By Kayla Fettig
Over the past several years, UW-Milwaukee's Rhetoric and Composition program has shifted its focus to include community-engaged research. Dr. Rachel Bloom-Pojar, who helped revamp the program said, “This came as the result of a combination of the previous plans in Rhetoric and Composition and Technical and Professional Communication with a year-long process of re-envisioning what our PhD program could do to reflect student interests and our local context.” Thus, the Public Rhetoric and Community Engagement program was born to support students that wanted to remain in academia as well as those that wanted to explore their options outside of academia once they obtained their doctoral degrees.
As a newly admitted student into the Public Rhetoric and Community Engagement PhD program, I was excited to see how thriving the program within the English department had become. I had a creative writing background but had always been interested in the non-profit sector and was drawn to the program after its revamping. I quickly saw that the program allowed students the opportunity to work side-by-side with faculty on community-engaged research, something I wanted to be a part of while still being able to opt into traditional rhetoric and composition classes.
Within the first few weeks I immersed myself into what the program had to offer, and quickly learned about the Cafecito series being held on campus. The Cafecitos project is a Community-Engaged Research “coffee hour” hosted monthly by Dr. Rachel Bloom-Pojar and third-year Ph.D student Danielle Koepke. These monthly Cafecitos give graduate students across all disciplines the opportunity to discuss what community-engaged research is all about, how it can be done, and what it looks like to collaborate with students and faculty already engaged in it.
When talking to Danielle about the Cafecitos and what inspired her and Rachel to invite graduate students to learn more about community-engaged research she said, “Dr. Bloom-Pojar and I are hosting Community-Engaged Research Cafecitos (coffee hours) because we believe that building relationships is the core of everything we do as scholars, as researchers, and as people. We want to make space for graduate students in the humanities to share experiences, questions, and concerns regarding doing work with communities. We believe the best way to do that is not through lectures but through informal conversations over food and coffee.”
The first Cafecito was held on October 13th and focused on “Community-Engaged Research in Covid Times.” The most recent Cafecito, “Making Connections Outside of the Academy,” took place on November 10th explored what it looks like to do community-engaged research and how to begin making those community connections. The conversations that arose from the second Cafecito included:
These discussions are part of the core purpose of the Cafecitos as many times students don’t know what community-engaged research is, how to make the connections, or often understand how messy the process is. One of the goals with the Cafecitos is to start building community with the attendees through discussion, guidance, and personal reflection from Danielle and Rachel. The coffee and snacks help too, but the discussions are intimate and reflect the knowledge Danielle and Rachel share.
Danielle expressed her passion surrounding the Cafecitos saying, “The goal is to foster connections across disciplines that may lead to sharing resources, support, and information as well as building a network of relations for potential research work, collaborations, or job opportunities, in the future.” Danielle continued, “As graduate students in the humanities are increasingly considering research that engages with communities, we hope to offer a space where we all can grapple with the ethical negotiations that come with that. We hope to draw in graduate students across disciplines because we have much we can learn from one another, and also much we can understand about one another. Cafecitos are a great space to share experiences and hear what others are doing in their research, writing, and work within and outside of academia.”
The Cafecitos’ goals are clear: all are invited to collaborate, discuss, and question what community-engaged research looks like and how to do it. Danielle and Rachel’s attention to detail and excitement surrounding each Cafecitos’ theme is infectious. They carefully dedicate time and space to the students' questions surrounding how to network, how to do ethical research, and how to get involved in research that communities or organizations need. Rachel confirms that these questions are important as often graduate students do not know where to start when it comes to community-engaged research and building those relationships. Hopefully, the Cafecitos can help answer those questions for students.
Rachel and Danielle have also been invited by the UWM Rhetoric Society of America (RSA) graduate chapter to continue their community-engagement conversations with a special virtual event focused on “Creating Space for the Public Work of Rhetoric as Graduate Students”. This virtual event is on Friday, December 3rd from 1-2 pm and does require advance registration (as detailed below). The goal of this sponsored event is to, “share the process of putting rhetoric to work with community writers and offer suggestions for how graduate students can foster connections between their academic interests and meaningful work in the world.”
In collaboration with the Center for 21st Century Studies (C21) and the Center for Community-Based Learning Leadership and Research (CBLLR), Rachel and Danielle plan to continue creating space and support for graduate students interested in community engaged research in the spring semester. If you are interested in attending the RSA-sponsored event on December 3rd, it is strongly encouraged to RSVP through this linked Google form to receive the virtual meeting invite on December 2nd. I know my attendance in the Cafecitos has been enlightening and I look forward to the others that are coming, I hope to see you there for the future ones as well.
By Kayla Fettig
The Hostile Terrains UW-Milwaukee exhibition marked the first opening of the Emile H. Mathis Art Gallery since the start of the pandemic. The exhibition opened on September 30th, 2021 hosting the HT94 exhibit by Jason De León, Professor of Anthropology and Chicana/o Studies at UCLA, which raises awareness about migrant death at the US-Mexico border. As part of UW-Milwaukee's Hostile Terrains exhibition, UWM faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students contributed contextualized exhibits of similar experiences within Wisconsin.
Opening night of the exhibition brought together masked exhibit creators and masked patrons that collectively moved through the gallery exchanging thoughts and feelings provoked by each installation. Emotional conversations filled each corner of the gallery as people discussed how each exhibit exposed them to knowledge, history, tradition, policy, and violence. This isn’t surprising given the large display on the left wall detailing the goals of both De León's original exhibit and the exhibit's creations inspired by De León. The three paragraphs spanning the wall both welcome and prepare viewers for the installations they are about to view. Many people stop to read the statement plastered on the wall, while others opt to skim through it and create space for others to enter the gallery. In the first room of the exhibits, there are several installations overtaking the gallery walls for viewers to digest. Each exhibit proves that it could stir the emotions of people differently.
After viewers get a sense of the gallery's purpose by reading the three paragraphs on the north wall, they are welcomed by a long hall that opens up into a larger gallery. Whether you look to your left or right you are met with a new exhibit that, in one way or another, invokes a ray of emotions. Visitors chattered and grouped across the gallery taking in the collaborative and solo projects of 7 departments and 35 students.
