The Unitarian Universalist Association is delighted to announce that MICAH (Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope) will be the recipient of this year’s collection at the General Assembly Sunday Morning Worship.
MICAH describes themselves as a “multi-racial, interfaith organization committed to justice issues of greatest importance to residents of Milwaukee, a city afflicted with racialized and concentrated poverty. MICAH is an affiliate of Gamaliel (a national network of Congregationally-Based Community Organizing organizations) and its statewide organization WISDOM. Critical to MICAH’s success over the years is its commitment to training and empowering ordinary people to do extraordinary things.” Several of our Milwaukee-area congregations (First Unitarian Milwaukee, UU Church West in Brookfield, and UU Church North in Mequon) have long-time, deep relationships with MICAH, and have actively participated in MICAH’s organizing and campaigns. Several UUs have served in various important leadership roles on MICAH’s board of directors over the years.
As the UUA’s Organizing and Strategy Team (OST) was talking with their contacts in Milwaukee organizing circles, OST heard over and over again how important MICAH’s work is to the ecosystem of justice-making in the city. In a moment in which some organizations that have garnered national attention over the past year are more financially stable and well-resourced, MICAH continues to collaborate widely with other organizations while also driving important campaign and organizing work itself. They have a long history of visionary Black leadership, true multi-faith collaboration, and synergistic partnership with frontline communities and organizations.
MICAH does community organizing in several key areas, including civic engagement, environment, criminal justice, and prison reform, education, jobs & economic development, and transportation. And just this February, MICAH launched a public campaign to raise funds to expand their organizing staff to support local campaigns, including an important effort to prevent Ascension Health from defunding and closing the only hospital located in North Milwaukee, the heart of the city’s Black community. Currently, MICAH only has one paid staff person–the Executive Director/Lead Organizer–and this expansion of staff will greatly increase MICAH’s capacity and impact.