SWOT Analysis

An anecdotal of the African American Community of Greater Madison, Wisconsin, in consideration of:

Strengths

Many members of the Greater Madison African American Community are:

  • Economically stable,
  • College educated,
  • In influential positions across the City (e.g., educators, law enforcement),
  • Members of infinity groups,
  • Desire better outcomes for people that look like themselves,
  • Have a rich history from which others can take and draw a sense of pride,
  • Are easily accessible and localized, and
  • Have access to local, regional and national political leaders.

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Weaknesses

  • Lack of coordination among the African American organizations,
  • Major disconnect between the educated class and the low-income class of African Americans, to a point of being two different constituencies, 
  • No influence over institutions that affect our community (e.g., schools, university, local government, business institutions),
  • No consistent policy advocacy,
  • Sense of divide between those who were born here and those who moved and were educated here,
  • The emerging African American community is largely low-income,
  • Involvement in skilled trades (e.g., electrician, plumbing, HVAC) is almost nonexistent,
  • Many African American youth have little or no adult male guidance,
  • Incarceration rates for African Americans in Greater Madison are high, and
  • Education achievement for African American youth is low.

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Opportunities

  • The Greater Madison African American community continues to grow and could gain political power,
  • Access to political leadership could help get hot-button issues on the agenda, locally and regionally,
  • Educational institutions in Madison are world-class and could help educate our community, and
  • The "boarder community" seeks voices from the African American community.

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Threats

  • The African American community of Greater Madison is fragmented,
  • There is no collective voice to public or private sectors concerning issues involving African Americans in Madison,
  • The emerging African American community, although growing, has little job readiness skills and orientation to work,
  • Incarceration rates remain high and continue to negatively impact the community,
  • New leadership is not being groomed to take over from the current leaders - the Baby Boom generation of leaders is transitioning, and
  • The feeling in the Euro American community, and perhaps some sectors of the African American community, is that we are living in a post-racial society.
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