Each Sunday we invite people at our church service to split their offerings between the church and a not-for-profit group in the community that is doing something purposeful. We look for organizations whose work contributes in some way to a more just, equitable and compassionate community.

Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH) has been chosen as the October recipient by UUCW’s Split the Plate Committee. UUCW joined MICAH, the Milwaukee area, multi-racial, interfaith organization a few years ago and supports its ongoing commitment to justice issues that impact Milwaukee city and county residents.

Brief MICAH history: Founded in 1988, MICAH’s beginning is rooted in efforts to fight hunger. Recognizing that effectively ending hunger required raising people out of poverty, seven congregations across denominational lines were brought together through training conducted by Gamaliel, a national organizing network offering professional training and other resources to congregation-based organizing groups.

Currently: Membership consists of 36 congregations from many religious traditions. MICAH is currently one of 11 affiliates of WISDOM, a grassroots, statewide, congregation-based action network that works to promote the common good by building diverse communities and encouraging broad participation in the democratic process. Gamaliel continues to support those justice efforts, which have resulted in numerous positive changes in and around Milwaukee and across Wisconsin.

MICAH’s primary focus areas: Concentrated poverty; Mass incarceration; Low academic achievement in Milwaukee public schools. Current, standing MICAH- specific groups include Jobs & Economic Development; Public School Equity; Immigration; Prison Reform; & AODA Treatment task forces.

A few of MICAH’s past achievements: 

During MICAH’s early years — MICAH Banking Campaign: 17 financial institutions actively addressed discriminatory lending practices, resulting in more than $700 million in loans to thousands of inner-city homebuyers, many whom had previously been denied the opportunity to own homes.

2005: Instrumental in getting state TAD (Treatment Alternatives and Diversionary programs) legislation passed, resulting each year in more than 500 non-violent offenders being sent to drug treatment and mental health treatment instead of jail or prison.

2014: Collaborated with the Black Health Coalition and the ACLU in winning a $13.5 million Zoo interchange settlement. Resulted in three transit lines from Milwaukee to business parks in New Berlin, Menomonee Falls, and Germantown—connecting people without transportation to suburban jobs.

This is just a short synopsis of all the worthy justice work that is supported by UUCW’s membership, active participation, and financial contributions. Please continue to show your active support for October’s Split the Plate recipient!

Learn more at MICAH. For more about Split the Plate, contact Sue Schalig.