Meet the Commissioners
Beginning March 17, 2020, ERC Offices and in-person services will be closed until further notice.
However, we are still here for you and available by phone, mail and email. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and to protect the health and well-being of our staff and city residents, the Equal Rights Commission offices will not be accepting in-person services or meetings.
If you have witnessed or believe you have personally been discriminated/targeted due to coronavirus, or in general, we urge you to contact the Equal Rights Commission and report the incident.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (414) 286-5532
Together, we'll get through these challenging times.
|Add your voice to the equal rights conversation!
As of February 2, 2022; the City of Milwaukee Equal Rights Commission is seeking to fill two (2) vacancies for the position of ERC Commissioner.
As community volunteers, ERC Commissioners are expected to attend bi-monthly commission meetings, participate in at least one monthly board committee meeting, and to represent the interests of the City of Milwaukee and its residents, workers, and visitors in matters pertaining to equal rights. To apply, submit your interest via the ERC Applications & Nominations page.
Tony Snell Rodriguez, Chair
Tony Snell is an accomplished human rights advocate and serves as the chair of the City of Milwaukee Equal Rights Commission and is the visitor experience manager for VISIT Milwaukee. He previously served as senior director for the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee, the host organization of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, and as the Wisconsin deputy coalitions director for the Biden-Harris coordinated campaign.
As a member of the ERC, Tony initiated a successful effort with staff to advance the City’s Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index score from a 72 to a 100; helped champion the first in the country integrated adaptive bike program; spearheaded the City’s inaugural International Human Rights Day celebration; coordinated efforts with the Mayor’s office, the Department of Public Works, neighborhood enterprises, and Milwaukee Pride to pave the way for Milwaukee’s Rainbow Crosswalks at Cathedral Square; and joined colleagues to craft the new ERC governing ordinance to extend safeguards that protect gender identity, gender expression, HIV status, source of income, veterans, and cultural hairstyles. As the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center interim executive director and board member, he and his team led a community coalition ensuring the passage of Milwaukee’s ordinance banning conversion therapy, the first in the state.
"Milwaukee Magazine" said, "Tony is passionate about human rights" and his Twitter account is "one of ten you're gonna want to follow" (@TonyEquality). Tony hails from South Carolina and is a featured contributor in the book "Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement" which also chronicles his coming out story and advocacy. He was also interviewed by the New York Times in a ground-breaking, front page story about LGBT political organizing in the South. Demanding transgender inclusion, he was instrumental in the crafting and passage of the City of Columbia Human Rights Ordinance – one of the first in the South. He was also a founding member of the Equality Federation (a national group of state LGBT organizations).
Tony, a Spanish-American, is happily married to Dr. Wujie Zhang and proud to call Milwaukee their home.
Jacqueline Cook, Vice Chair
Jacqueline Cook is the epitome of human resources (HR) with over 30 years of experience as an HR professional with 15 years of academic experience teaching HR and other business-related courses in three institutions of higher education; most notably the development of Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) A.A.S. Human Resource Program. Her story is one of triumph, perseverance, and the unabashed tenacity to defy odds. Her authentic and transparent style of leadership has garnered her accolades and respect among her peers, superiors, and subordinates. Driven by results and motivated by achievement, with steadfast determination, she has a proven track record for success.
From serving as a lead Human Resource Consultant for WE Energies to Faculty Innovator for MATC, Cook has relied on her keen insight, subject matter expertise, and strategic alignment to create avenues for personal and organizational success. In combining her passion for HR and education, she has crafted a path uniquely her own. Her uncanny ability to market any company’s mission, vision, and philosophy, as well as identify top talent, has propelled her to the next level of her career. As president of J.A. Cook Consulting – “The Oracle of HR Legal and Academic Services”, Cook offers HR services, education, and training, as well as legal consultation in matters of employment law. In addition, as an entrepreneur, Jacqueline counsels and advises leadership on HR and corporate initiatives.
