National expert joins local dialogue on equitable economic opportunity

Greater Milwaukee Foundation launches 3-part education and action series

Milwaukee, Wis., June 16, 2021 – To unpack the effects of racism and structural inequity on people, places and systems, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation is inviting community to engage with national and local experts, and one another, in a new action-oriented educational series beginning this month.

The Foundation’s virtual, three-part series – A Milwaukee for All – kicks off June 25 with an interactive exploration of equitable economic opportunities featuring Dr. Andre Perry, a nationally respected educator on race, structural inequity and education. A senior fellow with the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and author of "Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America's Black Cities," Dr. Perry will participate in a lively dialogue with Foundation president and CEO Ellen M. Gilligan. He will address how building equitable economic opportunity starts with understanding historical inequities and placing value on Black and Brown people.

This signature discussion will bridge to a set of associated On the Table MKE conversations, the Foundation’s popular platform for community connection and collective action. More than a dozen local leaders will facilitate discussions on a range of topics pertaining to equitable economic opportunities and centered on community solutions. Guests can choose to join any of the following breakout rooms for learning and taking action together:

  • Affordable Housing & Stabilization
    • Hosts: Colleen Foley (Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee) & Deborah Heffner (Community Advocates)
  • Anti-Displacement Strategies
    • Hosts: Kevin Newell (Royal Capital Group) & Tony Panciera (MKE United)
  • Decolonizing Philanthropy
    • Hosts: Brad Pruitt (America's Black Holocaust Museum) & Cecelia Gore (Brewers Community Foundation)
  • Early Childhood Education
    • Hosts: Tamara Johnson (Malaika Early Learning Center) & Ann Terrell (National Association for the Education of Young Children)
  • Economic Repair and Reparations
    • Hosts: Martha Berry (YWCA Southeast Wisconsin) & Fred Royal (NAACP Milwaukee)
  • Entrepreneurship & Wealth Creation
    • Hosts: Dana Guthrie (Gateway Capital Partners) & May yer Thao (Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority)
  • Forging a Talent Pipeline
    • Hosts: Gladys Manzanet (Northwestern Mutual) & Nancy Hernandez (Hispanic Collaborative)
  • Housing Equity
    • Hosts: Deatra Kemp (ACTS Housing) & Will Martin (Wisconsin Diversified Investments LLC)
  • Neighborhood and Community Development
    • Danell Cross (Metcalfe Park Community Bridges) & Darlene C. Russell (Greater Milwaukee Foundation)
  • Social Activism
    • Host: Jeffery Roman (Milwaukee County Office on African American Affairs)

The online event will take place 9 – 10:30 a.m., Friday, June 25. Participation is free for everyone.


This special series in an extension of the Foundation’s overall strategic vision of A Milwaukee for All and presents an opportunity to work collectively toward a thriving, inclusive region. With racial equity and inclusion as its North Star, the Foundation is playing a catalytic role by bringing community and philanthropy together, particularly around early childhood education, the collective work of the ThriveOn Collaboration and matters of equitable economic opportunity.

“Many of the factors that add to or subtract from our quality of life are impacted by the access we have to economic opportunities,” Gilligan said. “We see protracted disparities in areas like employment, education outcomes and homeownership because those systems were structured in a way that excludes Black and Brown people from opportunities to progress and devalues the assets in their communities. I am excited to talk with Dr. Perry because his perspective on how we can better invest in people and drive corresponding policy change has the potential to inspire meaningful, practical solutions in Milwaukee.”

About the Greater Milwaukee Foundation
The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is Wisconsin’s largest community foundation and was among the first established in the world. For more than a century, the Foundation has been at the heart of the civic community, helping donors achieve the greatest philanthropic impact, elevating the work of changemakers across neighborhoods, and bringing people and organizations together to help our region thrive. Racial equity is the Foundation’s North Star, guiding its investments and strategies for social and economic change. Leveraging generations of community knowledge, cross-sector partnerships and more than $1 billion in financial assets, the Foundation is committed to reimagining philanthropy, recentering communities and remaking systems to transform our region into a Milwaukee for all.