Milwaukee–Resources For Processing
When you have a public form like this and something difficult or “bad” happens in your community, you feel an obligation to use your forum to speak about it…yet, I’m struggling to find words, struggling to feel hope, and struggling with a lot of conflicting thoughts and emotions. I live in Milwaukee—and this past weekend was rough. The short story, in case you missed it, is that on Saturday afternoon a police officer shot and killed a black man (this is not the first time this has happened in our community), and then there were gatherings that led to fires, unrest, etc as the evening/night progressed. And again some unrest on Sunday night.
So, I’m just not exactly in the right spot for writing something meaningful. Yet, here I am, in my struggles, still feeling the need to say something, share something, and just be present with others who are struggling too. I spent a good chunk of the last 24-48 hours looking up resources related to community trauma, as well as ways to get involved for positive change. I tend to go inwards when stressed and dealing with difficult feelings, which is why researching tends to be one of my ways of coping. So, although I don’t feel like I have any answers as the issues are so deep and complicated, thought at the very least I could share what I did learn today.
Here are some websites that discuss community trauma and resiliency:
http://traumaresourceinstitute.com/ : Provides some general information and articles about the Trauma Resiliency Model and the Community Resiliency Model. I wonder what something like this would look like if implemented in the pockets of Milwaukee with the highest rates of violence.
http://www.samhsa.gov/capt/tools-learning-resources/trauma-resilience-resources : Provides general information regarding trauma, ACEs, and resiliency factors. Just good information that those of us working in the community should have.
In addition to these more general websites, I found some really useful information on how to talk with children and support parents who are dealing with trauma:
http://www.nctsn.org/resources/audiences/parents-caregivers: The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has some great resources for parents and caregivers, with several printable handouts.
http://childmind.org/our-impact/trauma-response/trauma-resources/ : The Child Mind Institute has prepared free trauma resources to aid parents, educators, and other adults in talking to children and adolescents about potentially traumatic events and identifying those who might benefit from more focused professional attention.
Lastly, if you are in Milwaukee, I found a few websites/organizations that appear to be working hard on some of the underlying issues that are impacting our community.
www.showingupforracialjustice.org: This is the national website so even if you aren’t in Milwaukee you may be able to find a chapter in your community (and if not, perhaps you’ll want to start one). The first line of their website states “Through community organizing, mobilizing and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability.” If you are in Milwaukee, and this general vision sounds like something you want to be involved in, then join their public facebook group page. Guys, this one was actually a game changer for me as it is bringing me hope…so happy for the two colleagues who mentioned it to me today.
http://www.ridracism-mke.org/: I found this one while searching on-line and it also seems promising. Has information on community events and other ways to get involved to Rid Racism in Milwaukee. I also read one of their newsletters and appreciate that it includes information about things that need improving, but also highlights successes.
http://onmilwaukee.com/living/articles/shermanparkvitalgroups.html: I saw this posted on one of my friend’s facebook feeds this evening and it shows the positive work being done in the inner city. I think it’s so important to remember that there is so much good work being done and kind hearts throughout our city, working hard to make an impact on this generation and on generations to come.
Those are the resources I’ve found within the past 48 hours that have brought me some much needed information and ideas. Are there resources I’ve missed?—PLEASE share them!!! We can learn from one another, but only if we take the time to dialogue and share knowledge, information, and resources.