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How Milwaukee built Halyard Park, a Black suburb in the middle of the city

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A stone fountain in the middle of a park that says "HALYARD PARK" on the side with a grassy field and one-story building in the background.
Encyclopedia of Milwaukee

In the 1970s, obtaining financing for a home or business was not always an equitable experience, even for qualified Black borrowers. But despite the barriers to capital, one Milwaukee community emerged: Halyard Park.

In this episode, Tarik Moody and Reggie Jackson explain how Milwaukee's Black community united to build a "suburb" on the edge of downtown Milwaukee. Then, Tarik speaks with two nonprofit leaders spearheading the ThriveOn Collaboration. This unique real-estate development exists at the nexus of the Halyard Park, Harambee and Brewer's Hill neighborhoods, aiming to connect residents with affordable housing, early childhood education, healthcare and food options.

Guests: Gregory M. Wesley, senior vice president of strategic alliances and business development at the Medical College of Wisconsin; and Ken Robertson, executive vice president, COO and CFO at Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

A rendering of the ThriveOn Collaboration, inside a former Gimbels-Schuster’s building on King Drive.
Greater Milwaukee Foundation
A rendering of the ThriveOn Collaboration, inside a former Gimbels-Schuster’s building on King Drive.

By Every Measure season two is supported by The Argosy Foundation.

If you'd like to continue the conversation, we encourage you to join our By Every Measure discussion group on Radio Milwaukee's Facebook page. Each week, we open a dialogue on the episode's topic with daily conversation prompts and a virtual meet-up to discuss responses and navigate the community conversations collectively.

This season on 'By Every Measure'

  • Episode 1 — Black Brain Drain, Part 1, with nationally touring musicians SistaStrings, and musician and poet Emmitt James.
  • Episode 2 — Black Brain Drain, Part 2, with Corry Joe Biddle, executive director of Fuel Milwaukee; and Ranell Washington, vice president of Social X MKE. 
  • Episode 3 — Black Birth Outcomes with certified nurse midwife LuVerda Martin of Aurora Health Care and Geraud Blanks of Milwaukee Film.
  • Episode 4 — Housing with Greg Wesley of the Medical College of Wisconsin and Ken Robertson of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.
  • Episode 5 — Generational Wealth (March 21) with Kevin Newell of Royal Capital.
  • Episode 6 — Black Resilience (March 28).
  • Episode 7 — Critical Race Theory (April 3).
Director of Digital | Radio Milwaukee
HYFIN On-Air Talent | Radio Milwaukee
Director of Digital Content | Radio Milwaukee
Audio Production Manager | Radio Milwaukee