Aisha Turner

Race & Ethnicity Reporter

Aisha Turner joined WUWM in 2017 as the station’s first Race and Ethnicity Reporter. She previously collaborated with the station on Precious Lives – an award-winning series about how gun violence impacts young people in Milwaukee.

An East Coast transplant, Aisha began her career in Washington, DC. She worked for the PBS NewsHour, starting as a desk assistant and moving up to the ranks of reporter-producer. She’s also done stints at Al Jazeera America and in local news. 

Aisha has covered a range of national and international affairs stories and has a special interest in human rights issues.

Outside of media, Aisha’s been engaged with international education. In the spring of 2017, she was a facilitator with the International Honors Program’s human rights course, during which she traveled with university students to Nepal, Jordan, and Chile. 

Aisha has a joint-MA in Global Studies from the Universities of Leipzig and Vienna. Her Master’s research included comparative approaches to diversity, social exclusion, and urbanization. She has a BA in Public Policy, Sociology, and Media Studies from Duke University.

Courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society

The late Lloyd Barbee is perhaps best known as the lawyer and state legislator who fought to desegregate Milwaukee’s public schools. A new book lays out just how broad Barbee’s fight for justice was.

Beyond education, Barbee pushed for open housing, women’s rights, and decolonization. He would often sign his letters with the quote - “Justice For All.” And that’s the title of the new book, Justice for All: Selected Writings of Lloyd A. Barbee.

The book is edited by his daughter -- another civil rights attorney -- Daphne Barbee-Wooten.

Jennifer Johnson

The 2017 Milwaukee Film Festival kicks off this week. Its centerpiece film takes us into a story familiar to many Milwaukeeans. In 2014 Dontre Hamilton was killed by a police officer in downtown Milwaukee.

 

The Blood is at the Doorstep, from director Erik Ljung, follows Hamilton’s family as they grieve, heal, and fight for change in their city.

 

Aisha Turner

If you were to witness someone being harassed would you know what to do? A group of Milwaukeeans is teaching people how to step in and calm potentially violent situations. 

Bystander intervention training is designed to build confidence so more people feel comfortable confronting racism, homophobia, and other kinds of harassment.

Race and Ethnicity Reporter Aisha Turner sat in on one of these trainings.

On a Friday night at the Riverwest Public House, facilitator Stephanie Roades gathers about 15 people for class: “We're gonna start with a basic warm up.”

Aisha Turner

Torpedo-shaped boats raced along the Menomonee and Milwaukee Rivers this weekend, as rowing teams competed in the annual regatta. It was the 17th Annual Milwaukee River Challenge.

 

Proceeds from a weekend benefit will sponsor a new program to help diversify the Milwaukee Rowing Club. Race and Ethnicity Reporter Aisha Turner visited the Rowing Club's middle school team over the summer to learn about its efforts to bring new participants into the sport.

 

Aisha Turner

Mothers Against Gun Violence organized an event Friday to bring attention to the importance of life insurance.

I believe I can fly… I believe I can touch the sky…

 

Debra Fifer raised her right hand in praise as Marshé Whaley belted into the microphone…

 

I think about it every night and day… spread my wings and fly away… I believe I can soar… see me running through that open door…

 

WTMJ-TV, Wisconsin Historical Society, and UW-Milwaukee Libraries

It was 50 years ago that the open housing marches began in Milwaukee. For 200 nights civil rights activists marched from the mostly black northside over the 16th Street Bridge to city’s predominately white southside. They demanded a law to end discriminatory housing practices that prevented African Americans from living in white areas of the city.

 

A teenager named Prentice McKinney was at the center of those marches, leading the NAACP Youth Commandos.

Aisha Turner

On Saturday, Milwaukeeans rallied in response to the racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. A large group spread out at the end of Wisconsin Avenue and chanted “white silence is violence” … “love trumps hate” … and “black lives matter.” 

They stood between the Northwestern Mutual Tower and the orange sunburst sculpture in O’Donnell Park. Some cars passing by honked in support.

Aisha Turner

Milwaukee has said goodbye to one of its prominent -- and outspoken -- faith leaders. For the last 10 years, Steve Jerbi was senior pastor at All Peoples Church on 2nd and Clarke.

He stood out as a white man leading a predominantly black congregation. He also became known for his passionate pursuit of racial and social justice.

This Sunday -- for the first time in a decade -- the congregation will gather without Jerbi, because he's moving to California to take a position with a church there.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

This is the final episode of Precious Lives. And for this final story, we thought we’d return to the first family we met - the family of Laylah Petersen.

Two years ago, we interviewed Ashley Fogl and Amanda Legler.

Start From The Beginning: #001 Precious Lives: How Do You Measure the Loss of a Five-Year-Old Girl?

yeyen, fotolia

On June 11, 1994, Garland Hampton woke up around 10:30 am. He poured himself a bowl cereal, took a shower and went to a friend’s birthday party. That evening, Garland got into a fight with a fellow gang member. He pointed a 9-millimeter pistol at Donell Storks and shot him in the left side of the head.

Both boys were 15 years old.

Garland was arrested on homicide charges the next day. He wrote in his police report: “I feel very sorry about what happened.”

Angela Peterson | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

After Sylville Smith was shot and killed by a police officer this summer, his family was left to grieve and figure out how to move forward.

His brother Sedan and cousin Taz have emerged as community leaders.

They’re young black men from the streets who are taking advantage of the spotlight to seek justice for Sylville, and push for a larger change in their community. And Precious Lives discovered how they’re being changed along the way.

Courtesy of the Campbell Family

There’s a lot we know about gun violence. We know it’s concentrated in poorer areas. And we know those areas tend to be heavily black. But how did things get that way -- how did we get to the point where 84% of Milwaukee’s homicide victims are black?

To start understanding some of the historical underpinnings of how we got to where we are, Precious Lives producers Aisha Turner and Emily Forman visited Monk’s Barbershop.

Precious Lives

This is Precious Lives episode 93. We’re almost at our goal of telling 100 stories about gun violence and young people in Milwaukee. We’ve covered the family members who have lost loved ones, the activists fighting to make the city better, and the political leaders overseeing it all. Each week, we ask our interview subjects to be emotionally honest with us as we try to understand the problem of gun violence. This week, the microphones are turned on our reporters.

Courtesy of Mario Drain

Born a few months apart, Mario Drain and his friends wound up with very different fates after committing armed robbery together in high school.

His friends were 17 and sentenced as adults. Mario was still 16. He was sent to the Running Rebels and put into the Intensive Monitoring Program.

Mario's case workers stayed on him -- they made sure he came to meetings, got involved in activities and showed up to school everyday. This alternative to incarceration worked.

Aisha Turner, Precious Lives

In August 2016, 23-year old Sylville Smith was shot by District 7 Officer Dominique Heaggan.

Officer Lawson Murrell was long-interested in improving the relationship between the police and the black community. He’s now the Milwaukee Police Department's District 7 Community Liaison Officer.

And at the memorial for Sylville Smith on 44th and Auer, he’s facing the first major test of his new role. And as a black police officer, he’s stuck in an especially tough position.

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