The Greater Milwaukee Foundation was founded on the premise that generosity can unlock an individual’s potential and strengthen the community for everyone who lives here. Our vision for a vibrant region is rooted in the idea that our community is greater when all people have the opportunity for economic, social and civic participation.
While in large part, greater Milwaukee is experiencing a resurgence in economic growth and prosperity, many are unable to share in its benefits or have a voice in important decisions that impact their lives. Our community, like others across the nation, is facing pronounced disparities, the result of uneven access to opportunity.
Adding urgency and emphasis to the Foundation’s commitment to address opportunity gaps in our community is the understanding that people of color are disproportionately affected by these disparities. We acknowledge that racism – both individualized and structural – exists in our region, causing too many people to be left out and left behind.
Eliminating the root causes of inequities, therefore, is both morally just and economically essential for achieving broader regional prosperity and vitality. An intentional focus on equity and inclusion ensures that strategies designed to improve the educational, social and economic well-being of people in our region make a true, measureable difference among communities most marginalized because of race.
We know what equity looks like. It looks like equal access to good jobs and financial stability. It looks like safe neighborhoods with affordable housing. It looks like high-performing schools and access to further education or training. It means a voice in the conversation and a high quality of life for everyone.
For more than 100 years, the Foundation has helped generous people support their passions and enhance the community. Built into the Foundation’s mission of inspiring philanthropy is a mandate to address the most pressing needs of our region as they have changed over time. Our community is calling on us now to convene people, ideas and investment to accelerate our progress toward an equitable region.
We embrace our continuing role with understanding that this is not the work of any one organization. Sustaining success will require broad ownership of the issues and their solutions in the community. It necessitates engagement and listening to diverse perspectives. It demands everyone have the opportunity to participate fully in decision-making and development of communitywide goals.
In this journey, we stand with many partners who share our vision for a thriving region and are working together to ensure the promise of a bright future applies to communities of color and all communities.
Contact Ken Robertson to learn more about our organizational commitment to racial equity and inclusion.
Contact Kathryn Dunn to learn more about our community investments in racial equity and inclusion.
Contact our Director of Grant Programs Janel Hines to learn about our racial equity and inclusion grantmaking.
Contact Marcus White for information about civic engagement.