The first exhibit sparking a wide range of emotions from visitors was the display: “Community Fabric”. The “Community Fabric” display by Adam Jussel and Aragorn Quinn wraps patrons in both the display and detailed commentary on its purpose linked to the exhibit. The exhibit is the only of its kind in the gallery as you are forced to actually walk through it to get to the others (although the photo displays them side by side that are actually across from one another), as the display is cast across jutting walls that face each other. The adjacent walls display different colored and textured fabric represent “traditional dress from all six inhabited continents” accompanied by driftwood provided by the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center.
Many visitors examined the small, but impactful details Jussel and Quinn incorporated in their exhibit. The use of space, the layering of different fabrics, the use of multicultural textiles and colors, and the large barrier of protection of the artifacts by the driftwood. Many read the text out loud, while others stoically reflected on the exhibit itself.
The exhibit that seemed to intrigue the most guests (besides the recreation of De León’s HT94 exhibit) in the gallery was the brainchild of Leigh Mahlik, William W. Wood, and the gallery Director, David Pacifico titled “Interlinking Stories.” This community piece communicates that it “serves as spontaneous memorials after tragedy and conveys messages of inspiration in the face of challenges.” The physical presence of the fence seems to catch and overwhelm those looming over the exhibit. The exhibit invites visitors to collectively add to the links in the fence, by telling an untold story they feel needs to be told. At first many hesitate to contribute, as they chatter about how important or not their story is, and if it belongs on the fence. Few step forward, willing to be vulnerable as they do their best to convey their story but the “You Are Heard” blue dot placed on the floor in front of the display gives participants the courage to hang their stories.
“Black Milwaukee’s Long Freedom Struggle,” by Dr. Derek Handley is one of the larger exhibits in the gallery and has no problem drawing the crowd of gallery-goers closely in. The rows of spectators eventually inch towards the exhibit allowing for an up-close inspection of the map of Milwaukee and the array of black and white photos plastered over specific neighbors. Pictures of Milwaukee’s Black citizens participating in protests such as the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Live Matter Movement. Photos that capture the pain, anguish, anger, fear, and history black citizen in Milwaukee have historically gone through. Captivated by the trauma, many people stand silently, otherwise, remark on the photos and map and how remarkably powerful the exhibit is. A select few–including myself–silently wipe the tears from their eyes and try to compose themselves before they move to the next exhibit. Dr. Handley’s attention to detail and emotional use of photography captures the tone that many have emotionally expressed: “This struggle for freedom for Milwaukee’s Black citizens is not yet over.”
The Hostile Terrains exhibition offers not only a glimpse at De León’s original HT94 exhibit but has also allowed faculty and staff to invite the public to understand that Wisconsin too has its own history of hostile terrains. Each exhibit (and they are many more than showcased in this quick snapshot) tells their own story, invokes their own emotions, and engages with visitors differently.
To experience it for yourself, UW-Milwaukee invites you to stop by the Emile H. Mathis Art Gallery located in Mitchell Hall, Room 170. The exhibition will run through February 10, 2022. The Mathis Gallery is open Monday through Thursday, from 10 am-4 pm, or you may make an appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Lauren Janikowski
Before I began interning with Professor Maria Novotny last semester, I had never heard of reproductive justice. However, working with Maria on her Hostile Terrains exhibit opened my eyes to the reproductive health crisis that is happening in communities of color all over Milwaukee. As part of Maria’s team, our goal for Hostile Terrains was to showcase the problematic realities many women of color are facing every day when it comes to their reproductive rights. To achieve this goal, we spent time reaching out to organizations working to combat reproductive injustice in Milwaukee. Through our communication with community activists and organizations, I was introduced to Nataley Nueman and Nijeria Boone of Reproaction.
Reproaction’s vision is to “increase access to abortion and advance reproductive justice” (About Reproaction). They are vigilantly increasing accountability and empowering others to get involved in their movement towards reproductive justice. Reproaction believes in normalizing abortions and helping others to understand that woman’s rights are human rights. They are also committed to racial justice because reproductive rights are closely tied to racial issues for women.
Coincidentally, both Nataley Nueman and Nijeria Boone attended UW-Milwaukee. Nataley majored in Women’s and Gender Studies at UWM and is now working for Reproaction. Her work with Reproaction is focused on reversing Wisconsin’s Act 292, or the “Unborn Child Protection Act.” At the time of this interview, Nijeria was one semester away from graduating with a degree in Political Science. Her focus with Reproaction is on working toward equitable access to abortion in Milwaukee. I recently had the chance to talk with both of these amazing women about their work with Reproaction. We discussed reproductive issues going on in Milwaukee/Wisconsin as well as how to get involved when all of it is new to you. Here are some of the questions and important answers that followed.
Lauren: So, how did you learn about reproductive justice?
Nataley: I learned about reproductive justice as I was just being introduced to Women’s and Gender Studies. I took my first class, I think, in Fall of 2014. And I was just really into it right away. But, I think I first learned about it through the Combahee River Collective and when 12 Black women coined the term in 1994. That was a very big part of some of my studies.
Lauren: What got you involved in reproductive justice?
Nataley: I kind of noticed a gap in student activism around sexual assault and reproductive justice, or even just like reproductive health and rights, but more focused on sexual assault advocacy and awareness. When I was a student at UWM there had been some instances where people had been drugged at parties or sexually assaulted on campus… So, I wanted to start a Sexual Assault Awareness organization that was student led and student backed. I started it with a ton of other fantastic feminists and organizers. We started Panthers Against Sexual Assault, also called P.A.S.A.
Lauren: How did you get involved with Reproaction?
Nataley: In March 2018, I had been browsing jobs online, like just nonprofit jobs. And I stumbled across a Reproaction job description. It was a little intimidating, but I was really intrigued by it because it said something about a willingness to learn about drug policy or substance use and reproductive rights, and I had never really been in that space. So, I was intrigued and obviously willing to learn so I applied, went through a few interviews, and got the job which was awesome… But I mean, if people are wondering how to find a certain job, how I did it was I kind of went through other related organizations.
Nijeria: I ran across this ad on Indeed.com. But what Reproaction has been doing is to ensure that everybody has equal access to abortion. And instead of centering these movements on white cisgender women, we focus on marginalized people. So, if a trans person has access to abortion, or a black woman has access to abortion, or all these different marginalized people—if they have access then cisgender white women won't have issues having access.
Lauren: Is Reproaction more focused in Milwaukee or worldwide?
