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Marquette University releases 2023 ‘State of the Ecosystem’ report on support for Black and Latino/a students in Milwaukee


The Black and Latino/a Ecosystem and Support Transition (BLEST) Hub at Marquette University has released its 2023 “State of the Ecosystem Report,” the second ecosystem report from Blest which highlights the hub’s commitment to creating new avenues to support Black and Latino/a students in Milwaukee via research and programming efforts with partners throughout the city, according to a press release from Marquette University.

Housed in Marquette’s Center for Urban Research, Teaching and Outreach (CURTO), the BLEST Hub began in 2019 as a collaboration among major educational institutions in Milwaukee, including Marquette, the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Milwaukee Area Technical College and Milwaukee Public Schools.

Among his past year’s initiatives, the BLEST Hub is leading research and data efforts in the push to certify Milwaukee as a My Brother’s Keeper City by the Obama Foundation, according to a press release. The BLEST Hub also released an accompanying podcast to its annual report as part of the CURTO Conversation series. In the podcast released Aug. 14, Dr. Gabriel Velez, assistant professor of educational policy and leadership and faculty director of the BLEST Hub, discussed the recent trends, challenges, and developments in the Black and Latino/a student ecosystem with community partner Walter Lanier, CEO of the African American Leadership Alliance of Milwaukee, and BLEST Hub student researchers.

Other new efforts from the last year include:

  • Building and disseminating a timeline of the ecosystem
  • Deepening dual enrollment work to include targeted programming, research reports, podcasts and local coalition building
  • Expanding a network of graduate and undergraduate student researchers
  • Restarting the Leadership and Brotherhood (LAB) Summit in collaboration with Milwaukee Public Schools’ Department of Black and Latino Male Achievement


Along with key educational statistics about the city of Milwaukee, the 2023 State of the Ecosystem report highlights new research projects focused on the Black and brown college student perspective, a historical view of Milwaukee’s educational policy, and restorative justice initiatives locally and internationally. With educational infographics, readers will be able to learn more about the current issues affecting Milwaukee students.