DOMINICAN CENTER 2021 - 2022 ANNUAL REPORT TOGETHER IN AMANI
AMANI: A MOSAIC OF BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE ‘It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live, when we all work together, we can improve the Amani neighborhood.’
Dear Friends, Partners & Supporters,
throughout the year. Our summer Mobile Food Pantries brought 14,000 pounds of healthy, fresh food to families and 225 families celebrated the holidays with all the fixings. A particularly notable highlight is our Thanksgiving food distribution. There was a chance that we would not be able to host a food distribution in November of last year. But thankfully, several partners stepped up to help – Advocate Aurora, Dreams Never Expire and A.L.I.V.E provided the resources we needed to purchase food for 125 families; Safe & Sound helped us pick up the food from Woodman’s in Menomonee Falls; and volunteers – people from different walks of life – helped us sort, bag and distribute the food to residents. Additionally, we were able to serve 25 more families than we usually do because COA distributed food to 25 families at their Golden Center location. Because of supporters like you, we are making a difference in the Amani neighborhood. Thank you for donating your time, talent and treasure to support our neighborhood revitalization efforts.
We hope this message finds you safe, healthy and well. While reflecting on 2022, one word rises to the top of our minds – the word “mosaic.” Mosaic art is beautiful. A mosaic is an image that is made up of small individual pieces of colored stone, glass or ceramic. Together, the individual pieces form a beautiful and whole picture. When we think about the work we do at Dominican Center, we think about the nature of a mosaic. Our work is about engaging people who reflect different walks of life and different sectors in efforts that support our revitalization efforts. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live, when we all work together, we can improve the Amani neighborhood. And just like a mosaic, your individual support contributes to the beautiful, whole story of all the great work happening in Amani. We are excited to share the impact of what we accomplished together through this report. Last year we: • Held 11 clean-ups and 2 Rock the Block events. We paid stipends to residents who surveyed 3,584 homes and lots in Amani as part of our partnership with Reclaiming Our Neighborhoods. • Worked with Amani United’s Ambassador Council to distribute gun lucks at more than a dozen events and participated in the Responsible Gun Ownership campaign. We also focused on traffic and pedestrian safety, collecting 346 signatures for traffic-calming planters in Amani. With support from DC and partners, residents led a speed study at 25th & Locust, which will help us install speed deterrents this coming year. • Served 495 families at food distributions
– Maricha Harris, M.A. Executive Director
– Connie Kordsmeier President of the Board
OUR MISSION OUR PRIORITIES OUR GOALS Dominican Center works with Amani residents and partners to build a better future.
Dominican Center is the convener of the neighborhood, as such it supports the achievement of the neighborhood revitalization plan. The priorities and corresponding goals include:
Improve housing conditions through the Block by Block strategy in Amani. • Engage residents in block beautification throughout Amani. • Build the capacity of the lead neighborhood organizations, residents and those working in Amani to support the goals of the housing strategy. • Restore block integrity to the houses on the pilot block of the Block by Block strategy.
Increase neighbors’ willingness to support self, other neighbors and community to achieve peace. • Foster communication between neighbors to get to know each other, interact and share
Increase family well-being and lifelong learning in Amani. • Engage organizations working in Amani that address stress, trauma, loss, mental health and other risk factors in adults and youth. • Increase residents’ skills in advocacy and securing resources related to family wellbeing and lifelong learning. • Increase residents’ participation in decision- making with organizations and systems focused on education and family well- being.
information. • Foster civic
engagement in Amani. • Address public safety concerns by working with residents, partners and officials.
