Welcome to UEDA

Urban Economic Development Association (UEDA) of Wisconsin
1915 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Suite 260
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: (414) 562-9904

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UEDA hosts several events for members and partners each year including our Emerging Topics in Community Development Series, our annual fundraiser "Carnival Milwaukee", and our Annual Community Gathering. Members receive free or discounted registration to each of these events! Learn more about our current and past efforts on this page.


2021 carnival image

A week-long, virtual celebration of food, music, and dance!

While we will not be able to gather in person for our 2021 fundraiser, this year's Carnival Milwaukee event will be a week-long virtual celebration that will focus on giving back to the small businesses and local establishments that have supported UEDA and this event over the years. 5 Days of Carnival Milwaukee will run from February 22 through February 26, and each day will highlight an aspect of our in-person event via email and social media.


coop series

UEDA and Walnut Way Conservation Corp. are excited to be partnering on a Learning Series that is connecting those interested in exploring cooperative enterprise ownership to experts, resources, education, and each other.
The African American Cooperative Movement

Featuring Professor Jessica Gordon-Nembhard, Ph.D.
& Emonia Barnett, Lindsay Heights resident

Cooperatives 101: Formation, Structure, Best Practices, Resources

Featuring UW Center for Cooperatives
Shared Learning, Civic Engagement & Cooperative Ownership
Featuring the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance


UEDA launched our Emerging Topics in Economic Development Series in 2017 to provide more frequent and intentional opportunities for our members and partners to connect, learn new ideas, and lift up the work and best practices in the sector. These sessions focus on shared learning, purposeful dialogue and collaboration. Find a brief recap and links to resouces from our 2020 event series below.

June 25 | The Longevity Economy: In partnership with AARP Wisconsin and BizStarts we welcomed Joo Yeoun Suh, Director of Thought Leadership - Longevity Economy at AARP National to explore how individuals 50 years and older are contributing to the economy nationwide and here at home. The session was eye-opening and full of information for each of us to consider in our personal and professional lives. View slides here.

July 29 | The African American Cooperative Movement: In the first session of our Co-op Learning Series we partnered with Walnut Way Conservation Corp. to welcome welcome author, historian, economist and professor, Jessica Gordon-Nembhard, Ph.D. to discuss 'The African American Cooperative Movement: Lessons Learned for Survival & Cooperation'. Along with Milwaukee's Lindsay Heights resident, Emonia Barnett, the two led attendees in an informational presentation and discussion on the history of cooperative ownership within the African American community, lessons learned from past successes, and what is possible for the 21st century as we tackle a pandemic and continue to fight for genuine racial justice. View session recording here.

August 13 | Equity Analysis: VISION 2050: UEDA and the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) delivered a presentation on the potential impacts of VISION 2050's land use recommendations on the Region’s minority populations, low-income populations, and people with disabilities (environmental justice populations). View session recording here.

Carnival 2020 banner logo

On Saturday, February 29 340+ guests joined us at our 12th annual Carnival Milwaukee fundraiser and enjoyed the food, music, dancing and fun. 2020 was our best Carnival Milwaukee yet!

Special thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, Associated Bank, and the other 21 businesses and organizations that supported this year's event. View pictures from our photo booth, courtesy of Pixelbooth HERE and make sure to check out the restaurants and caterers we featured - they are businesses that make Milwaukee economically vibrant! Find a full list of sponsors & food vendorsat www.CarnivalMilwaukee.com and save the date for February 27, 2021 for the 13th annaul Carnival Milwaukee!


2019 Emerging Topics Series Session 3
Mapping Prejudice & Divided by Design: Friday, October 11

In partnership with Forward Community Investments and the Wisconsin Partnership for Housing Development, we welcomed nearly 70 attendees to hear from Kirsten Delegard and her colleague Kevin Ehrman-Solberg, co-founders of Mapping Prejudice. They shared how racial covenants were used by real estate developers in the 19th and 20th century, and helped remake the racial landscape of cities across the U.S. Divided by Design MKE also provided an update on their efforts to develop a school curriculum for middle and high school students that teaches the history of segregation in this country, and is an effort that came out of a 2018 Community Book Read sponsored by Metro Milwaukee Fair Housing Council and LISC Milwaukee featuring The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein.

