Dane County invests in creation of Center for Black Excellence and Culture

Project coordinators have created a photo rendering that aligns with their vision. Photo rendering courtesy of Channel 3000.

Author: Jessica Gregory

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and Reverend Dr. Alex Gee announced that Dane County’s 2021 budget will allow for the creation of a Center for Black Excellence and Culture located on the Southside of Madison.

Designating $810,000 for the Center will assist organizers in purchasing their desired location in the historic Black Neighborhood of South Park Street. The land plot is 3.5 acres and situated on 700 West Badger Road. 

With the Center for Black Excellence and Culture operating as a space to foster relationships within Black communities, celebrate and teach Black culture and uplift Black leaders, the press release projects it will become a cultural landmark.

Reverend Dr. Alex Gee expresses his excitement to begin the project.

“We truly believe that creating a physical space for Black people to celebrate our culture, pay tribute to our history, and nurture future Black leaders will advance the entire community, so we’re thrilled that the County Executive’s proposal includes support for The Center for Black Excellence and Culture,” Reverend Dr. Gee said.

Recognized in the press release are the extreme racial disparities people of color face in Dane County. Reverend Lilada Gee, founder of Defending Black Girlhood and Black Woman Heal, mentions that these extreme racial inequalities have adverse health effects on communities of color. 

“Creating safe places for Black residents in Dane County and beyond to heal will benefit all of us,” Lilada Gee said.

Monday’s press release determines that the project is long overdue, as “the county’s Black community has longed for a central place to gather to engage in fellowship, network with Black professionals, celebrate their culture, or plan for their advancement.”

Read the official press release here.