Get Involved

Be a Part of This Historic Moment in Madison

Our goal is to raise $36 million to build and run The Center.

This is the first multi-million dollar transformational project in Madison, led by and for the Black community. This is our time – the time to show the strength and leadership of our community.

When the Black Community Thrives, the Region Benefits

Madison’s need for The Center is clear, and we can only make it a reality if the city’s philanthropic community, business community, and individual donors come together to build this project that will benefit all of us from Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin, and beyond. To learn more about the project, download our case statement.

The Black Excellence Campaign

 More than 300 Black community members and their honorees donated the first, foundational gifts and with your help we plan to open the doors of The Center in late 2023.

The Capital Campaign Leadership Committee

The Capital Campaign Leadership Committee is in charge of raising the $36 million necessary to bring The Center to life.

Brian Burns

Brian Burns

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Morgan Murphy Media
Susan Pierce Jacobsen

Susan Pierce Jacobsen

Vice President, Director of Administration Operations, JLA Architects
Anthony Cooper, Sr.

Anthony Cooper, Sr.

Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Reentry Services, Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development
Marla Frank

Marla Frank

Retired Chief Financial Officer, Frank Productions
Maurice “Mo” Cheeks

Maurice “Mo” Cheeks

Senior Partnerships Manager, Civis Analytics and past City of Madison Alderperson
Mike Victorson

Mike Victorson

CEO, M3 Insurance
Peter Feigin

Peter Feigin

President, Milwaukee Bucks
Ray Allen

Ray Allen

Former Wisconsin Secretary of Workforce and Development
Sverre Roang

Sverre Roang

Attorney and Local Business Leader
George Austin

George Austin

President, AVA Civic Enterprises
John Milton

John Milton

Minority Services Coordinator, La Follette High School
Kesha Bozeman

Kesha Bozeman

Marketing Executive
Kim Sponem

Kim Sponem

CEO/ President, Summit Credit Union
Neil Heinen

Neil Heinen

Co-Chair, Retired Editorial Director at WISC-TV and Madison Magazine, civic leader
Hon. Frances Huntley-Cooper

Hon. Frances Huntley-Cooper

Co-Chair, Madison College District Board of Directors, retired Dane County Human Services Professional, former Mayor of Fitchburg
Hon. Rick Phelps

Hon. Rick Phelps

Project Strategy, Former Dane County Executive, Chaired Redevelopment of East Washington Ave/ Capital East District
Rev. Dr. Alex Gee

Rev. Dr. Alex Gee

Co-Chair, Lead Pastor of Fountain of Life Church, President and Founder of the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development and Justified Anger
Jim Bower

Jim Bower

Principal, Bower Group LLC
Cedric Ellis

Cedric Ellis

Executive Vice President & Chief Enterprise Services Officer, CUNA Mutual Foundation
Alan Fish

Alan Fish

Retired Vice Chancellor of UW- Madison
Jim Yehle

Jim Yehle

President & CEO, Findorff
Betty Harris Custer

Betty Harris Custer

Founder & Managing Partner, Custer Financial
Michelle A. Behnke

Michelle A. Behnke

Principal, Michelle Behnke & Associates

A Word from Our Co-Chairs

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“It’s time! We are ready to showcase intergenerational Black achievement from yesterday, today, and for the future. Are you ready?”

– Hon. Frances Huntley-Cooper, Capital Campaign Co-Chair

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“I am thrilled to be working with Rev. Dr. Alex Gee on one of the biggest ideas in the city’s history, The Center for Black Excellence and Culture. The Center will be transformative, changing the narrative of the Greater Madison region and its future to one that is truly inclusive and welcoming. It will celebrate the culture and contributions of the Black Madisonians who have been a part of the fabric of Madison since its inception. And it will be a Black inspired and designed space where all can gather, learn, create, celebrate, and promote Black excellence and culture.”

– Neil Heinen, Capital Campaign Co-Chair

With this campaign underway, we’re a step closer to improving the quality of life for Black Madisonians and enriching the region’s culture. You too can become a part of building The Center by contributing to its success today.

Thank You to Our $100,000+ Donors

  • State of Wisconsin: $5,000,000
  • American Family Insurance: $2,500,000
  • Summit Credit Union: $2,000,000
  • CUNA Mutual Foundation: $1,000,000
  • Rep. Mark Pocan Federal Earmark (Supported by Sen. Tammy Baldwin): $1,000,000
  • Dane County: $810,000
  • Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation: $500,000
  • W. Jerome Frautschi Foundation: $500,000
  • Dave and Terri Beck-Engel $500,000
  • Comer Family Foundation: $500,000
  • Anonymous: $500,000
  • Bankers’ Bank: $250,000
  • City of Madison: $250,000
  • Marla and Larry Frank: $125,000
  • M3 Insurance: $100,000
  • Betty Harris Custer and Corkey Custer $100,000
  • Jim and Jessica Yehle: $100,000
  • Mike and Karin Victorson: $100,000
  • UW Health: $100,000
  • Anonymous: $100,000 (2)