Groundbreaking Celebration for The Center for Black Excellence and Culture

Yesterday, on Juneteenth 2024, African American Studies Chair, Dr. Christy Clark-Pujara and department alumnus, Rev. Dr. Alex Gee, were joined by hundreds of Madison community members for the groundbreaking ceremony of Madison’s Center for Black Excellence and Culture. Both Gee and Clark-Pujara gave remarks to celebrate the start of construction.

The Center for Black Excellence and Culture was first envisioned by siblings Alex Gee (founder of Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development) and Lilada Gee (founder of Black Woman Heal Day). The Center aims to hold space for the Black community of Madison, as “a place to foster and accelerate the Black entrepreneurial spirit, a place to celebrate the excellence we bring to this city and beyond, a place to feel the physical, mental and emotional relief of our culture, and a place to laugh, talk and see ourselves represented.”

The project has raised $28.5 million thus far, $5 million of which was received through Governor Tony Evers’ administration and federal neighborhood grants.

The Center for Black Excellence and Culture is set to open in late 2025. Learn more at