A Message from the President
I can hardly believe that it was twenty years ago that I left my job at UW-Madison in order to establish the Nehemiah Community Development Corporation. This has been an incredible journey. In this season we are celebrating two decades of community empowerment! This is a major milestone for our community. The theme of our celebration is: Are We There Yet?
I can clearly remember how the pieces of this vision began to come together…
In the early 90s I surveyed our small young congregation in order to assess our collective skills that would be needed for a community-based enterprise. I found that we had many talents. Many of us were college students or recent graduates who held degrees in the areas of Education, African American Studies, Social Work, Psychology and Business/Economics. We felt that the UW had adequately trained us to become community-based world changers.
As I shared the vision of creating a community based social service organization with our congregation and they loved it! As a result, I felt empowered to share our vision with area pastors who felt so inspired by the concept that several of them actually agreed to become part of the planning committee for Nehemiah.
That was twenty wonderful years ago!
Today we are called The Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development. Our tagline states that we are, “transforming the face of leadership” and indeed we are. We place a great deal of emphasis on empowering the African American family…especially the African American male. We currently develop youth and adult leaders through six areas of programming: Youth Leadership, Healthy Neighborhoods, Justice & Reconciliation, Economic Empowerment, Arts and Culture, and Emerging Leaders. One of our most exciting new endeavors is the creation of the South Madison Center for Culture and Community (www.southmadisonccc.org), a multicultural and multigenerational community gathering hub where the beauty of South Madison’s culture will be put on display through plays, concerts, films, lectures, meals, art shows and educational and enrichment seminars.
Thank you, Greater Madison (South Madison, in particular), for welcoming our presence and programs into this incredible community for the past two decades. It has been our honor to faithfully serve you and we look forward to the next twenty years!
Not there yet,
Dr. Alex Gee, Jr.