MICAH celebrates 27 years of community outreach and leadership

May 28, 2015

Pictured at MICAH’s anniversary event are (top photo, from left) Friendship Missionary Baptist Church pastor Rev. Joseph H. Jackson, Jr.; Rev. Richard Shaw; and MICAH president Rev. Willie E. Brisco; (lower photo, from left) MICAH executive director Catoya Robert; senior advisor for Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Shirley Ellis; Cross Lutheran Church pastor emeritus Rev. Joseph Ellwanger; and Rev. Willie E. Brisco.


By Steve Waring

Specail to the Milwaukee Times Milwaukee Innercity Con- gregations Allied for Hope (MICAH) honored two members for leadership during their “27th Anniver- sary Gala Dinner” held for more than 500 members and guests on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at the Italian Commu- nity Center. The Rev. Richard Shaw, pastor of St. Matthew CME Church, received the Distin- guished Leadership Award for his initiative and organi- zation of Safe Surrender, a campaign which has resolved thousands of outstanding warrants for non-violent of- fenses within the 53206 Mil- waukee zip code. Eleanor Harris received the Volunteer of the Year Award for her passion and dedi- cation to helping MICAH grow. She is passionately committed to ending mass incarceration and success- fully organized and oversaw the first successful ‘Sustainer Drive’ for MICAH in 2014. Dennis Grzezinski and Karyn Rotker from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) shared the “To Do What is Just Award.” U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore and the Rev. Willie E. Brisco, president of MICAH and pastor of New Covenant Baptist Church, re- ceived special presentations in honor of the 50th anni- versary of their participation in the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Selma, AL. During welcoming re- marks, Pastor Brisco focused on some of the recent ac- complishments achieved by MICAH, especially its work to combat policies and pro- cedures which lead to mass incarceration. He also sin- gled out work that MICAH had contributed toward the installation of three new bus routes designed to enable inner city residents to com- mute to jobs which tend to be more plentiful in the west- ern Milwaukee suburbs. The keynote speaker was Rev. Starsky Wilson, presi- dent and CEO of Deacon- ess Foundation, a faith-based grant-making organization dedicated to child wellbeing in the St. Louis area. Pastor Wilson praised MICAH “on the eve of Pentecost” for its ability to make itself heard above the background noise of politics. MICAH began in 1988, evolving out of the Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee and Central City Catholic Churches as an organization “that might challenge the root causes of hunger and poverty in Milwaukee.”