BLKSHP Milwaukee


Let's explore it together!

May 16th


How does Milwaukee’s history shape who we are and what stake do we have in creating new legacy?

Milwaukee Iron Tour

Learn about Milwaukee’s historic ironworks and join a workshop on reinventing traditional industries

Partner: Milwaukee Blacksmith’s School of Iron

10am - 12pm

Milwaukee Blacksmith

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**limited space**

Milwaukee in Words

Explore Milwaukee’s legacy through storytelling, spoken word and stimulating conversation. Special guests: Reynaldo and Rozalia Hernandez-Singh.

Still Waters Collective and Milwaukee muralists Reynaldo & Rozalia Hernandez-Singh


Zimmerman Arch Studios

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May 17th


What unique challenges are facing Milwaukee and who are those solving them in unique ways?

Retracing The Steps

Walk the route of Milwaukee’s fair housing marches and learn about this historic moment in Milwaukee history.

Guided By: Adam Carr from “200 Nights of Freedom”

10am - 12pm

16th Street Viaduct

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**limited space**

The Lean Community Unconference

Engage with community champions and discuss solutions to city challenges through the lens of lean methodology.

Presentation By: Former Development Director at 18F, Romke de Haan


Urban Ecology Center - Menomonee Valley

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May 18th


Who are those creating world- class things and how can they benefit from unlikely problem solving alliances?

Story Design for Educators

Learn to design compelling stories alongside fellow traditional and non-traditional educators/students.

Presentation By: Reps from Pixar Animation Studios

10am - 12pm

UWM Union

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The Music Lab & Closing After Party

See a live session of The Music Lab with special BLK SHP guests and MKE’s aspiring young musicians.

Partner: Grace Weber & 88.9 Radio Milwaukee

4:30pm - 6:30pm

7pm - 9pm

88.9 Radio Milwaukee

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What is BLK SHP?

A group of entrepreneurs, writers, artists, and social entrepreneurs started black sheep (BLK SHP) in 2012. Our network of BLK SHP co-conspirators choose to.

  • UNLOCK the artist within

    to turn choice into agency.

  • COLLABORATE with others

    no one unlocks their creativity alone.

  • FORGE genuine relationships and community

    let's work on projects and ventures to benefit society.

  • HAVE fun

    because laughter and play frees our minds, bodies, and souls.

Today, over 3,000 wool breakers in the US and abroad have chosen to conspire with us.

Visit to learn more.

Join Us!

How is and can Milwaukee be best in the world? We don't have all the answers but we know YOU do! Get connected with us and we'll explore and celebrate all the ways our city is world class together.

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Presenting Sponsor

Northwestern Mutual

Itching to get involved? You should be! Contact Aaron Davis to help explore.

Oh! You're still here!

You want to know all about BLK SHP Milwaukee? Hear a little about our story from Shepherd, Aaron Davis.

1. What is a BLK SHP Shepherd?

Shepherds serve as the "vision keepers" of the Bus Tour, keeping our focus and attention on local community, culture, and grassroots perspective. They are get-things-done innovators, who represent BLK SHP's mission in their towns, cities, and regions.

2. How did you first hear or become involved with BLK SHP?

I was sitting on a foam cube in the atrium of Stanford’s design school for a fellowship meetup when I first saw Peter Sims talk about his efforts to found BLK SHP. One short, simple but powerful idea stuck in my head and it was “We all have creative potential, a lot of it, but no one unlocks it alone.” Little nuggets of wisdom tend to stick in my head and I carried that around with me through school, work and out in the community. A couple years later, almost by complete chance, I got a call from Chris Chavez reaching out to me to be their shepherd in Milwaukee for the upcoming BLK SHP 7 city tour. I immediately jumped at the chance.

3. You are the Milwaukee Shepard leading the charge for the Milwaukee leg of the bus tour. Tell us how that came about and your experience so far.

This whole experience has validated for me that if you put yourself out there with good intentions, Milwaukeeans will respond with support, encouragement and enthusiasm. To me, being a BLK SHP means being someone who leans in, who dives head first, who leads with curiosity & empathy, someone who gets a huge grin on their face when someone hits them with a “that’s impossible, can’t be done.” Because of this effort, I find a new BLK SHP everyday. Milwaukee can be best in the world because of them.

My experience has been fantastic. Full of challenges, late nights, creative constraints as well as countless stories, triumphs and new friends! This is only the beginning, MUCH more to come.

4. How do you see the BLK SHP mission extending to or impacting our local community?

When Chris approached me about the BLK SHP tour we spoke about how we could broadly impact STEAM/ maker based students, educators and makers. We knew that all efforts had to be focused on each individual city, addressing city-specific challenges and successes. Drawing from my experience, I remembered a classic line which I’m sure will have a lot of educators nodding their head. “We educate our students incredibly well, but we have a hell of a time keeping them in Milwaukee.” Or said differently, “We lose bright young minds to larger, ‘better’, cities where all world-class opportunities live.”

It hit me. If we could spend 72 hours celebrating all the incredible people already scheming & succeeding in Milwaukee, with a team capturing their answers to the question “how is and can Milwaukee be best in the world” we would have a narrative that Milwaukee’s next generation of makers, educators, entrepreneurs and community champions could rally behind.

This is our goal. To take a step into the wings while Milwaukee’s world-class creative community champions take center stage, not only locally but on a national stage.

5. What are you most excited about for next week’s events?

The best part of any event is the interactions you never could have planned for. I am so excited to have the experiences we designed in concept suddenly have life breathed into them by the people of Milwaukee.

6. And finally, what's your Milwaukee is best@ statement?

Milwaukee is best in the world at developing resilient, resourceful, compassionate leaders.

Milwaukee can be best in the world at leveraging its cultural diversity to teach young leaders about the world.

- See you soon, Aaron

Got an idea?