Learn more, Invest more, Do more

Equitable Economic Opportunities

Below is a list of resources and suggestions for how you, as an individual, can learn more, do more and invest more to help move our community forward. This is a dynamic list that we plan to add to over time. 

This list is a growing list of resources that will be added to with ideas from the various On the Table MKE conversations.  

If you have any additional suggestions, please submit to: info@greatermilwaukeefoundation.org


Learn more

A vital first step in addressing racial inequity is to fully understand the scope of the problem. These sources can help increase understanding of the extent of systemic racism in our city, state and nation.

A Building Block for Inclusion: Housing for Community-Level Diversity, Participation, and Cohesion by Rolf Pendall, September 2017, Urban Institute

Advancing Racial Equity in Inclusionary Housing Programs: A Guide for Policy and Practice by Stephanie Reyes and Amy T. Khare, Ph.D., February 2021, Grounded Solutions Network and National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities, Case Western Reserve University

From the Civil Rights Era to the Present by Joy Moses, Aug. 22, 2013, Center for American Progress

Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education April 2019, National Association for the Education of Young Children

Rebuilding the Early Care & Education System with Equity at the Center by Emily Sharrock, Brandy Lawrence, Courtney Parkerson and Annie Schaeffing, Bank Street College of Education

Redlining and Neighborhood Health by Jason Richardson, Bruce C. Mitchell, PhD, Helen C.S. Meier, PhD, MPH, Emily Lynch, MPH, and Jad Edlebi, in collaboration with Robert K. Nelson and Justin M. Madron, September 2020, National Community Reinvestment Coalition 

Reparations 101: Repairing the Damage From Generations of Concentrated Disadvantage by Reggie Jackson, May 4, 2021, Milwaukee Independent

Resources to Address Systemic Racism, resources shared by Greater Milwaukee Committee members and its community network 

The Racial Equity Index: A New Data Tool to Drive Local Efforts to Dismantle Structural Racism by Sarah Treuhaft, Abbie Langston, Justin Scoggins, Joanna Lee, and Manuel Pastor, July 23, 2020, National Equity Atlas

The State of Black Milwaukee in National Perspective: Racial Inequality in the Nation’s 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas. In 65 Charts and Tables by Marc V. Levine, July 2020, Center for Economic Development Publications.

Tools and Resources compiled by the Milwaukee County on African American Affairs.


Invest more

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation works with a wide variety of philanthropists who are interested in making an impact in our community, fulfilling their own charitable goals and partnering for greater impact related to our shared racial equity and inclusion priorities. We invite you to:

Start a fund and/or leave your legacy! 

The Foundation offers a variety of funds to help you meet your philanthropic goals and achieve our shared vision of a vibrant, economically thriving region for all — from donor advised funds (where you engage in active grantmaking) to unrestricted funds (which rely on the Foundation’s knowledge of community needs for grantmaking decisions). You may choose to use current assets to start a fund or make future plans through an estate plan.   

Make a gift or grant to support impact investing!

Through the innovative model of impact investing, we can invest capital and create opportunity where it’s needed — in people, neighborhoods and enterprises in places where investments have been scarce. It generates both a financial and a social return. Over the summer months, the Foundation is committing $1 million to this important program and we are seeking additional contributions to increase the amount of loans we can provide from 8-10 to 16-20 or more! 

 Make a gift or grant to support the Community Grants Fund!

A gift to this fund builds resources that support innovative responses and proactive approaches to challenges and opportunities to improve quality of life in our region. Gifts to this fund can only be used for grantmaking. Give from your donor advised fund or a new cash or non-cash contribution.


Do more

Volunteer, partner, support and follow these organizations that are working hard to combat racism.

