Greater Milwaukee Foundation
Press Release

Convening aims for needed change in early childhood education system

Greater Milwaukee Foundation continues ‘A Milwaukee for All’ series Sept. 17

By - Aug 31st, 2021 10:26 am

Milwaukee, Wis., Aug. 31, 2021 – Quality early childhood care and education is essential for the long-term success of young people in our region and for today’s workforce to effectively function, but the sector is in crisis. Lack of access to quality, affordable services for children 0-3 has chronically plagued Milwaukee – especially Black and Brown families – and the pandemic has compounded inequities and pushed the system to a breaking point.

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is inviting everyone who cares about our littlest learners, the economic prosperity of our communities and the future of our region to participate in part two of its virtual A Milwaukee for All series on Sept. 17. National experts will join local changemakers and people throughout the community to learn and take action on solutions to transform the early care and education system so it works for everyone.


9 – 10:30 a.m.

Friday, Sept. 17

Cost = FREE

“Quality, affordable early childhood education is one of the Foundation’s top priorities. Its positive impact on a child’s development lasts a lifetime, and it also allows parents to work, creating economic benefit that spans two generations,” said Foundation president and CEO Ellen Gilligan. “That’s why everyone should care that half of Milwaukee children are without access to the quality early care and education they need. In the last two years, the Foundation has accelerated investment in efforts to stabilize and strengthen the sector alongside our Milwaukee Succeeds education partners and civic collaborators across the region. Our upcoming convening gives us an opportunity to learn more, invest more and do more together to remake the system into the one we need for families and providers to thrive.”

Dialogue with national experts

At the heart of the virtual convening, Gilligan will lead a vital dialogue about the state of the sector and the steps we need to take together now to enact meaningful change. Her special guests are two women whose leadership and contributions are shaping the latest approaches to workforce challenges and equity-focused solutions in early care and education:

  • Rhian Evans Allvin, CEO, National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Sherri Killins Stewart, Director of State Systems Alignment & Integration, Co-Director of State Services, BUILD Initiative

Interact with On the Table MKE

Immediately following the central dialogue, all attendees will be able to join the discussion through a selection of participatory On the Table MKE conversations, the Foundation’s unique platform for community connection and collective action. Local leaders will team up to facilitate discussions on a range of topics designed to advance community solutions in early childhood education. Guests can choose from one of eight breakout rooms:

Participants will leave their sessions with ideas for individual and collective action.

A long-term commitment to children, families and community

The Foundation’s work and investments in the early childhood education space are informed by deep community relationships and through local research, including a seminal study of the sector commissioned by the Foundation called A Seat at the Table, which detailed the gaps in access in Milwaukee and why they are occurring. The Sept. 17 convening will build on this knowledge base.

This special event series overall is an extension of the Foundation’s 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, matters of equitable economic opportunity and the collective work of the ThriveOn Collaboration.

The first event in the series – focused on equitable economic opportunity – took place June 25 and featured Dr. Andre Perry, senior fellow with the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and author of “Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities.” View the full Community Summary Report for videos, key take-aways and resources for change.

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.  | @GrMKEFdn  |

Recent Press Releases by Greater Milwaukee Foundation

Author bringing indigenous wisdom to Greater Milwaukee Foundation event

June 24 ‘A Milwaukee for All’ convening aims to shift mindsets about philanthropy

Mary Ellen Stanek Award for Diversity in Corporate Governance Announces 2022 Award Recipients

Cecelia Gore, of the Brewers Community Foundation, and Froedtert Health are chosen honorees

Ford Foundation president will feature at capstone ‘A Milwaukee for All’

Greater Milwaukee Foundation event promotes transformative philanthropy

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us