The Black Excellence Campaign is hoping members of the Black community lead the charge to raise money for a proposed community center that would provide the Black community with resources and support systems.

The fundraising campaign to construct The Center for Black Excellence was launched Aug. 15, with organizers hoping to garner the first $50,000 in donations from members of Madison’s Black community. The concentrated effort will last until Oct. 15 to show “the power and commitment of the Black community to make this project happen,” according to The Center’s website.

So far, Black residents have jumpstarted the campaign and raised almost $7,500. Donors to the campaign will have their contributions acknowledged online and physically displayed in the new center building, according to The Center’s fundraising page.

“The donors will have their names on a physical structure, maybe a plaque,” Center spokesperson Nathan Dupont explained in an interview with The Cap Times. “The leadership for the center wanted to make sure these first donations were coming from members of the Black community so we’re encouraging people from Madison and beyond to make donations.”

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Following the preliminary fundraising from the members of the Black community across Madison, The Center will open its campaign efforts to the greater public after Oct. 15.

The Center, which will be located in the 700 block of West Badger Road, would serve as the culmination of a community-wide effort to bring collective inspiration and advancement to the Black community across Madison, according to organizers. The fundraising page states it is the celebration of Black culture that hopes to affirm, unify and advance Black excellence.

“It’s incredibly meaningful that the Black community will lead the way in creating a space that we’ve been craving for so long,” co-chair of the Black Excellence Campaign Lilada Gee said in a statement to the Cap Times. “Seeing these names —Black names — in the Center will be a permanent celebration of the Black excellence that paved the way in making it a reality.”

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The Center for Black Excellence will serve as a place for Black residents to access a culturally-focused community, establish personal connections, obtain support for health-related issues and be a place for Black youth to learn leadership and business skills, according to The Center website.

“Madison once showed promise of becoming a stronghold for Black prosperity. But as the decades have passed, this promise has not been kept,” The Center’s website states. “The city’s history paints a picture of neglect, inequity and the destruction of Black wealth and excellence — but we have an opportunity to reroute the course of its future.”

Though the building is still being officially designed, proposed features of the Center include spaces for works of art, theater arts, a youth and student center and a center for innovation and leadership.

More information about The Center and how to donate can be found at theblackcenter.org.