For its sixth annual drive, the UWM African Diaspora Council collected supplies for LaFollette Elementary School, an MPS school about two miles west of campus in the 53206 ZIP code.
“Because of the inflation, we know that a lot of schools would probably be hurting,” said Brenda Cullin, co-chair of the African Diaspora Council advisory committee. “Our goal is to make sure that teachers aren’t reaching into their own pockets to keep their classroom stocked and to make sure students have all the necessary tools needed for a successful year.”
The African Diaspora Council is an employee resource group composed of Black faculty, staff, retirees and alumni of UWM. The group helps the surrounding community through professional, academic and community development.
Last year, LaFollette Elementary School Principal Marny Donalson-Gamble (a UWM alum), told Cullin that the drive collected enough supplies to last the school the entire year. The African Diaspora Council’s goal for this year’s drive was to repeat or improve upon the results of the previous years.
From Sept. 7 to Oct. 5, participants donated classroom items such as rulers, dry erase markers, colored pencils, backpacks, construction paper, binders, child-safe scissors, tissues and cleaning supplies for LaFollette students to use during the 2022-2023 academic year. Cash donations were also accepted.
The UWM School of Nursing and the Walmart on East Capitol Drive also contributed to the drive.
The African Diaspora Council ran the supply drive in collaboration with UWM Police Department. Members of both groups delivered many large boxes of the collected supplies to LaFollette in early October.
LaFollette Elementary School is ADC’s adopted school, Cullin said. This means that UWM employee resource group, like the African Diaspora Council, works hard to support the students, parents, and staff.
“Outreach like the school supply drive is all about putting faces to names,” Cullin said. “ADC wants to make people feel more comfortable and familiar with UWM. We want the community to feel connected and supported by the campus.”