"I want to be a full member of this community and have a chance to shape it."
Photos by Megan Monday
Sabrina | Appleton, WI
"I like the generosity of this community. We have a number of nonprofits here doing meaningful work. I'm on the board for the YMCA, which is very committed to youth development. I'm on the United Way board, and get to experience how they go about working with nonprofits to solve community problems. I think our schools are fantastic. There are some solid businesses here that contribute not only money, but support their employees through giving and various volunteer opportunities. It makes it very pleasurable. I'm a Midwesterner, and it just feels right and Midwestern. Values, you know? We help each other."
"I was raised with a strong sense of civic obligation and responsibility. Those who have more, do more. I want to be a full member of this community and have a chance to shape it. I have a daughter, so she and other children are my motivation. My daughter mentioned a report that Wisconsin is the worst place to raise black children. It is all of our hope that five or ten years from now, when another assessment is done, we will be able to say, 'You know what? Appleton has improved.'
I look forward to that day. It's a mighty job, and it's going to take a long time, but I look forward to that day."
"We know that our African American community members have had some pretty terrible experiences. The situation was bleak. The high point is that many community leaders were not fully aware of these challenges, and now that they know, many have committed to do something about it. The churches, many of the nonprofit organizations, and even several of the businesses and corporations have all said they will get involved to address racism. The city of Appleton has made a commitment to do something. We all have to work together to make this a better place for all of us. I'm very proud of this community for owning their past and making a commitment to do better."
-Sabrina | Appleton, WI