Domestic violence spikes in pandemic

COVID-19 has brought forth a variety of issues for the country to address: access to healthcare, racial equity, and educational opportunity. However, one unforeseen and lesser acknowledged consequence of this virus is the pandemic of domestic abuse which has raged across the country. With Wisconsin’s COVID-19 infection rates regularly fluctuating, there is little certainty regarding when the state and regular business functions will return back to normal. For survivors of domestic abuse, especially women, this experience has brought forth a multitude of life-threatening challenges to combat in addition to staying physically healthy. “We are already seeing that people losing their jobs and not having a lot of income is creating a lot of stress for families and amplifying these issues,” said Shannon Barry, Executive Director of Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS), a Madison-based non-profit which has served victims of domestic abuse since 1977. 

During the 2008 Recession, the center experienced a 107 percent increase in people reaching out for shelter services, Barry said.

Need a socially distant sport? Hard to beat kite surfing

With so many sports canceled during the coronavirus pandemic, people are left wondering what they can do to move their bodies other than walk their dog, jog, bike or maybe play a little tennis.  People wonder if spikeball and basketball are OK to enjoy, and even soccer doesn’t feel quite right.  But there is one community of athletes in town that is enjoying the ride mask-free: The kiteboarders.

State Street murals draw mixed reactions

After the Madison Black Lives Matter protests, I made a point to see the murals along State Street. For me, this artwork raised new questions to consider, community issues to understand, and social concerns to contemplate.

Pandemic disrupts traditions for Madison’s Muslims on the holy day of Eid al-Adha

From our news partner, Madison365:

Dressed in colorful traditional attire, 9-year-old Norah Baloch was constantly looking at her hands, decorated with Henna, on the back porch of her house on the west side of Madison. However, she was apparently not happy with the way she was celebrating Eid, one of the most important festivals of the Islamic calendar. “I can’t invite my friends or visit them. Last Eid was better than this one,” Norah said. Norah said she couldn’t visit her cousins in Chicago, a family norm she used to do every Eid.

Black leaders express joy, hope in new superintendent

A virtual reception hosted by local Black leaders to welcome Carlton Jenkins as the new superintendent of Madison schools was filled with overwhelming excitement and deep sense of hope, as Jenkins said his move to Madison to address educational disparities is his contribution to the movement inspired by the death of George Floyd.

Local artist hopes ‘Defending Black Girlhood’ lawn signs make a beautiful way to share a powerful message

Lilada Gee said she wants the images of young Black girls in lawns across Madison, across Dane County and across the world. 

“My main message is defending Black girlhood -- and to make sure that we are having the critical conversation about defending Black girls and helping Black women to heal and how that all plays into the wellbeing of our Black community and as a community as a whole,” said Gee, who is the founder of the nonprofit Defending Black Girlhood. 

What it’s like to be tested for coronavirus

With the continually rising cases of coronavirus infection in the greater Madison area, testing for the pandemic responsible for nearly 140,000 deaths in the US has become a regular occurrence for many. At least for me. Nasal swabs which determine the presence of the virus are currently being done by the National Guard at the Alliant Energy Center and promised until at least August 31.