Nataley: Let me just give you a little bit of a background about Reproaction quickly. Reproaction was founded in 2015 by our co-founder and former co-director, Erin Matson. As I said, it was started in 2015, with two co-founders, with the mission to advance reproductive justice and increase access to abortion. Since then, we've grown a lot over the past six years. It's mainly United States, like national issues. We have full-time staff members on the ground in Missouri, Virginia, Washington DC, Wisconsin, etc. My campaign—the Wisconsin Act 292 campaign that aims to eliminate the “Unborn Child Protection Act” in Wisconsin—is specific to Wisconsin as a whole.
Lauren: How does RJ and Reproaction relate to Milwaukee?
Nijeria: So, Milwaukee is number one in the country for infant and maternal mortality. Black women are five times more likely than their white counterparts to die within a month and a half of giving birth. And Black babies are three or four times more likely to die than white babies within their first year. In Milwaukee specifically—being an impoverished place—we think that if you don't want kids, or if you can't afford kids, don't have them. But for the people who don't want to have them, they don't have the access to not have them. So, they either are forced to carry on with a pregnancy that they don't want or do an unsafe self-performed, at-home abortion that, again, could kill them.
Lauren: Do you, as a Black woman in Milwaukee, have any experiences with lack of access to your reproductive rights?
Nijeria: I personally have not, but I know a bunch of people who have had issues with the 24-hour waiting period to receive an abortion. And a person I know, she goes to school out of state and couldn’t access her constitutional right because of all these unnecessary hurdles. Most recently, I was doing research about abortion access in Milwaukee, and the two abortion clinics are right next to each other and they're both over five miles away from the poorest zip code. And I think they are both about an hour to an hour and a half ride on the bus.
Lauren: How can someone learn more about the personhood law in Wisconsin and get involved in the movement?
Nataley: If people, especially in Wisconsin, are very concerned about this law, like personhood laws in general, I would recommend just kind of starting to look at substance use in pregnancy in general, because there are a lot of myths that surround substance use and pregnancy that make pregnancy and substance use a very taboo subject… I think going forward Reproaction is also going to be doing more educational opportunities for people to learn about the myths behind substances and pregnancy—myths versus facts and how to talk about it—because I think people avoid the subject because they don't know how to talk about it.
Lauren: What would your advice be to undergrad students who want to get involved in an organization? How would they go about doing that?
Nataley: So, even just googling and trying to find other organizations in your area that are already doing the work and shooting them a message and saying, hey, I would love to talk to you or get more information about this sometime, that would be a really great first step. Personally, I love when people reach out to me and are like, hey, I want to meet with you and learn about this more, because it really shows that you want to learn more about the issue and that you're kind-of committed and that you're willing to put in the work. It's just about making that first connection and kind of going off of that. I feel like once you're in that sort of area, a whole door will open for you.
Nijeria: We have webinars. I think there's a webinar, maybe two or three every month, and that's a serious way you can get involved. Following our social media for when we have events. We recently did something really cool talking about tying in astrology to reproductive justice, because astrology is so big right now. We have tweet storms sometimes. So, just staying up to date with our social media, and then that'll keep everyone up-to-date with what we're doing.
I’ve learned a lot about reproductive justice from both my work with Maria as well as my interviews with Nataley and Nijeria. Not only has it given me an in-depth look at how to conduct community research and what getting involved in movements actually takes, but it has also taught me more about my communities in Milwaukee. This work has opened my eyes to struggles I had no idea existed because I am a cis-gender white woman.
Reproaction has recently release their documentary, PERSONHOOD: Policing Pregnant Women in America, all about Act 292 and the rise of the “fetal personhood” movement. PERSONHOOD brings the human impact of these policies to light as it follows the story of a rural Wisconsin mother who was incarcerated for pre-conception drug use as she rebuilds her life and fights to overturn Wisconsin’s unconstitutional laws. I had the pleasure of watching Reproaction’s documentary, and it left me ready to get involved.
Lauren Janikowski is a senior undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee studying Rhetoric and Professional Writing.
By Madison Williams
During the Spring 2021 semester, I was given the opportunity to intern with Professor Maria Novotny on conducting community-based research centered on reproductive justice in Milwaukee. Ultimately, the goal of our research was to curate an art installation for UW-Milwaukee’s Hostile Terrains exhibition. The Hostile Terrains exhibition at UWM, which will take place at the Emile H. Mathis Art Gallery and opens at the end of September, will visually explore the ways in which space, policy, and power emerge in and around Milwaukee.
Through a collection of research-based art installations, Hostile Terrains hopes to draw attention to the issues of social justice embedded in the material culture and physical environment of our community. UWM faculty, students, and community partners will explore these themes from a variety of perspectives, including African American, Native American, and Latinx communities, through individual exhibits focused on Milwaukee.
Hostile Terrain 94: The Catalyst
The catalyst for this exhibition at UWM was the global participatory art exhibition Hostile Terrain 94 (HT94), which was designed by archeologist Dr. Jason De Leon to memorialize the lives of thousands of migrants who died attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border through the Sonoran Desert of Arizona over the past 30 years. Sponsored and organized by the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP), HT94 is composed of over 3,200 handwritten toe tags geolocated on a wall map of the desert in the exact place where individual remains were found. In order to globally memorialize the thousands of migrants who lost their lives in the Sonoran Desert, as well as raise awareness about the death and suffering migrants have experienced as a direct result of the U.S. Border Patrol policy known as “Prevention Through Deterrence” since its implementation in 1994, the installation will be displayed simultaneously in locations around the globe in 2021.
Milwaukee's Hostile Terrains
In a conversation with David Pacifico—the Director of UWM’s Emile H Mathis Gallery and coordinator of this exhibition—he explained how Hostile Terrains at UWM aims to take the basic questions focused on in HT94 and apply them to local contexts and communities in Milwaukee. When asked about the development of the UWM exhibit’s local focus, Pacifico recalled: “The pre-pandemic team of students pointed out that the intersection of space, policy, and violence at the [U.S.-Mexico] border also plays out for African American people, Native People, Women, and myriad other groups” in various locations and contexts across Milwaukee. He continued, “For example, we're lately directed to think about anti-Asian violence in the time of Covid and to recall the long history of anti-Asian policy and action in the US.” Pacifico hopes that this exhibit will make the otherwise invisible, politicized, and even actively ignored problems experienced by specific communities in Milwaukee visible to the wider public, while also helping visitors find common ground within these polarizing topics.
