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Milwaukee Business Journal: “Business, philanthropic leaders speak on civil unrest in Kenosha”

The Milwaukee Business Journal asked members of the local business, civil rights and philanthropic community to weigh in on the turmoil in Kenosha following the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by police officers on Sunday, and what can be done to heal the community.

The events in Kenosha have since sparked protests across Kenosha and other parts of Wisconsin and the U.S. In the Milwaukee region, various groups have responded to the situation, most notably the Milwaukee Bucks boycotting playing its NBA playoff game against the Orlando Magic, along with the Milwaukee Brewers deciding to not play the team’s scheduled game Wednesday against the Cincinnati Reds.

Meanwhile, corporations, organizations, small business owners and residents in Kenosha are rallying together. Downtown Kenosha Inc. is partnering with other organizations to launch a match fundraising campaign of $1 million to support small businesses in Kenosha that have been damaged or will be closed for some time due to being boarded up.

The head of Public Allies Inc., one of the largest community organizations in the U.S. with national headquarters in Milwaukee, of which Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley is an alum, said more needs to be done to bring equity and justice to communities.

“Racism continues to ravage our society and the systems that sustain it,” said Jaime Ernesto Uzeta, CEO of Public Allies, in a statement to the Business Journal. “The senseless and tragic shooting of Jacob Blake is the latest wake up call for us all.  We pray for Jacob Blake‘s recovery, mourn the lives lost, grieve for the children who were tragically involved and witness the unrest that persists.  We stand strong with our team in our Public Allies national headquarters in Milwaukee knowing how personal this is for them.  And as a pioneer in developing and deploying high-impact leaders from marginalized communities, Public Allies is moved to do even more in our daily work to be a powerful force for equity and justice in communities that need it most.”

Photo by Morry Gash/AP Photo