A Change for Awareness
After the killing of George Floyd, at the hands of a Minneapolis Police Officer, protests and marches against Police Brutality have been occurring around the world. Police brutality affects the Black community more then any other population, besides the Native population. Wisconsin, the state in which I live, is home to Milwaukeeone of the most segregated cities in the Unites States. It is there that I would like to focus awareness on the issues the Black community faces and one of the organizations that is trying to make it a better/safer place to live for the Black community.
In 2019, dealing with educational exclusion, it was shown that Wisconsin had the second widest gap in suspension rates between Black and White students, with Black students being suspended at five times the rate of White students. Wisconsinhas the fourth widest gap in infant mortality rates between Black and White mothers, with Black infants being two and a half times more likely to die then White infants. In the same year, a Brookings Institute study found that Milwaukeewas the most segregated city in the country.
In 2017 I won a title at the World Beard and Mustache Championships in Austin TX, as well as receiving the Best in Show award. This is by far the most prestigious award I have received from competing in beard/mustache contests. Leading up to that event I had placed first at almost all events I attended. With multiple awards under my belt, beard sponsorships, and judging opportunities, I have been able to attract a large amount of followers and friends. I would like to use my influence to bring attention to the African American Round Table in Milwaukee.
The African-American Roundtable (AART) is a coalition led by and serving the African-American community in Milwaukee. AART exists to empower and organize our community to transform policies so we can thrive and live at our greatest potential. We collaborate and support our partners and allies to show power, amplify each others’ voices, nurture leadership, promote racial equity and accessibility, and pass policies to radically change the lives of African-Americans in Milwaukee. We must come together as a community to hold our political system accountable in order to create a safe community for all to live and thrive. Our demand to support a thriving Milwaukee: A $75 million divestment from the Milwaukee Police Department and reinvestment into building healthy communities that can thrive. In accordance, $50 million must be allocated to fund public health and $25 million to housing cooperatives. Follow us on Twitter @Liberatemke and check out our website www.liberatemke.com for more information.
The “change” in Change for Awareness will consist of me changing my beard, which has been a large part of my identity for the past 8 years, in order to bring “awareness” to the African American Round Table.
You will decide what change my beard will take by donating to this fundraiser and commenting on what style you would like my beard to be transformed into. ***Be sure to include the style choice with your donation. The style choice that has accumulated the most donations will be the one I change my facial hair to.***
Style 1. - Horseshoe Mustache with Sideburns.
Style 2. - Mustache with Goatee.
Style 3 – Keep beard as is.
Style 4. – Mustache
Style 5. – Long Sideburns with Moustache
***For any who would like me to keep my beard, style choice 3., we will need to raise double the original goal, $20,000. That goal is a lofty one, but I would love to see it happen.