To address the exhibit’s focus on the big themes and questions, Pacifico and his team reached out to UWM faculty who could adequately address them for populations near to home. The Hostile Terrains exhibition will feature art installations that explore topics including, but not limited to:
Reproductive (In)Justice in Milwaukee
As part of this larger exhibition, the project I’ve been working on with Maria, and two other graduate students, aims to shed light on Milwaukee’s multiple reproductive health crises. Issues of reproductive justice in Milwaukee disproportionately impact communities of color, and our project situates Milwaukee as a hostile terrain for those in need of reproductive healthcare services. Our research aims to examine the inequities Milwaukee citizens face in accessing affordable, safe, and knowledgeable reproductive healthcare.
Reproductive justice, which SisterSong defines “as the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities,” anchors the scope and goals of this project. The hostile terrains surrounding access to reproductive healthcare in Milwaukee pose a multitude of challenges, and potential consequences, for individuals in our communities. Given these challenging realities, we hope to assemble a participatory and community-driven exhibition by creating a space for the otherwise invisible, and often silenced, voices in our community to be heard.
Over the next few weeks, as the opening of the Hostile Terrains exhibition on September 30th approaches, we will be publishing several posts centered on Hostile Terrains and the research being done by the UWM students and faculty contributing to it.
Visit Hostile Terrains at UWM
The Hostile Terrains exhibition opens at UWM's Emile H. Mathis Art Gallery (located in Mitchell Hall, Rm 170) on September 30, 2021, with an opening reception taking place from 5-7PM. The exhibit will run through February 10, 2022. The exhibition can be visited during the gallery's normal operating hours, Monday-Thursday from 10AM to 4PM, free of charge. Appointments can be made to visit the exhibit outside of these hours by contacting the gallery at: email@example.com.
By Rachel Bloom-Pojar
Soy una investigadora que hace proyectos que involucre comunidades. Mucho de mi investigación y escritura incluye mensajes para personas en posiciones de poder (maestros, médicos, y comunicadores de salud) sobre las cosas que necesitan aprender de comunidades y sus practicas de comunicación. Quiero aprender sobre maneras para que instituciones (escuelas, sistemas de salud, etc) puedan dar dinero y su tiempo para desarrollar relaciones y apoyar a los expertos que ya están en la comunidad. Cierto, es algo simple, pero creo que es importante. No soy una experta, pero trato de usar mis privilegios y recursos para apoyar y sostener las comunidades con quienes yo trabajo. Gracias a una beca de la Fundación de Andrew W. Mellon y ACLS, mi trabajo durante el año académico 2020-2021 está con Planned Parenthood de Wisconsin (PPWI) con su programa de los Promotores de Salud y CCmáS.
Parte de mi tiempo está en juntas y actividades de planear para los programas de educación con los promotores y la otra parte incluye actividades de investigación con los promotores (como entrevistas, grupos de enfoque, el análisis de información, y escritura). Entonces, cuando mis colegas de la universidad estaban enseñando en línea durante la pandemia, yo estuve aprendiendo a hacer investigación con comunidades en una manera virtual.
Un tema que siempre está en frente de mi mente es el acceso. El acceso y las barreras de acceso siempre han sido un tema que le interesa a los profesionales de salud, los investigadores, y la gente que hacen la política. Tienen un impacto en la salud de comunidades y cómo el sistema de salud responde (o no) a las necesidades de comunidades. Las redes del acceso incluyen muchos aspectos diferentes como el transporte, acceso a comida, las viviendas, servicios sociales, la vida familiar, y más. La gente se encuentra barreras con el acceso a atención medica de calidad, pero también las instituciones se enfrentan a barreras en como conectar con comunidades. Mucho de estas barreras son parte del sistema y como tiene preferencias para espacios, profesionales, y prácticas del lenguaje que están aparte de las comunidades—especialmente las comunidades inmigrantes.
Una manera en que las instituciones tratan de llegar a las comunidades inmigrantes que hablan español es a través de los Promotores de Salud. Los Promotores son gente que pueden educar a sus comunidades sobre información de la salud y conectar mensajes entre las instituciones y el pueblo. Con mucha frecuencia, la dirección de la información para el sistema de salud es de arriba hacia abajo. Esperan que, con más acceso a la información, las comunidades tendrán menos problemas de salud y más utilización de los servicios del sistema de salud. ¿Pero cuando deben la dirección de información viajar de las comunidades a las instituciones? Un parte de mi trabajo este año es divulgar las historias y experiencias de los Promotores de Salud que trabajan con PPWI para identificar caminos de transformación para que el sistema de salud sea con más justicia, equidad, y acceso.
¿Entonces, que hacen los promotores de salud? El rol especifico parece diferente dependiente en donde trabajan y con que institución tienen una afiliación. Los Promotores con quien yo trabajo son expertos en crear confianza y conectar a la gente con recursos. Cuando desarrollan la confianza con sus comunidades, la gente se abre y comparten muchas cosas de sus vidas. Los Promotores de Salud usan un currículo que se llama Cuidándonos Creceremos más Sanos (CCmáS). Con este currículo, facilitan discusiones sobre la salud sexual y reproductiva con familias y grupos de las comunidades hispanas en varios partes de Wisconsin. Tienen Fiestas Caseras que empezaron con la influencia del modelo del negocio Avon para juntarse en casas y tener una fiesta, discutir cosas, y tener trabajo como consultantes privados. Estas Fiestas Caseras proveen espacio para tener conversaciones sobre varios temas de la salud sexual, la justicia reproductiva, la abogacía, y como empoderar la comunidad. Con el apoyo de varias becas, los Promotores de Salud también trabajan para animar la gente con la participación cívica y apoyaron el año pasado con el Censo y la registración del voto. Con la pandemia, los Promotores de Salud han hecho las Fiestas Caseras de una manera virtual, pero esperamos que pronto volverán a juntarse en persona. Con la confianza y las conexiones que hacen los Promotores con la gente y las instituciones, pueden conectar personas con los recursos que están disponibles para pagar billes, servicios de salud, y más.
Algunos de los Promotores trabajan en roles similares con otras organizaciones y mucho de ellos tienen otro empleo afuera de su trabajo como consultantes privados con PPWI. Ellos viven en comunidades Latinx a través del estado de Wisconsin y entienden los desafíos e injusticias que encuentran los inmigrantes de Latinoamérica en el mismo tiempo que son esenciales para los negocios de nuestra economía en los Estados Unidos. Con un conocimiento de las barreras que tienen sus comunidades, los Promotores de Salud entienden su trabajo como un parte de la justicia reproductiva.
