THE HARAMBEE GREAT NEIGHBORHOOD INITIATIVE
"Harambee" Means Pulling Together!
The Harambee Community
Since the 1930s, Harambee has been a hub for African American culture and heritage. Originally settled by German immigrants in the 1800s, the African American community grew over the years and reached its height by the 1970s. Harambee was particularly attractive to working class families because of the modest and tidy single-family homes and proximity to downtown.
In the mid-1970s, residents adopted the name Harambee, the Swahili word for "pulling together". Harambee's organizing culture is rooted in the civil rights movement. During the 1970s and 1980s, the neighborhood became organized with over one hundred active block clubs. Residents fought against school and housing segregation, and other forms of institutional racism and divestment facing their community.
The Harambee Great Neighborhood Initiative
The Harambee Great Neighborhood Initiative (HGNI) was formed in 2007 out of the need to rally community leaders and residents around a unifying goal of revitalization for northern portion of the Harambee area. Utilizing this coalition approach with major funding from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and a partnership with Milwaukee’s Local Initiative Support Corporation, the HGNI aims to pool the resources, knowledge, passion and expertise of its members to positively impact community development and quality of life issues in the Harambee community. Currently, the HGNI has 12 key coalition member organizations that have been vital to the success of its efforts. More information on these members can be found HERE
HGNI currently operates through three committees: the Executive Committee (comprised of representatives of the coalition members), the Arts, Culture and Evironment Committee and the Housing and Economic Development Committee. These committees meet monthly to discuss the intitiative being undertaken by HGNI. For more information on the committees, including joining, please contact us.
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