Bader Philanthropies honor legacy of Reuben and the late Mildred Harpole with new building dedication

October 14, 2021

Event Photo

On Tuesday, October 12, 2021, Bader Philanthropies, Inc., leaders and supporters gathered to celebrate the grand opening of its new Harambee neighborhood building at 3338 N. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Drive. The development, which houses a jazz café called Sam’s Place, and Shalem Healing Inc., a health and wellness service, has been named the Harpole Building in honor of community advocates Reuben and the late Mildred Harpole (inset).

The couple, known by many as the “Black Mayor and First Lady of Milwaukee,” were advocates for the city’s youth and vulnerable residents, with Reuben working as an outreach specialist at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee Extension and later a program officer for the Helen Bader Foundation (now Bader Philanthropies).

Mildred advocated for education and racial housing equal rights, and worked at Milwaukee Public Schools as a reading specialist and an administrator at Harambee Community School. She went on to serve as director at the Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity for the Milwaukee Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where she advocated on issues concerning fair housing and homelessness for several years before finally retiring in 2002. She passed in 2019.