Ellos entienden que los desafíos que las comunidades inmigrantes tienen con la atención médica para la salud reproductiva es más que simplemente si tienen o no tienen acceso a las clínicas y suficiente información. Está impactado por su habilidad de pagar su renta, si están seguros en sus casas, si no tienen la opción de tener hijos, si sus hijos se encuentran en peligro en los Estados Unidos u otros países, y mucho más. Este conocimiento sobre las experiencias de las comunidades inmigrantes en los EEUU puede traer prácticas nuevas para cuidar la salud con más equidad y compasión. Los Promotores de Salud son expertos que pueden enseñar mucho a los investigadores, administradores, y profesionales. Si el conocimiento y las experiencias de Promotores de Salud son tan estimados como las credenciales de nuestros médicos y otros profesionales, podríamos ver modelos de educación comunitaria que serían más dinámicas en las maneras en que las instituciones pueden ser informados por las comunidades. También las relaciones entre las comunidades y las instituciones pueden ser más beneficiadas mutuamente.
Para la versión en inglés de este entrada, haz clic aquí. / For the English version of this post, click here.
Rachel Bloom-Pojar es una profesora con el programa de Retóricas Públicas y la Involucración Comunitaria en la Universidad de Wisconsin-Milwaukee y una Mellon/ACLS Scholars and Society fellow con Planned Parenthood de Wisconsin.
By Liz Angeli
For the past decade, I’ve worked with emergency medical services (EMS) agencies and fire departments to bring writing studies research to a field where writing impacts continuity of patient care, can cost millions in lost revenue, and is under addressed in training. My main goal for the departments I work with is to cultivate a culture of writing so that providers focus more on their writing process than on the product they complete at the end of a 911 call. And, as you might guess, my work involves a lot more than researching writing.
My current research projects focus on providers in training and providers in the field. For providers in training, I’m working with the Milwaukee Fire Department to build a writing curriculum that will be integrated into their three-year cadet training program. Originally, it was going to be delivered in person over a series of 90-minute sessions, but with COVID-19, I pivoted from in-person instruction to an online platform that could be delivered asynchronously. So, I reduced the number of sessions to pilot the online platform, testing early and often. We’ll launch the platform this summer.
For providers in the field, I’m working with the Kenosha Fire Department on two related studies that have one goal: to improve providers’ audience awareness. To do that, we interviewed EMS report readers to learn what they need in an EMS report to continue patient care. We also changed the interface on the electronic report writing platform to prompt providers to respond to audience expectations. Data analysis is currently underway.
When I started these studies, I returned to writing studies basics, especially audience awareness and writing process. In the EMS and fire service community, this language is new, and these concepts opened doors to present new ideas about writing. I often say to EMS providers and firefighters, “What I’m telling you isn’t new. First responders don’t go into the field because they love to write and want to write every day. Writing is hard. But why is writing in the field hard? How can we change mindsets to make it less difficult? How can you see yourself as a writer the minute the tones go off and dispatch tells you where to go?”
A research participant once told me, “EMS is 20% adrenaline and 80% routine, waiting for the other 20% to happen.” In some ways, that sums up my research. Twenty percent of my time is spent in the field, and 80% is spent making sense of what happened in the field and preparing to go back out. I write emails, applications, and research article drafts. I make phone calls and bring newly assigned Lieutenants and Captains up to speed on projects I’m running at their departments. I sign liability waivers to do ride alongs and wait to hear back on approvals, data collection, and participation rates.
The other 20% is out “in the field” to observe writing in situ. Field work locations include administration offices where we work out logistics, EMS training classrooms where I introduce studies or deliver writing training, and fire stations where I introduce the research studies and ask for participation. For one study, I accompanied the Division Chief of EMS and Medical Director on three rounds of seven station visits. That’s 21 station visits total over three full 8-hour days where I met the department’s providers, introduced the study, answered questions, and encouraged participation. Usually we met crews at the station, but some crews were out on calls. In those cases, and when permissible, we literally met crews wherever they were, as you can see in this photo. We met a crew in a school parking lot where they were testing the school’s fire alarms.
Field work also includes ride alongs that last 4-24 hours, depending on my schedule and how long the department has approved me to stay, and they start at the fire station where I meet the crew I’ll ride with. When the crews aren’t responding to patients, we’re at the station where crews catch up on paperwork, clean the station, or prepare meals. These moments are interrupted abruptly when the tones go off: The crew is dispatched to a patient, and I quickly gather my research materials to observe writing-in-action. I carry a small notebook and pen with me, I wear a 24-hour watch to timestamp observations so I can align them with the report’s timestamps, and my turnout gear pant pockets carry a supply of medical exam gloves [I have not been on ride-alongs since COVID-19 began]. Usually I ride in the back of the ambulance with the “boss” of the crew, the patient, if we’re transporting them, and sometimes another crew member or a police officer, depending on the nature of the call.
The field and the back of the ambulance hold some of the most beautiful acts of compassion and empathy I’ve been honored to witness as a writing researcher. Medic and fire crews bringing a man back to life after her suffered cardiac death in a grocery store check-out line. A medic student holding an infant’s hand. A long-time medic comforting a scared elderly patient by leaning close to him, holding his hand, saying, “It’s ok to cry. We’re going to take good care of you.” A team of medics swiftly managing a gunshot victim’s excruciating pain levels and assuaging her fears, “We got you, we got you. We’re getting to the ER as fast as we can. Hang on.”
I find myself moved to tears remembering these moments. As they happened, though, I quietly held space in gratitude for all that I witnessed. And, in a sense, that summarizes what community engagement looks like for me: bearing witness to human interaction at its most vulnerable and learning how writing fits in.
Liz Angeli, Ph.D. is a leading expert in first responder documentation practices and education. She is Associate Professor of English at Marquette University where she teaches writing and rhetoric courses, and her first book, Rhetorical Work in Emergency Medical Services: Communicating in the Unpredictable Workplace, won Best Book in Technical or Scientific Communication from the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Liz also serves as a spiritual director, and you can learn more about her work on her website.
