The theme for the January Leadership Kenosha meeting was “Challenge is the Crucible for Greatness.” Our first goal for the day was to increase our knowledge of, and skills for, conflict resolution. To this end, Mr. Robert Beezat, author and consultant with GovHR USA, helped us understand the dynamics of conflict management. He stated that conflict is about power, emotion and change. Mr. Beezat then guided us in taking the Thomas-Kilman Conflict Mode Instrument which helped provide insight into how we personally approach conflict situations. We learned that once we know our own tendencies and understand how the dynamics of conflict are at play in a situation, we are better able to approach the situation in a constructive way.

The second goal of our meeting was to expand our understanding of the law enforcement and judicial systems in Kenosha County.  We toured the Kenosha County Detention Center and the Kenosha Correctional Center facilities. In addition, we had the opportunity to speak with a variety of community leaders. Lt. Bill Beth, Captain Greg Davis and Ms. Ann Krueger explained not only the ins and outs of the correctional facilities, but also offered insight into the proactive approach taken to help ensure the fair treatment of the inmates. We learned about the many community partnerships in place that provide services to inmates to help them become contributing citizens upon their release back into our community.

Additional perspective into the law enforcement and judicial system was gained through two powerful panel discussions. The first panel consisted of Judge Mary Wagner, District Attorney Michael Gravely, and Sheriff David Beth. Each panelist spoke with passion and a great depth of knowledge about the challenges and opportunities facing Kenosha in terms of our community’s safety and well-being. In addition, we also had the privilege of hearing the stories of two inmates at the Kenosha Correctional Center. They spoke with poise and honesty about the challenges that led them to this space and the hope they have for their lives in the future. The panelists’ stories truly gave meaning to the theme that challenge is the crucible for greatness. There is no doubt that Kenosha faces some systemic challenges. However, we left our day together knowing that every Kenosha community member, from inmates to elected officials, have the opportunity to pursue greatness if we have the will to see the challenges in front of as opportunities for a new future.

Blog post from Amy Garrigan of Kenosha Unified School District

Leadership Kenosha – January 2017