OUR 2021-22 IMPACT DC serves as the anchor organization for Amani. Since 1995, DC has served as a resource in many areas, including adult education, housing and building neighborhood capacity. Additionally, DC connects partners from across the City to the Amani neighborhood. Revitalization efforts concentrate on three areas: Neighborhood Safety, Education & Family Well-Being, and Housing & Economic Development. Here is DC’s impact in Amani: NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY
29 BLOCK AMBASSADORS PROMOTE SAFETY ON THEIR BLOCKS
SIGNATURES COLLECTED FOR SPEED DETERRENTS 346
12 SAFETY MEETINGS • 2 YOUTH SAFETY EVENTS SUPPORTED
830 RESIDENTS AT EVENTS
40 NEIGHBOR MEETINGS
3,000 AMANI DOORS CANVASSED
SAFETY ACTIVITIES: RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNERSHIP COMMITTEE MEETINGS, EARTH DAY CLEAN UP, AMANI YOUTH MARCH AGAINST VIOLENCE, POP-UP RESOURCE DAYS, PEDESTRIAN DIGNITY WALK, FIRE ALARM INSTALL DAY, 25TH & LOCUST SPEED STUDY
495 AMANI FAMILIES SERVED WITH FOOD GIVEAWAYS & HOLIDAY MEALS
14,000 POUNDS OF FRESH FOOD DISTRIBUTED DURING SUMMER MOBILE FOOD PANTRIES
6 ADULT EDUCATION STUDENTS REFERRED FOR DEGREES 110 VOTER CARDS SIGNED • 6 LOCAL INTERNS MENTORED
$13k STIPENDS PAID TO RESIDENTS FOR VOLUNTEER WORK
21 AMANI YOUTH TRAVELED TO WASHINGTON
364 FOOD BOXES DELIVERED TO SENIORS
EDUCATION & FAMILY WELL-BEING ACTIVITIES: MILWAUKEE REP NEIGHBORHOOD NIGHTS, VOTER REGISTRATION EVENT, YOUTH TRIP TO WASHINGTON, D.C., 3 SUMMER MOBILE FOOD PANTRIES, 2 PARENT CAFES, 2022 AMANI UNITED ELECTION, FALL FROLIC, THANKSGIVING & WINTER FOOD GIVEAWAYS, AMANI YOUTH COUNCIL THANKSGIVING FEAST
HOUSING & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
2 ROCK THE BLOCK EVENTS HELD
11 COMMUNITY BEAUTIFICATION & CLEAN-UP EVENTS
2 HOME BUYING SEMINARS • 2 PLANT SALES/GIVEAWAYS 12 HOUSING MEETINGS • 6 RESOURCE FAIR POP-UP DAYS 3 HOMES REPAIRED WITH BLOCK BY BLOCK INITIATIVE
18 SMOKE ALARMS INSTALLED IN AMANI HOMES
4 AMANI YOUTH ASSISTED WITH EMPLOYMENT APPLICATIONS
3,584 AMANI HOMES SURVEYED WITH R.O.N. PARTNERS
HOUSING & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES: HOME BUYING SEMINAR SERIES, ALDERMANIC WALKS SCHEDULED, ROCK THE BLOCK EVENTS, HYDROPONIC PLANT SALE & GIVEAWAY, CLEAN UPS, RECLAIMING OUR NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSE SURVEYS, TRAINER TO TRAINER SESSIONS, FIRE ALARM INSTALL DAY WITH MFD, ESTATE PLANNING SESSION, ENTREPRENEURSHIP 101 SEMINAR
FROM THE COMMUNITY Dominican Center fosters resident-led change and values the support of volunteers, donors and partners
“It is wonderful what Dominican Center is doing for the community. I am so appreciative of the help with my home, I can’t even explain it. It’s like, even when you think you don’t need anything or you can’t ask, God will bring people into your life. [Housing Coordinator] Amanda helped me with the process and now she calls just to see how I am! I call her my daughter. I worked for years and years to pay off my house and my husband and I did everything ourselves. I love my house because of all the good memories I have here, my kids grew up here. When I couldn’t do the repairs myself anymore, I didn’t like asking my kids for help, so I asked God and he brought me help. Block by Block helped me with repairs on my windows, doors, porch, basement and outside concrete.”
- Della Veasy , Amani resident, Block by Block participant
“Resident-driven legal services advance the health and prosperity of Amani families and the neighborhood overall. The Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee is a proud partner of the Dominican Center and Amani United in making that goal a reality. Together, we work to efficiently connect residents to innovative legal services responsive to individual and household need.”
- Colleen Foley , Executive Director of Milwaukee Legal Aid Society
“I’m a MATC instructor and I’ve worked with Dominican Center for about five years, contracted from MATC ... to help students get HSED or a GED or had a genuine love of learning. I’m honored to be part of the Dominican Center. I deeply admire and respect it’s commitment to the Amani neighborhood and all it does for the community. I’m grateful to be a part of it. I thankful to [Dominican Center Adult Education Coordinator] Barb Wells, who is very loving and supportive. I’m grateful for the volunteer tutors, who are loving and caring and super smart. And I’m very grateful for the students. They pushed me to get the online platform up during Covid.” - Mitchell Anderson , MATC instructor
FROM THE COMMUNITY
“I’ve had the pleasure of being connected to amazing people doing great work. The Dominican Center has been doing wonderful work in the Amani neighborhood and having a significant impact on families. I appreciate the strategy the Dominican Center believes in – for example, the idea of partnering with other organizations, the door-to- door canvassing – they are really creating authentic relationships with people. I think those are the kinds of things that will make a difference, and our community thrives as a result of the work they are doing.”
