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‘We are Here for the Long Haul’: Bader Philanthropies’ Commitment to Harambee

October 14, 2019
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Online Article

Daniel J. Bader, president and CEO of Bader Philanthropies, and Franklin Cumberbatch, its vice president for engagement, discuss Bader’s commitment to the Harambee neighborhood.

The Harambee neighborhood is home to lively individuals and families.

Our neighbors have hopes, dreams and vibrant ideas that come alive whenever we are together for “Chat with Bader,” a monthly event hosted to spark conversations about revitalizing our community.

Moving from the Historic Third Ward into a neighborhood was not about just moving stuff from one building to another building. It was about moving our hearts, minds, perspectives and culture. The way we “do business” has been altered by a heightened sense of humanity.

Every day offers an opportunity to connect with our neighbors, whether they live right next door, around the corner or throughout the 160-block community.

Conversations with residents amplify the passion people have for making our neighborhood safe, clean and healthy for all ages. And they have given birth to great ideas as they manifested the true meaning of “Harambee,” the Swahili word for “all pull together.” The neighborhood has joined together for annual community cleanups and a youth snow shoveling effort that benefits the elderly, helping them to safely leave their homes this past winter.

Harambee residents are people of action and walking historians on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive who share stories about our global headquarters building (formerly known as the Green Bay building), which has been around since the 1920’s, serving the neighborhood in many capacities. It continues to be a place where members of the community gather together. We never want that to change, in fact, we want to keep making those connections with passionate individuals.

Education and commitment are a passport to the future, and we are here for the long haul. We look forward to hearing the stories of the community as we work together to continue making Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive a place of fascinating activities and connections. During our first year in the new space, we welcomed over 5,000 people to our Harambee neighborhood headquarters, a 100-percent increase from our last year in the Third Ward.

One of the most memorable events was our recent “BBQ with Bader.” More than 300 guests connected with friends, neighbors, colleagues and enjoyed great food and danced to the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music’s jazz ensemble. Seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter illuminate across our patio is one of the many reasons we enjoy being a part of a neighborhood. We experience the power of interactions between people coming together every day, and that guides us in the ways we partner with organizations around the world through our grants and convenings.

We invite you to join us at one of our upcoming “Chat with Bader” sessions, come say hi and talk with us about issues that are most important to you.