Thursday, April 19, 2018

Eye on Oshkosh - Better Business Bureau, taped 4-19-18

this edition of Eye on Oshkosh, host Cheryl Hentz talks with Susan Bach, NE
Wisconsin Regional Director for the Better Business Bureau about a variety of
scams people can fall victim to and many ways in which they can protect
themselves. If people are in doubt about something being a scam, or want to
report something, call the BBB at 800-273-1002, or visit them at
Certain things can also be reported to the State of Wisconsin's Department of
Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection by calling 800-422-7128. Don't fall
prey to those who would otherwise steal your hard-earned money and/or identity!
The show can be seen here:

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Stories of Your Neighbors: Free photo exhibit opens at the Paine on April 20

Fit Oshkosh, Inc., an organization dedicated to improving racial equality and building a welcoming and inclusive community, has announced a photo exhibit celebrating the lives of People of Color in the Fox Valley area. The exhibit, titled “Color-Brave Photo Project: Black and Brown Faces, a New Narrative”, will be on display in the Carriage House at the Paine Art Center and Gardens in Oshkosh from April 20 through 25.

“The goal of this project is to disrupt commonly-shared false ideas about why People of Color choose to live in Oshkosh,” according to Tracey Robertson, executive director of Fit Oshkosh. “Some of these are that People of Color come here exclusively from the ‘hoods’ of Milwaukee or Chicago, or that People of Color have moved to Oshkosh ‘because of the prison’, meaning that they have a loved one who is incarcerated or have a criminal background themselves. The last example is the most damaging and the most alarming, and prison data disproves that narrative.

The exhibit chronicles the experiences of 20 local Persons of Color with a portrait and story of each individual. Photojournalist Colleen Bies, herself a Person of Color and Oshkosh native, said “I wanted to capture the emotions and personalities of people in the moments between the smiles. I try to get them to talk about themselves, their hopes, what motivates them and why they are in Oshkosh as I am working.”
The individuals’ stories were compiled from interviews done by Roberta McGuire, chair of the English department at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh; Alicia Johnson, director of the Women’s Center at UWO; Susan Resnig, associate professor women’s and gender studies and African American history and Robertson.

After leaving the Paine Art Center, the exhibit will travel to six additional locations in the area, including UWO, First Congregational Church, the Appleton Public Library, and others. For a detailed schedule of locations and times of related guided conversations, go to . The exhibit is free and open to the public at all locations with the exception of the Color-Brave fundraising dinner.
The event is sponsored by: Fit Oshkosh, Wisconsin Humanities Council, The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, The Paine Arts Center and Gardens, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, First Congregational Church, The Draw, Ebony Vision, Inc., Marion University, and Esther of the Fox Valley.

About Fit Oshkosh
Fit Oshkosh is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that seeks to promote social transformation through Color-Brave conversations, education, advocacy, and research in order to achieve race equity and justice. We believe in the importance of a multicultural community and strength in diversity. We value a community where People of Color fit in without having to conform to the dominant culture.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Oshkosh Central City and Sawdust District Parcels Recommended by Governor as Economic Opportunity Zones to U.S. Treasury

Census tracts identified as Economic Opportunity Zones would provide incentives to stimulate local economic development
Two tracts of land in the City of Oshkosh have been recommended as Economic Opportunity Zones (EOZ) by Governor Scott Walker as part of a U.S. Department of Treasury community development tax incentive program.
The EOZ Program provides incentives for long-term capital investment into distressed areas of identified communities. The zones present opportunities for private, tax-free investment into the designated areas of economic need that will benefit residents living in these zones. Investors will also benefit as they will receive reduced tax liability on their investments and other tax incentives.

In collaboration with the City of Oshkosh, the Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corporation selected three tracts of land in the community that met EOZ program requirements, subsequently encouraging others to recommend them to Governor Walker.
Greater Oshkosh EDC looked at an area’s population, poverty level and unemployment rate from U.S. Census data to determine eligible tracts of land in Oshkosh. Governor Walker has included two of the three suggested Oshkosh tracts among his recommended Wisconsin tracts as potential opportunity zones for redevelopment.

