Office on African American Affairs
The Office on African American Affairs (OAAA) was created to serve an integral role in recognizing and resolving the County’s racial inequities for the benefit of all its citizenry and for the region to achieve its full potential.
The Office will empower the African American community to achieve positive, long-term, sustainable outcomes through employing a multi-faceted model that will convene county and community partners to systematically address issues across the entire county.
The Office shall further function to:
- Examine and define issues central to the rights and needs of African Americans
- Advise policymakers and the public on recommendations for changes in programs and laws for the benefit of the community
- Develop and implement policies, plans, and programs related to the special needs of the community
- Promote equal opportunities for all African Americans
Nicole Brookshire, the first director of Milwaukee County's Office on African American Affairs, admitted that as a young African American growing up in Milwaukee she had "experienced firsthand being judged by the color of her skin." She called on the community not to be fearful of uncomfortable discussions on race relations and said there needs to be greater strides "to promote fair and equal opportunity for the African-American community and all communities of color."
"Our Children, Our Future" is the theme of this year's public celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, Monday, Jan. 15, beginning at noon. The Center is located at 1531 W. Vliet St. To honor King, the program will include music, dance, and spoken word, and will feature guest speaker Nicole Brookshire, Director of the newly created Milwaukee County Office on African-American Affairs (OAAA).
The value of an entrepreneurial mindset is one that has been steeped into the psyche of Nicole Brookshire ever since she was young girl. Growing up, the Milwaukee native watched both sets of her grandparents build their businesses. She saw firsthand how her maternal grandmother ran a successful hair salon for years. As a teen, she helped her father’s parents run a local grocery store that was in operation for more than three decades. “I think the exposure at a very young age and working in their entities throughout the summer or on weekends, really established my strong work ethic and understanding of the importance of having multiple streams of revenue,” she reflected.
The Milwaukee County Board has unanimously confirmed the appointment of Nicole Brookshire as the first director of the county's Office on African American Affairs. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele appointed Brookshire, a former Junior Achievement of Wisconsin executive, to the post in June.
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele has tapped a longtime Milwaukee resident to lead the new Office on African American Affairs, more than a year after Abele and the County Board first compromised to establish the office. “Precisely because the mission of this office is so important, I wanted to make sure we took the time to find the right person, someone who understands Milwaukee and could earn the support of the community,” Abele said in a statement. “We found that person in Nicole Brookshire.”