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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

SWIM Initiative discusses further developments

Photo by Marquette Wire Stock Photo
University President Michael Lovell.

Scaling Wellness in Milwaukee held a meeting Nov. 26 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in the near west side to discuss updates about ongoing initiatives, including the President’s Challenge and the next SWIM Conference, and guest speakers also presented. 

Chris Stolarski, university spokesperson, said there were guest speakers at this meeting.

Ramon Candelaria, executive director for Central City Churches; Reggie Newson, vice president of government and community services and chief advocacy officer for Ascension; Tim Grove of SaintA; and Dan Bergen of Marquette University all spoke at the meeting.

“Eighty to 100 community members representing organizations addressing trauma, as well as government, local schools, businesses and residents from throughout the city were present,” said Dan Bergen, the executive director of the Office of Community Engagement at Marquette.

Bergen said he supports the cultivation and deepening of new and existing relationships between Marquette University faculty, staff, students and community partners related to trauma-informed initiatives.

At the meeting, Bergen said many updates were also given regarding ongoing initiatives, including the President’s Challenge and the next SWIM Conference, which will be held in fall 2019. The attendees also split up into eight “action team circles” to address asset map; corporate engagement; education and awareness; healing practices; mobile clinic; policy; research and best practices; and technology, Bergen said.

The SWIM Initiative began after a Marquette Forum, when University President Michael Lovell said he wanted to continue the conversation about how Milwaukee can change by addressing trauma. Since then, organizations, community members, social service agencies, hospitals and others have met every six weeks to discuss the initiative. Today, Lovell said there are 375 people involved from over 120 organizations.

“Being a white male, my opportunity for success is actually much higher than minority populations. As a white male, if I’m not actively trying to change the system, then I am being implicitly racist because I am not trying to make things fair for everyone,” Lovell said.

The next meeting will take place on the evening of Jan. 7 through the day of Jan. 8, Stolarski said.  He said Frank Schneiger, an organizational change and planning consultant, will present on building the work of SWIM and developing impactful strategies to do so.

“The goal is to move from a pre-planning, exploratory phase to a hard planning, action-focused stage of activity. The action team circles will participate in this process as a means to continuing and expanding upon the efforts underway,” Bergen said.

Lovell said that if trauma is addressed, many other problems in Milwaukee will begin to get better as well. “The long-term goal is that we want to be the most trauma-informed city in the country,” Lovell said.

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