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The City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention Grants $370,000 to Summer of Healing Awardees

Milwaukee, WI – The City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) is pleased to announce the awardees for the annual Summer of Healing project. Many community-based organizations and leaders effectively utilize their established relationships to reduce violence in neighborhoods throughout Milwaukee. However, there is often a lack of resources available to facilitate strategies to promote healing, restorative practices, and resilience for youth, families, and residents in entire neighborhoods. In response, OVP created the Summer of Healing project to provide funds dedicated to supporting these leaders, improving their capacity, and positively impacting their communities. In total, ten youth-serving organizations were selected to receive a total of $370,000 dollars to support their summer programming.

“The Office of Violence Prevention is excited to provide funding to these ten organizations as they complete their Summer of Healing projects,” said Ashanti Hamilton, Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention Director. “We all know the impact violence has on communities across Milwaukee, and the work done by these organizations is crucial in our effort to help and protect youth. We’re grateful for the opportunity to ensure these programs keep our city’s youth safe this summer.”

Awardees of these funds will coordinate and implement projects from June 15 through August 31 to support youth and their families who reside in Milwaukee’s Promise Zones or other communities disproportionately affected by violence. Families interested in participating in any of these programs are encouraged to reach out to each organization directly. The list of awardees and their projects are:

  • Artists Working in Education (AWE) – In partnership with Milwaukee Recreation and Milwaukee County Parks, AWE’s Summer Truck Studio program builds connections and community by activating public spaces with free-of-charge, drop-in, art-making experiences to offer a safe, enriching, and fun environment for youth and families, targeting those traditionally underserved neighborhoods. Questions about this program can be directed to Brett Henzig at [email protected] or by phone at (414) 933-3877 x102.
  • Casa Romero – Casa Romero’s Youth Enrichment Summer programming provides engaging activities within a safe environment to offer Milwaukee’s urban youth various creative outlets. These summer programs develop participants’ leadership skills and commitment to community service through intentional programming to foster self-esteem and resiliency while identifying and working through challenges such as bullying, racism, and bias. Questions about this program can be directed to Carlos Beltrán at [email protected] or by phone at (414) 224-7564.
  • City Champs – City Champs is opening the door to martial arts in Milwaukee through their Building Character programs. City Champs is partnering with numerous organizations and gyms to provide free martial arts training for youth, incorporating kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and self-defense techniques while intertwining lessons about respect, discipline, empathy, and mental resilience. Questions about this program can be directed to Nick Lee at [email protected] or by phone at (414) 629-8814.
  • Diverse and Resilient – Diverse and Resilient’s (D&R) Summer of Healing Award will create an opportunity for a summer intern to examine the impact of community and school-based violence on LGBTQ+ youth. D&R will host two community events focused on creating safe and affirming spaces for LGBTQ+ youth and their families, while increasing awareness of resources and services available for creating safe and affirming environments. Questions can be directed to Bethamie Wyatt, Director of Community Programs, at [email protected] or by phone at (414) 390-0444.
  • The Center for Self-Sufficiency and My Sista’s KeepHer – The Center for Self-Sufficiency and My Sista’s KeepHer will host a weeklong journey to connect youth with women who use poetry and writing as tools to address trauma and healing. With topics such as self-esteem improvement, sistahood, and healthy relationships, this project will explore participant truths by sharing their stories by writing through challenges and building on self-love and sistahood. Registration for the program is available online. Questions can be directed to Tina Nixon at [email protected] or by phone at (414) 745-4946.
  • Our Next Generation – During the critical summer months when youth are out of school, Our Next Generation (ONG) will provide a free, eight-week, full-time summer camp that focuses on promoting healing, restorative practices, and resiliency for youth through academics and enrichment activities designed to give youth a fun and engaging summer experience. Questions can be directed to Erica Tate at [email protected] or by phone at (414) 344-2111.
  • Running Rebels – The Running Rebels Community Organization will provide leadership and cognitive skill-building programming throughout the summer to Milwaukee-area teens, as well as pop-up mental health, healthy living, and de-escalation resources. Questions can be directed to Dawn Barnett at [email protected] or by phone at (414) 316-5202.
  • Safe & Sound – Safe & Sound’s summer youth programming is centered on ensuring youth ages 12 to 24 have access to activities and events that create engagement opportunities for positive youth leadership. From activating park spaces with creative neighborhood beautification projects to facilitating youth violence prevention workshops that deal with healthy relationships and mentorship connections, Safe & Sound will promote wellness and social emotional development all summer long. Questions can be directed to Donta Holmes at [email protected] or by phone at (414) 788-1912.
  • Silver Spring Neighborhood Center – Silver Spring Neighborhood Center will operate over six different camps that specialize in robotics & STEM, arts & fashion, health & wellness, and basketball skill development. Each program will create opportunities for decision making and problem solving as well as provide a healthy and safe place for youth. Questions can be directed to Ashley Campbell at [email protected] or by phone at (414) 485-7848.
  • Southside Organizing Center – This summer the Southside Organizing Committee/Center (SOC) will host a bilingual (English/Spanish) Youth Organizers Program and the Near Southside Safetyfest, featuring National Night Out (NNO). The Youth Organizers Program provides a personal, academic, vocational, and community organizing leadership program for Near Southside youth. The Near Southside Safetyfest is the longest-serving near Southside NNO and will host the Milwaukee Police Department’s District 2 and collaborators to provide families with a park full of community resources about safety issues such as crime, fire, health, and environmental health. To learn more, please contact Tammy Rivera at [email protected] or by phone at (414) 672-8090.


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