GREATER TOGETHER TO CLOSE ITS DOORS MARCH 31
On a Tuesday afternoon, seven and a half years ago, we gathered at City Hall, to inspire one another. The gospel songs of the Queens of Harmony rose up in that beautiful atrium, as we clapped together. We launched Greater Together that day as an act of faith, not only to address the historic lack of diversity in our region’s creative industries but with a desire to change our city.
Inspire members of Milwaukee’s creative industries to take leadership roles in creating just and fair inclusion in our fields.
Not long after, to the sound of Brothers By Choice we gathered college professors, school children, activists, artists, architects, policy wonks, everyday citizens and to challenge us with their best ideas for addressing racial inequity in Milwaukee. Nichole Yunk Todd, of Wisconsin Community Services, won the $5,000 Greater Together Challenge for her practical plan to provide free driver’s education to high school students, which helped kickstart a grassroots effort to do just that.
TOWARD GREATER EQUITY
Since then we have created a film series, launched internships, inspired efforts to redesign the city’s flag and persuaded business leaders through Greater Equity 2030 to make real-world commitments to change the way they do business, to create new jobs and a workforce that reflects our community more authentically by the year 2030.
As we worked, we witnessed people pour into the streets around the globe, marching for Black lives and organizing countless efforts to address racial justice. With our changing world as a backdrop, we’ve decided that it is time for Greater Together to close its doors and support the promising work of others.
Best wishes for the coming year. May all the forces for good conspire to make our community more diverse, equitable and inclusive. And, as we face the many obstacles ahead of us, may we be reminded each day that we are, indeed, Greater Together.
Continuing the Mission
With that in mind, let me draw your attention to The BrandLab Milwaukee, an organization committed to addressing workplace inequity and racial disparity in the creative fields here. The BrandLab embodies the spirit and mission that we’ve tried to forge at Greater Together, and we believe they will succeed at connecting next-generation talent with leading organizations. I am serving on their advisory team, and invite our partners and supporters to join me in amplifying their good work.
ON THE SHOULDERS OF SO MANY
I said it in our earliest days as an organization and I’ll say it again now, I have always been an interloper in this work. I hoped to support the efforts of those who have worked longer, harder and smarter. Our organization leaned on the wisdom, generosity and contributions of so many that trying to list them will fall short. I apologize in advance…
Our Heartfelt Thanks to:
Those individuals who who believed in our mission and joined us at the table in those first years, including:
Nata Abbott, Kellen Abston, Shane Allen, Lauren Baker, Former Mayor Tom Barrett, Jeff Bentoff, Brothers By Choice, Chris Bishop, Quinncy Bynum, Jeff Carrigan, Antoine Carter, Bevin Christie, Molly Collins, Erica Conway, Tamera Coleman, James Dahlman, Sara Daleiden, Colin Devall, Jessica Dunk, Charity Ekpo, Melika Edquist, Jeremy Fojut, Los Glover, Jack Hargreaves, Neil Hoffman, Andrea Hubbert, Kimberly Kane, Chris Klein, Steve Kodis, Susan Koehn, Melinda Krueger, Jennifer Kuhn, Kathryn Laey, Jordan Lee, Robert Lenz, Drew Lettner, Natasha Lettner, Andrea Nordgren, Lynn Lucious, Barbara Miner, Tim Panicucci, Bob Peterson, Julia Love Prescott, Maggie McCracken, Kevin McGeen, Tarik Moody, Reggie Moore, Sharlen Moore, Andy Noble, Brad Pruitt, Chris Klein, Kathryn Reimer, Xavier Ruffin, Damian Strigens, Nichole Yunk Todd, George Tzourgos, Queens of Harmony, Brett Waterhouse and Wyman Winston.
To our board of directors:
Katie Heil, James Hall, Jeffrey Morin, and Katherine Wilson. Their passion and guidance have been an anchor for Greater Together.
And special advisors:
Dr. Marc Levine, Reggie Jackson, Kathleen Elsig
To our community partners:
AIGA, Black Holocaust Museum, The Brandlab, City of Milwaukee, Center for Economic Development UWM, Centro Hispano, Colorful Connections, Imagine Milwaukee, Milwaukee Filmmaker Alliance, Milwaukee Magazine, Milwaukee Public Schools, MKE ↔ LAX, MMAC, No Studios, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, Urban Underground, Wisconsin Arts Board and Zeidler Group.
And, a very special thanks goes out to the Zeidler Group for teaching us how to listen and learn from each other in a more open and constructive way.
To those that engaged and supported our efforts in rich and meaningful ways:
The hundreds of those that entered the Greater Together Challenge, the young people engaged in the Creative Corps, the thousands that submitted entries into the People’s Flag of Milwaukee Initiative and the filmmakers and artists that brought their talents to the Creative Challenge.
To our business partners for their financial support and commitment to change their businesses and change the industry:
BVK, C2, CMR, CK: Crammer Krasselt, Core Creative, James Pellizi and Co, Kane Communications Group, Hanson Dodge, Laughlin Constable, Milwaukee Film, MIAD, Mindpool, Sosh, SRH and a special shout out to my alma mater, Hanson Dodge for their continued support of Greater Together and remarkable commitment to a shared vision of the future.
Finally, a very special thanks to:
AIGA Wisconsin for our founding grant, Astor Street Foundation, Michael Drescher, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Heil Family Foundation, People’s Flag of Milwaukee, Sieger Family and Wisconsin Arts Board for their generous support.