WUWM News

Micaela Martin

Repeated threats have been made this year against the Jewish Community Center in Whitefish Bay. The latest scare happened Sunday, and the JCC isn’t alone. Other Jewish organizations across the country have been targeted, so have mosques. What impact do these threats have on the people directly affected? WUWM stopped by the JCC to ask.

Pat Rabinson

Milwaukee Water Commons was created four years ago to educate the community about water - its rivers, streams and Lake Michigan - to cultivate informed stewards.

“I came from a more traditional environmental effort, which was the Milwaukee River Greenway Coalition – working to make the river more beautiful, more accessible. There was already a ton of passion around that issue, but it was by and large a middle class and white group of people,” founder Ann Brummitt says.

Michelle Maternowski

Segregation comes with borders, whether they are manmade - 124th Street, the dividing line between Milwaukee and Waukesha counties, or natural - the Milwaukee River. Today, WUWM reports on one particular border, and how some people feel about crossing it.

Metro Milwaukee has a segregation problem. It's an issue prominently on display within area schools.

Some say, school segregation in Milwaukee as bad today as it was 60 years ago, at the height of the Civil Rights era.

How did we get here? Let’s take a look back...

Micaela Martin

Gov. Walker says his administration will aid the Jewish Community Center in Whitefish Bay to make sure that it remains a safe place. The center has been the target of three bomb threats since the start of the year, including one this week. Similar threats have been made against other Jewish organizations nationwide.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has signed a letter of intent to take part in the federal government's 287(g) Task Force/Jail Enforcement program. It trains local law enforcement and then gives it authority to enforce immigration violations.

According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, it currently partners with 37 law enforcement agencies in 16 states.

Clarke released his announcement Wednesday afternoon via a web post.

Courtesy of Milwaukee Public Library

Poverty is entrenched in some of Milwaukee's mainly black neighborhoods. People studying the issue say financial struggles piled up as employers left. So they say change only will come when more people are put to work, in family-supporting jobs.

Decades of racist policies and attitudes have led to entrenched segregation in metro Milwaukee. African-Americans remain concentrated in the city, including in its poorest neighborhoods.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

Segregation impacts many different areas of our lives in metro Milwaukee. One that may not be top of mind is its connection to environmental health and justice. WUWM found an intricate tapestry of challenge and hope -- starting with Antoine Carter.

His childhood started on East Chambers in Milwaukee.

“I remember drugs and gangs and outdoor football and people getting jumped and all sorts of stuff. Just living in this area in the 1990s, I was a little too young to understand everything that was going on, but I still could see that things weren’t right,” Carter says.

humbletree, flickr

A gun rights group has prevailed in its legal battle against the City of Madison and predicts the decision will have statewide implications, although in Milwaukee, the transit system reports always having honored the state's concealed carry law.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that Madison's transit system must allow people with concealed carry licenses to bring guns aboard public buses. According to the court majority, transit policies cannot supersede the state's concealed carry law which Governor Walker signed in 2011.

Rachel Morello

Metro Milwaukee has a segregation problem -- not least, within area schools. Over time, racial lines have been created here, dividing the area into distinct black, white and Latino neighborhoods. 

Micaela Martin

UWM students Sydney Lee and Dwayne Lee – not related, are both black and grew up on Milwaukee’s North Side.

JFXie, flickr

Several reasons emerge as to why people in metro Milwaukee live in either segregated or integrated neighborhoods in what is the most racially segregated metro area in the country. Sometimes people have a choice, other times they do not. And one statistic sets this area apart from all others, according to UWM researcher Marc Levine - the rate of affluent African-Americans opting to live in neighborhoods saturated with poverty.

Marti Mikkelson

There are more fears now, among immigrants who are in the U. S. illegally that they could be arrested and deported.  The Mexican consulate in Milwaukee says it's served more than 10,000 people since opening last summer.  

And, it's found that many clients don't have basic documentation such as passports.  The consulate held workshops over the weekend, they stressed the urgency of obtaining key papers.

UWM Libraries American Geographical Society Library

“Segregation is not an accident,” according to Reggie Jackson, the head griot for American’s Black Holocaust Museum.

“There’s this idea that people self-segregate, but the reality is that there’s never really been self-segregation in Milwaukee,” Jackson says. “The segregation that we have, in terms of people of color, was created by a variety of different in institutions and individuals.”

DUSTIN A. CABLE, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, WELDON COOPER CENTER FOR PUBLIC SERVICE, REFERENCE DATA BY STAMEN DESIGN

The assertion that Milwaukee is currently one of - if not the most segregated metro area in the United States is probably deserved but with some qualifications, according to UW-Milwaukee researcher Marc Levine.

An extraordinary number of blacks live in the city as opposed to in Milwaukee suburbs, and in the city itself - while it is diverse, African-Americans, whites and Latinos tend to live in neighborhoods with little diversity.

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