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Author: Milwaukee NNS

Black Lives Black Lungs: How Big Tobacco used advertising to target communities of color

By Nelson Sederstrom • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service An estimated 45,000 African Americans die each year from tobacco-related illnesses, according to the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network. While this number is in itself staggering, African American smokers are more than 10 times as likely to smoke menthol cigarettes than their white counterparts. Exploring this and other trends was the goal of the Black Lives / Black Lungs forum, lecture, and screening held on February 21, at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Student Union. “Menthol advertising is disproportionately directed at and placed in black communities,” Lincoln Mondy narrates during his...

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Legacy of Welford Sanders brings new life to Harambee community

By Allison Dikanovic • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service Welford Sanders was the former executive director of the Martin Luther King Economic Development Corporation, an urban planner and a beloved local leader. He died in 2015, but his vision–and name–lives on through the Welford Sanders Historic Lofts and Enterprise Center. Betty Speed, a 61-year resident of Harambee and president of the Martin Luther King Neighborhood Association, remembers a time when her neighborhood was the place to be. “Third Street used to be a hustling hub where you could buy a fur coat,” she said. “But after the riots in the...

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Milwaukee service workers seek higher wages to afford the costs of raising a family

By Analise Pruni • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service Lorenda Smith has worked at a Burger King in the Harambee neighborhood for five months. On her first day as a cashier, two police officers were on the premises for an “incident,” and after that, she had to clean up after more than a dozen youths left a whirlwind of half-empty soda cups, bags and trash strewn across the tables. “We do more than what we get paid to do,” Smith said. As a mother of three with a baby on the way, she said that $8 per hour simply is...

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Leticia Alavez-Lopez: Exploiting the Parkland tragedy to criminalize students of color in Milwaukee

By Leticia Alavez-Lopez • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service Leticia Alavez-Lopez, an MPS student and Youth Fellow at Leaders Igniting Transformation, reflects on what she’s seen at her school in the year since the Parkland shooting in Florida. A year ago, 17 people’s lives were taken far too soon during the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In Milwaukee, young people grieved for the students and the community in Parkland, Florida. As the year went by, we saw the rage of desperate parents and terrified students grow as they watched elected officials respond by refusing to address the public’s...

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Richard Rothstein’s “The Color of Law” book among school curriculum proposals

By Andrea Waxman • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service When organizers invited author Richard Rothstein to Milwaukee to speak about his book, “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America,” they hoped that the presentation would lead to action. At the conclusion of the October 2018 event, they asked attendees to vote on which of 13 proposals they would like to see implemented. The 183 attendees who responded voted overwhelmingly for creating a curriculum to teach middle and high school-age children the history that Rothstein laid out, said Kori Schneider-Peragine of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair...

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Carl Fields: With new state leadership comes the hope of criminal justice reform

By Allison Dikanovic • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service Alphonso James went to prison at age 17 for a crime he did not commit. After 32 years, he was cleared by a DNA test and returned home to Milwaukee in February 2017. Last week, he stood before about 50 people crowded into a room at the Welford Sanders Historic Lofts & Enterprise Center, 2821 N. Vel R. Phillips Avenue, and discussed his experience. “I knew truth was on my side, but the things that we were enduring in prison were enough to suffocate a human being into nothing,” he said....

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