Advancing the Black Community, in Madison and Beyond

A Word from Paul Kundert, CEO and President

A rendering of the interior of the Center for Black Excellence and Culture.

With summer upon us, so too is the seasonal scramble to cram in as much as possible. The planning, scheduling and budgeting for everything from vacations to sports camps often directs our attention inward, creating an invisible but ever-present countdown to fall.

But this fall will usher in more than a new school year for Madison. It signifies a turning point for the Center for Black Excellence and Culture and the milestone one-year mark since organizers launched a capital campaign to bring this cultural haven to life. This landmark project is a community-wide effort to celebrate, support and advance the Black community.

In 2020, UW Credit Union had a similar look-ahead goal in mind when we added Juneteenth to our corporate holiday calendar. This acknowledgment of the Black experience extends well beyond reflection; it signifies a larger call to action, a reminder that helping all community members thrive is a shared responsibility. Today, we are taking a very purposeful step in our allyship journey with a $50,000 donation to the Center.

The Center’s transformational approach stems from the simple act of listening. Listening to what the Black community wants and needs to maximize their community experience and their quality of life. From accelerating the Black entrepreneurial spirit to creating a tangible place to talk and encourage representation, the multigenerational impact of this space is limitless, extending to students, artists, business leaders, seniors and beyond.

The organization has already surpassed its halfway finding mark, raising more than $22 million in just nine months. But there is still a long way to go. An additional $14 million in funding is necessary to bring the Center to its total goal of $36 million. This funding will keep development plans for the six-acre plot on track to open in the fall of 2023.

I urge all of us to remember that no gift is too small. If you can give this summer, please do. If you cannot, please share. Talk about the project, spread the word, create more awareness around what this project stands for. Why? Because this project stands for everything.

A community united by inspiration, opportunity and hope benefits all of us. It matters to all of us. And while those long summer days won’t last forever, just think of the lasting possibilities we can create by coming together to look outward. Let’s make Madison a place we can all be proud to call home. Today, tomorrow, always.

 

 

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