By Danielle Koepke and Maria Novotny
Social justice is collective and active. To engage in and with the concept at the heart of the social justice turn, we must work collectively and consider collective forces and effects of oppression, and we must be ready not only to recognize oppression but also to reveal, reject, and replace it: To take action - Walton, Moore & Jones
As a blog team, we’ve been striving to take part in antiracist actions and practices of social justice. Much of this work has been documented and is essential to the mission of the Writing & Rhetoric MKE blog. Coincidentally, this past fall, three of the blog editorial team enrolled in Maria Novotny’s ENG 755: The Social Justice Turn in Technical and Professional Communication course, in which social justice was a central theme. As we discussed social justice readings in the course, we also were actively working as a blog team to develop content emphasizing social justice. As such, when Maria first described the annotated bibliography project to the class and proposed that Writing & Rhetoric MKE host the bibliography, we agreed, as it could be a helpful resource for our readers who may be teaching, researching, or working in TPC. Together, Maria and I (Danielle) contextualize this bibliography within the social justice turn occurring in TPC.
“An Annotated Bibliography of Social Justice Connections to Technical and Professional Communication” is the culmination of a semester-long project undertaken by UW-Milwaukee graduate students enrolled in ENG 755 during the Fall 2020 semester. The bibliography represents an assemblage of how we, as a class, approached, studied, and learned from social justice movements and their relationship to our own research and TPC more broadly. Many in the class did not identify with TPC as their main area of expertise, and for some this was their first experience with TPC (You can find our author bios here, p.91-92). Knowing that the students were emergent learners in TPC and wanting to provide space for their individual research interests and also foster a social justice orientation to their research practices, this annotated bibliography is presented as a series of thematic clusters:
Introducing the annotated bibliography project, Maria explained to the course that the bibliography was an attempted response to embrace two contemporary exigencies facing instructors during the fall 2020 semester: (1) contemporary injustices marked by the murder of George Floyd inciting TPC scholars to call for explicit social justice action and (2) the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in this course being taught synchronously and online. Many of these exigencies were also being actively amongst TPC scholars and leaders in the field.
For instance, circulated after the murder of George Floyd, ATTW President Angela Haas overtly challenged the complacent inaction ATTW members have taken to counter anti-Blackness in “ATTW President’s Call to Action to Redress Anti-Blackness and White Supremacy”. Laying out three charges for the field to take up, the call to action invites critical reflection on how ATTW members may choose “to advocate for systemic justice for Black people at this kairotic moment in history” (n.p.) and suggests, that while action quietly is an option, such a choice re-centers White Supremacy and can fail to meet social justice imperatives.
Shortly after Haas’s statement was released, ATTW Vice President, Natasha Jones, and ATTW Fellow, Miriam Williams elaborated on Haas’s call for action. “The Just Use of Imagination: A Call to Action” critically engages with the work required to support anti-Blackness. Drawing from their perspectives as two Black scholars, Jones and Williams lay out a series of actions —informed through critical imagination — that Black persons have adopted to fight injustice/s and demand change. Yet, they make clear that the use of imagination as a tool to support social justice can no longer be take taken up by those, who, because of the color of their skin, are personally afflicted by injustice. Jones and Williams end with the powerful assertion “We are tired. Dismantling white supremacy requires your work. How might you make a difference?”
Other TPC scholars have already begun engaging and addressing the calls for action echoed by Haas as well as Jones and Williams. Take Cana Itchuaqiyaq’s “MMU Scholar Bibliography” which cites multiply marginalized and underrepresented scholars in technical and professional communication. Originally published in Technical Communication After the Social Justice Turn: Building Coalitions for Action, MMU scholars are encouraged to add to this growing bibliography with their publications so as to increase the visibility and ethical citation practices in the field.
Jennifer Sano-Franchini, Sweta Baniya, and Chris Lindgren have also developed a bibliography in response to Haas, Jones’ and Williams’ work. Their recent bibliography “Bibliography of Works by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in Technical and Professional Communication” serves as another on-going bibliography project attributing to the field of technical and professional communication. As they explain, the purpose of this bibliography is to amplify the perspectives of BIPOC in the field and to serve as a resource for teachers and researchers, whether for course development, research design, writing, development of comprehensive exam reading lists, or other activities” (n.p.). As another “living document”, akin to Itchuaqiyaq’s, TPC scholars are encouraged to add their work to this list.
Collectively, these calls for action and bibliographies have created an urgency for a more national and broader disciplinary discussion. For instance, CCCC chair Vershawn Ashanti Young convened with a coalition of Black scholars to participate in the Black Technical and Professional Writing Task Force. Resulting from this Task Force was the creation of the CCCC Black Technical and Professional Communication Position Statement with Resource Guide, which “contextualizes the experiences and cultures of Black peoples through research, learning, and scholarship” (n.p.). Upon the circulation of the CCCC statement, the Professional and Technical Writing Program at Virginia Tech sponsored and hosted a virtual event featuring CCCC task force members who created the statement and guide. Several students, who are contributors to this annotated bibliography, attended that event. We highlight these moments of coalitional action led (often by BIPOC) TPC scholars as they undoubtedly enriched many of the conversations and lenses by which we, as a class, examined the social justice turn in TPC.
Additionally, more localized university and department events, such as a virtual presentation given by Dr. April Baker-Bell on linguistic justice at UWM as well as broader sociocultural issues (such as the COVID-19 pandemic and presidential election) served as another backdrop which layered the scope of discussions. In fact, the reality that this graduate course would be taught as an online, synchronous course shaped part of the decision to develop this annotated bibliography. Wanting to avoid “zoom fatigue” and ensure that class discussions remained dynamic, we opted to meet for only 90 minutes online rather than the normal 120. To make up the remaining class time, Maria proposed this annotated bibliography assignment. What we present here is an assemblage of how we, as a class, have approached, studied, and learned from social justice movements and their relationship to our own research and TPC more broadly. hat we present here is an assemblage of how we, as a class, have approached, studied, and learned from social justice movements and their relationship to our own research and TPC more broadly.
While not all of the works annotated here are rooted in TPC, the purpose of the annotation invites readers to think inter- and intra- disciplinarily about the resources annotated in this bibliography. We learned throughout the semester that this type of thinking can better inform a social justice lens and can lead to new possibilities for the field of TPC. Social justice work is being done in academia and in communities in important ways that we as scholars can learn from, and that we as community members can amplify, support, and take part in. As the blog moves forward, we hope to incorporate resources that highlight both antiracist and social justice initiatives. To that end, we will continue connecting our readers - and ourselves - with resources that can educate and inform but that can also inspire action. For at its core, the social justice movement is a movement – To fight for social justice is to act. And to act is to be part of the movement.
