To increase and sustain the impact of Milwaukee’s Black business community.

MKE Black celebrates and promotes Black business, events, culture, and advancement in the greater Milwaukee area. We are a non-profit dedicated to providing a one stop shop for locals and tourists, with information on dining, shopping, culture, resources, and more through our website and app. 

We also help Black Businesses by providing funding and resources to thrive. In recent months MKE Black has received a large wave of support from the community. Through donations of funds, time, and resources, our organization has supported over two dozen local Black businesses. Over $11,000 has been contributed/ to sixteen businesses, and we have aided many others by increasing their visibility with our social media marketing. 

We have also supported the community by distributing treats from local Black businesses to protesters in the Milwaukee area. Additionally, MKE Black recently has partnered with several organizations to assist businesses with capital, digital presence, and community support.

The MKE Black Business directory is available on our website and for and lite version for Android and iOS phones.   

MKE Black is a registered non-profit in Wisconsin and we are working towards 501c3 status.

MKE Black Leadership

Paul Wellington
Co-founder & Executive Director

Paul Wellington holds a Master’s in Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, though he works as a public library supervisor. He is the author of Black Built: History and Architecture in the Black Community, a publication discussing the work of Black architects in the United States. Paul also runs the international blog ArchBrick Daily, showcasing the fan made LEGO architecture.

Rick Banks
Co-founder & Board Member

Rick Banks is a Milwaukee native who is joining BLOC after spending three years as a neighborhood organizer. He’s been an activist and an organizer in Milwaukee since 2010 when he was spurred by protests following the passage of ACT 10. Rick proudly identifies as pro-labor, pro-student rights, pro-women & LGBT+ equality, and he strongly opposes white supremacy and police violence.

Ayrton Bryan
Strategic Partnerships Coordinator

Ayrton is a recent transplant to Milwaukee, but has already grown to love and value the many faces of the city. With a Bachelor’s from the south and Master’s from the east, he has found himself instantly welcomed by the warm MKE community and wanting to give back. He works as an Environmental Health and Safety Manager. He is an avid (audiobook) reader, yoga-fan, craft beer junkie, martial arts student and mindfulness practitioner.

Kim Erdman
Community Events Planner

Kim Erdman is an Event & Sales Planner in the downtown Milwaukee area and a student majoring in Marketing and Event Management. She is a driven community activist who is committed to showcasing cultural diversity, aiming to achieve positive social change. She enjoys volunteering, hiking, being outdoors and traveling.

Mazie Wellington

Mazie Wellington holds a Master’s in Special Education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and currently works in a suburban district of Milwaukee as an Elementary Special Education Teacher. She is also a mother, wife, runner, and crafter.