Near West Side Highlight: Dia Henderson

Alumna Dia Henderson ‘22, housing resource coordinator at Near West Side Partners, is taking her talents beyond Marquette’s campus. During her time at Marquette, Dia was a graduate research assistant in the Center for Peacemaking, focusing on the PARC (Promoting Assets, Reducing Crime) collaboration, as well as a graduate assistant in the Center of Engagement and Inclusion.  

Dia says her Marquette experience was “highly informative. The best part of it was making life-long connections both professionally and personally.”       

Now, Dia facilitates Near West Side Partners’ housing initiatives and connects residents to quality housing options through various resources.  

In her first few months in the role, Dia has conducted a housing survey which involved hiring staff, canvassing all seven Near West Side neighborhoods and noting the physical appearances of different housing. Through this endeavor, the Near West Side Partners website has experienced increased traffic, especially in guiding residents to housing resources for repairs and upkeep.  

She describes her work as “challenging but important. It is vital for the Marquette community to realize that it makes up a good portion of Milwaukee’s Near West Side. Do your research and get involved.”     

Dia’s advice to current Marquette students is to “venture into the Near West Side past Marquette, to get out of the Marquette bubble and experiment with restaurants and people that will add to your Marquette experience.” Dia’s favorites include Pete’s Pops and Daddy’s Soul Food.