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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, May 19, 2024

Author reads excerpts from her book about Milwaukee’s racial disparities

Author Jennifer Morales read excerpts from her book “Meet Me Halfway" and provided insights regarding pervasive racial disparities in Milwaukee at her speech Sunday at Union South.

Morales grew up in Chicago in a multi-racial, multi-ethnic family. She said her family has Mexican, Irish and Filipino roots and the neighborhood she grew up in was also very diverse. She moved to Milwaukee about 25 years ago, which she said was a distinct change in racial makeup.

“It was a surprise, it was a gut-level shock to be in this environment where people were extremely separated by color,” Morales said.

Milwaukee often ranks as one of the worst cities in America for racial disparities. She said this shock was what inspired her to write her book, which featured stories about conversations she had in Milwaukee that were prompted by wearing a sign that said “please talk to me about race.”

The book included nine stories told from diverse perspectives and she said she hoped the publication would help spread awareness about racial issues in Milwaukee. She read an excerpt about a black family’s involvement with the Black Panthers throughout past decades, and how that influenced them today.

The book was chosen as UW-Milwaukee’s 2016 Common Reading Experience for students, which is a similar program to UW-Madison’s Go Big Read Initiative.

Morales concluded her event by answering questions from the audience. She spoke about her hopeful outlook on increased representation in important community positions in Milwaukee for people who do not identify as white, male or straight.

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