- Cecelia Gore , executive director of the Brewers Community Foundation
Our Work YOUTH TAKE ON WASHINGTON Monuments, museums and a change in scenery lay foundations for youth community involvement in the Amani neighborhood.
A group of 21 Amani Youth and three chaperons departed in June for a trip of a lifetime to our nation’s capital, one that DC Youth Organizer Amanda Clark says is much more than a vacation. “There’s a world outside Milwaukee. A lot of the youth that we service, you know, they don’t even make it downtown,” said Clark. “A big part of it is just finding the youth in this community, this neighborhood and getting them connected to resources and program- ming that can keep them out of trouble.” Youth visited museums, landmarks, DC tourist spots and historically Black college Howard University. They learned about past struggles and what they can do for a brighter future. “For me, in the future, I want to do more things,” said Dayvida Brown, a trip participant. The educational aspects of the trip were paramount, but it was also about taking youth out of their comfort zone and build- ing relationship with their peers in the Amani community. The youth said that this experience helped them see different perspectives and will help them build rela- tionships in the future. “I didn’t know any of these people until we went on this trip. It was scary but I had fun,” said Envyana Scott, another youth participant.
Our Work PARTNERING UP TO PROMOTE SAFETY
Placing emphasis on pedestrian and traffic safety inspired DC, partners to take swift action.
A cornerstone of the resident-identified Amani Revitalization Plan is Neighborhood Safety. This year Dominican Center worked to promote safety for both pedestrians and drivers who live, work and play in Amani. DC worked with AARP Wisconsin, who brought Jonathon Stalls, author of “WALK: Slow Down, Wake Up and Connect at 1-3 Miles per Hour,” to Amani to asses safety. According to Stalls, Pedestrian Dignity events center the lived experience of all who walk, use a wheelchair and take transit as their pri- mary form of transportation. “We will move with the many gaps and opportunities facing all who walk, roll and use the bus in car-domi- nated built environments,” Stalls said. The group walked with Amani residents, Wisconsin Bike Federation, Dominican Center and Amani United. This event high- lighted the work organizations are doing in Amani to curb reckless driving. To continue this work, residents and part- ners held community meetings about traffic safety. They also coordinated a speed study of the intersection at 25th & Locust and are committed to providing speed deterrents there this year. In addition, DC partnered with WellPoint Care Network to place 50 “slow down” signs throughout Amani. The signs, used in a city- wide effort to curb reckless driving, were placed in heavily-trafficked areas.
WHAT’S AHEAD The work we do aligns with the Amani Revitalization Plan. Here are some initiative highlights that support our mission and vision. In the next year, DC will:
Housing and Economic Development • Provide more services through our Hydroponics
Neighborhood Safety • Work with AARP Wisconsin, other partners and residents to increase awareness of traffic and pedestrian safety and install speed barriers at 25th & Locust and throughout Amani. • Partner with Amani United in their Responsible Gun Ownership campaign.
Education and Family Well-Being
• Expand our support of youth by joining partners and bringing a Community Schools coordinator to Washington High School. • Work with MATC to provide access to success with GED/HSED classes..
Lab, including STEM/STEAM classes for youth and trainings for adults and seniors.
Our Support GREEN & GROWING SUPPORTS, HONORS
Annual luncheon raises $50k and honors community members for their commitment to Amani. Each year, Dominican Center celebrates Amani, its people, and the Center’s successes with a luncheon to thank supporters and raise funds to continue DC’s work and mission. The luncheon, Green and Growing 2022, was held June 26, 2022, at the Wisconsin Club. The event smashed expectations to become one of DC’s most successful fundraisers, raising more than $50,000. Guests enjoyed an auction, entertainment from All Saints Gospel Choir, a delicious lunch and awards program. For the second year, Dominican Center hon- ored community members with awards in two categories: In the Spirit of the Founders and Continuing the Legacy . Dominican Center for Women, Inc. founders and their congregation, The Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa, where honored with the In the Spirit of the Founders award for laying the foun- dations that still hold up the organization today. DC’s mission was built on their values and their love for the Amani Community. Former DC tutor, Sr. Mary Menke, Csa, was also honored with the In the Spirit of the Founders Award because of her dedication and connec- tion to Adult Education students. When DC founders first came to Amani, they listened to the women of the neighborhood and asked
them what they needed. They found res- idents wanted to educate themselves to better their families. Sr. Mary spent count- less ours individually supporting students building their own futures. Dr. Lester Carter was posthumously awarded the In the Spirit of the Founders award be- cause of his active involvement to Amani res- idents health, education and family well-be- ing and his holistic approach to wellness. An icon in Milwaukee, Dr. Carter inspired Amani residents and broke barriers in his life, career and strides to build a better future. The Continuing the Legacy awards were given to community members involved in Dominican Center’s groundbreaking hydro- ponics lab, Shelley Mathews and DC em- ployee Wesly Landry. The Dominican Center honors Shelley Mathews of FullCircle26, Inc. for her work in bringing hydroponics and STEM/STEAM education to Amani, and for her new ap- proach to feeding the community in a food desert. She has an undeniable passion for the health and well-being of her community and she is building the future in new and unique ways. Mr. Wesley Landry is honored for being an integral part of DC’s past, present and fu- ture. Mr. Wes has a commitment to – and a passion for – the care of residents in his community, and he always put their needs first. Mr. Wes’ spirit is seen in the mission of the DC and he is continuing a legacy of compassion, care and innovative thinking.
