September 2020

Features:

Desk Partners
My nerves ease a bit seconds before I start an interview for a story. I’ll glance over my notes and prewritten questions then jump right in. When conducting the interview in person, typically a firm eye-to-eye handshake gives me confidence, too.
Talk about a challenge. COVID-19 fears, remote learning, low reading scores. Budget referendums, reduced revenue, hungry children. Racial tension coupled with a politically toxic school environment. And, the grim reality that Wisconsin is the worst state in the nation to raise a Black child.
Cheryl Gittens, an assistant vice provost in University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement, has been named interim leader of the university’s diversity and inclusion efforts.
The Urban League of Greater Madison is getting in the affordable housing program once again. The local civil rights organization will spend $5 million to buy between 15 and 17 houses in economically distressed census tracts, renovate them, and sell them to low- and moderate-income families with no down payment required. Dr. Ruben L. Anthony Jr., the president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Madison (ULGM), announced its latest initiative during a press conference held outside his offices on South Park Street on Aug. 7.

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UMOJA Publisher/ Editor: A School Year Like No Other

My nerves ease a bit seconds before I start an interview for a story. I’ll glance over my notes and prewritten questions then jump right in. When conducting the interview in person, typically a firm eye-to-eye handshake gives me confidence, too.



Dr. Carlton D. Jenkins: First Person of Color to Head Madison Schools

Talk about a challenge. COVID-19 fears, remote learning, low reading scores. Budget referendums, reduced revenue, hungry children. Racial tension coupled with a politically toxic school environment. And, the grim reality that Wisconsin is the worst state in the nation to raise a Black child.



Gittens to Serve as UW-Madison’s Interim Chief Diversity Officer

Cheryl Gittens, an assistant vice provost in University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement, has been named interim leader of the university’s diversity and inclusion efforts.



Paths to Homeownership for Black Families

The Urban League of Greater Madison is getting in the affordable housing program once again. The local civil rights organization will spend $5 million to buy between 15 and 17 houses in economically distressed census tracts, renovate them, and sell them to low- and moderate-income families with no down payment required. Dr. Ruben L. Anthony Jr., the president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Madison (ULGM), announced its latest initiative during a press conference held outside his offices on South Park Street on Aug. 7.



Online Learning + a Pandemic = A Gaping Racial Digital Divide

The coronavirus pandemic changed the digital divide from a problem into an emergency.



Supporting your child’s mental health as they return to school during COVID-19

The coronavirus outbreak has caused major disruptions to daily life and children are feeling these changes deeply. While the return to school will be not only welcome but exciting for many students, others will be feeling anxious or frightened. Here are tips to help your children navigate some of the complicated emotions they may be facing with going back to school.



How to keep your child safe online while stuck at home during the COVID-19 outbreak

If your family is stuck at home during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, it’s likely your children are spending a lot more time online. School, chats with friends and grandparents, even music lessons — so much has shifted online.



Omega School Helps Students Get GEDs Despite Pandemic’s Added Challenges

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought on more challenges for people working to get the degree that has eluded them since they were high school-age.



UW-Madison PEOPLE Summer University Goes Viral

The trailing conversations, laughter and breathless sighs of young scholars training for the trek up Bascom Hill as they enter campus classrooms have shifted to the characteristic bleeps of signing in online for summer class.



Pandemic’s Persistence Forces Changes to Colleges Campuses

Students at UW-Madison, Edgewood College and Madison College will return to school this fall under new limitations necessitated by the spread of COVID-19. Following are the details for each school’s plan for the fall semester.



UW–Madison School of Education Unveils Bold New Program to Invest in Wisconsin’s Future Teachers

School districts across the state and around the country are struggling to find enough qualified teachers — and these staffing challenges are growing.



M Adams: A Foot Soldier for Justice

M Adams is a self-described abolitionist. A moniker that conjures up the spirit of Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and Nat Turner. Just as these ancestors defied the status quo to liberate others, Adams wields the strength of her platform as co-executive director of Freedom, Inc. to empower a legion of young people in pursuit of social and economic justice.



The Raised Fist: A Brief History

We’ve all seen the images recently. Protesters marching with signs, chants and their fists raised high in the air. It has become an iconic symbol of the movement for racial equality and a universal symbol of the quest to bring true meaning to the words “All men are created equal.” Interestingly, the raised fist, has leant its symbolic power to many different causes throughout history.



Why Raise A Fist in 2020?

The raised clenched fist has historically been known as a symbol representing Black power. It expresses defiance and solidarity. Athletes have sometimes used the powerful gesture as a political statement. And, globally, it stands for fighting oppression.



How to Support Black Lives Matter

As the nation wrestles with institutional racism and attempts to heal from the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Elijah McClain, Rayshard Brooks, and countless others, many ask “what can I do to help?”



Supporting Black-Owned Restaurants in Times of a Pandemic

The 5th Annual Black Restaurant Week wrapped up with a Jamboree Food Taste on the grounds of the Food Enterprise and Economic Development (FEED) Kitchens on the city’s Northside.



2nd Annual Madison Gospel 5k Run/Walk: Stay Healthy During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The Second Annual Madison Gospel 5K “Socially Distanced” Run/Walk was a huge success. Held July 18 at Penn Park, the event focused on providing a safe, fun, competitive racing experience for the participants all while following social distancing and safety guidelines amid this novel pandemic.



11th Annual Simpson Street Reunion

The Simpson Street Annual Finest Families Neighborhood Reunion held a socially distanced celebration on Aug. 15 at Antler’s Parking Lot on West Broadway in Madison. Community love and gift bags were exchanged.



Urban League Hosts Souls to the Polls

The Urban League of Greater Madison held a community drive-through barbecue event, with a purpose.