sr.

“When we looked at projects that could be true to the community and offer a benefit, we never found a project like Germania. It’s not just bricks and mortar. We do build buildings, but we prefer to build opportunities. We prefer the build up people, we prefer to give them hope.”

This feature is part of a weeklong “Year in Review” series that highlights different aspects of the news coverage from Milwaukee Independent over 2016.

Year in Review 2016: Featured Profiles
Year in Review 2016: News Articles
Year in Review 2016: Video Segments
Year in Review 2016: Photo Essays
Year in Review 2016: Quotes and Images
Year in Review 2016: Faces of Milwaukee