Diverse Dining Partnership Event: September 30, 2019 
The third installment in our partnership meal series included nearly 30 individuals and focused on neighborhood narratives - how we define them, connect with each other, and what it means to be a good neighbor. The event was hosted by Carnival Milwaukee partner Cafe el Sol. Find out more information about upcoming Diverse Dining events here.

2019 Emerging Topics Series Session 2
Bank On Greater Milwaukee Local Launch: September 19, 2019
Over 60 attendees joined us to learn about how Bank On Greater Milwaukee is working to ensure that all Milwaukee-area households have access to safe and affordable bank accounts that meet their needs, allow them to increase assets, and strengthen their financial stability. We also featured a Local Coalition Panel where members shared a bit about the initial successes of this coalition, and a vision for the future work of Bank On in our community. Read a recap & access event materials here>>

UEDA Annual Community Gathering: August 20, 2019
Nearly 70 people joined us at the Sherman Phoenix for our annual networking event for members, partners, board and staff. We recognized Mueller Communications as our Extraordinary Community Partner, and Sandy Zoeller & Paul Bachowski as our Outstanding UEDA Volunteers for their work on our annual fundraiser, Carnival Milwaukee. We also introduced new staff and current Board of Directors, and shared information on new projects and initiatives. Thank you to our sponsors Goyke & Associates, Johnson Financial Group, and Sanders Super Bowl!

2019 Emerging Topics Series Session 1
Community Input for the City of Milwaukee 5-Year Plan for HUD

Held on July 11, nearly 50 attendees joined us to share their expertise and perspsectives on community needs, to help shape the priorities that will guide the City of Milwaukee’s next Five Year HUD Consolidated Plan (2020-2024). The session kicked off a 4-month community engagement period, where UEDA staff, members and partners will be reaching out into the community for their feedback. Learn more at www.conplanmke.org (including slides from this session) and take the Community Survey HERE. A special thank you to our host Bader Philanthropies, and our sponsors below.

Diverse Dining Partnership Event: May 20, 2019
Our second partnership event, "Money Talks," brought over 22 people together for a discussion on the difficult conversations we often avoid around money. The event was hosted at Carnival Milwaukee supporter, Screaming Tuna Sushi. Find out more information about upcoming Diverse Dining events here.

Money Smart Week 2019: March 30 - April 6
Each year UEDA joins the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the State of Wisconsin Office of Financial Literacy, and communities across the country to promote financial education and community resources for individuals and families, all designed to help consumers learn to better manage their personal finances. Download a flyer of local events here. For more information on how to participate in next year's Money Smart Week, contact UEDA.

Diverse Dining Partnership Event: March 21, 2019
At this first partnership event nearly 20 people joined us as we discussed ways in which we can confront and move outside of our comfort zones. The event was hosted at longtime Carnival Milwaukee supporter, Casablanca. Find out more information about upcoming Diverse Dining events here.

Carnival Milwaukee 2019: A success with new partnerships
Over 290 people joined us for UEDA's 11th annual fundraiser, Carnival Milwaukee, on Saturday February 23 to celebrate the culture and diversity of our community. Through locally produced ethnic food, music, art and dance, we aim to give attendees a deeper appreciation and understanding of Milwaukee's unique cultural mosaic. We featured 27 local restaurants & caterers, live music by De La Buena, and performances by Salsabrosa, Panadanza and Samba Da Vida. This year's event also included new partnerships with Diverse Dining and Milwaukee Public Schools Vincent High School Culinary Program, and we recognized Milwaukee Public Library as our 2019 Carnival Milwaukee Bridge Builder. Stay tuned for a future email with all the details, links to photos and more in the next month - in the meantime check out this event gallery from UrbanMilwaukee. And save the date for February 29, 2020!

