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In The Wings: A different kind of activist

For our final activism story this month on In The Wings, we meet a woman who has dedicated most of her career to social justice work.

Paula Penebaker is president and CEO of the YWCA Southeast Wisconsin, a social services agency focused of job readiness and placement, among other community resources.

But there's another half of the organization's mission, rooted in eliminating systemic problems in Milwaukee -- namely racism and institutional poverty.

Its hallmark program in that area is a class called Eliminating Racism, an intensive multi-week session that uncovers the roots of racism in the U.S. and equips students with life-changing knowledge for their own lives.  The local YWCA also runs additional programs on racial justice, and provides resources to take action on a national level.

As for Penebaker's role as an activist -- she doesn't march or protest much these days, but that doesn't mean she's not an activist.  Instead, her daily work hinges on alleviating the day-to-day struggle of those living in poverty, while simultaneously attacking the systems in place keeping people poor.  It's a different kind of activism, she says.

Click the player below to hear our interview with Penebaker.


For more stories from our In The Wings series, click the tiles below.

Director of Digital Content | Radio Milwaukee