The first tract is in the Central City, north of the Fox River and south of New York Avenue along both sides of N. Main Street in a jagged C-shape. According to U.S. Census data, it’s population of 6,238 has a 41.3 percent poverty rate and 7.1 percent unemployment rate.
The second recommended tract, the proposed Sawdust District, includes the area east of Minnesota Street to the shores of Lake Winnebago from 9th Avenue to Waukau Avenue. It has a population of 3,134, 20.4 percent poverty rate and 3.3 percent unemployment rate.

“We are extremely pleased that two tracts in the City of Oshkosh are under consideration for the Economic Opportunity Zones program. Being selected would provide us with another tool to encourage investments in areas identified as opportunity zones and accelerate development and redevelopment efforts in the city,” said Jason White, president and CEO of Greater Oshkosh EDC.
Assuming one or both tracts of land are selected for the EOZ program, Greater Oshkosh EDC would serve as the community liaison to ensure compliance and work with the City of Oshkosh, private investors, developers, and other organizations to coordinate development projects in the city’s designated opportunity zones.

Governor Walker submitted a total of 120 recommended parcels of land from more than 40 counties across Wisconsin to the U.S. Treasury for consideration. Treasury officials are expected to make their final selections within two months’ time based on the Governor’s recommendations.
Greater Oshkosh EDC was founded in 2015 and exists to preserve the health of existing companies, foster a positive entrepreneurial environment, connect companies to workforce and talent development resources, enhance the business climate and promote the quality of life in the greater Oshkosh area. For more information, visit: 

Upcoming events on racial literacy and mental illness discussed on Eye on Oshkosh

On the most recent episode of Eye on Oshkosh, host Cheryl Hentz spends the first segment chatting with photographer Colleen Bries and Paine Art Center & Gardens executive director Aaron Sherer about the upcoming traveling exhibit entitled "The Color-Brave Photo Project: Black and Brown Faces, a New Narrative." You'll learn why this exhibit is so important and where you can see it, starting on April 20.

In the second segment, Cheryl is joined by Kimberly Osman, a board member for NAMI-Oshkosh. They discuss mental illness in general, how NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) can help folks who feel they are facing issues in their lives that they may need some professional help dealing with, and the various programs they offer for people who feel they need help themselves because of depression, anxiety, etc., or for folks who have had their lives impacted by someone who has committed suicide, or is dealing with mental health issues. Also, NAMI has a 5K Run/Walk coming up on Saturday, May 5 and Osman gave all the particulars about how to enter, as well as other informational booths being offered as part of the event to bring more awareness to mental health issues and how NAMI can help.

Catch the show here:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Eye on Oshkosh - Police Department and local crime, taped 3-15-18

In this edition of Eye on Oshkosh, host Cheryl Hentz spends the hour talking with Oshkosh Police Chief Dean Smith about how the job has been going for him since taking over as chief two years ago, any challenges or surprises he's encountered here, the types of crime we're seeing these days, the department's dual accreditation (OPD is the only department in the state to have that), etc. Transparency is the one thing Chief Smith stresses in all he and his department do.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Local Organizations Improve Their Intercultural Competence

Oshkosh, WI - (March 6, 2018) -- Businesses and organizations in Oshkosh and the surrounding communities are recognizing the importance of intercultural competence to their mission and bottom line, and are taking concrete steps to further their efforts.
Fit Oshkosh, Inc., an organization dedicated to improving racial equality and building a welcoming and inclusive community, offers a tool to assess and improve intercultural competence. The Intercultural Development Inventory™ (IDI) has been used since 1998 in corporate, academic, and other settings in more than 30 countries around the world.
The IDI, conducted by a qualified administrator, is a 50-item questionnaire that takes 15-20 minutes to complete. It measures an individual’s capability to shift cultural perspective and appropriately adapt behavior to cultural differences and commonalities. This intercultural competence is a critical skill for more effective interaction in a culturally diverse setting.
The completed inventory is then used to focus individual coaching and action planning, to build real and virtual multicultural team development, to generate needs analyses for targeted developmental training, and to conduct program evaluation and other research. Fit Oshkosh can provide the full range of services, from initial assessment to program evaluation.