Sr. Mary Menke, DC Tutor
Founding Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa
Shelley Mathews, founder & CEO of FullCircle26 Inc.
Wesley Landry, DC employee
Dr. Lester Carter, Amani legend
DOMINICAN CENTER 2021 – 2022 FINANCIALS
Community Outreach Direct Benefits to Donors Education
Other Programming Fundraising
Office Expense Information & Technology Neighborhood Revitalization
Contracted Services Payroll Taxes & Benefits
Management and General
Programming Expenses Support and Revenue
Support Services Expenses
Salaries Contracted Services Office Expense
Information & Technology Payroll Taxes & Benefits Facilities
Contributions Federal & State Grants In-Kind Revenue
Interest, Dividends, other Special Event
Travel, Conferences, Meals
DOMINICAN CENTER 2023-2024 BOARD & STAFF The Support Behind the Scenes
SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR PAST BOARD MEMBERS Brandon Culpepper Sr. Mary Howard Johnstone Jan Wagner
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Connie Kordsmeier Board President Jessica Butler Board Vice President Mike Bula Board Secretary Hilary Kibaara Njagi
Board Treasurer Elizabeth Brown Community Volunteer President, Amani United Felice Green Community Volunteer Larsharae Hooker Community Volunteer Lekisha Leonard Community Volunteer Amber Miller Community Volunteer Julia Smith Community Volunteer Barbara Smith Community Volunteer Past President, Amani United Rev. Mary Martha Kannass
Maricha Harris, M.A. Executive Director David Brown Facilities Maintenance Elizabeth Brown Youth Organizer • AmeriCorps Christina Chronister Communications Specialist Amanda Clark Housing Coordinator Jerusa Johnson Community Organizer Wesley Landry Housing & Hydroponics Specialist Mitchelle Lyle Office Assistant Connie Poth Office Assistant
Emerita Board Member Maricha Harris, Ex officio Executive Director, Dominican Center
DOMINICAN CENTER DONORS The Support from Our Community
FOUNDATIONS, CORPORATIONS, TRUSTS AND ORGANIZATIONS
St. Joseph Congregation Hephatha Lutheran Church
IN HONOR AND MEMORY
Northwestern Mutual Foundation Motor Castings Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation Wisconsin Voices Greater Milwaukee Foundation Camille A Lonstrof Trust Children’s Wisconsin Network for Good - Facebook Milwaukee Brewers Community Foundation PNC Bank Fond du Lac Initiative City of Milwaukee MPD City of Milwaukee CDBG Milwaukee Water Commons Froedtert Community Investment Fund
Ann & James Piatt in Memory of Sister Peggy Brennan, OP Carol Loomis in Honor of Joeann Daley Mary Jo Gerlach in Memory of Betsy Gerlach William & Kathleen Kean in Honor of Sr. Ann Halloran Verdis Brown in Honor of Mr. James Brown Robert Sullivan in Honor of Sharon Sullivan Sheila Ashley in Recognition of the work of Sr. Ann Ma- ria Doyle, OP, Sr. Ann Halloran, OP, Sr. Patricia Rogers, OP, and in support of the New ED Kathleen Pritchard in Honor of Bill Durkin Mary Kannass in Honor of New ED Maricha Harris Steve Antholt in Honor of Sr. Ann Marie Gilberte,OP Mary Fontanazza in Memory of Sr. Mary Tyler,OP Jane Digiovine in Honor of Sr. Mary Doyle, OP Nadiyah Groves in Memory of Mary Cole
CHURCHES, PARISHES AND RELIGIOUS GROUPS
IN HONOR OF SR. PATRICIA ROGERS,OP
