The Path Forward

 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.

 Start here! Did you know that one of the longest youth-led protests in U.S. history took place right here in Milwaukee? Read about it here. You can also find Louisa Loveridge-Gallas’s full poem here.

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

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.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin

 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

 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

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.