Building Movement Project Event: October 24, 2018
"Race to Lead: Confronting the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap"
UEDA proudly co-sponsored this event, which featured presentation and discussion about a recent report by the Building Movement Project on the nonprofit racial leadership gap, and a service and social change workshop. These thought-provoking, energy-charged sessions engaged nearly 200 participants in discussing concrete actions leaders we can take to bridge the divide, and embrace the systems, culture and behavior changes that align with the values of diversity, inclusion and equity.

Emerging Topics Series 3:
Social Enterprises: Advancing Mission, Extending Impact, Strengthening Sustainability
was held on October 18, 2018 and nearly 70 people joined us to hear from the amazingly inspirational Deanna Singh, (Flying Elephant, LLC) who provided guests with an introduction to the social enterprise model. A panel followed, highlighting local programs that are helping area organizations and individuals realize their dream of achieving a triple bottom line. Special thank you to the organizations who participated in the Table Talk portion of our event, and for sharing their experience with launching a social enterprise: Above The Clouds, Inc., ArtWorks for MilwaukeeHmong Wisconsin Chamber of CommerceLead2Change, Inc.Milwaukee HabitatWalnut Way, and WWBIC!  View pictures here.

Nonprofit Policy & Advocacy Leadership Briefing: September 14, 2018
This briefing session featured Frank Martinelli (Nonprofit Repositioning Initiative), and Ashlie Benson and Kyle Hagge (Marquette University Trinity Fellows), who shared insight and tolls on how organizations and their leaders can begin to engage more intentionally in policy work. Learn more here

UEDA 2018 Color of Law Book Club Meetings: July 18 & September 19
UEDA is excited to be participating in the Color of Law community book read being led by two of our members, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council and LISC Milwaukee (Local Initiatives Support Corporation). Learn about our book club events here

UEDA 2018 Annual Community Gathering - August 20
Thank you to our members and partners for joining us at this annual member event. We were thrilled to be able to recognize Julia Taylor of the Greater Milwaukee Committee and Jessica Noth of Havenwoods EDC for their extraordinary commitment to the community and support of UEDA. And thank you to our outgoing Board Members, Clarissa Ortiz, Marlene Castillo, and Steve Adams for your years of service! Check out pictures here and thank you to our sponsors AT&T, Goyke & Associates and Johnson Bank.

Emerging Topics Series Session 2:
Financial Empowerment for People with Disabilities
was held on June 27, 2018 and served as a follow up to our  2017 Community Development Summit.  Over 65 guests joined us and learned about collaborative strategies that strengthen the networks of those serving people with disabilities. including presentations from local, statewide and national groups who highlighted loan and support service programs. View our recap (including links to session materials) and check out our 2017 Summit RESOURCE PAGE, which includes links to presentations, videos and other resources for those working with people with disabilities.

Emerging Topic Series Session 1:
Building Wealth & Community Through Economic Development
was held on May 9, 2018 and 54 attendees joined us for a thought-provoking event. We heard from local people & projects that are developing innovate strategies and tools that invest in people and place, through the framework of Community Wealth Building. View the session materials here (agenda, presenter bios & project descriptions, check out pictures here.

Carnival Milwaukee 2018 fundraiser a success!
Many thanks to the 285+ people who joined us on Saturday, February 24 for our 10th Annual Carnival Milwaukee! It was another festive and lively event with 20+ local food vendors, live music by De La Buena and Samba da Vida MKE, dancing (WOW!) by Salsabrosa MKE and Panadanza Dance Company, and DJ Marcus Doucette spun some tunes. Because we party with a purpose we also recognized our friends at 88Nine Radio Milwaukee as the inaugural Carnival Milwaukee Bridge Builder for their efforts to honor diversity and connect people and places. We’ve posted a few pictures on the UEDA Facebook page – more to follow!

This Carnival Milwaukee Fact Sheet includes a brief history of how this annual event started and who has participated over the past 10 years.