  • Offer your time and talents at America’s Black Holocaust Museum describes and memorializes the experiences of Africa’s children in America from 1619 to the present as a holocaust; recognizes the contributions of the freedom-loving white people and others who have joined the African American struggle for justice; and actively engages our country in the work of racial repair, reconciliation, and healing. Make a financial donation or donate museum-worthy artifacts or usable equipment to support the museum.
  • If you are over age 18, join the growing team of volunteers at Community Advocates, which works to provide individuals and families with advocacy and services to meet their basic needs so they may live in dignity. Opportunities range from volunteering a few hours at one of its special events to a weekly commitment answering calls on the Milwaukee Women’s Center Crisis Line, spending time with the children at its MWC Emergency Shelter or providing administrative support.
  • Volunteer at Malaika Early Learning Center. Opportunities include holding and cuddling infants; reading to children; playing games and supervising recess; art activities and attending field trips.
  • The Groundwater Institute is a partnership between the Racial Equity Institute and Impactive that works with leaders of the major institutions across the country in the corporate, nonprofit and government sectors. It seeks to partner with leaders who intend to bring the full weight of their organizations and influence to bear in the struggle for racial equity.
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children promotes high-quality learning by connecting practice, policy, and research.
  • ACTS Housing: Since 1995, it has supported more than 2,500 families in becoming homeowners. A donation of any amount helps Acts Housing serve low-to-moderate income families achieve the dream of homeownership.
  • The Black Wall Street Times is a free publication that publishes Black voices and centers the Black experience, building on the philosophy that “access is the new civil right.”
  • The Brewers Community Foundation harnesses the pride, passion and commitment of Brewers fans, players and other supporters to positively impact the lives of children and their families in Milwaukee and Wisconsin. Your donation supports nonprofits that provide quality programming in the areas of health, education, recreation and basic needs, with a particular focus on low-income and disadvantaged youth and their families.
  • Gateway Capital Partners is a Milwaukee-based venture capital firm that will lead the charge in developing the next generation of successful Milwaukee entrepreneurs.
  • Hispanic Collaborative is a direct outcome of community visioning by more than 100 Hispanic community leaders. The initiative is focused on improving outcomes for our community and positioning Milwaukee as a top 10 city for Hispanic well-being.
  • Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee provides free legal assistance to low-income Milwaukee County residents with civil legal problems. Because it does not charge clients for services, it asks lawyers, law firms, supporters, and the community to support them by donating money and services.
  • Malaika Early Learning Center works collaboratively with families to establish a strong academic, social and emotional foundation in the lives of Milwaukee’s economically disadvantaged children, all of whom deserve opportunities for excellence in education regardless of their socioeconomic situations or family structure. Twenty percent of Malaika’s funds must come from donations.
  • Mayors Organized for Reparations and Equity stands on the belief that cities can – and should – act as laboratories for bold ideas that can be transformative for racial and economic justice on a larger scale and demonstrate for the country how to pursue and improve initiatives that take a reparatory approach to confronting and dismantling structural and institutional racism.
  • MercadoMKE is an online marketplace for Latino-owned businesses including restaurants, craft makers, retail shops and services. 
  • Metcalfe Park Community Bridges exists to build a robust and thriving Metcalfe Park neighborhood in which residents are safe, connected to each other and the community, provided access to educational, economic and civic engagement-related opportunities, and a community that celebrates the diversity and culture of the area.
  • MKE Black provides a directory of Black-owned businesses in the greater Milwaukee area, as well as connects businesses to resources, capital, and networks.
  • MKE Fellows offers support to academically talented African-American young men in Wisconsin to ensure that they graduate from college prepared for career success. 
  • MKE United was formed by the Greater Milwaukee Committee, the city of Milwaukee, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Milwaukee Urban League, and LISC Milwaukee to ensure the development in and around downtown Milwaukee is welcoming to all, attracts and retains inclusive and diverse businesses and jobs, is well connected to the region, and is positioned to attract new talent. 
  • The NAACP Milwaukee Branch, launched in 1924, is one of the oldest branches in the nation. Its mission is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.
  • ThriveOn Collaboration, a historic, community-based collaboration between the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Medical College of Wisconsin and Royal Capital that has a vision for a Milwaukee that is equitable, healthy and thriving for all.
  • Wisconsin Diversified Investments, LLC works with, and on behalf of, investors as well as the public and private sectors to aggregate quality projects, deploy capital profitably, and create more inclusive economic opportunity across Wisconsin’s urban and rural communities.  

Attend Milwaukee Film’s “Cultures & Communities Festival” from Sept. 6-12, 2021.

The festival is focused on traditionally marginalized communities, creating transformative experiences for all who attend. The hybrid event features more than 20 films, several workshops, panels and Q&As virtually, in-person at the reopened Oriental Theatre and at event venues around Milwaukee.

Read a book, learn from experts and get going on ideas that can be acted upon! 

  • “Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities” by Dr. Andre M. Perry
  • “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson
  • “Finding Latinx: In Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity” by Paola Ramos
  • “How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America” by Dr. Clint Smith
  • “I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness” by Austin Channing Brown
  • “Me and White Supremacy” by Layla F. Saad
  • “One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race” by Dr. Yaba Blay
  • “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury & Healing” by Dr. Joy Angela DeGruy
  • “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo
  • “Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America” and “Stamped (For Kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You” by Ibram X. Kendi
  • “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America” by Richard Rothstein
  • “The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap” by Mehrsa Baradaran
  • “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy” and “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” by Emmanuel Acho
  • “What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing” by Dr. Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey
  • “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin DiAngelo

Listen to and subscribe to the following podcasts that address racism:

  • By Every Measure: An 88Nine podcast unpacking systemic racism
  • Amerikan Therapy: The premier podcast about all things Black mental health. The hosts talk about what it’s like to move through life in America while living inside a Black body and tackle topics often overlooked and deemed unapproachable within the Black community. A particularly intriguing episode was “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome,” an interview with Dr. Joy DeGruy.
  • Code Switch: Hosted by journalists of color, this podcast explores how race impacts every part of society – from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between. Check out the episode “Who’s ‘Black Enough’ For Reparations?
  • Throughline. This weekly podcast goes back in time to understand the present. These are stories you can feel and sounds you can see from the moments that shaped our world.
  • Unlocking Us with Brené Brown. This podcast is real, unpolished, honest and reflects both the magic and the messiness of what it means to be human.
  • Watch this Affordable Housing Institute webinar about health, housing and racial equity in Milwaukee.
  • Listen to 88Nine Radio Milwaukee’s “Diverse Disruptors,” a podcast focusing on inclusivity in tech space.

Learn more

Visit the A Milwaukee For All resource page for ideas on how you can learn more, invest more and do more to move our community forward.