St. Jude Congregation St. Therese Congregation St. James Congregation Three Holy Women Congregation St. Sebastian Parish Congregation of The Sacred Heart of Jesus Sinsinawa Dominicans United Methodist Children’s Services
Sr. Margert Race, OP Sr. Francis Gesuale, OP Karen Morris-Cetin Leo Ries & Marie Kingsbury Clarence & Joyce Rogers
DOMINICAN CENTER DONORS The Support from Our Community
Dr. Victor Amaya Mitch Anderson David & Kathryn Andrea Ellen Angelo
Joseph Ellwanger Joseph & Joyce Ellwanger Paul Florsheim Mary Fontanazza Sylvia Gear Mary Jo Gerlach Mary Gerlach Sr. Francis Gesuale, OP Kay Givens John Goetz John Bach & Patricia Gorence Nadiyah Groves Robert & Kathleen Hahn Phillip Halley Charles & Doris Hand Augustine Harper
Barbara & Michael Korpela Sherry Kulhanek
Keith & Joanne Roberts Frank Robinson Clarence & Joyce Rogers Morgan Sass Sr. Shannon Scallon Ellen Schanz Sarah Schnieder Kathleen Sell Margaret & Philip Sgariglia
Sandra Landry Wesley Landry
Antonio Antao Steve Antholt Sheila Ashley
Searell Landry Harris Greg & Patricia Latsch William Leannah Lekisha Leonard Natasha Levy Sally Lewis Mary Longsine Carol Loomis Mr. & Mrs. Robert Lueger Sue Lueger Mitchelle Lyle Shelley Mathews Yvonne McCaskill Marty McCrystal Kathleen McKeown Diane Meisser Matthew Melendes Richard & Gwendolyn Miller Jourdnae Moore Michael Morgan, JD Karen Morris-Cetin Jeffery Muhannah Sr. Mary Ann Nelson, OP Kathleen Neuman Mary Norman Catherine O’Neill Greg and Rhonda Oberland Patricia Ott Ann Otte Pastor Eva Owens, Village Ministry Nadya Perez-Reyes Caroline Phillips Ann & James Piatt James Piatt Kathleen Pritchard Sr. Margert Race, OP Jennique Radde Margaret Ripp Kathleen Rivera
Thomas Barrett JoAnna Bautch Nicole Biddle Cathleen Bleidorn Cheryl Boatman Carolyn Boehmer Elizabeth Boemer Felicia Booker Antwone Bowden Regina Boyd Brad Brin Rita Bruce Lillian Buckley Michael Bula Daniel Burt Daniel & Mary Burt MaryBurt Jessica Butler
LaQuondra Shaw Patricia Sheehan Joan Shrout Patrick Small Virginia Small Ronald Smith Jacqueline Smith Barbara Smith Katie Sparks Adrian Spencer Mary Spielberg Michelle St Clair Morgan Stanley Mary Stebbins
Maricha Harris George Harris Danielle Harris Karen Higgins Ray Hill Tai Hooper
Rosemary Hurst Patricia Hussey Ed Inderrieden Karen & Michael Iverson KarenIverson Selwyn Jarvis Rochelle Johnson Ruby Johnson-Harden Mary H Johnstone Mary Kamps Mary Kannass M. & G. Kazmier William & Kathleen Kean VickieKennedy Leo Ries & Marie Kingsbury
Bonnie Steindorf Imani Stingley Robert Sullivan Mary Sullivan Mary Sullivan Katheleen Stephan Thomas Nicole Thompson Gail Thoreson Donald Utech Mary Utschig Janine Wagner Sr. Clare Wagner, OP Beth Waschow
Charlotte Cannon-Sain Mary Ann Carroll, OP Bianca Cisneros Bridget Clementi Roberta Coles Christine Conley Mary & James Connelly Mary And James Connelly Glenna Cose Brin Lafayette Crump Sr. Joeann Daley, OP Ed De St. Aubin Niki & Andrew DeGuire Barbara Diaz Angie Dickens Anneliese Dickman Jane Digiovine
Bridget Whitaker Lavonda Whitley Tracy Williams TR Williams
Charles Klawitter Kathleen Knudsen Jennifer Kopetsky Connie Kordsmeier Sarah Kordsmeier Barbara Korpela
Patricia Donahoe Blanche Dugger
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