African American Chamber reaches $1 million Legacy campaign goal

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 October 28th, 2020 at 01:17 pm

The African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin has reached its $1 million fundraising goal for its new Legacy Co-Working and Innovation Space on King Drive in Milwaukee.

The chamber said the American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation provided an undisclosed gift to complete the campaign.

“American Family is committed to being a strong partner in our communities, and as we confront difficult and complex issues like the pandemic, equity and wealth gaps, and racial injustice, it’s more important than ever,” said Jim Buchheim, American Family community and social impact officer. “We’re proud to support the efforts of the African American Chamber of Commerce in creating this inclusive and accessible space, located on the historic Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Milwaukee, for entrepreneurs and business leaders.”

Construction is underway to build out The Legacy at a 4,212-square-foot building at 1920 N. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.

The facility will provide workspace and resources for chamber members and entrepreneurs, including co-working space, leasable private offices for entrepreneurs, a commercial kitchen, and coffee shop and retail space. Chamber offices will move into the space in December, and the shared spaces will be completed in early 2021.

The chamber went public with its fundraising campaign in fall 2019.

The funds will also support increased operational expenses in the coming year and establish an endowment.

“In this time when African Americans have struggled to maintain health, security and means, campaign donors have stepped up to ensure that local entrepreneurs have a space to nurture their business dreams,” Ossie Kendrix, chamber president. “Donors’ gifts to the chamber ensure that we can invest in the entrepreneurs who will lead our community to prosperity.”

Other supporters included: Chris Abele, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., Greater Milwaukee Foundation, MillerCoors, Brewers Community Foundation, Fiserv, Johnson Controls Foundation, Wells Fargo, Herb Kohl Philanthropies, Town Bank & Catholic Financial Life, Evinrude Foundation, AACCW Board giving, Deborah Allen/DNA Network, WE Energies Foundation, Enterprise Holdings Foundation, and the 100 for $100 Bronzeville Campaign.

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