Cook holds a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University, a Master of Science in Administrative Leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Master of Legal Studies-Human Resource Management from Trinity Law School. Relying on passion and competency to outline her destiny, Cook holds certifications in Diversity and Inclusion for HR with Cornell University, Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Wisconsin Technical Colleges – Milwaukee District.
Cook is affiliated with numerous civic and professional organizations, including SHRM, American Bar Association, International Society of Female Professionals, Association of Blacks in Higher Education, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She has been recognized among the elite in academia in Who’s Who in Community Colleges Higher Education, Who’s Who in Black Milwaukee, and is a Future Milwaukee Leadership Development Program alumna.
Martha Collins is an experienced, nonprofit leader and civil rights activist. For nearly two decades, she has fought on the front lines to enhance the lives of low-income children, families and communities throughout Wisconsin. In her previous work experiences, she has excelled in empowering, organizing, and mobilizing people from diverse economic, social and cultural backgrounds to work together for positive change.
Martha has experience in developing the next generation of progressive future candidates, political leaders, organizers, and community activists across the state. In 2013, she received the “Organizer of the Year” award from Citizen Action of Wisconsin recognizing her leadership within the Raise Up MKE fast-food workers campaign, in which she led a coalition of community leaders, workers and organizations that introduced and passed the living wage ordinance for low wage workers throughout Milwaukee county.
Martha is currently the Founder & Senior Partner with LEAD180, a consulting group which help find solutions to ensure equal opportunity and core human and civil rights by collaborating with mission-driven leaders, organizations, and philanthropists to break cycles of poverty and dramatically improve the quality of life for those in need.
Martha is the former state director with 9to5, which is one of the largest, most respected national membership organizations of working women in the U.S., dedicated to putting working women’s issues on the public agenda. In 2015, Martha led a coalition of statewide members and organizations to preserve the Wisconsin Family Medical Leave Act from being repealed by the state legislature.
Martha is a proud graduate of Milwaukee Public School with a primary study of Information Technology at George Washington High School. She attended Cardinal Stritch University and received her Bachelor of Science in Business Management. She is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration in Organizational Leadership and Nonprofit Management through Springfield College.
Martha is passionate about advocacy. She has served on several local and national nonprofit boards. In May 2018, Martha was appointed to the Equal Rights Commission with City of Milwaukee. Previously, she served for three years on the City of Milwaukee Ethics Board.
Martha resides in Milwaukee with her two sons: Sean and Seth.
Nathan Guequierre is an urban planner with 15 years’ experience in managing project focusing on urban redevelopment, economic analysis, policy analysis, and transportation planning and design. All his work is centered on effective and equitable public and stakeholder involvement. He leads teams of professionals for a variety of public sector clients. He has a special focus on pedestrian systems planning and environmental justice evaluations. He works for a Fortune 500 company.
Born in Milwaukee, Nathan grew up in Michigan. He returned to Milwaukee in 1988 with an undergraduate degree in English. He worked as staff writer at the Milwaukee Art Museum, associate editor of Milwaukee’s Art Muscle magazine, and regularly wrote articles for newspapers and magazines around the country, including Milwaukee’s Shepherd Express, where he served as the paper’s art critic for a decade. He is the author of City-Smart: Milwaukee (1997, John Muir Press, San Francisco), a hopelessly out of date guidebook to Milwaukee.
Nathan earned a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. For the last decade and a half, his work has focused on public involvement, particularly in the framework of environmental justice evaluation: assessing the disparate impacts of infrastructure development on minority and low-income populations and working with the people affected by those projects to maximize their benefits and serve the needs of all residents. He leads complex projects for municipal, state and Federal agencies. In addition to the City of Milwaukee Equal Rights Commissions, Nathan serves on the board of directors of the Urban Economic Development Association of Wisconsin.
