Office on African American Affairs

Projects and Programs 

Learn How We Work to Achieve Racial Equity

One aspect of our work throughout Milwaukee County is that all departments work to racial equity. We are no different.

Here are some of the major projects and program that we have been a part of to ensure Milwaukee County achieves its vision of being the healthiest county in Wisconsin:

Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment Grant

In April 2020 the City of Milwaukee Health Department received a $500,000 grant to support the co-designing culturally relevant risk-reduction communication for vulnerable communities in Milwaukee. This project is supported by the City of Milwaukee Health Department, Medical College of Wisconsin and our office. The aim is to rapidly improve communication of COVID-19 prevention guidelines to communities of color in Milwaukee County and piloting online training for community health workers and public health outreach personnel to respond to the mental wellbeing needs in Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities. Look at Creative Health Collective to learn more.

Code of Ordinances - Chapter 108 Achieving Racial & Health Equity 

Milwaukee County government has been committed to understanding the link between race, government and health and how their institution has contributed to inequities. As a government body, we recognize our power to make change at a systemic level. Milwaukee County passed an ordinance that commits them to identify and address policies, practices and power structures that, whether intentionally or unintentionally, work in favor of white people and create barriers for Black, Brown, Indigenous people and people of color (BIPOC). The ordinance ensures racial equity is a top priority of Milwaukee County government and remains larger than any one government leader. Officials signed the ordinance in May 2020, one year after Milwaukee County passes a first-of-kind resolution declaring racism as a public health crisis in May 2019. 

Racial Equity Ambassador Program

Milwaukee County is a member of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) and in 2019, we launched a racial equity ambassador program with 60 employees - from leadership to front-line staff to participate in racial equity action planning for the County. The program committed employees to a 2-year timeframe in order to normalize, operationalize and institutionalize racial equity initiatives across the county. 

GARE/Esri Pilot-Geospatial Solutions for Racial Equity

Milwaukee County is excited to be one of five jurisdictions in the country selected by GARE and Esri to participate in a pilot opportunity to cultivate and pilot leading-edge geospatial solutions to support governments to advance racial equity. Milwaukee County was chosen based on a number of factors including population demographics, GARE membership tenure, as well as institutional support and in-house GIS experience. The Office on African American Affairs is working closely on this project with the Milwaukee County Land Information Office, the Office of the County Executive and GIS analysts employed throughout the county. 

Racial Equity Budget Tool

The Racial Equity Budget Tool (REBT) is a structured racial equity lens for departments to use to critically assess the impacts of budget decisions on communities of color. The tool is structured around the County’s strategic planning three-year objectives to help departments and decision makers better understand the strengths and opportunities to advancing the three-year objectives. Milwaukee County's Office on African American Affairs was on the workgroup to develop this tool. The 2021 budget provided a baseline of where we stand today and assist the County on how it can improve moving forward. 

We Care Crew 

The We Care Crew provides care and assistance for those most impacted by COVID-19. The We Care Crew encompasses the partnership of Milwaukee County’s Office on African American Affairs (OAAA), Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS), Department of Administrative Services (DAS), Milwaukee County Parks, Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), Milwaukee Police Department (MPD), City of Milwaukee Health Department & Office of Violence Prevention (OVP), 414Life, the PEAK Initiative, and other community partners.Together, these groups are committed to engaging communities in public health education and providing supporting resources using Milwaukee County Parks sites as temporary distribution points. The We Care Crew offers masks, meals, safe programming that incorporates physically distanced activities, public health education, Certified Credible Messengers, and supportive community ambassadors.


2578 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53212

(414) 278-7979

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