Curatorial Contributors to the Annotated Bibliography (in alphabetical order):
Daphne Daugherty, Wendy Pawlyshyn Fitch, Gitte Frandsen, Sheila Kilb, Danielle Koepke, Joni Hayward Marcum, Maria Novotny, Kristiana Perleberg, Mohammad Anis Rahman, Amanda Reavey, Juan Rodriguez, Gurkirat Singh Sekhon, Chloe Smith, Angelyn Sommers, Madison Williams, and Emily Zorea.
*Special thanks to Angelyn Sommers and Kristiana Perleberg for copy-editing the annotated bibliography.
By Derek Handley
While walking in the northern Milwaukee suburbs, I have noticed an exponential increase in the number of Black Lives Matter signs. Most of them have been placed in the wake of the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The signs come in different types; Some with black fists, some couched with other phrases like ‘believe science,” some simply in bold black lettering with a white background. Although I am very happy to see the visible support of social justice, what I find ironic about these signs is that they appear in neighborhoods where African Americans (or anyone that is not of the “Caucasian Race”) were excluded from buying a home up until 1968 when the Fair Housing Act was passed. With less than 5% African Americans in many of these suburbs, some have labeled Milwaukee as the most segregated city in America. This segregation is due in large part to the racially restrictive housing covenants, which was a cornerstone of institutional racism.
The history of racially restrictive housing covenants and their central part in institutionalizing racism has returned to the forefront of our national consciousness with the emergence of Black Lives Matter (BLM) activism and ongoing movements for racial justice. In the first half of the 20th century, racial covenants prohibiting non-white people from buying or occupying housing and certain parcels of land were used throughout U.S. cities for segregationist purposes. A covenant is a type of contract included in a property deed referring to the conditions attached to housing or land. The violation of covenant conditions comes with the risk of foregoing a property. Racially restrictive covenants began appearing in deeds with greater frequency at the turn of the century, becoming commonplace and withstanding court challenges throughout the 1910s, 20s, and 30s (To learn more about restrictive covenants see Mapping Prejudice).
But these covenants did not go unchallenged by African Americans. The resistance to housing covenants in cities such as Milwaukee highlights the impact Black residents in northern cities had on housing debates and civil rights activism. Black agency in challenging racial covenants strategies of resistance have shaped and continue to influence movements for racial justice.
To depict this struggle visually, Anne Bonds of the UWM Geography department and I have begun working on a digital project called “Mapping Racism and Resistance in Milwaukee County” (MRR-MKE). With the help of the University of Minnesota’s Mapping Prejudice team, our public humanities project will examine racial housing covenants and resistance to them in Milwaukee County through GIS mapping, archival research, and rhetorical analysis. Analyzing and depicting Black agency from within the contested space of Milwaukee County will provide a more complete narrative of the impact of racial housing covenants, as well as expand our understanding of the various methods of resistance across scales employed by Black community members. One example of resistance was when Zeddie Quitman Hyler asked his white friend to buy property in Wauwatosa (a suburb of Milwaukee) and then sell it to Hyler. Despite community resistance, Hyler built his house in 1955 and remained there until his death in 2004. Through mapping and rhetorical analysis, we seek to better understand Black Milwaukeeans--such as Hyler--and their allies as complex actors in the narratives of their own lives.
Our research is animated by the following questions: What is the historical geography of racial covenants in Milwaukee County and how does this spatial patterning connect with contemporary geographies of segregation and racial inequality in the Milwaukee metropolitan area? How did racial covenants operate in the specific urban and racial context of Milwaukee County, together with other discriminatory housing policies and racialized patterns of development? Finally, how and where were restrictive covenants enforced and how did Milwaukee County residents resist them?
To answer these questions, we will be working with community partners and local residents to help with the research. Our plan is to recruit citizen researchers by holding community workshops on racial covenants in Milwaukee and surrounding suburbs; to visit high school and college classes; and to use various social media platforms. The outcomes from this research will include an interactive, digital resource about covenants and challenges to them in Milwaukee County, a collaboratively produced map visualizing the geographies and temporalities of covenants and covenant resistance, and a dataset of racial covenants that will be accessible to the community, policy makers, and other researchers.
Working with the community means that the MRR-MKE project is more than just an academic endeavor. Through community workshops that will engage Milwaukee County residents in the process of examining racial covenants, our project will support broader conversations and dialogue about structural racism and resistance to it in one of the nation’s most segregated metropolitan areas. We hope that this scholarly project—co-produced with the local community—will help us to get a little closer to understanding how systemic racism works in our country, and to begin thinking of new ways to address housing problems in Milwaukee. It will also provide a concrete way for those wonderful people who have placed Black Lives Matter signs in their yards to support ending systemic racism.
By Madison Williams
On Wednesday, October 21st, UW–Milwaukee hosted a long awaited and much anticipated virtual talk with Dr. April Baker-Bell on her book, Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy. During her talk, Baker-Bell discussed how Anti-Black Linguistic Racism and white linguistic supremacy are normalized through teacher attitudes, curriculum and instruction, and pedagogical approaches. Her talk was followed by a critical discussion with participants, facilitated by Baker-Bell, to engage in more intimate conversations about Anti-Black Linguistic Racism and how to implement Antiracist Language Pedagogies in the classroom.
With over 100 attendees from all over the country, Baker-Bell’s virtual talk was undoubtedly a huge hit—and it couldn’t have come at a more kairotic moment. The urgency of Baker-Bell’s call for an Antiracist Black Language Pedagogy is proven critical given everything that’s happening in the world right now: the recent protests against racial inequality and police brutality; exacerbation of inequalities as a result of the pandemic; toxic partisanship in the U.S. along racial, ethnic, and religious lines; and increased attention to systemic racism nationwide. Linguistic Justice is a call to action in pursuit of Black Language liberation through the critique, resistance, and reconstruction of the linguistic status quo.
