April 24, 2019 – West Bend, WI – On the Table MKE community conversations in West Bend last fall led to the funding of two Washington County projects taking place this spring. Through its respective “Ideas to Action” funding programs, the West Bend Community Foundation (WBCF) and the Greater Milwaukee Foundation (GMF) each supported a project, one focused on mental health in young people, the other on transit.
WBCF funding is supporting the work of Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County, which will develop a print and online survey to gather community feedback, creating a better understanding of transportation challenges in Washington County.
GMF funding is supporting the Boys and Girls Club of Washington County and its Healthy Minds project, which will create a “Zen Den” for youth who face mental health concerns due to traumatic experiences. The Zen Den project is one of 16 across the region funded by GMF’s Ideas to Action program. A description of those projects can be found in the Foundation’s 2018 Voices from the Tables report, which summarizes the outcomes of On the Table MKE throughout metro Milwaukee.
Launched by GMF, On the Table MKE is a collection of collaborative conversations held throughout the community on a single day in October. The inclusive initiative is designed to build relationships and generate action on issues that matter in people’s lives. Thousands of people across the region participated in 2018, the initiative’s second year. WBCF, a regional partner of GMF, participated in the effort by organizing and hosting a large gathering of conversations at the Museum of Wisconsin Art.
REGIONAL FINDINGS FROM ON THE TABLE MKE
Across the region, matters of race, equity and inclusion were the most frequent topics explored at tables last year, according to a survey of 2018 participants. These matters were discussed at 77 percent of tables.
The top four topical areas were:
- Race, Racism, Segregation, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion
- Community Vitality, Community Engagement, Community Involvement
- Education, Schools, Youth
- Health, Health Care, Human Services
Overall, On the Table MKE conversations covered a wide range of themes raised by table hosts and community members. See the full report for the 10 most prevalent subjects and detailed themes.
Other key findings from On the Table MKE 2018:
- Conversations took place at over 160 locations in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee counties
- Participants were from at least 61 unique ZIP codes
- 99 percent would participate again
- 86 percent felt their table bridged a social divide in a meaningful way
- 90 percent planned to take action as a result of their conversation
“Through On the Table MKE, our community proclaimed its courage, its resilience and its innovation,” said Ellen Gilligan, Greater Milwaukee Foundation president and CEO. “Thank you to every person who greeted their neighbors with open arms and open minds. The human connections we’ve made with one another will power the ideas we’ve developed together to make greater Milwaukee the home we all want it to be.”
About West Bend Community Foundation
The West Bend Community Foundation inspires, encourages and supports enduring donor legacies for the betterment of the Greater West Bend community. This unique organization is dedicated to supporting and promoting programs in education, arts & culture, environment, health and human services, including capital projects, located within West Bend, Wisconsin, or otherwise serving greater West Bend residents. The WBCF is a partner to the Greater Milwaukee Foundation which handles administration, information, and the safekeeping of funds.
About the Greater Milwaukee Foundation
The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is Wisconsin’s largest community foundation and was among the first established in the world. For more than a century, the Foundation has inspired philanthropy by connecting generous people to community needs that align with their interests. The Foundation was founded on the premise that generosity can unlock an individual’s potential and strengthen the community as a whole for everyone who lives here. We work in partnership with those who are committed to ensuring greater Milwaukee is a vibrant, economically thriving region that comprises welcoming and inclusive communities providing opportunity, prosperity and a high quality of life for all.