Sabrina “HeyMiss Progress” Madison announced the opening of the Progress Center for Black Women, to be housed at the Urban League of Greater Madison, at a press conference Wednesday morning.
“I left my job in March of 2016 with no plan, no goal, except I’m going to work for Black women,” Madison said.
Since then, despite that space she has created for Black women, Madison found many women continue to reach out to her for financial, professional, and entrepreneurial needs.
“I had to ask myself, how does this work live beyond me,” she said.
The Progress Center for Black Women is intended to aid the economic development of Black women and families in Madison.
The center will introduce three new programs including Ambition, a 9-month leadership and professional development program geared towards Black women; blkCOLLAB, a collaborative space for Black entrepreneurs; and a micro-lending program for low-income women of color.
The center will also continue Madison’s pass works such as the Black Women’s Leadership Conference, the Black Business Expo, and the Black Excellence Youth Conference.
“We have to center Black women in the work because we needed it,” Madison said. “We needed to center us and make us the focus.”
Both the office of the Progress Center for Black Women and its programming will now be housed under the Urban League of Greater Madison.
Madison is looking for $150,000 to cover the first year of programming, with $50,000 going towards the micro-lending programming. She is also looking for a credit union partner.
With the help of Boys and Girls Club CEO Michael Johnson, she was able to get $7,000 in pledges within minutes from community members present at the announcement.
“If we can’t center Black women we’re never going to resolve the issues that Black families are facing,” said Madison.