Over the last three years, BUILD awardees have been working toward addressing social determinants of health and advancing health equity in their communities. To commemorate the end of our third cohort and spotlight their impactful work, we will be sharing each of our 18 communities’ stories — highlighting the partners’ collaborative approach to creating meaningful change in their community, the challenges they faced, and the transformative impact of these efforts for residents.

Sherman Park is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Milwaukee. As reported by the Milwaukee Business Journal, “Sherman Park is a storied Milwaukee neighborhood, a diverse community that represents both Milwaukee’s proud heritage and its modern challenges.” Today, many renters live alongside the longtime residents of Sherman Park. Despite pride in the Sherman Park neighborhood, tensions persist under the surface. Milwaukee is the most segregated city in the United States and has the nation’s second-highest Black incarceration rate.  In Sherman Park, poverty (32 percent versus 29 percent) and unemployment rates (45 percent versus 36 percent) are higher than in the broader Milwaukee area. In recent years, violence has plagued the area. In addition to community violence, Sherman Park copes with under-performing schools, inadequate transit, and housing insecurity.

While there are problems in the community, residents are ready to tackle the issues and excited for change. Sherman Park also has important community-based assets — an anchor hospital, major urban park, and active neighborhood group. BUILD Sherman Park ensures that key stakeholders in Sherman Park can work together to mitigate upstream factors — conditions that lead to health issues. BUILD Sherman Park focuses on fostering safe, strong neighborhoods, as well as strengthening leadership and collaboration among residents. This includes community violence prevention, microgrants that empower residents, and data-driven initiatives that look at topics such as reckless driving (a hyper-localized issue).

Over the past three years, the BUILD Sherman Park community has been able to:

  • Partner with residents to identify four community priorities;
  • Engage more than 20 residents to tackle upstream change through the Community Council;
  • And distribute four microgrants to the community.

People care about the neighborhood. People come together about issues they care about.
—Deborah Ford-Lewis, Sherman Park Community Association

Read more about BUILD Sherman Park’s impact in Milwaukee, WI, listen to Marques Hogans and Kyle Ashley share their story below, and stay tuned for more BUILD community stories!