Living Local tells the stories that connect us in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington & Ozaukee Counties through interviews and personal testimony. Hosted by United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County staff and donors, we cover topics ranging from fatherhood to homelessness, volunteering to school readiness…and everything in between. Our communities’ toughest issues affect all of us because we are all connected. Have a listen. Join us. Live United.



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Podcast: La Causa’s Crisis Nursery Gives Parents a Safe Option for Urgent Childcare

The kids at La Causa's Crisis Nursery & Respite Center had fun with food and crafts on Thanksgiving

February 2, 2018

Listen Now (00:12:40)


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Ex Fabula Behind the Story (Podcast): My American Dream

Cesar Torres with his wife and daughter

December 22, 2017

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Podcast: Chefs and Volunteers Fill the Freezer for Local Families

The Fill the Freezer participating chefs.

November 22, 2017

Listen Now (00:19:02)


Last Saturday, 11/18, United Way’s Volunteer Engagement Team celebrated the inaugural Fill the Freezer event, bringing together area chefs and volunteers at the MATC downtown campus teaching kitchens to create nearly 300 freezer meals for families in need in our community.

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Podcast: Chatting with Project Runway/ReUNITED Designers

From left: designers Alex Snyder, Mah-Jing Wong, Jenni Riccetti, and LaTasha Henderson

November 17, 2017

Listen Now (00:29:28)


If you are a fan of the television show Project Runway, you won’t want to miss this episode of Living Local!

On October 11, 2017, all designers from season 15 of Project Runway, plus a few guests, came together in Milwaukee for a one-of-a-kind fashion show experience. Project ReUNITED was the brainchild of contestant and Milwaukee local Linda Marcus, who invited her close-knit group of co-competitors to come together to benefit United Way’s Community Fund.

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Podcast: Support for Fathers Leads to Healthy Birth Outcomes

Earnest Goggins (left) and Keith Parris

October 31, 2017

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While many healthy and successful people grow up with only mom in the house, research shows that having dad involved throughout pregnancy and the first year of life contributes to greater health and better outcomes for baby. That is why the Milwaukee Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families Collaborative (LIHF) has enlisted local fatherhood experts in their goal of making sure every baby makes it to their first birthday.  

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Podcast: Collaborating to Solve Hunger with Feeding America’s Patty Habeck

Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin President Patty Habeck

October 20, 2017

Listen Now (00:16:42)


At United Way, we believe that collaboration is key to solving our community’s most pressing issues. In order to fight (and win) against a sweeping challenge like hunger, we know we cannot do it alone.

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Podcast: Sheila Cochran Shares her Passion for ALICE

Sheila Cochran addresses the crowd at United Way's 2017 Community Campaign Kickoff

October 12, 2017

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One of the best parts about interviewing community leaders and partners for this podcast is hearing their origin story; how they got to where they are today, and what influences they experienced as a child that led them to their current values and beliefs.

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Podcast: Employment After Incarceration - Dionysus Thomas

Dionysus Thomas

October 5, 2017

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Today’s podcast is hosted by Krystina Kohler, Financial Stability Portfolio Manager at United Way.

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Podcast: Make it Work! Chatting with the Project ReUNITED Event Design Team

Designers from Project Runway's 15th season who will be featured at the Project ReUNITED event.

September 28, 2017

Listen Now (00:23:29)


Fashion is powerful. While it may seem like a small detail, the right outfit or piece can increase confidence, boost professional success, and be that bit of motivation we all need to get out into the world and, as the kids say, #SLAY.

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Podcast: Marquette University Opens its Doors for Project Homeless Connect

Guests at 2016 Project Homeless Connect.

September 26, 2017

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To many outsiders, Milwaukee has two faces: one of privilege, and one of need.

As of the last count, nearly 1,400 people in Milwaukee are homeless and 1 in 3 live in poverty.

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Ex Fabula Behind the Story (Podcast): Silver Spring Neighborhood Center’s Tom Ellis

Tom Ellis (second from right) and the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center team.

September 21, 2017

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Today on the podcast we continue our partnership with Ex Fabula, a local organization committed to strengthening community bonds through the art of storytelling, to bring some of their most compelling stories to you….and to learn a little more about the tellers behind these stories.

Be sure to listen to our interview with Ex Fabula alum Rissie Lundberg, who shared her story about being one of three generations of teachers.

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Podcast: Chad Wilson on Mass Incarceration and Fatherhood

Chad Wilson

September 14, 2017

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The 53206 zip code in Milwaukee is the most incarcerated zip code in the US, with 62% of adult males having spent time in prison.

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Ex Fabula Behind the Story (Podcast): Rissie Lundberg on Three Generations of Teachers

Rissie Lundberg with colleagues Mr. Timothy (left) and Miss Elizabeth.

August 30, 2017

Listen Now (00:20:31)


Collaboration is what United Way is all about. Starting this month, we are proud to partner with Ex Fabula, a local organization committed to strengthening community bonds through the art of storytelling, to bring some of their most compelling stories to you….and to learn a little more about the tellers behind these stories.

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Podcast: Breastfeeding for Healthy Babies and Healthy Communities

August 22, 2017

Listen Now (00:25:31)


Research has shown that, while breastfeeding has numerous benefits for both mom and baby, many women – particularly women of color – do not decide to breastfeed.

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Podcast: National Diversity Leaders Share Message of Dignity & Respect

Candi Castleberry Singleton (L) and Darlene Slaughter

August 8, 2017

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Diversity is a popular word these days. For most, when we hear the word diversity we tend to think of racial diversity. However, our guests today want us to expand our understanding of the word diversity as inclusive of all ages, abilities, religions, sexual orientations, backgrounds and, yes, races.

