Inclusion and Tolerance Topic Of Program in Beaver Dam

(Beaver Dam) The local chapter of the American Association of University Women is hosting a program in Beaver Dam Wednesday focused on inclusiveness. Featured speaker Dr. Laura Alwin and her associates will present “The Unity Project,” a Fort Atkinson effort focused on community Inclusion, at the Moraine Park Technical College starting at 7pm. The program, presented for the general public by the Beaver Dam branch of AAUW, will focus on how Fort Atkinson is fulfilling its commitment to bring everyone together through cultural experience and understanding and by promoting greater opportunities for inclusiveness and tolerance.

Dr. Alwin, Unity Project Founder, is a clinical psychologist with a degree from Adler University in Chicago which offers a social justice and community program. She holds an undergraduate degree in English Literature from King’s College, NYC, and has worked in advertising, including being a community liaison for Revlon, Inc. In addition to local projects in Fort Atkinson, she has been a volunteer in Africa for the Uganda Orphan Fund agency and for Spark Ventures, an organization that helps African communities become financially and food stable.  Dr Alwin said, “My greatest wish is for both education and opportunities to be equal for all children no matter which zip codes he/she/they are designated into at birth.”

Dr. Alwin will be joined by Unity Project associates, Program Director Derek Barsaleau and Co-Chair of the Unity Project’s School Partnership Committee Whitney Townsend who will share their particular experiences in moving the project forward. Barsaleau is an aspiring leader in his community with a focus on racial justice while also encouraging cultural celebration. He is a valued team member of Green Bay Packaging, and has a passion for workers’ rights and diversity in the workplace. In 2018, he formed the Wisconsin Progressive Alliance and was asked to speak with the Unity Project in 2019 regarding his past views and the circumstances that changed them.  Ever since the WPA was disbanded in 2020, Derek has been focusing more on ways to build a better local community.

Whitney Townsend earned her BBA from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2016. She is a certified yoga teacher and holistic health coach and weaves these two modalities into her work as branch manager, mortgage loan officer and financial coach at Fort Community Credit Union. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Fort Atkinson and an executive board member for Badgerland After School Enrichment program. In 2015 she spearheaded the community-wide health fair “Eating Clean in 2015.” In 2019, Whitney joined a team of volunteers to host a meal packing event with Feed My Starving Children. In 2020 , she and her husband, Jose Mieses, donated building and school supplies to a school in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, which began a long-term partnership with the school and the Rotary Club of Fort Atkinson. She recently facilitated the receiving of a $15,000 grant for the School Partnership Committee’s diverse literacy project.

The Beaver Dam AAUW branch invited these representatives of the Unity Project to advance its commitment toward understanding and awareness regarding diversity, equity and inclusion. Branch President, Roberta Marck, said, “By opening this presentation to the public, we hope to contribute to the community of Beaver Dam’s DEI goals. We encourage everyone to attend this special program.”

General public is welcome. Attendance is free. Masks are optional. Recommended parking in Lot K1. Use K-1 entrance for rooms K201/202 through double doors and on the left.