Tracey Robertson, co-founder and executive director of Fit Oshkosh, and an IDI qualified administrator, has worked with groups having a wide range of competency. “It’s not unusual for participants, even those with years of experience in diversity, to realize more opportunities through the IDI to reach their goals after implementing the assessment and subsequent programming,” she says. 
Associated Bank used the IDI with a select group of leaders involved in their diversity and inclusion efforts, with the intention of rolling out to additional key leaders over time. Although they are in the early stages of deployment, Darcy Pierson, Director of Inclusion, Engagement and Change Management Leadership, stated that “the IDI has helped the group identify specific and practical actions that we can take to advance our intercultural competency that go beyond traditional training classes.''

In engaging in the IDI process, Adam Jackson, culture consultant for Humana, wanted to get a deeper personal assessment of key leaders’ cultural awareness. The intention was to use that group’s scores to indicate what their larger organization may look like, and to work collaboratively on opportunities to make a difference together. A year into the initiative, Jackson says, “We have had leaders actually step up and lead some of these ‘real talk’ sessions where we explore inclusion and diversity topics. We made great progress on our action steps in 2017 and have a solid plan to continue this work in 2018.”

For more information on the IDI and other services offered by Fit Oshkosh, visit
About Fit Oshkosh

Fit Oshkosh is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that seeks to promote social transformation through Color-Brave conversations, education, advocacy, and research in order to achieve race equity and justice. It believes in the importance of a multicultural community and strength in diversity. It values a community where people of color fit in without having to conform to the dominant culture.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Dr. Vickie Cartwright Selected by School Board to Lead Oshkosh Area School District

The Oshkosh Area School District Board of Education is pleased to announce the selection and appointment of Dr. Vickie Cartwright as the next superintendent of the Oshkosh Area School District (OASD). On Wednesday, February 28, 2018, the board voted unanimously to approve a two-year contract with Cartwright, at a salary of $195,000 for the 2018-19 school year. Cartwright will take office on July 1, 2018.

Dr. Vickie Cartwright is currently the Associate Superintendent for Exceptional Student Education (ESE) of the Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) in Orlando, FL. Before leading the ESE department, Cartwright led the Accountability, Research, and Assessment Department in OCPS. Additional administrative experience includes being a secondary level school assistant principal and principal in suburban communities. Prior instructional experience includes serving as an elementary school music teacher and a middle and high school band director. In addition to working in OCPS, Cartwright has taught graduate students as an adjunct instructor at the University of Central Florida. Cartwright graduated from the University of Florida with her Bachelor of Music in Music Education. She continued her education at the University of Southern Mississippi, where she completed her Masters in Music Education and ultimately her Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration.

The board felt that Cartwright’s leadership, experience, and dedication to student success would best serve OASD students, staff, and the entire Oshkosh community for years to come. The board is confident that Cartwright will lead the school system to even higher achievement allowing the Oshkosh Area School District to continue building community through education and helping all students become problem-solving, independent, lifelong learners who contribute to society. This announcement follows the board’s interviews last week with three finalists. District employees, stakeholders, and community members also had the opportunity to meet the finalists during meet-and-greet receptions and provide written input to the board.

“All three finalists were exceptional candidates,” stated Board President Allison Garner. “We appreciate their time and their continued contributions to our educational system, and we thank them for their interest in our district. We would also like to thank the entire Oshkosh community and our district staff for being engaged in this process and sharing their input.”

After an extensive search process, led by Ray and Associates, 61 applications were received; the firm interviewed and conducted reference checks with references, state officials, and individuals who knew the candidates’ abilities and strengths. The firm then recommended the school board review 10 applications, representing candidates from Florida, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The board reviewed those applications on February 5, 2018, and invited a diverse group of seven candidates to the initial round of interviews, held the week of February 12. The school board announced on February 16, its selection of three finalists for the second round of interviews and public meet-and-greet receptions, held February 20, 21 and 22. 

Cartwright will succeed Superintendent Stan Mack II on July 1, 2018. In May 2017, Superintendent Mack announced his retirement, which will take place on June 30, 2018.
About the OASD: The Oshkosh Area School District is located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, serving 10,000 students and operating 14 elementary schools, five middle schools, two high schools, two charter schools and an eAcademy. Building community through education, the mission of the Oshkosh Area School District is to create citizens who are critical, creative thinkers, responsible in their actions, and committed to learning for life by working together with families and communities. For more information visit .