Vel Phillips & James Groppi

The Fight for Fair Housing

 1924-2018   1930-1985 

How do you make history?

When confronted with the problem of housing discrimination in Milwaukee, Vel Phillips and Father James Groppi did not shy away. They showed up and they listened, and then carried forward the fight for justice, marching through the streets of the city, and proposing legislation to the Common Council. After years of struggle, they were ultimately successful in achieving official recognition of the importance of fair housing in their city, and brought people together in the process.

Meet Vel Phillips and James Groppi

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Questions to Consider

Illustration of the geographical shape of the State of Wisconsin with the number 1 superimposed above it

Why did Vel Phillips, Father Groppi and members of their communities come together to advocate for change in their city? What was happening in Milwaukee that was unfair? What was the cause?

Illustration of the geographical shape of the State of Wisconsin with the number 2 superimposed above it

How did Vel and Father Groppi try to make change happen? Are these approaches used to make change today? About what?

Illustration of the geographical shape of the State of Wisconsin with the number 3 superimposed above it

While their efforts were successful in getting an act passed, what happened after? How are the changes they wanted to make back in the 1960s and 1970s important to us today?

Read On

Illustrated portrait of Vel Phillips and James Groppi

Vel Phillips & James Groppi: The Fight for Fair Housing

Get the full story with this biography book. Audio files are available on each page if you’d like to listen along!

 

Project Credits

Producer
Dan Kaplan
Becky Marburger

Associate Producer
Joe Young

Illustration
The Brave Union

Animation
The Brave Union

Animation Voice Over
Dawson McKay

Audiobook Narration
Kiara Bonilla

Audiobook Editing
Kerman Eckes

Captioning
Catie Pfeifer
Vicki Way Kipp

Educator Support Materials
Mia Forslund

Web
John Vieth
Erika Kachama-Nkoy
Tim Schneider

Design
Charles Barrows

Translation Services
University of Wisconsin-Madison Cultural Linguistic Services

Executive Producer
Peggy Garties

Special Thanks
Marta Bechtol
Kurt Griesemer

Story Advisors

Brenda Autz
Park Elementary School
Middleton, WI
(2013)

Charlene Dupler
Lakeview Elementary School
Wind Lake, WI
(2013)

Kurt Griesemer
Wisconsin HIstorical Society
Madison, WI
(2013)

Kristen McDaniel
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Madison, WI
(2013)

David J. O’Connor
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Madison, WI
(2013)

Amanda Price
Marshall Elementary School
Marshall, WI
(2013)

Tanya Schmidt
Oshkosh Area School District
Oshkosh, WI
(2021)

Corey Thompson
Cardinal Stritch University
(2013)

Stephanie Unertl
Lake Mills Area School District
Lake Mills, WI
(2013)