A Nehemiah Legacy

Our History

Nehemiah was created in the mid 1990′s in response to the unmet social, academic and spiritual needs of at-risk and disenfranchised African American and biracial children in the greater Madison community. For nearly twenty years, Nehemiah has focused on empowering children, youth and families that are economically disadvantaged and socially at-risk. We have done this primarily through culturally relevant educational and social service support programs.

Our staff members have worked to affirm our clients and treat them like partners in their own plans of care. These services have ranged from after-school learning programs for younger children to rites of passage and youth employment programs for teens, to therapeutic mentoring services for children who were diagnosed as severely emotionally disturbed, to family counseling programs for parents who are stressed, overwhelmed and in need of advocacy.

We have successfully served and empowered thousands of participants over the past two decades. Many of our alumni have earned high school diplomas, gained college degrees, lived drug-free lives, developed healthier families and have found meaningful employment.

Moments In Time

  • 2022Still Growing

    • More than 4,000 people have taken history class
    • Creation of the Court Observers Program
    • $1 Million Grant from the UW to address racism’s impact on health
  • 2020Going Viral

    BHFND class goes virtual

  • 2016Black History

    First Justified Anger Black History for a New Day class

  • 2013Justified Anger

    Rev Gee writes his Justified Anger column in the Cap Times

  • 2012Allied Dunn Neighborhood

    Programming begins with Chaplain Gloria Farr in the Allied Dunn neighborhood

  • 2011Housing

    Nehemiah acquires a 12-apartment building to provide affordable housing for men released from prison

  • 2010Man Up

    Creation of the Man UP! Program providing a place for African American men to heal and overcome obstacles under the direction of Aaron Hicks 

  • 2009Re-entry and Advocacy

    Nehemiah begins Re-entry and Advocacy Services for those returning from incarceration under the direction of Anthony Cooper

  • 2008New Programming

    • LIGHT (Learning is our Greatest Hope for Tomorrow) working with high school students needing extra support to succeed academically with greater confidence and sense of self
      • ACE renewed under direction of Ozanne Anderson
  • 2001Nehemiah and the UW-Platteville

    Partnership between Nehemiah and the UW-Platteville to increase recruitment and retention of minority students

  • 199510-year Contract

    10-year contract between Dane County and Nehemiah begins to place Family and Community Support Specialists in underserved neighborhoods

  • 1993First Nehemiah Programs

    • ACE – Academic Center for Excellence to serve elementary school children, Directed by Fabu Carter
    • YES – Youth Enrichment Services for teenagers, directed by Lilada Gee
    • First contract with Dane County to bring Black mentors and social workers to oversee Children Come First programming
  • 1992Formation of the Nehemiah

    • Formation of the Nehemiah Community Development Corporation 501(c)(3)
    • First-ever grant of $25,000 from the Madison Community Foundation
  • 1989Growing bonds

    • Growing bonds between the Black congregants of UT and white congregants of Christ Presbyterian Church (CPC) – leading to:
    • Weekly prayer meetings together
    • Creation of Project Opportunity partnership between UT and CPC to address growing number of Black students in Madison schools; focused on achieving success in high school and into college
    • Joint mission trip to Mexico
    • Joint attendance of the Seminary Consortium on Urban Pastoral Education conference in Chicago
  • 1987Union Tabernacle Church

    Formation of Union Tabernacle Church - Alex Gee ordained as Associate Pastor

Building a Stronger Madison

“This program has given me so much and I valued the opportunity to connect with an amazing group of leaders. I was challenged and encouraged to grow,”  – Lariel Turner