Ray A. Alexander Papers, 1972-1988

Summary Information
Title: Ray A. Alexander Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1972-1988

  • Alexander, Ray A., 1927-
Call Number: UWM Manuscript Collection 192

Quantity: .2 cubic ft. (1 box)
Archival Location:
UW-Milwaukee Libraries, Archives / Milwaukee Area Research Ctr. (Map)

This collection contains Ray A. Alexander's papers pertaining to his work as executive director of the Afro Urban Institute beginning in 1970. The Afro Urban Institute is a tax exempt, non-profit community development corporation for the Milwaukee black community. The Ray A. Alexander Papers consist of documents pertaining to various businesses and programs that the Afro Urban Institute helped establish. This collection includes donor solicitations; publications, including Business Insight and the Tal-N-Art Consortium, Inc. Times newsletters; correspondence; meeting minutes; and program evaluations referring to projects such as the Cheops Construction Company, Apex Cab Company, the Economic Development Center, the Northside Community Design Center, and the Career Opportunities Preparation program, aimed towards junior high school students to encourage education and future business operation and participation. This collection highlights some of the Afro Urban Institute's earlier work and illustrates the tenacity and dedication which Alexander and the Afro Urban Institute needed to conduct business during the 1970s.

Language: English

URL to cite for this finding aid: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/wiarchives.uw-mil-uwmmss0192
 ↑ Bookmark this ↑


Ray A. Alexander began work as the executive director of the Afro Urban Institute, Inc. in 1970. Prior to that time, Alexander was employed in various capacities in the city of Milwaukee after obtaining a B.A. in Sociology (1950) at the University of Wisconsin--Madison, and an M.A. in Urban Affairs (1969) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His occupations included Employment Interviewer (1955-1964), Housing and Sanitation Inspector I (1955-1964), and Community Relations Director (1965-1969), where he participated in the planning of the National Black Economic Development Conference, the Milwaukee Economic Development Institute, and helped organize and develop the Afro Urban Institute. Alexander's role extended beyond the financial and educational support of minority business owners. He also helped design and implement the Career Opportunity Preparation program, aimed at children between seventh and ninth grade, to create awareness of career opportunities for African Americans, and was a part-time lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Business Administration beginning in 1973. The Afro Urban Institute continues to exist in Milwaukee. During the 1970s the Afro Urban Institute's goals included promoting positive economic development of Milwaukee's inner city north to expand economic opportunities and employment. They did this through assisting minority entrepreneurial development and coordinating services with the Small Business Administration and the Office of Minority Business Enterprises, and its two Milwaukee affiliates, the Economic Development Center and the Northside Community Design Center. In addition, they supported funding for northern Milwaukee redevelopment groups including Third and North Coalition, Halyard Park, Misericordia Community Hospital, the Southeastern Minority Purchasing Council, and Tal-N-Art, an advocacy group for African American artists.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains a variety of information relating to Ray A. Alexander's role as the executive director of the Afro Urban Institute and the small businesses that the Afro Urban Institute supported during the 1970s and the late 1980s. The collection contains annual Afro Urban Institute board meeting minutes and reports, including the executive director's report and news clippings; Business Insight newsletters (1976-1977) published by the Afro Urban Institute; correspondence; various donation solicitations; an evaluation of the Career Opportunities Preparation program; executive committee meeting minutes; National Black Economic Development conference workshop supplements; quarterly narrative reports, which include news video transcripts, articles, and correspondence; a booklet summarizing the Afro Urban Institute's 1974 activities; the Tal-N-Art Consortium, Inc. Times newsletter and other published materials, which highlight Afro Urban Institute initiatives and also touch on a variety of businesses and programs that the Afro Urban Institute supported to increase positive economic development within Milwaukee's north side community. Aside from information regarding the Afro Urban Institute's assistance to various north side Milwaukee Businesses, some documents pertain to Ray A. Alexander's role in the Senate Small Business Administration Committee investigation and hearings (folder 10). This investigation took place during 1975 and 1976 when Congress learned that the Madison and Milwaukee SBA branches made improper loans after the Peoples Brewing Company folded. The Peoples Brewing Company was one of the many businesses that the Afro Urban Institute supported. (Alexander was also on this company's board of directors.) After the October 14, 1975 testimony of Alexander and others, the Senate Committee looked into improprieties in the operations of the SBA as well as a small number of government agencies with which the Peoples Brewing Company transacted business.

Arrangement of the Materials

The collection is arranged alphabetically by folder title, with the contents of each folder arranged chronologically.

Preferred Citation

Citation Guide for Primary Sources

Administrative/Restriction Information
Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on the materials, and the collection is open to all members of the public in accordance with state law.

Use Restrictions

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of libel, privacy, and copyright which may be involved in the use of this collection (Wisconsin Statutes 19.21-19.39).

Acquisition Information

Ray A. Alexander donated this collection to the Archives in October 2002 (accession 2002-034).

Processing Information

This collection was processed in November and December 2002 by Emily Castle. Jacqueline Frank completed the finding aid in January 2003.

Contents List
Box   1
Folder   1
Annual Afro Urban Institute Board Meeting, Executive Director's Report, 1974
Box   1
Folder   2
Business Insight Newsletter, April 1976 - June 1977
Box   1
Folder   3
Correspondence, 1975
Box   1
Folder   4
Donation Solicitations, Brochures, undated
Box   1
Folder   5
Evaluation of Career Opportunities Preparation, Booklet, 1973
Box   1
Folder   6
Executive Committee Meeting, Minutes, 1973
Box   1
Folder   7
Letterhead, undated
Box   1
Folder   8
National Black Economic Development Conference, Workshop Supplement, Booklet, undated
Box   1
Folder   9
Quarterly Narrative Reports, 1972-1974
Box   1
Folder   10
Quarterly Narrative Reports, 1975
Box   1
Folder   11
Resume, Ray A. Alexander, undated
Box   1
Folder   12
Summary of Afro Urban Institute Activities, Booklet, 1974
Box   1
Folder   13
Tal-N-Art Consortium, Inc., Miscellaneous, undated
Box   1
Folder   14
Tal-N-Art Consortium, Inc. Times, Newsletter, 1987