The Institute for Intercultural Research (IIR) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee addresses the needs and responds to the concerns of communities of color through research, public service and information resource sharing.

In partnership with faculty, staff and community members, the Institute conducts scholarly research and sponsors public forums to address a variety of intercultural issues.

In addition, the Institute serves as a clearinghouse of information, distributing and publishing reports, studies and papers in a broad range of intercultural areas.

Gary WilliamsThe director of the Institute is Gary L. Williams, Ph.D., Associate Professor Emeritus at UWM in the Department of Educational Policy and Community Studies. He taught courses in teaching techniques for community organizers and community educators, the theory and practice of educating black males, and the Milwaukee community. Williams has actively served for years on community-based organization boards including in the African-American and Latino communities.

Mission and Goals


To utilize a culturally sensitive racial and ethnic lens to create, organize, assess, and disseminate scholarly knowledge designed to impact policy and quality of life issues in the greater Milwaukee area.

Institute Goals

  • Enhance the culture of applied funded research conducted by faculty, especially faculty of color.
  • Establish partnerships between Institute Scholars and Milwaukee’s communities of color to effectively identify and address issues and concerns having policy implications.
  • Facilitate the provision of technical assistance and expertise of Institute Scholars to communities of color based on needs emanating from urban areas.
  • Assess the Institute goals and action steps; and promote and support UWM’s Milwaukee Commitment, Phase II.


The Institute for Intercultural Research conducts multi-ethnic and multi-disciplinary scholarly research, in partnership with faculty and community members, on issues affecting intercultural communities. A group of 30 UWM senior faculty members comprise the Institute Scholars, representing diverse racial and ethnic groups and a wide range of academic disciplines. They provide guidance and expertise to the implementation and research of the Institute. Current research by Institute Scholars includes:

  • The major role families play in influencing outcomes for their children.
  • The state of children in Milwaukee.
  • The Black professional.
  • The Black elders quality of life.
  • Health care in under served populations.
  • Poverty and the racial divide.

Public Service

Throughout the year, the Institute sponsors public forums, events and conferences that are designed to educate the UWM community as well as Milwaukee area communities on intercultural issues. Programs focus on debate and discussion of policies and practices impacting intercultural populations, and address the issues and needs of the communities.

The Institute also conducts diversity education training workshops for UWM students, staff and faculty to build cultural competency in the many UWM communities.

Contact Information

(414) 229-5626
Fax: (414) 229-4805
IIR E-Mail:


Enderis Hall, Room 545
2400 E. Hartford Ave.

Mailing Address

Institute for Intercultural Research
Enderis Hall, Room 286
P.O. Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201-03413