By James Hall, President NAACP Milwaukee Branch
The data contained in the report released by Dr. Marc Levine lays bare the dismal reality that exists in the Milwaukee metropolitan area relative to employment of African-Americans, particularly African- American males. It is unacceptable. At this point, we do not need another commission or task force. As a community, we can no longer be passive or complacent about these numbers – we need action, and we need action now.
The NAACP Milwaukee Branch proposes that our community leadership come together immediately to develop a plan of action and to implement it. The plan must be tied to quantifiable results and outcomes that are good for the community and good for business. It must be inclusive of the various stakeholders and it needs to be tied to ongoing efforts to “transform” our community – not just a one time “transaction.”
We believe that a collective commitment is needed to develop and implement this necessary commitment. We propose establishing a broad collaboration by working with the business community, individual corporations, the Greater Milwaukee Committee, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce and others. We also propose that the collaboration involve other organizations and entities, including but not limited to, the Milwaukee Urban League, the several minority chambers of commerce, MATC, United Way and others. Of course, it is critical that MPS has a central role in this effort.
The collective commitment of which I speak is exactly what the ONE MKE summit held two weeks ago was about. We are calling upon all of the aforementioned to commit to an action plan – now.