The "relevant" in relevantmilwaukee is actually a verb. The word derives from the Latin relevare, which means "to raise or lift up, alleviate or free from a burden." The stories will celebrate our relevance: not the notion that our lives matter in the whole scheme of things (because they don't--think Carl Sagan's pale blue dot), but that they matter in the here and now, in Milwaukee, in our neighborhoods, in our homes. Each story will celebrate our capacity for lifting each other up, for releasing each other from the forces that make us seem or feel irrelevant. Our lives matter, yes, but what we do with those lives matters even more. How will you "relevant"?
I spent 22 years teaching literature and writing at Marquette University, Pius XI High School, and The Prairie School. As a teacher of young people, I was most interested in hearing and reading their voices, whether their interpretive, critical thinking, or creative voices. Students would be charged with co-creating classroom expectations and even some activities, leading discussions with minimal intervention from me, wallowing in complexity and ambiguity, and most of all listening to each others' voices.
I am currently the ninth Narrator at The Pfister Hotel as well as, of course, the editor since June 2015 of RelevantMilwaukee.
I grew up in Seattle, moved to Milwaukee for graduate school, and now live with my partner Scott in Wauwatosa.