How MKE Black Is Supporting Black-Owned Businesses

The organization is hosting a marketplace in the Deer District this weekend.

The Deer District will be the place to gather and support Black-owned businesses this weekend.

The MKE Black Marketplace will be held Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the second floor of GATHER, 333 W. Juneau Ave., as part of an ongoing celebration of Black History Month

The non-profit organization offers information on dining, shopping, culture, resources and more through its website and app. Users can explore more than 600 businesses or browse by categories.

MKE Black created and maintains the database of Black-Owned businesses in the Greater Milwaukee area. Businesses can submit their information to be listed here



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Founded in 2019 by Paul Wellington and Rick Banks, who wanted to showcase Milwaukee’s Black community to residents and tourists, MKE Black celebrates and promotes Black-owned businesses, events, culture and advancement in Milwaukee.

The organization’s stated vision is “to create boundless opportunities driving Black community wealth.” Its mission is to “amplify the Milwaukee Black Community by facilitating intentional investment of resources and building global connections.”

The organization is led by Executive Director Ayrton Bryan, sustainability project manager at Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation.

Banks, a Milwaukee native who has worked as an activist and an organizer in Milwaukee since 2010, is the chairman of the organization’s board of directors. He serves as director of African American Affairs for Milwaukee County.



Rich Rovito is a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine.