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American Girl founder donates $1M to Urban League’s Black Business Hub project | Latest News

The building is also slated to include space for existing businesses, as well as for pop-up vendors, retail storefronts, offices, co-working. More features consist of a shared commercial kitchen.

The Foundation’s donation is helping ULGM to raise $3 million in the short term to help construction begin at the end of 2021. The overall project costs around $25.3 million. 

Only 0.4% of businesses in Dane County with more than one employee are Black-owned, said Ruben Anthony Jr., the league’s CEO.

“This staggering disparity has flown largely under the radar despite growing awareness of the Madison region’s extreme racial disparities in health, education and employment,” Anthony said.  

Ruben Anthony


“While The Hub will be a destination that will serve the entire Madison region, it’s location in South Madison, Madison’s oldest African American enclave, is significant” said Anthony in a Tuesday statement. “We’re confronting the risk of gentrification and showcasing a new model of inclusive economic development.”

The disparity in access to the entrepreneurial community in Dane County is “extreme,” said Rowland in a concurring Tuesday statement, adding the pandemic has only exacerbated that issue. 

“I am inspired by the Urban League’s vision and pleased that our investment can help bring that vision to life,” Rowland said. 

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