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Author: Lee Matz

Black is Beautiful: Milwaukee hosts 4th Annual Black History Program at City Hall

“I am black. I am beautiful. I am intelligent. I am enough! Society doesn’t define me. The media does not tell me who I am. I come from overcomers, the true definition of strength and perseverance. Therefore, I will accept nothing less than that for myself.” The City of Milwaukee presented its 4th Annual Black History program on February 28 in City Hall’s historic Rotunda. The celebration theme for 2020 was “Black is Beautiful” and featured a program of music, poetry, and recognition that focused on local African-American culture and influential leaders of the community. “I agree that our...

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Joaquin Altoro hosts conversation with past WHEDA leaders for ACRE alumni on emerging opportunities

In honor of Black History Month, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) held a leadership reception for ACRE alumni on February 19 at the Sherman Phoenix. Joaquin Altoro, current Chief Executive Officer of WHEDA, hosted a historic conversation with Antonio Riley and Wyman Winston, former WHEDA executive directors, about the condition of current real estate opportunities and emerging developers. While WHEDA has been focused on addressing the home ownership needs of Wisconsin’s underserved communities, it has also assisted efforts to grow the pool of emerging developers. One avenue has been through the Associates in Commercial Real Estate...

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State of the City: Mayor Tom Barrett presents a review and roadmap for Milwaukee in 2020

Mayor Tom Barrett delivered a positive outlook for his annual State of the City address on February 10 at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, highlighting Milwaukee’s accompaniments and a roadmap for 2020. From education, to health care, to the Democratic National Convention in July, Mayor Barrett’s upbeat speech covered a range of topics and issues that the city needed to address over the year ahead. “We’re starting to get the attention we deserve because special things are happening in Milwaukee,” said Mayor Barrett, after reading a list of news headlines that all touted the city’s renaissance. In some ways...

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Long overdue exhibit finally honors Milwaukee’s African American Veterans at War Memorial

For the first time in its 62-year history, and coinciding with the annual celebration of African American History Month, the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center officially unveiled its new mural featuring the contributions of African American men and women in the U.S. military on February 3. The exhibit, located on the 3rd floor of the War Memorial Center, documents African American participation in all of the wars fought by the United States. It reflects a national history with images like Crispus Attucks, the first American to die in the American Revolution, Colored Union Troops, Buffalo Soldiers, veterans of both...

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Sheldon Lubar: Climbing mountains for adventure and as a metaphor of life’s journey

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill The book Climbing My Mountain: My Life, Words, and Values by Sheldon Bernard Lubar Ph.D. was officially released during a public party last month at the Milwaukee County Historical Society. The new memoir details the experiences, successes, and deeply held principles from one of Wisconsin’s leading entrepreneurs and most generous philanthropists. In his ninetieth year, the renowned civic leader penned an account of his life and in a refreshingly candid record. The book is divided into two parts, separated...

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The Big Plunge 2020: Hundreds pack Bradford Beach for frosty New Year’s Day dip in Lake Michigan

Crowds of people crowded the cold shores of Milwaukee’s Bradford Beach to make the annual Polar Bear Plunge on January 1 and welcome the New Year, in a tradition that goes back to 1916. This year the air and water temperatures were the same at 39° and the waves mild. The milder conditions compacted the beachfront area, which was more congested with fire pits and camps placed far closer to the waterline. Rescue divers from the Milwaukee Police and Fire departments were again deployed along the beach, about 50 meters from shore. Lacking any formal sponsors, the free event...

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