Last week Precious Lives, the weekly radio podcast series about young people and gun violence, performed a live performance at the Pabst Theater. It was a full house!
Gun violence is a crisis in Milwaukee and our youth are affected daily, which is why United Way, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and Bader Philanthropies have partnered with 371 Productions, WUWM 89.7 – Milwaukee Public Radio, WNOV 860 – The Voice and an array of other community organizations to help give a voice to these issues and amplify efforts to solve it.
The show began with a few words from this week’s guest writer Reggie Moore. Reggie was recently appointed as Director of Violence Prevention for the City of Milwaukee, and asked, “Could these stories evoke someone who says 'this isn't my problem' to reconsider their position?"
Our work in Goal 4 “Social & Emotional Health: All children and young people are healthy, supported socially and emotionally and contribute responsibly to the success of the Milwaukee Community”
speaks to the performers in this show. Michelle Lopez-Rios, director of the Precious Lives: The Live Show said, “People are touched by a live speaker in a completely different way. Stories we tell on stage resonate, challenge, teach, and yes, entertain the audience. I also understand the power of finding one’s own voice and the ability to effectively communicate it.” Take it away Reggie!
See you soon,
Danae Davis | Executive Director
101 W. Pleasant St., Suite 210, Milwaukee, WI 53212
Hello Milwaukee Succeeds and Danae!
This spring I accepted an appointment by Mayor Tom Barrett to lead the Office of Violence Prevention for the City of Milwaukee. This is a role that I serve with the utmost humility and commitment for helping our community address one of its most pervasive problems. The good news is that violence is a preventable problem. It is for this reason that the Office of Violence Prevention is located within the City of Milwaukee’s Health Department. Taking a public health approach involves addressing violence as a disease with the immediate goal of stopping its transmission with the long term goal of eliminating its root causes. This is not something that any one sector or agency can do alone. The Office of Violence Prevention coordinates city wide prevention efforts in the areas of domestic violence, sexual assault, gun violence, and human trafficking. The office will also have an increased focus on youth prevention through after school engagement through a partnership between the City of Milwaukee and Beyond the Bell.
An effort on this scale requires a similar approach as Milwaukee Succeeds: aligning resources, and continuously analyzing and sharing data to track progress, and using this data to direct resources to what works.
Everyone has a responsibility to eliminate violence in their homes, neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces. With the recent tragedy in Orlando the issue of gun violence seems to capture our attention from one episodic crisis to the next. But once the cameras leave and the memorials fade our attention is once again diverted away from one of the deadliest epidemics facing our communities—gun violence. It’s the daily carnage in the streets and homes of our cities that doesn’t capture our attention except for a 20 second mention on the nightly news. But what about the lives behind these tragedies? One effort is not only capturing these stories but creating platforms for those effected to share their own! Precious Lives has captured over 100 stories of tragedy and triumph of young people and families impacted by gun violence. It also illuminates the stories of change makers working to prevent and end violence as we know it.
Several days before last week’s Live Show, I received a call asking if I would fill in for Eric Von who was no longer able to narrate the show due to a medical emergency. Despite my hesitancy with even attempting to fill his shoes, I decided to honor his request. Among all of the things that I’ve done in my first 60 days on the job, I must say that this was the most rewarding. Watching young people sharing the power of their experiences, ideas, and art with the world is something that they nor the crowd will ever forget.
Here are great show descriptions/recaps of the show:
If you missed the show, you can still catch the stories by visiting: www.preciouslivesproject.org I look forward to working with all of you to bring an end to violence in this city.
We have so much passion for issues in Milwaukee, but similar to Milwaukee Succeeds, we must align our efforts toward a common goal if we want to see any significant change in this city. I would say the same for violence prevention.
City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention