"We appreciate you and your team. Your team showed up and OUT do you hear me. From helping us setup, take down and let not forget keeping us hydrated. It's the small things that means the world to us.”
-Annual Kickback Vendor
The work we do makes a difference in the lives of those we serve.
Happy New Year!

I know we're always saying how busy and how crazy each month has been, and July wasn't any different. In fact, it was one of our busiest months this year. Our staff worked countless overtime hours to coordinate one of the largest and most attended events on the south side of Madison - our 3rd Annual Kickback event at Penn Park. I cannot explain how amazing it feels to have the support of the community and people like you! I am really proud of all of the work our staff did to bring out more than 2,000 community members for this all-day event with food, activities, and fun for all. If you missed this monumental event this year - I'm sorry. It was EVERYTHING! You can read about it below, but it's nothing like experiencing it. Make sure you don't miss the next event.

Speaking of our next event - I swear there is no rest at Urban Triage. We just pulled off the epic Annual Kickback event and now our 2nd Urban Harvest Festival is around the corner. This is another event you won't want to miss, so mark your calendars now! On Saturday, September 16th from 3:00 - 8:00 pm, we will be hosting a festival on our farm located at the Farley Center for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability. This celebration marks our second year of recognizing summer achievements and community impact. Last year, nearly 500 people attended this event with live music, acrobatics, a DJ, a majorette performance, food, wine, beer, and spoken word. Community members get the opportunity to connect with each other and other resources in the Dane County area, as well as view and experience our farm and see the importance of our harvest. I can talk about how great this event is and will be, but you really need to experience it.

It takes a lot of work to pull off community events like this and we couldn't do it without people like you who continue to show up and show out in their support of Urban Triage. I know we ask a lot of you and we are so appreciative of everything you do. We are the people's choice nonprofit and we are extremely impactful in the lives of the communities we serve. This is evidenced by our impact section below. We don't do many fundraisers because we're so busy doing the work. Therefore, we're making another ask of you this year to support the work of Urban Triage. For our Urban Harvest Festival, we are looking for people like you to get involved by sponsoring, volunteering, or donating to this event.

I want to take a moment to recognize the amazing staff at Urban Triage. As you may know, we do a lot, and we do it well. This is due to our staff who do the work and believe in the mission of Urban Triage. You can't do this work for the paycheck. The type of work we do - the heart work - it can't be bought, it has to be felt. The folks who value the culture and environment we've created show up in powerful ways which is evidenced by the impact we make in our communities and the epic events we pull off. Our workplace centers humanity which makes the impossible possible. So, I would like to extend a huge thank you to the staff who are making it all happen behind the scenes.

We are also excited to announce new initiatives and workgroups starting in the next couple of weeks. Our Security Deposit and Rental Support initiative will start next week. We are just finalizing the contract details with the County and then we're ready to launch. This initiative will help individuals who have experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19, have an income below 50% of the area median income, are moving, and need assistance with their security deposit. If you or anyone you know are in this situation and are experiencing financial hardships, please have them fill out our intake form and an Urban Triage staff member will reach out to them. Participants are eligible for a security deposit and up to three months of rental assistance. For more information about this initiative please read below and visit our website.

Our Unhoused Neighbors Initiative has expanded to included those living in doubled-up situations. We will be launching this expansion September 1st. This expansion is provided through a Dane County grant. We had so many families that didn't qualify for the Dane CORE program due to being doubled-up, so we already have a number of families that we will be reaching out to that we couldn't assist before. If there are still funds available, we will be opening up the application. We are also looking to raise and access additional funds for individuals and families living in doubled-up housing situations because this is a common issue in Dane County that overlooked and these individuals and families don't qualify for any other housing programs to assist them in obtaining stable housing to get out of this situation.

Our Hemp Specialty Crop Workgroup is ready to begin! We only have space for 10 participants, so sign up now. This workgroup is for Black Entrepreneurs and is designed to provide education and support for individuals interested in the hemp industry. It covers various aspects of hemp cultivation, harvesting, processing, marketing, and business strategy. For more information about this workgroup, scroll down or visit our website.

I know this message is long, but we have so much goin on and so much to be thankful for. With that said, I would like to give a huge shout out to the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County for sending us one of the best groups of interns that we've had. This group of youth came into our organization ready to handle business, worked their butts off, and we are gonna miss them tremendously. Our staff are already asking, "Can we keep them?" Thank you Andrew, Berry, Claudia, Dajon, Darius, and Joshua. You are truly an amazing group of young men and women. Good luck in all of your future endeavors. You will always have a home here at Urban Triage!

Lastly, I would like to invite you to imagine what Madison would look and feel like if we prioritized the humanity of those most vulnerable. Imagine if we put our resources into services and supports that empower and inspire personal growth, change, and development in those who are disenfranchised. Imagine the empowerment, confidence, and opportunities it would create. Our economy would be better, our schools would be better, and our neighborhoods and communities would be better. Imagine with us and join the transformation work with Urban Triage by donating, volunteering, and sponsoring programming and/or events.

Finally (we always save the best for last), I want to send out a huge heart-felt thank you to all of the sponsors and donors that made our Annual Kick Back such a success and support the work we do every day. I am grateful for your continued support and recognition for all that we do!

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at bgrayson@urbantriage.orgPlease click the view message button at the bottom of this email to see the entire email - there was a lot to cover in July! 

Thanks again for your love and support!
Our 2nd Annual Urban Harvest Festival is just around the corner.
Summer is almost over and fall is on its way - that means that our 2nd Annual Urban Harvest Festival is around the corner! One of our flagship events, the Annual Urban Harvest Festival, is approaching. This celebration marks our second year of recognizing summer achievements and community impact. Grounded in sustainability and growth, the festival honors the collective efforts of funders, volunteers, and community members in empowering vulnerable individuals in the Greater Dane County Area. Set to take place on September 16, 2023, at our farm located at the Farley Center for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, the Festival promises a vibrant experience with live music, acrobatics, a DJ, a majorette performance, food, wine, beer, and spoken word.

Last year, this event brought out nearly 500 community members. This year, we're hoping to double that. We are currently in need of volunteers, sponsors, and donors! If you, your friends, your co-workers, your employer, your neighbor, etc. are interested in playing a significant role in our community, please consider supporting this event. Our sponsorship package is available by clicking the button below. There are a number of different sponsorship levels. If you're not looking to be a sponsor but would like to donate to the event, please click the donation button below. If you would like to support us by joining us and supporting this event, please consider becoming a volunteer and click the button below.
This year's event was one of the most epic events in the City!
We hosted one of the City's largest events on the City of Madison's south side. Y'all really showed up and showed out this year. There were nearly 2,000 community members that attended this event. We all had a ball! Thank you to everyone that came through and celebrated our community with us. The pictures below only represent a glimpse of the happy faces, activities, and fun that was had by all. More pictures of this event can be seen on Facebook.
If you missed this event, we promise you that you won't want to miss the next one! We held a DJ battle including DJ Pain 1, DJ Fusion (from 93.1 JAMZ), and DJ Shorty. Congratulations to DJ Shorty for winning that battle. DJ Pain 1 was a close runner-up; however, all three of these DJs were amazing. It was really hard to judge between the three.

We also had our famous double-dutch contest. Once this contest started, it was hard to take your eyes off all of the contestants. We have a lot of talent in our community, including our very own CEO, Brandi Grayson, who definitely held her own in those jump ropes. Thank you to all who participated. We awarded a $100 gift card to the winner. We also gave gift cards by way of a raffle and gave $150 in cash to the best-dressed field day (athletic/sportswear) outfit.
The food we had available was amazing. Some of the lines for the food trucks had a 30-minute wait at times. We had four food trucks and all of the food was FREE! They were out there keeping the community fed for 5 hours. We would like to extend a huge thank you to all of the food trucks and food vendors that joined us and contributed to this event's success.

We would also like to thank our vendors who joined us for this event. We also had 30 Black vendors at our event to promote and sell their products and for our community to learn more about resources available through other agencies. You can follow our Facebook event page for more details. 

A special thank you to all of the sponsors and donors that made this event a success! We couldn't do this without you. We all appreciate you. Our community appreciates you!
A safe space for Black children and families to connect.
Our Hemp Specialty Crop Workgroup for Black Entrepreneurs will begin as soon as we have 10 applicants sign up. We apologize - we have limited space for this initiative and can only accept 10 applicants this season.

If you are interested in growing, cultivating, harvesting, and processing hemp to start a business in the CBD or hemp industry, this is the workgroup for you! Our Hemp Workgroup is a comprehensive program designed to provide education and support for individuals interested in the hemp industry.
Our workgroup will take place at two of our locations: our farm which is located at the Farley Center for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability in Verona and our south Madison office located at 2312 S. Park Street. The workgroup will cover various aspects of hemp cultivation, harvesting, processing, marketing, and business strategy. Classes will be held on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm throughout the hemp harvest season and will continue until the hemp product is completed, which is expected to be by November.

In addition, all participants are eligible for a $2,500 grant to support their business venture. To be eligible to receive the grant at the end of the program, students must attend a minimum of 90% of the program sessions and successfully complete all coursework and assignments.

To apply for the Hemp Specialty Crop Workgroup for Black Entrepreneurs, please complete the application by clicking the button below.
We have built the last of our garden beds for our participants. We want to give a big shout out to our participants and a congratulations for completing our Supporting Healthy Black Families program and classes! This past weekend was the last weekend after 12 weeks of commitment! They celebrated by eating produce that they grew, gave thanks to the land for its harvest, made lifelong connections, and received their certificates at the end. We are excited for the next cohort to begin, we can hardly wait!
The recent growing season in Wisconsin was the driest in many years. Although our irrigation system works great, nothing beats downpours and natural rain. But we still grow and flourish! This month's harvest of kale and collards was great! We anticipate additional carrots, potatoes, peanuts, watermelon, bok choy, parsnips, and sweet potatoes.
The work of transformation has begun!
If you're unfamiliar with our workgroups, they are designed to support individuals on their journey of self-discovery, healing, and growth. Data shows that when people understand their competency, the impossible becomes possible; when they believe in themselves by developing an understanding of how their mind works and the impact of trauma on how they show up, their lives change, and consequently, relationships with the people who matter the most in their lives are positively impacted.

In July, our Supporting Healthy Black Families workgroup covered the neuroscience of racism and trauma and completed the book Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome. SHBF is a 12-week personal development workgroup that improves individuals' ability to heal and love themselves. It aims to shift how people see themselves and understand their power—resulting in a new form of freedom and POWER—the freedom to recognize and accept their past and change their future. We enroll parents in the possibilities of healing and centering the needs of their children as they unpack generational trauma. We work with the children on expressing themselves through art.

There are three areas of learning that we focus on: 

  • Cognitive Learning: This refers to acquiring knowledge, understanding, and critical thinking about racism, brain structure, parenting, child development, and local issues.
  • Social and Emotional Learning: Refers to trauma recovery, social connectedness, shared values and responsibilities, empathy, solidarity, respect for differences and diversity, and a sense of responsibility for your future. 
  • Behavioral Learning: Refers to learning from experiences and understanding what you want based on what you don't want. It also involves intentionally and deliberately creating experiences to develop new habits and a new reality.

Our workgroup is known for its life-changing impact, and our curriculum is like no other. If you commit to the work group, your life will improve.
Click below to learn more about our Supporting Healthy Black Families Workgroup!
Meet our Program Coordinator, Tiara Smith. She has been part of our team since March 2022, starting as our Rental Support Specialist. Tiara has been promoted twice, which speaks volumes about her work ethic and how great of an employee she is!

She loves to make it a habit to travel a couple of times a year, and she of course enjoys spending time with her daughter. She also likes to listen to music and write in her free time. We see and appreciate you, Tiara, for all your hard work and dedication!
Please meet our amazing team of interns below. Huge shout out to Boys and Girls Club of Dane County for sending us the best group of interns we've had this far. They all came to us ready to work, and we can attest that they worked their tails off. They didn't miss a day. They came each day ready to work. We learned as much from them as they learned from us. They have become part of the Urban Triage family and we hope to see them again in the future because each one of them has a home here. Your futures are bright!
We are possible because of YOU! We appreciate y'all!
Be part of an amazing organization and join our team.
Want to take your career to the next level? Want to be part of an organization making a difference every day in the lives of our most vulnerable? Want to join a team of amazing staff? Well, Urban Triage is where you want to be! We are hiring for the positions listed below.
If you're interested in any of these positions, please email us at info@urbantriage.org for full descriptions. Apply at Urban Triage.org.
Here's what's happening in our community.
August 1st-31st | AE Lashes & Beauty
Wednesday, August 16th | Back to School Backpack/School Supply Giveaway
Saturday, September 30th | The Foundation for Black Women's Wellness 15th Annual Black Women's Wellness Day
As your local community nonprofit, FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, we promote the latest business news, community-focused events, and Urban Triage updates! Urban Triage’s newsletter, “The Report,” is a bi-weekly email communication that allows its readers to keep up-to-date with what is happening with Urban Triage and in the community! These biweekly emails currently reach nearly 10,000 contacts and community leaders!

To be considered for our Community Corner and Events Calendar, submit your news and events to info@urbantriage.org.
Start making a difference now and join our team of volunteers!
Are you ready to create change in our community? Apply to become one of our community advocates and make a difference today!

We are currently looking for immediate volunteers for the following:

  • Agriculture
  • Bilingual Support
  • Organizing Office Space, Closets, and Storage
  • Event Committees
  • Events: Annual Summer Kick-off, Urban Harvest Festival, and Black Brilliance Gala
  • Grant Writing

If you are interested in volunteering for the above needs or any other future needs of Urban Triage, please sign up to volunteer below!
For the People, by the People.