Shared Prosperity • Shared Responsibility • One Community

The four-county region of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties is home to 1.57 Million people, of which 246,000—or nearly 16% of the population—live on incomes below poverty.

The vast majority of low income families—72% - live in the city of Milwaukee, even though the city makes up only 38% of the four-county population.

This economic segregation is mirrored by deeply rooted racial segregation, which is among the most pronounced in the United States.

Addressing the economic and racial segregation is a regional problem requiring a regional solution; one that promotes shared prosperity and shared responsibility. When we arrive at a regional sense that we are all One Community, then we will also have arrived at a solution for the racial and economic segregation of the region.

Segregation Affects Everyone in the Region

Instead of focusing on a limited area, we want to show that the economic, social and moral health of our region is interdependent -- all of the people in all of the cities, villages and towns in the greater metro area need to thrive for all of us to be prosperous.

The suburbs are aging and having a difficult time finding workers, while the population of the city of Milwaukee is getting younger. One study shows that when the wage gap between white and minority populations is narrowed, the entire region could see a 24% growth in the overall economy.

When asked, most people will say that they support tolerance and oppose segregation. Yet, segregation not only exists in our region, it has intensified over the years. The reasons are many-fold and they are structural in nature. And, until the metro area begins to see itself as One Community, our future will not look all that different from our past.


Mike Soika
Cell: (414) 520-0912

Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee
5409 W. Vliet Street
Milwaukee, WI 53208
(414) 276-9050


One Community

One Community Brochure (One Page)
One Community Brochure (Four Pages)
Selected Bible Quotes: Preferential Option for the Poor

Southeastern WI Regional Segregation

PowerPoint Presentation on Regional Segregation
Video Presentation on Regional Segregation
Info Graphic Overview of Regional Segregation

Inclusive Economies

The Brookings Institution - Remaking Economic Development: 5 Principles
The Brookings Institution - Inclusive Economies
The Brookings Institution - Opportunities for Growth (Sept 2017)
Eliminate Barriers to Inclusive Economies - an Info Graphic
Richard Florida: Confronting the New Urban Crisis

Resources on Segregation

A series of articles and pod casts on the issue of segregation in MKE

Harvard Gazette: A Series on the Costs of Inequality

How Redlining's Racists Effects Lasted for Decades (a NY Times Article)

"Snob Zoning' is Racial Housing Segregation by Another Name - (a NY Times Article)

"Racism is a Sickness of the Soul" - Father Bryan Massingale article in the America Jesuit Review

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Series and Resources Reflecting on 50 Years After the 1967 Civil Rights Marches