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Drop-In Center Clients Inspired by Black History Month Programs

Our Black History Month Celebration and recognition supported our continued work to build and role model healthy and trusting relationships, safe spaces, healthy conversations, self-awareness and self-esteem building, and exposure to truths and realities with youth exploring who they are, where they are and where they hope to be. Our youth and young adults were able to connect with community members, professionals, collaborative partners and share in inspiring and humbling experiences. We kicked off our celebration with focusing on having pride in Black culture and loving the skin you are in, recognizing the population we majorly serve in our spaces and who are largely impacted by home instability are Black youth and young adults. Due to constant, and major changes in the world, our youth report feeling hopeless, and not wanting to identify with their own culture because of the negative perceptions and treatment folks around them, and they themselves, are consistently experiencing. Our youth report that not only as youth of color also as youth identifying within the LGBTQI community, their non-traditional presentation (as stud, butch, transgender, no gender etc.); carrying compound identities is always intensifying their vulnerability to mistreatment and barriers to success. In our center, staff and youth placed information and images of Black leaders, music, businesses, and legacies on a board to show and see a constant reminder of who we can be and what we can do as we work through our struggles -- not losing our identities or values, but increasing our love for ourselves. One youth stated, “I like this, people make history every day, it is important we recognize Black History so it is not lost in our generation.” During our Sunday aftercare group, staff observed youth from the shelter standing around the board talking and learning about the images and information they see with staff.

Community members and youth discuss past and current issues and how we can still have brighter futures as part of the Black History month programs. Thanks to our guests: Ms. Wilson (member of the Milwaukee Police and Fire Commission and the MATC Board);  Lakedria Madison (Small Business Owner); Mr. Robert Jackson (Alumni of Marquette Basketball); and Kori Ashley (D.I.C Legal Clinic, Justice Point).


Our Black History month activities included:

  • Jocelyn Saffold of Planned Parenthood’s Embody program provided a “Consent in Hip Hop” group to our youth exploring music, perception and realities, how we can make healthy decisions, what consent is and what it means, and how we need to maintain safety and awareness in real time.
  • Consultants from Mary Kay came in on Valentine’s Day and engaged with some of our young women around make-up and beautification products, with discussions regarding healthy boundaries, healthy decisions and healthy relationships.
  • Community members joined us in providing meals, sharing their stories of struggle to triumph, offered free hairstyles and meal planning and budgeting during our LifeSkills retreat.
‍AmeriCorps Volunteer Da'Mario enjoys Andy's (UWM Field Placement intern) performance during  Black History month.

We celebrated our last day of Black History Month with an Open Mic where youth, staff, community members and Pathfinders very own Board Member Michael Cockroft shared stories, inspiring words, music and a lot of love in our space. Youth were in “awe” to see not only community members perform. Having Michael not only be present, but also performing definitely filled the hearts of the people in the room as they praised him for our space and showing them who they can be and what they can do, despite life’s hardships. We heard a young person say, “Wow, he’s on the board? I want to perform, I never performed, I don’t know if my lyrics are okay, but I want to perform now.”  These visitors and celebrations truly inspired our youth to think beyond their current circumstances toward what the future can hold for them.

Staff and youth selected inspiring figures to recognize as part of Black History month.
Pathfinders News

Drop-In Center Clients Inspired by Black History Month Programs

Our Black History Month Celebration and recognition supported our continued work to build and role model healthy and trusting relationships, safe spaces, healthy conversations, self-awareness and self-esteem building, and exposure to truths and realities with youth exploring who they are, where they are and where they hope to be. Our youth and young adults were able to connect with community members, professionals, collaborative partners and share in inspiring and humbling experiences. We kicked off our celebration with focusing on having pride in Black culture and loving the skin you are in, recognizing the population we majorly serve in our spaces and who are largely impacted by home instability are Black youth and young adults. Due to constant, and major changes in the world, our youth report feeling hopeless, and not wanting to identify with their own culture because of the negative perceptions and treatment folks around them, and they themselves, are consistently experiencing. Our youth report that not only as youth of color also as youth identifying within the LGBTQI community, their non-traditional presentation (as stud, butch, transgender, no gender etc.); carrying compound identities is always intensifying their vulnerability to mistreatment and barriers to success. In our center, staff and youth placed information and images of Black leaders, music, businesses, and legacies on a board to show and see a constant reminder of who we can be and what we can do as we work through our struggles -- not losing our identities or values, but increasing our love for ourselves. One youth stated, “I like this, people make history every day, it is important we recognize Black History so it is not lost in our generation.” During our Sunday aftercare group, staff observed youth from the shelter standing around the board talking and learning about the images and information they see with staff.

Community members and youth discuss past and current issues and how we can still have brighter futures as part of the Black History month programs. Thanks to our guests: Ms. Wilson (member of the Milwaukee Police and Fire Commission and the MATC Board);  Lakedria Madison (Small Business Owner); Mr. Robert Jackson (Alumni of Marquette Basketball); and Kori Ashley (D.I.C Legal Clinic, Justice Point).


Our Black History month activities included:

  • Jocelyn Saffold of Planned Parenthood’s Embody program provided a “Consent in Hip Hop” group to our youth exploring music, perception and realities, how we can make healthy decisions, what consent is and what it means, and how we need to maintain safety and awareness in real time.
  • Consultants from Mary Kay came in on Valentine’s Day and engaged with some of our young women around make-up and beautification products, with discussions regarding healthy boundaries, healthy decisions and healthy relationships.
  • Community members joined us in providing meals, sharing their stories of struggle to triumph, offered free hairstyles and meal planning and budgeting during our LifeSkills retreat.
‍AmeriCorps Volunteer Da'Mario enjoys Andy's (UWM Field Placement intern) performance during  Black History month.

We celebrated our last day of Black History Month with an Open Mic where youth, staff, community members and Pathfinders very own Board Member Michael Cockroft shared stories, inspiring words, music and a lot of love in our space. Youth were in “awe” to see not only community members perform. Having Michael not only be present, but also performing definitely filled the hearts of the people in the room as they praised him for our space and showing them who they can be and what they can do, despite life’s hardships. We heard a young person say, “Wow, he’s on the board? I want to perform, I never performed, I don’t know if my lyrics are okay, but I want to perform now.”  These visitors and celebrations truly inspired our youth to think beyond their current circumstances toward what the future can hold for them.

Staff and youth selected inspiring figures to recognize as part of Black History month.