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Walter Lanier


Director, Multicultural Affairs, Community Engagement and Men of Color, Milwaukee Area Technical College

Walter J. Lanier is the Director of Multicultural Affairs and Community Engagement at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC). MATC is multi-campus, community college with approximately 38,000 students.  In 2015, Lanier led the design and launch of the college's Men of Color Initiative which is designed to increase course completion, retention, and graduation rates of the college's men of color.  Men of color are over 22% of MATC's population; Black men are 56% of that total.

In addition to his work at MATC, Lanier is in his sixth year as the senior pastor of the Progressive Baptist Church of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Progressive is very active in the Milwaukee community and is particularly recognized for its work in the areas of mental health, anti-violence and HIV/AIDS prevention.  In 2012, he formed "MIRACLE" (Mental Illness - Raising Awareness with Church and Community Leaders Everywhere) which is a collaboration of faith-based leaders, community leaders and people with lived experience.

A 1995 graduate of the University of Michigan law school, Lanier maintained his own business law practice for over a decade prior to joining MATC. Lanier also lectured in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Department of Africology in the areas of race and constitutional law.

He has served on numerous boards and is deeply committed to being a part of Milwaukee reaching its fullest potential.  Lanier currently serves on a variety of community-wide boards including the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board, Milwaukee Community Justice Council, Milwaukee Inner City Congregations Allied for Hope and Milwaukee Health Services, Inc.