Home Local News Center for Black Excellence secures $2.5 million pledge from Ascendium

Center for Black Excellence secures $2.5 million pledge from Ascendium


The Center for Black Excellence and Culture announced on Tuesday that it has received a $2.5 million gift from Ascendium Education Group, pushing its total raised to over $20 million.

The Center for Black Excellence and Culture is the vision of its founder and CEO Dr. Alex Gee, pastor of Fountain of Life Church, and is slated to open on Madison’s south side in 2023.

“We are enormously grateful to Ascendium and thrilled to embark on this partnership to unlock the full potential of everyone who walks through The Center’s doors,” said Gee. “I am overjoyed that so many new businesses and individuals continue to lock arms with this historic undertaking. Thanks to their generosity and faith in this community, our dream of a Black cultural home will soon no longer live as only a vision.”

The Center, a multimillion-dollar project inspired, designed, and led by Black residents, is looking to raise $36 million total. Black community members laid the foundation of the more than 400 donors and businesses who’ve joined an unprecedented and rapidly growing public and private collective, the Center for Black Excellence said in a press release, and the grassroots enthusiasm that defined the early days has transformed into quantifiable momentum that will soon take the real shape of a forever-home for Black Madisonians.

“The Center will allow people of all ages to immerse themselves in a community that believes in their promise and brilliance,” said Amy Kerwin, Ascendium’s vice president – of education philanthropy, in a statement. “The community’s coming together to support The Center has been incredibly inspiring. Ascendium looks forward to helping The Center foster education and workforce training opportunities and develop the next generation of leaders that will guide Madison and the surrounding communities to new heights.”