Insight for improving African American well-being

AALAM-cover.jpgAccording to new research, Milwaukee can improve conditions for African Americans in the region by intentionally focusing on leadership opportunities and educational attainment while reducing metro area residential segregation. The Greater Milwaukee Foundation supported the work of the African American Leadership Alliance Milwaukee (AALAM), which commissioned this new research.

“The AALAM/UWMCED Index of African American Well-Being in the Nation's Largest Metropolitan Areas” presents a systematic compilation of where black Milwaukee ranks compared to the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas on 30 indicators of community well-being, including employment, community health, social and economic conditions, education, and conditions for youth and children. The research was published by Dr. Marc Levine, Professor Emeritus and Founding Director of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Economic Development. 

Read the full report.

While the study found that Milwaukee’s black population lags far behind other major metropolitan areas, the history of redlining, exclusionary zoning and discriminatory lending practices has undeniably contributed to some of the largest racial disparities that impact the well-being of African Americans in Milwaukee. Despite these systemic factors, the preliminary analysis suggests that reducing racial segregation; enhancing Black educational attainment; and increasing the numbers of Black executives and managers at Milwaukee companies could be critical drivers to improving overall community well-being.

 AALAM sees an opportunity to change the narrative and take on the challenge to help improve these indicators by working with strategic partners like the Foundation and the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, as well as continuing to offer its premier African American Leadership Program focused on career pathway development.

“AALAM is proud to be a part of this important research,” said AALAM Board Chair, Antonio Riley. “We are uniquely positioned to concentrate on advancing African American leadership as its mission to produce socio-economic change for the black community. We are truly invested in and committed to making Milwaukee a global destination where African Americans are thriving, instead of surviving.”

A compilation of research that the Foundation has commissioned or sponsored, including this latest study, can be found on GMF’s Civic Engagement web pages.