University of Wisconsin–Madison

Who We Are: Voices in Our Community

Who We Are: Voices in Our Community is a collaborative program between the Greater Madison Writing Project (GMWP) and the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) spearheaded by Jani Koester, 2011 GMWP member and educator with the MMSD Transitional Education Program (TEP).

This award winning program brings together children and youth experiencing homelessness with local educators and University of Wisconsin – Madison students to support the young people in sharing their stories in a supportive and caring environment.  The daylong activity includes sessions for students to engage in several media forms, art, writing and personal interviews.

Who We Are seeks to empower youth and encourages acceptance of who they are despite their living conditions.  In sharing their stories, we break down the stigma of homelessness, an ongoing social challenge that can have long term effects on those who have no choice in the matter: children and youth.

Who We Are was recognized as the 2015 Outstanding Program by the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth