Milwaukee office managing partner Linda Benfield and associates Andy Meerkins and Lisa Valenti-Jordan were featured in a BizTimes article, "Partnership MKE helps business, community leaders break down bias," about the launch of a new United Way initiative call Partnership MKE aimed at eradicating intolerance and prejudice.
Partnership MKE pairs community and business leaders in Milwaukee with others whom they might not likely cross paths. The program offers a series of monthly workshops touching on a variety of issues, including race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and ableism and encourages members to socialize with each other outside of the program to encourage tolerance and friendships.
The tone in the room is a refreshing departure from what often occurs in online discussions, said Valenti-Jordan. “Having people there who want to talk about difficult issues, I think, is one of the most important things we can do right now,” she said. “We’re polarized because we’re unwilling to talk about it. We think, ‘I know what I know and I am right.’ That is just so hopeless to me. But there is hope in conversation and in a willingness to meet and try and maybe be offended. But I think you get a lot more grace in a situation where everyone is willing to be there.”