Jennifer Bennett, PE, MBA, is Ojibwe and Odawa (Crane clan), a Band member of Wiikwemikoong First Nation (Ontario, Canada) and a descendant of the Bad River Band of Ojibwe Indians and Walpole Island First Nation (Ontario, Canada). She is a licensed professional civil engineer with over 20 years of experience on civil and environmental engineering projects in both the public and private sector, who began her career writing capital planning studies for rural Ontario First Nations. She has specialized in the environmental remediation for over 15 years, working to remediate contaminated sites to regulatory no-further-action status.
Since her undergraduate years acquiring a minor in American Indigenous Studies at Cornell University, she has been a fierce advocate for Native people and helping to create community. She comes to Milwaukee by way of Houston and the San Francisco Bay Area where she has experience organizing with local Native community organizations. She takes great pleasure in building bridges between community stakeholders and being a conduit of communication. She has always been devoted to putting roots down in the different cities or communities that she has lived in.
Jennifer earned her master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
William Crowley is a lifelong advocate with a deep passion for Milwaukee. Born in Chicago, he moved to Milwaukee to attend law school at Marquette University. Since graduating, he has demonstrated a commitment to serving marginalized populations throughout the community. In 2014, he joined the staff at Disability Rights Wisconsin, where he works as an attorney advocate for people with disabilities on long-term care Medicaid programs. Also in this role, William has served on a number of committees, including the Diversity and Inclusion committee and worked with local government and county transit officials on public transportation program implementation for riders with disabilities.
Since 2012 William has served on the Board of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, most recently as its Equity Representative, working to cultivate a broad, representative membership on the Board. William also serves on the board of directors for IndependenceFirst, and is a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Caregiving, working on solutions to address the caregiver workforce crisis in Wisconsin.
In his spare time, William also runs a blog detailing his adventures on wheels and showcasing his love for all things Milwaukee.
Jessica Boling is an experienced community organizer. She has solved complex issues and promoted the influence of different communities. She is currently the Director of Community Engagement to the Asian American Pacific Islander Communities at the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee.
Previously, she was the Director of Operations at Silicon Pastures Angel Investment Network where she was responsible for sourcing, presenting and managing startup investment deals for a Midwest-based angel group.
In 2016, she ran the political campaign in 2016 for an Asian-American candidate in Wisconsin against a 24-year incumbent. She is also a founding member of ElevAsian, an AAPI leadership group in Milwaukee.
In 2013, Jessica conducted research on international aid in Cameroon as a Fulbright Fellow. Additionally, she served as the Secretary General for a nonprofit organization in South Korea for adoptees returning to Korea.
Jessica graduated magna cum laude from both Seattle University and Boston College. In her free time she enjoys training for different races, traveling and telling jokes with her friends.
Shelley Gregory is an advocate, activist, and educator, with more than two decades of experience in civil rights and social justice work. Shelley works actively in the LGBTQIA+ community. Their current work supports transgender, nonbinary and gender nonconforming individuals and communities through direct services and individual advocacy, and through training, technical assistance, and public policy work. Shelley serves in an advisory capacity to several nonprofit organizations and corporations. Shelley is the Strategic Project Coordinator at FORGE, a national transgender antiviolence organization headquartered in Milwaukee. Before returning to Milwaukee in 2015, Shelley practiced law for nearly 15 years in San Francisco, litigating and advocating to expand legal protections and improve quality of life through policy reforms. Their practice focused on labor and employment matters and workplace safety and health. Shelley graduated summa cum laude from Carroll College (now Carroll University) in 1997 with a B.A. in English and Communication. They received a law degree in 2001 from Harvard Law School, where they served as co-Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.
Jamal is a lifelong resident of Milwaukee and has pride in the city and looks at the great opportunity that the city has for change and prosperity. Jamal has worked for over 20 years in the financial and banking industry and is dedicated to empowering the community. A willing volunteer, he has worked with and partnered with many community partners to reach out and help more. Recently, Jamal has switched to the non-profit side to further share knowledge and insight with the community and to help them reach personal as well as financial goals and improve their quality of life. Jamal looks at his role in the ERC as a way to further help the community and to make things more equitable for all.