The Remover of Obstacles and the Lord of Beginnings, Ganesha is one of the most revered and ubiquitous— ever- present— gods in India and around
the world. In his playful physical form — elephant-head, round belly and many arms—he whispers promises of what can be when there is hope,
optimism, and good will. But here, Ganesha sheds a single tear— a reminder of the all-too-often ignored, overlooked, or dismissed pain, heartbreak and grief that comes with every end and each new beginning.
As I struggle to wrap my head and heart around what is happening now, I look to my friends and community, our history and the organizations fighting
with, for and on behalf all of those who have been systematically marginalized, underserved, criminalized, and killed because of the color of their skin,
for the path forward.
These are just a few of the stories I have come across in the last 24 hours as well as the organizations I have personally supported and/or worked with since moving to Milwaukee in 1994— they all provide services, advocacy and/or resources for systematically marginalized and underserved communities of color.
There are many more organizations, voices, and stories than these, so we must keep seeking, learning, listening, sharing and raising our voices. And
theirs. Let’s never forget, always remember and find our way forward to something better.
And if you want to do something, contact your mayor and local officials to demand a review of and ban on policies that contribute to police violence
(such as allowing chokeholds and strangleholds etc.) as well as express your anger and frustration at any attempt on the part of the police or government that disrupts these protests.
And finally, check out these organizations as well as do your own research to learn about the many other organizations and voices committed to black
lives and change:
Sojourner Family Peace Center is the largest nonprofit provider of domestic violence prevention and intervention services in Wisconsin, serving over
11,800 clients each year. In 2019 [n]early 80% of survivors reported an annual household income of less than $15,000, and the vast majority of their clients resided in Milwaukee’s poorest neighborhoods on the north and south sides of the city.
The mission of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin is to empower all individuals to manage their sexual and reproductive health.
They provide affordable and quality health care to 60,000 people each year (no one is turned away because of inability to pay), advance public policies that are pro-family, pro-woman, and expand access, and work with community partners to close racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes.
The Milwaukee Justice Center utilizes volunteers to address the unmet legal needs of Milwaukee County’s low-income unrepresented litigants through
court-based programs and legal resources.
Movement Voter Project (MVP) is a national strategy to move funds into battleground states to support voter outreach and mobilization. MVP is
working now in Wisconsin to actively support a network of organizations and groups critical to reaching the voters we will need to win –
communities of color and youth. Groups include, for example: BLOC, Voices de la Frontera, Citizen Action, Wisconsin Voices, and WILD.