Context

The Leadership Center is a resource to the greater Milwaukee area in preparing leaders who have the vision and courage to step into the space between what is and what can be. We seek to build Milwaukee's assets while addressing conditions that perpetuate inequality.


Milwaukee is the largest metropolitan area in Wisconsin with a population of about 595,000 within the city limits and 1.5 million people in the metropolitan area. It is an economically and racially diverse urban area, with demographics of 40% White, 38% African American, 16% Hispanic or Latino, 3% Asian, and 3% other groups (US Census, 2010).

Over the past 50 years, the city has lost population, seen the erosion of its manufacturing economy, and experienced a rise in poverty. Persistent segregation, health disparities, educational under-performance, and economic inequalities present challenges to prosperity and growth. In recent years, however, Milwaukee has seen a revitalization of downtown areas and select neighborhoods. Though it remains a center for precision manufacturing, the health care, design, and service sectors have also become a significant part of the local economic base. Milwaukee is also poised to become a world water hub for freshwater research, economic development, and education.

It is essential to prepare leaders with the moral fiber necessary to manage complex change without sacrificing core values. Leaders must be able to innovate and adapt to changing circumstances. With our experience in program development, convening people, and creating transformational experiences, along with our commitment to leadership, learning, and service, the Leadership Center is the perfect environment for this kind of work.