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Author: Dominic Inouye

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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Dominic Inouye: The positive things happening in our bodies during the COVID-19 crisis

Like many of you, I’ve had a lot of time to read: Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead, Charles Eisenstein’s “The Coronation,” Google searches on “fight or flight.” I’ve been asking myself: What do COVID-19, Brown, Eisenstein and Selye have in common? What is the sweet spot of this curious Venn diagram? My answer: The hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis and the creative mode of our brains. Obvious, right? What would have been obvious and expected is writing about this month’s ArtWorks for Milwaukee Gallery Night exhibit or next month’s Janes Walk MKE or a summer of urban gardening and mentoring...

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Jane’s Walk MKE: Revisioning Milwaukee in 20/20

This May, Jane’s Walk MKE will celebrate its fifth year of exploring Milwaukee. With almost 90 walks, bikes and paddles under its belt, this Milwaukee Turners program is organizing its anniversary year with a bold, sharp purpose: to see the city in 20/20. Organizers are envisioning an even more purposeful month of seeing the city through two lenses: one of vision, another of revision. Beginning next month, individuals and organizations will have the chance to sign-up to lead walks, bikes, paddles and wheelchair rolls throughout the city to show participants their vision and revisions of the city. Explorations and...

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