The Center for Black Excellence and Culture to hold groundbreaking on Juneteenth


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By Chad Thompson, WKOW

A mockup of the The Center for Black Excellence and Culture by JLA Architects

MADISON (WKOW) — The Center for Black Excellence and Culture is breaking ground on a new building Wednesday on Juneteenth, a fitting date for The Center’s mission.

“We have chosen this important date with intention as it is the official Juneteenth holiday, honoring the day (June 19th, 1865) when freedom reached all enslaved people in the United States,” said Rev. Dr. Alex Gee in a statement. “As we honor generations past, The Center’s groundbreaking on Juneteenth marks the start of a new chapter for harnessing the strength of Black culture and Black people to create renewed agency and uplift and inspire a brighter future for generations to come.”

The groundbreaking celebration begins at 11 a.m. at 655 W. Badger Rd, the future home of The Center.

Dr. Gee, members of the planning committee, and state-wide Black influencers invite the public to join The Center on Juneteenth to celebrate.

The Center encourages Madison’s Black community to envision a place where they can connect, celebrate, rejuvenate, cultivate, and advance together.

The groundbreaking will feature remarks from members of The Center’s leadership team and public officials who helped make the groundbreaking possible. There will also be a special recognition of the 300-plus Black donors who kicked off The Center’s fundraising efforts as part of the Black Excellence Campaign, many of whom will be in attendance to celebrate the momentous occasion.

“The Center is the answer to the decades-long absence of cultural space to celebrate and advance Wisconsin’s Black community. To see the first steps taken in its construction is a testament to the boldness and perseverance of Black residents who have worked for years on end to make our dream a reality,” said Gee. “We are grateful for the incredible support we’ve received from countless individuals, groups, and organizations—without their generosity and dedication, this moment wouldn’t be possible. We eagerly await the day we can open our doors and embrace the Black community in Madison and beyond.”

WKOW explains what the center will be used for.

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