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Author: Dominic Inouye

Until our voices go hoarse: Reflections on a summer of protest in Milwaukee

On Sunday, September 13, 2020, I marched for the thirteenth time this summer in a peaceful protest organized by Darius Smith and Charles McCoy. Dubbed “Come Together, Stand Together For Change,” this march of about 100 people looped from the North Point Water Tower up to Whitefish Bay and back again. After passing St. Mary’s Hospital on North Avenue to avoid blocking emergency entrances, the modest but loud group fanned out across both lanes of traffic and headed up Oakland Avenue. We moved to one side of the road to let buses and a fire truck pass but, otherwise,...

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Dominic Inouye: Saying YES in a summer of NO

A recent Facebook memory helped me put this summer into perspective. Five Augusts ago, I was preparing for school as usual but also making sure I squeezed every last drop of fun out of that summer. In my post, I enumerated 18 morning workouts with my November Project friends, three 5Ks, one duathlon, my first trail half marathon at Devil’s Lake and one disappointingly cold and stormy Underwear Bike Ride. I served as an impromptu emergency taxi during the bus workers’ strike and somehow agreed to babysit my friend’s precocious 3-year-old at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Madison with friends...

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A Matter of Survival: Time to rethink education instead of reopening schools

In 1729, Jonathan Swift published “A Modest Proposal: For Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burthen to Their Parents or Country, and For Making Them Beneficial to the Publick.” Almost 300 years after his satirical suggestion that the Irish eat their children for physical and economic sustenance in the wake of English oppression – his point was that Irish children were already being “eaten,” I’d like to propose a less gruesome course of action that also has to do with children. Instead of reopening schools altogether – which is to many, including myself, a cruel prospect...

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Black Lives Matter: Teens Grow Greens nurtures more than just plants

Since 2013, the Milwaukee non-profit Teens Grow Greens has, as their motto attests, “grown more than plants.” It has consistently grown and nurtured the bodies, minds and spirits of Milwaukee youth, predominantly Black and Brown teens but also Asian American and white youth. Based on principles of respect, responsibility and resilience, the nine-month paid internship helps high school students develop healthy habits, cooking skills and gardening know-how, vulnerability and leadership, financial literacy and entrepreneurship opportunities. Now, as much as ever, when systems continue to declare war on Black and Brown bodies, the nurturing of those bodies is so important....

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Milwaukee Pride marches in solidarity with Black Lives Matter

“This is the best Pride ever.” That sentiment was heard many times amidst the crowd of over one thousand that gathered at the gates of the Henry Maier Festival Park on Sunday, June 7, for the “March with PRIDE for #BLACKLIVESMATTER” protest. Following ten days of protests in Milwaukee to honor the death of George Floyd, Sunday would have been the final day of the annual Pride Fest celebration, postponed because of COVID-19 restrictions. Undaunted and inspired, the protest co-organizers Montell Ross, Angel Vega, and Kat Klawes merged the celebration of LGBTQ+ liberation with the still-needed liberation of Black...

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A Hero Lives Here: Reexamining the definition of Heroism during the Pandemic

I can draw and label the diagram in my sleep. A circle, an arrow, a horizontal line bisecting the circle. A starting point, an ending point. A high point, a low point. Hundreds of my high school freshmen memorized Joseph Campbell’s “hero journey,” the result of his comparative study of myths and religions from around the world. The journey is a common narrative about heroes that begins with the hero leaving home on a mission and ends with the hero returning transformed and victorious. Since one can’t turn on any kind of media right now – or even walk...

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