Abele backs African American Chamber’s new co-working space with $300,000 gift

Largest gift to the project to date

African American Chamber of Wisconsin Legacy space
A rendering of the new Legacy space at 1920 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. (Galbraith Carnahan Architects)

Last updated on January 31st, 2020 at 03:15 pm

Milwaukee County executive Chris Abele has donated $300,000 to the African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin’s fundraising campaign for its new innovation and co-working space on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Milwaukee.

The AACCW is converting the formerly vacant storefront at 1920 N. King Drive into a facility that will house co-working space for chamber members and entrepreneurs, the AACCW offices and SHARED, a community commercial kitchen for food entrepreneurs. Other plans include a coffee shop and retail space.

The project is expected to be completed in the spring.

The facility will be named the Chris Abele Legacy Co-Working and Innovation Space.

“On the eve of Black History Month, I am proud to have an ally in Chris Abele,” said AACCW president and chief executive officer Ossie Kendrix. “He has gone above and beyond to ensure African American entrepreneurs have an inclusive and accessible space to find themselves in the work of innovation.”

AACCW launched a $500,000 fundraising campaign in early 2019 to help finance Legacy.
Abele’s is the largest gift to the project to date.

“For the past five years, I have been increasingly focusing my efforts at the county, my personal giving and my business investments towards addressing racial inequity,” Abele said. “There is no greater challenge and no moral wrong more worthy of righting than the racial inequities that exist in our community, and I intend to do even more going forward.”

JCP Construction is the project’s general contractor and Galbraith Carnahan Architects designed the project.

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.

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