Need another Milwaukee principle to implement in your city?
Milwaukee seemingly has bars and churches on every corner. And, I believe it’s helped make greater Milwaukee one of the most welcoming places in America.
You laugh, but it’s true. There are bars and churches everywhere here.
When European immigrants originally settled in Milwaukee, they built churches with soaring towers that you can still see throughout the city.
Today, our community has more than 1,000 houses of worship of all denominations — it’s a melting pot of many faiths.
You can find the ornate Basilica of St. Josaphat, the first African-American church in Wisconsin: St. Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, the oldest synagogue in Milwaukee: Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun, and the Islamic Society of Milwaukee all less than 20 minutes from the heart of the city.
And, these spaces are special. They create reflection points, build community and anchor many in traditions and rituals that have lasted and evolved through the ages.
We need to leverage and use differences in our faith spaces to unite around common goals. And, I’ll continue to remind all in greater Milwaukee that it’s on each of us to tackle our segregation challenges.
It’s up to you to do the same in your community.
As for bars, they come in all shapes and sizes. And, increasingly low and no alcohol options are being added. In Milwaukee, our bars are gathering places and you could say they create their own reasons to worship and connect — just like churches.
Where are your community gathering places? How do you ignite and connect them like Milwaukee has with its bars and houses of worship.
We all want spaces that we can go to and feel involved, energized, and at home at. Your community has these places — activate them — it’s a Milwaukee principle that the world and your community need now.