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Podcast: Brookfield East High School Tackles Racism with Conversation

The Conversations Count team: Toni Gray (second from left), Nalani (second from front left), Riley (second from front right), and Kellie Tutkowski (second from right)

August 1, 2017

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Did you feel like you “fit in” in high school?

This is a complicated question, and the answer can change depending on the day. Most teenagers experience at least a moment of self-doubt, of feeling different, of feeling that no one could possibly understand.

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Podcast: Celebrating Healthy Birth Outcomes with Tonda Thompson

July 28, 2017

Listen Now (00:27:36)


Today, we mark a couple of milestones for the Living Local podcast: Our one-year anniversary and our youngest (and cutest) guest to date! To celebrate one year of Living Local, we invited Tonda Thompson to join us again. Tonda was our very first interview in August of 2016, when she shared her journey from losing a child to working on the issue of infant mortality here at United Way. At the time, Tonda was finishing her tenure as a Public Ally with the Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families (LIHF) Collaborative, funded by WPP, and was preparing to move on to another job. Today, Tonda is back at United Way, once again working with Lifecourse to reduce racial disparities in and prevent infant mortality in the city of Milwaukee.

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Podcast: YWCA’s Jamaal Smith on Bridging Milwaukee’s Jobs Gap

July 20, 2017

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CORRECTION: In the July 11th epiosde of Living Local, Shannon Reed's professional title was incorrect. Shannon is Director of Innovative Strategies for Boys and Men of Color at United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

Milwaukee is among the top five cities in the nation in poverty as well as in the bottom five cities in Black male and female employment. Milwaukee is also the most segregated metropolitan city in America, leading to limited opportunities for some in comparison to others.

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Podcast: Father & Son

July 11, 2017

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Fatherhood is powerful. Whether he is a biological father, a step-father, or simply a role model, having a man to look up to is critical to young men as they navigate the complications of life and growing up.

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Podcast: Waukesha Business Owner on Addiction, Recovery, and Compassion (rerun)

June 27, 2017

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Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction is a growing public health concern in Wisconsin and across the country. In 2013, more Wisconsin residents died from drug overdose than motor vehicle accidents. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports that, in 2015, Wisconsin experienced 872 drug overdose deaths.

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Podcast: Kavon Cortez-Jones on Writing Poetry for Everyone

June 20, 2017

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“Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.”

When William Wordsworth said that, he was talking about the art created by poets like Kavon Cortez-Jones.

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Podcast: Empowering the Next Generation of Nonprofit Leaders

Brad Fisher (center), Holly McCoy (second from right), and members of the YNPN MKE board at a fundraising event.

June 15, 2017

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It’s graduation season and, for many young people, the time is right to explore available careers and find a satisfying and sustainable job. Each year, more and more emerging professionals choose careers that allow them to give back to their community. According to Deloitte’s 2015 Millennial survey, six in ten millennials chose their current employer because their role gives them a feeling of purpose. For many of these young people, that means a career in nonprofit work.

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Podcast: Telling Stories to Strengthen Community Bonds

Tiffany Miller (L) and Megan McGee, reading UltraShorts while emceeing Ex Fabula’s New Year Spectacular in January (photo credit: Art Montes)

June 6, 2017

Episode 1: Listen Now (00:26:46)



In our region, we hear a lot about what divides us. Our many differences can cause interpersonal conflict, mistrust, and fear. However, many of us learned from a young age to, when conflict arises or mistrust bubbles to the surface, take a moment to “walk in someone else’s shoes;” to consider the world from a different perspective.

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Podcast: Meet Milwaukee’s Teen Safe Sex Task Force

Steven Daniels (far right) and Keziah Carter (near right) with Sharonda Phipps and LaTeff Alston, Boys & Girls Clubs Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program staff

June 1, 2017

Episode 1: Listen Now (00:17:35)



What do you remember about your in-school sexual education class? Maybe you just remember feeling uncomfortable, or tuning out because you felt that you already knew everything you needed to know about sex.

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Podcast: On Race & Friendship

May 17, 2017

Episode 1: Listen Now (00:17:19)
Episode 2: Listen Now (00:16:18)



Think about your group of friends. What drew you to these particular people? Often, friends are those we grew up around, went to school with, work with, or met through the pursuit of similar hobbies.

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Podcast: PATCH Mends the Gap Between Doctors and Teens

May 2, 2017

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Think back to when you were a teen. Would you say you were comfortable opening up to your doctor about sensitive topics like sexual health, mental health, or drug and alcohol use?  Who didn’t cringe at the dreaded questions like “are you sexually active” or “could you be pregnant?” In fact, this uncomfortable feeling with telling your doctor the whole truth about your health may have even followed you into adulthood.

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Podcast: Simmi Urbanek, Advocate Extraordinaire!

April 25, 2017

Listen Now (00:16:01)



Remember those summers when you were too young for a job but too old to just hang around the house all day? What did you do to pass the time? Pre-teen Simmi Urbanek’s mom had an interesting solution: she dropped her two daughters off at their local United Way and said "find something to do!"

This began a long life of giving, volunteering, and advocacy for Simmi. After her first summer with United Way staffing charity root beer float stands, playing with kids at local agencies, and volunteering at a nonprofit coffee shop, Simmi stayed involved in volunteer activities through college.

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Interested in Sponsoring Living Local?

We are looking for sponsors to help underwrite the cost of production.

As a sponsor, your company will be recognized at the end of each episode, as well as in all accompanying blog content. Your logo will appear on our Sponsorships webpage and your company will be listed in our annual Business Journal Recognition Insert. Additional recognition opportunities may be available. 

Contact Katie Kuhn at 414.263.8132 or via email.