What we do


A great Milwaukee school for every Milwaukee family.

City Forward Collective is a new effort to move Milwaukee forward by eliminating educational inequities and ensuring every child has access to a great school.

Our four-part strategy was created with significant input from a diverse group of stakeholders. It is formulated to create and sustain the conditions necessary for enduring, significant, positive change. Together, we will move our city forward.

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family and community ORGANIZING

Our city’s parents and communities need a true voice in education.

City Forward Collective engages in sustained family and community organizing to build a collective of city residents who understand and advocate for high-quality schools across our city.

Year one actions:

  • Hire two community organizing managers

  • Pilot community organizing strategies to engage residents in two neighborhoods – one North Side, one South Side

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Our city needs laws and policies that foster the growth of great schools.

City Forward Collective identifies and advocates for policies that eliminate educational inequities and ensure high-quality schools get the resources they need to thrive.

Year one actions:

  • Research and gather input to formulate specific policy recommendations

  • Create an advocacy strategy to enact needed policy changes

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Our city needs educators who are fully equipped to do the work.

City Forward Collective ensures strong pipelines for teachers and school leaders, with an explicit focus on increasing the number of black and brown teachers and leaders and building cultural competence among our city’s educators.

Year one actions:

  • Conduct a landscape analysis to assess strengths and gaps in Milwaukee’s talent pipelines

  • Continue in-demand programs: Burke Fellowship, Emerging Leaders Program, and School Leadership Coaching and Collaboratives

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Our city needs significant, strategic capital investment to dramatically increase the number of high-quality schools.

City Forward Collective is establishing an investment fund that will aggregate and strategically invest philanthropic dollars and liaise with national philanthropies to:

  1. Increase the number of quality schools governed and led by black, brown, and other diverse leaders

  2. Expand and replicate existing quality schools, support proven leaders as they incubate new schools or education support organizations, and provide targeted support to improve promising schools

Year one actions:

  • Work with diverse stakeholders to develop a robust definition of ‘high-quality schools’

  • Conduct a needs assessment to determine how best to support qualified existing schools already governed and led by black, brown, and other diverse leaders; and what must be done to increase the number of schools governed and led by black, brown, and other diverse leaders

  • Convene an advisory investor council to design an investment fund and campaign


Learn about our programs.