2011-12 Building a Better Milwaukee Series

A collaboration between Marquette University's College of Professional Studies and the Cardinal Stritch University Leadership Center


Conversations about our challenges - whether they be within a neighborhood, a city, or even a nation - often start from a place of what we do not have, what we lack, or what we need.

The Building a Better Milwaukee series featured three workshops where participants sought what it means to unleash the power of our communities in order to build a better Milwaukee for all citizens.

Some of Milwaukee's most effective community leaders convened to share their experiences of Milwaukee's abundant gifts. Please view our event series highlights video and read the summary below to see how participants became inspired and learned how to share in Milwaukee's abundance.

Event Highlights Video

Part III: Leading for an Abundant Milwaukee
Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Co-sponsored with Cardinal Stritch Leadership Center and
Food Service, Inc.

In this last conversation of the series, the specific leadership qualities and tools required to create a paradigm shift toward a Better Milwaukee were explored.

Ann Goggins Gregory discussed innovative ways successful nonprofits have responded to tough economic times and how fundamental shifts in thinking by nonprofits and funders can bring about breakthrough social impact. Milwaukee native Goggins Gregory is senior director of knowledge at Bridgespan Group, which is committed to helping community leaders find ways to build abundant communities through collaboration and innovation. Ann co-authored the "Nonprofit Starvation Cycle" in the Fall 2009 issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review and "How Governments Can Spur High Charity Performance," published in the Chronicle of Philanthropy (December 2009). She has helped lead Bridgespan's national research on how nonprofits are "Managing in Tough Times."

Part II: Recognizing Abundance in Milwaukee
Wednesday, March 7, 2012

“The second part of the Building a Better Milwaukee series co-sponsored with Cardinal Stritch Center for Leadership was very inspiring and productive. Some 150 people from around our community participated in the mid-day session and some 100 folks, including students from Cardinal Stritch, UWM, Marquette University, and our Future Milwaukee community leadership class participated in the evening session. Please see the photos, including our great panelists from the Urban Ecology Center, Journey House, LISC and Walnut Way. Once again, we are modeling that benefit of collaborating rather than competing to build abundance in our community! It was a great day!”

Dr. Robert Deahl, Dean
Marquette University College of Professional Studies


Building Better Milwaukee






Building a Better Milwaukee Ken






Building a Better Milwaukee Panel






The panel included four "abundance builders" working in Milwaukee:

  • Sharon Adams, Founder, Walnut Way Conservation Corp.
  • Christopher Boston, Director of Sustainable Communities, Local Initiatives Support Corporation
  • Dr. Michelle Bria, CEO, Journey House
  • Ken Leinbach, Executive Director, Urban Ecology Center

Part I: Creating Abundance Together
November 2, 2011

John McKnight and Peter Block, co-authors of The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods, were joined by renowned Scripture scholar Walter Brueggemann, author most recently of Journey to the Common Good, to show us how associations, institutions, and citizens can build and nurture relationships that allow us to unleash our gifts and create a better community, to allow us to move from a narrative of scarcity to one of abundance.

Event Videos

Creating Abundance Together - Introductions
Dr. Robert Deahl, Dean, Marquette University College of Professional Studies, and Dr. Peter Holbrook, Executive Director, Cardinal Stritch University Leadership Center

Empire of Scarcity
Dr. Walter Brueggemann, Author, Journey to the Common Good

Counterfeit Abundance
Professor John McKnight, Co-Author, The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods

The Neighborhood is the Wilderness
Dr. Peter Block, Co-Author, The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods

Engaging Youth in Community Development



Contact College of Professional Studies

Email the college

Marquette University College of Professional Studies
707 Building, Room 403
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee WI 53201-1881
Phone: (414) 288-3153 or (800) 793-6450, extension 2
FAX: (414) 288-3298