UEDA Annual Community Gathering: November 6, 2017UEDA 20 Years of Photos
Nearly 60 guests joined us to celebrate UEDA's 20th anniversary, looking back on UEDA’s work over the past two decades. We shared our vision for the future & acknowledged outgoing board members. We recognized the City of Milwaukee as our Community Partner, and longtime member (and former staff!) Bethany Sanchez as our UEDA Volunteer. They stand out for their commitment to the community & support of UEDA's mission. Check out pictures here

16th Annual Community Development Summit: October 5, 2017
Building Economic & Social Inclusion with the Disability Community was held on October 5 and worked to increase awareness around the connection between people with disabilities and poverty. Our RESOURCE PAGE includes a recap of the event, links to presentations, videos and other resources for those working with people with disabilities.

A special THANK YOU to our Sponsors and Supporters, who provided important support for a successful event. Check out this brief recap and the program book, including links to the keynote presentation, a video"Financial inclusion: Voices from the Disability Community" and resources that were shared at the event. Look for a 2017 Summit Resources page to be posted soon, as well as a summary report. Learn about past UEDA Summits here, which includes links to summary reports, videos and articles.

15th Annual Community Development Summit: October 31, 2016
Crossing Boundaries: Downtown Development > Civic Engagement > Neighborhood Impact focused on how civic engagement can be a tool to connect neighborhoods to the opportunities present in major development projects. Attendees represented various sectors and over 45 neighborhoods and 15+ cities or regions, and identified actionable ideas that could be integrated in current, large-scale efforts and stated we cannot shy away from issues like racism, segregation, employment, transportation and a lack of connection to (or desire to be) Downtown.

UEDA Annual Community Gathering: August 18, 2016
Nearly 50 people joined us as we reflected on the previous year's accomplishments and thanked the individuals and organizations that help us carry out our work. We shared highlights from our 2015 Impact Report and recognized Elizabeth Hummitzsch (outgoing Board Member), Joaquin Altoro (Extraordinary UEDA Volunteer) and Amber Miller (Extraordinary UEDA Community Partner). Read a recap here and view pictures here.

Carnival Milwaukee: February 27, 2016
Nearly 300 people joined us in celebrating Milwaukee’s culture and diversity through food and music. The event featured a Food Tasting with over 22 local restaurants & caterers, puppets, dancing by Salsabrosa and live music by De La Buena. View pictures from this year's event herethis article from the Milwaukee Independent and the 2016 Recognition Flier for a full list of sponsors and partners.

VISION 2050 Public Input Session: November 3, 2015
Attendees provided feedback on what should be included in a preliminary plan for VISION 2050, evalutating three alternatives— in the following areas: Mobility, Healthy Communities, Equitable Access and Cost & Susatinability. This assisted SEWRPC to develop more detailed plans to guide future land use & transportation development.

14th Annual Community Development Summit: October 21, 2015
Work Future: Building Pathways to Opportunity for Boys & Men of Color
Nearly 150 people joined us during Milwaukee's Boys & Men of Color Week to discuss how the way we work is changing and how these new paradigms can be used to improve employment outcomes for boys and men of color in Milwaukee.

UEDA Community Gathering - August 20, 2015
Nearly 50 members, colleagues and partners joined us as we recognized the following individuals for their commitment to the community and UEDA: Gary Goyke (Extraordinary UEDA Board Member), Leigh Kunde (Extraordinary UEDA Community Partner) and Marjorie Rucker (Extraordinary UEDA Volunteer).  We also announced the release of our 2014 Impact Report.
Check out pictures from the event here!

Carnival Milwaukee: February 28, 2015
Over 310 people joined the UEDA community in celebrating Milwaukee’s culture and diversity through food and music. The event featured a Food Tasting with 25 local restaurants & caterers, large puppets, dancing and live music by The Aluar Pearls
Check out pictures from the event here and view the 2015 Recognition Flier here.

