40 years ago today, a small group of residents came together to found Common Wealth Development. Created in part as a response to a commercial rehabilitation feasibility study in the Wil-Mar Neighborhood, one of our earliest goals was to “preserve the social diversity that has long been a hallmark through a thoughtful mix of economic revitalization and physical rehabilitation.” Over the years our program areas have grown, our portfolio has expanded, and our internal capacity has been polished into the amazing organization that we are today.
We could never have gotten to this place without the dedication and commitment of the thousands of people who have been connected to Common Wealth as tenants, job-seekers, small businesses, staff, board members, volunteers, funders, colleagues, comrades and committed Dane County residents (Madison, Sun Prairie and Fitchburg!!), who have championed our work and our mission.
While our programs have evolved, our commitment to healthy community and economic development is unwavering. Over the past two years we have incorporated a strategic framework rooted in racial justice and health equity, and synergized our program areas to support local violence prevention and community health improvement efforts to complement the foundation of our work.
We have developed new relationships with partners at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and continue to support city and county–led initiatives focusing on access to employment, healthy affordable and low-income housing, support for small businesses, support for women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color and efforts aimed at improving the overall community-level health of Madison and Dane County.
Our 40th anniversary is an important time for us to reflect on all that the Common Wealth community has been able to accomplish, and to prepare ourselves for the important work ahead.
We are truly grateful for the support and dedication of everyone who has been part of our journey.
Celebrate with us!
Tickets for the anniversary artisan food tour of Common Wealth’s business incubators will be available soon! Save the date for the event, April 11, 2019.
Help us kick-start The Big Share giving campaign by seeding it today with your donation! Be the first to donate! https://www.thebigshare.org/organizations/common-wealth
Save the date for December 5, 2019 for our big anniversary banquet. We will party like its 1979!
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate a past or present Common Wealth Development mover-shaker-and-change-maker for the 40th Anniversary Portrait Project!
“In order to grow food, one must plant a seed.
In order to establish community, one must plant a seed.
We, in the Williamson Street Neighborhood,
Have been given a seed called community.
And now we must plant it.”
– From the Common Wealth Development dedication