2021 Baldwin Funded Projects

Advancing I-SITE in African-American Communities

Project Leader: 
Dr. Yao Liu, Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, School of Medicine and Public Health

Blindness from diabetes affects nearly 10,000 Wisconsin adults. Black Americans are twice as likely to develop blindness as non-Hispanic whites and 50% more likely to develop diabetic eye disease. As few as 30% of Black adults with diabetes obtain yearly eye screening recommended by the American Diabetes Association. Landmark studies by UW-Madison researchers showed nearly all blindness from diabetes is avoidable with early detection and treatment. This project aims to prevent blindness among Black Americans by increasing access to well-validated, telemedicine technology for diabetic eye screening.

Center for DREAMers at UW

Project Leaders: 
Erin Barbato, Clinical Professor, Law School
Erika Rosales, School of Education, as Director for the Center

The Center for DREAMers, administered through the Law School, plans to serve the approximately 11,000 people considered “DREAMers” in Wisconsin. The Center will work with organizations to coordinate the provision of specialized legal representation, mental and social services, and career and educational counseling to ease the burden of some of the uncertainty experienced by undocumented immigrants who came to this country as children.

Drawing Water: Engaging Community through Art and Science in Northern Wisconsin

Project Leader: 
Gretchen Gerrish, Director, Trout Lake Station

Communication of science is an ongoing, uphill battle in modern America. Art and science collaborations bridge communication gaps and help demonstrate the beauty and complexity of the scientific process, discovery, and the natural world. The University of Wisconsin-Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction, Wisconsin, has successfully engaged in several art/science collaborations. This project will work to engage more artists and scientists working in the northern region of Wisconsin and to unite their efforts through the mentorship of college student interns. Engagement at the boundary of art and science encourages people to link these historically disparate fields to generate a more wholistic value system. The goals are to amplify engagement between water researchers and artists that focus on water within the region, promote student training, and facilitate dissemination of information to a broader number of individuals within our rural communities in the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea.

Malawi Women in Agribusiness Project

Project Leaders:
Aleia McCord, Associate Director, African Studies Program
Lusayo Mwakatika, UW-Madison King Morgridge Scholar Alumnus

In Malawi, the economic devastation of COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted rural women farmers. Cash crop farming represents an opportunity for these women to provide financial security for their families, but many women lack the skills, market access, or start-up capital required to move from subsistence farming to cash crop production, and current agribusiness education networks in Malawi are targeted towards men. This new project, led by recent UW-Madison graduate Lusayo Mwakatika, in partnership with ACADES (Malawi-based local agriculture NGO), the UW-Madison International Internships Program, and the UW-Madison Project Malawi (Prof. Nancy Kendall, Prof. Jeremy Foltz, and Aleia McCord (Associate Director, African Studies)), will address these constraints, piloting a new program to give women access to a new economic future. The program will include a rotating loan model for start-up inputs (fertilizer and seed), direct access to markets, and ongoing support for 300 rural Malawian women. The women who complete this training will become the first farmers in Malawi eligible to access new microfinance via a partnership between ACADES and the Reserve Bank of Malawi.

Partnering with the Hmong Community to Build Better Medical Translation Tools and Preserve Hmong Narratives to Reduce Health Disparities

Project Leader:
Professor Maichou Lor, School of Nursing

The Hmong experience many health disparities. An important step toward addressing these health disparities is overcoming poor communication, language barriers, and a lack of cultural understanding during medical encounters between Hmong patients and healthcare providers. This project will support key partnerships to build better medical translation tools and improve cultural understanding to reduce health disparities in the Hmong community. The project outcome will be a digital Hmong medical terminology resource available across and beyond Wisconsin, which will be disseminated for free to bilingual caregivers, medical professionals, interpreters, the Hmong community and the general public.

The PBS Wisconsin and Nehemiah Partnership: Centering Black History to Build a Stronger Wisconsin

Project Leader: 
Christine Sloan-Miller, Director of Production, PBS Wisconsin

The project will create four new documentary-style productions for television broadcast and digital distribution focusing on racial justice, racism, and antiracism. Each production will uncover and explain the historical roots of a specific example of structural racism and reveal a story of translating an understanding of that historical context into action for change. The project will also create a digital resource that offers a guide and tools for individuals and community organizations driving change in their communities. The foundational support from the Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment will be supplemented by significant financial support from Friends of PBS Wisconsin, investing in a collaboration that inspires citizens across Wisconsin to understanding and action.

Retrofitting Latinxs into the Wisconsin Historical Narrative

Project Leaders:
Professor Marla Ramírez, History and Chican@ & Latin@ Studies
Professor Almita Miranda, Geography and Chican@ & Latin@ Studies

Latina/o/xs have a long-rooted presence in Wisconsin but their histories are largely absent in institutional archives. To provide more visibility to Latinxs and, informed by the Wisconsin Idea, the “Wisconsin Latinx History Collective,” an academic and community partnership, will document Latinx history. The three main goals of the project are to: 1) increase primary sources on Latinxs in Wisconsin in the state archives; 2) train students and community members to conduct oral histories; and 3) make these histories widely accessible to students, researchers, and the general public. The projects will contribute primary sources to the Wisconsin Historical Society through video and audio recorded oral history interviews, transcriptions, and cultural artifacts that capture the diversity of Latinx communities, collaborating with students, staff, and faculty at UW-Madison, at other campuses, and community partners throughout the state. To disseminate the collected primary sources, the project will partner with K-12 educators to implement Latinx histories in their curricula.