A Call to Action
In her book, Baker-Bell presents Anti-Black Linguistic Racism as “a framework that explicitly names and richly captures the type of linguistic oppression that is uniquely experienced and endured by Black Language-speakers” (Baker-Bell 8) in schools and in everyday life. Using ethnographic examples to illustrate how Black students navigate and negotiate their linguistic and racial identities across multiple contexts, Baker-Bell demonstrates the negative impact traditional pedagogical approaches have on Black students’ language education and self-perception. As a response to this injustice, Baker-Bell makes space for a new way forward through Antiracist Black Language Pedagogy, a pedagogical approach that intentionally and unapologetically places Black language at the center to critically interrogate white linguistic hegemony and Anti-Black Linguistic Racism.
Dr. April Baker-Bell began her virtual talk by discussing the importance of raising critical consciousness and recognizing Black Language as a language in its own right. Baker-Bell emphasized the way Black Language represents lived experience, beginning with her positionality having grown up in Detroit with Black Language as her mother tongue. It wasn’t until she began teaching that she was faced with the “myth of standard English” and developed a full understanding of language politics at the intersection of language, race, and power. Baker-Bell argued that little has changed over the past 80 years in pedagogical approaches to Black Language education, as English teachers are still expected to teach (and privilege) White Mainstream English (WME).
According to Baker-Bell, previous Black Language Pedagogies (such as Eradicationist and Respectability approaches) share common features in that they center whiteness and perpetuate anti-blackness. The counterstories shared by Baker-Bell’s students in her book challenge existing pedagogies and common beliefs that code-switching functions as a strategy for survival, as Baker-Bell indicates, “These instances are clear reminders that code-switching into White Mainstream English will not save Black people and cannot solve racial or linguistic injustice, and we cannot pretend that it will” (31). Therefore, antiracist pedagogies cannot be centered on whiteness, which is why Baker-Bell’s Antiracist Black Language Pedagogy takes a transformative approach by centering Black Language instead.
In navigating pushback to this pedagogy, Baker-Bell explained the need to critically engage in conversation to show understanding and do the contextual work so that students (and parents) understand the historical, political, and cultural context surrounding Black Language and White Mainstream English. She demonstrated how “what we want to believe to be true” (like doing well in school will translate to equality and equity) hasn’t worked in past approaches to Black Language Pedagogy, and if the classroom doesn’t mirror the facts of existence in the real world, we’re doing pedagogy wrong. As Baker-Bell powerfully articulated during her talk, “Black lives in your classroom won’t matter if Black Language doesn’t.”
Doing the Work
Baker-Bell prefaced the critical discussion following her talk by stating that she would not be answering questions that recentered whiteness because we need to dismantle the system, not adjust to it. While fielding questions about how to implement an Antiracist Black Language Pedagogy in the classroom on an individual level, especially within institutions that may be resistant to the idea, Baker-Bell maintained that the work of Black Linguistic Justice is both micro and macro. She supports anything that goes against typical language standards because any move in the right direction is valuable, no matter how small--we need to take the opportunity wherever and whenever it presents itself.
Many of the participants were concerned with how to deal with pushback to this pedagogy, especially from parents. Baker-Bell pointed out that code-switching hasn’t helped or changed anything so far; we can’t make it work just because we want it to, so we need to do something different. Moreover, when dealing with people who are explicitly racist, Baker-Bell explained: “If you come up against racist nonsense, you have to put it in a box and avoid it.” Although participants taking part in this critical discussion were located all over the country, we all shared a common interest in learning how, as teachers, we might utilize our individual privileges to further social justice pursuits and push for Black Linguistic Justice within our various contexts with the resources we have available.
In both her book and virtual talk, Baker-Bell consistently emphasized the gravity of this call to action for linguistic justice within the current racial and political climate, advocating for “linguistic, racial, and educational justice for Black students” through her framework for an Antiracist Black Language Pedagogy (34). Baker-Bell contends, “the Anti-Black Linguistic Racism that is used to diminish Black Language and Black students in schools is not separate from the rampant and deliberate anti-Black racism and violence inflicted upon Black people in society” (3). Baker-Bell challenges us all to go beyond limited ideas about what writing is, where it happens, and what counts as “good” writing by responding to her call to action for Black Linguistic Justice. To learn more about Baker-Bell and her work, watch the book trailer for Linguistic Justice here.
This month, the research team that Rachel, Madison, and Chloe are on (along with graduate students Claire Edwards, Gitte Frandsen, and Anis Rhaman as well as Dr. Maria Novotny) received a grant from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for our project entitled “Antiracist Teaching Practices for Writing Across Disciplines at UWM.” Our project proposal was selected as part of the Antiracist Action Grant Program—an initiative to promote antiracist action across campus—funded by the Office of Research and the Division of Global Inclusion and Engagement at UWM.
Through this project, we hope to motivate UWM instructors to critically examine their language ideologies when responding to student writing, foster cross-campus dialogues about the ways that racism impacts teaching practices, and provide resources for taking anti-racist approaches to writing instruction and assessment. Ultimately, our goal is to foster spaces of honesty, collaboration, and social justice so that this project can encourage instructors to support, sustain, and learn from our students’ diverse literacy practices.
To pursue these objectives, our plan is to develop and facilitate an Antiracist Pedagogy Seminar during Summer 2021. Instructors from all departments will be invited to attend this Antiracist Pedagogy Seminar, which will include a series of discussion groups and workshops, to discuss readings, examine their implicit biases, and develop anti-racist writing pedagogies. The desired outcome of this seminar is threefold:
Next semester, we will be sending out a survey for students to provide input on their experiences with writing feedback and instruction at UWM. The responses to this survey will inform our summer seminar and future public presentations about anti-racist writing pedagogy. After the seminar, we will create a set of webpages with resources for any teacher interested in combating racism in their teaching practices and uplifting the diverse literacies of our students and their communities.
As the grant program’s FAQ page states, “this program arose from a conversation around what we can do to dismantle racism here on campus. How can faculty, researchers, teaching and administrative staff and others have a voice in resolving some of the issues that people are talking about and people are experiencing on our campus?” We couldn’t be more excited to work with our campus community in an attempt to create lasting, tangible, and socially just change in the lives of students and instructors alike. We’ll keep you updated as the project moves along!
As we’re approaching the end of October, we also approach Election Day (November 3rd). We’re sure you’ve been seeing it everywhere, but please remember to vote. If you haven’t already, make your voting plan now! For those of you in Milwaukee, this website gives you everything you need to know about absentee ballots, early in-person voting, voting schedules and locations, and more.