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Recently, a sharp increase in violence has galvanized Milwaukee communities to look for solutions. Another perennial hot button topic in the city is racism, and the segregation it often causes.

It’s a topic Jennifer Morales knows well. Morales lived in Milwaukee for more than 20 years. It is where she raised her family, and where she was the first Hispanic to serve on the Milwaukee School Board.

Listen To Your Mother

Five years go, a Madison woman created a spoken word event to celebrate motherhood. That event, called Listen To Your Mother, drew such interest that it spawned events in cities around the country, and has also resulted in a book, bringing together some of the most compelling essays from the series.  

"We look for the beautiful unifying thread of motherhood. Under the umbrella of motherhood, we can all understand each other so much better," says coordinator Alexandra Rosas.

InPro, Facebook

The 45th commemoration of Earth Day is tomorrow, and all week we’re spotlighting some Wisconsinites and Wisconsin work linked to the environment and sustainability.

Last week, the Wisconsin DNR named a Muskego company as the latest Wisconsin business to attain so-called Green Tier status. But that designation is only the latest manifestation of a larger green strategy for InPro Corporation, which makes building products.

Ali Eminov

Since 2009, Little Free Libraries have grown from one in the front yard of a house in Wisconsin to over 25,000 little libraries in over 80 countries.

Todd Bol, from Hudson, built the first one six years ago as a memorial to his mother. Today, their popularity has soared far beyond the borders of Wisconsin. There are Little Free Libraries around the world.

Courtesy of VFZ Youth Advisor Robert Robertson

Big brother, tutor, life coach. Keyon Mitchell is a youth advisor in the Violence-Free Zone Program, or VFZ.

It’s a nationwide program designed to reduce suspensions, and improve attendance and test scores. Nine Milwaukee Public high schools and two middle schools have it. But it’s about more than the numbers. It’s about keeping kids safe in and out of school.

Daniel Lobo, Flickr

Southwest Airlines created the Heart of the Community program to "activate public spaces in the heart of communities." 

Wisconsin DOT

It will be at least three more years of orange barrels and detour signs in downtown Milwaukee, as the city, county and state work to make the area more accessible and attractive.

Officials will offer details about future phases if the Lakefront Gateway Project at a meeting Tuesday evening at O’Donnell Park.

Milwaukee's development commissioner Rocky Marcoux says the city has a world-class lakefront, but until now, it’s looked more like a loading dock.

Darren McCollester / Getty Images

As the debate over Governor Walker’s proposed budget continues in the Wisconsin legislature, the statewide story is getting an unprecedented amount of national coverage.

Meanwhile, Scott Walker’s probable presidential bid has led many local media outlets to turn reporters normally on a Wisconsin-specific beat into national political reporters.

The British Broadcasting Corporation is still deciding what the future holds for its most successful international show.

Top Gearthe car culture show, was thrown into disarray recently when the BBC fired one of the hosts, Jeremy Clarkson. Clarkson had been in hot water several times before, but finally went over the line when he berated and physically attacked one of his producers.

nelsonearthday.net

Forty-five years after Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day, Tia Nelson is caught between carrying on her father's legacy and hewing to the guidelines of her state government job.

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