13th Annual Community Development Summit: October 16, 2014
Read the recap here of The Intersection of Arts & Community Development: New Paradigms in Practice & Action, which engagedover 150 attendees in thoughtful discussions that resulted in recommendations for 4 specific projects:  Bronzeville District, Sherman Park Theater Project, Walker's Point Innovation District and Milwaukee's Commercial Corridors. 

VISON 2050 Public Input Session: Wednesday, September 24, 2014
The third session in partnership with SEWRPC for the next stage of the regional planning process, VISION 2050. Attendees provided input on 5 sketch scenarios, which will be used to make more detailed plans. Explore the sketch scenarios here, view "Guiding the Vision," new brochures and more here.

UEDA Annual Community Gathering - Wednesday, August 20
This year's event celebrated another year of UEDA's work in community & economic development and recognized outgoing Board Members Shannon Whitworth, Gene Manzanet and Una Van Duvall. We also heard from SE WI State Assembly Representatives Evan Goyke (District 18) and LaTonya Johnson (District 17).  We continued the festivities by honoring Welford Sanders (Martin Luther King Economic Development Corporation) and UEDA Volunteer David Glenn. Check out photos here

Carnival Milwaukee: February 22, 2014
Over 260 guests who joined us on Saturday, February 22nd for our annual fundraiser. We saw people in costumes & cultural attire, enjoying flavorful exotic dishes from 28 local restaurants and caterers, live music by De La Buena and other carnival entertainment. Check out pictures from the event here - it's an event not to be missed! View our 2014 Recognition Flier

VISION 2050 Public Input Session: January 9, 2014
UEDA hosted 2nd session, which worked to develop “sketch” future land use and transportation scenarios—the next step in the regional planning process. VISION 2050 is an important opportunity to talk about the future of our region. Additional meetings will be held in 2014-2015 so stay tuned!

VISION 2050 Public Input Session: November 14, 2013
UEDA hosted this visioning session in partnership with the Southeastern Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC).  VISION 2050 is an important opportunity to talk about the future of our region and this workshop gave SE WI residents the opportunity to provide their input to create a land use and transportation plan for the year 2050.

12th Annual Community Development Summit: October 31, 2013
“Show Me the Money: A Pathway to Accessing Business Capital” addressed Just over 145 attendees joined us to learn more about one of the key issues that emerged from last year’s Summit: how to best support the growth of new and emerging businesses in the region.

UEDA Annual Meeting: August 8, 2013
Thanks to those who joined us to celebrate the work of UEDA over the past year and recognize the contribution of our partners and volunteers who help make it happen. This year we invited southeast Wisconsin’s newest members of the State Assembly to share their aspirations for the region: Mandela Barnes (District 11), Evan Goyke (District 18), LaTonya Johnson (District 17) and Daniel Riemer (District 7). View the pictures here

Carnival Milwaukee: February 23, 2013
Once again, about 225 people joined UEDA on the last Saturday in February for our annual fundraiser, which featured 26 local food vendors and live entertainment by
De La Buena. One of our guests wrote a column in The Capital Times that truly captured the purpose and what we at UEDA hope people experience at Carnival - Carnival shows Milwaukee’s gathering steamTake a look at pictures from this year's event here on Flickr or at UEDA's Facebook page.

11th Annual Community Development Summit: November 8, 2012
"Completing the Circuit: Electrifying the Job Market" featured a unique format that explored the challenges and collaborative opportunities available in the areas of workforce development, entrepreneurship and business growth.

UEDA Annual Meeting:  August 9, 2012
We not only celebrated UEDA’s work over the past year, but also recognized and presented an award to Will Allen of Growing Power, Inc. We also recognized the service of two outgoing board members, Bethany Sanchez and Vera Graves-Davis.  Click here to see pictures from the event

Carnival Milwaukee:  February 25, 2012
Thanks to all our guests, friends & supporters for making the 2012 Carnival Milwaukee our best yet! Carnival Milwaukee is a party with a purpose – over 225 guests joined us and enjoyed food from around the world, music by De La Buena and dancing throughout the night. Visit our Carnival Milwaukee site to view photos, Sponsors, Food Tasting participants and more.