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Chris Abele Issues A $100,000 Personal Challenge Grant On Behalf Of America’s Black Holocaust Museum.

January 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Arts/Literature, Money/Business, News, Weekly Columns

( Chris Abele, Milwaukee philanthropist and County Executive of Milwaukee County, has personally issued a $100,000 challenge grant to support the reopening of America’s Black Holocaust Museum (ABHM) at 401 W. North Avenue in Milwaukee’s Bronzeville African American Cultural and Entertainment District. Abele’s grant will match dollar-for-dollar all donations and pledges made by February 25, 2019. This is a special day: it is the 105th birthday of museum founder Dr. James Cameron, who passed away in 2006 at age 92. A donation or pledge makes a wonderful birthday gift in honor of Dr. Cameron.

Written pledges submitted by February 25, 2019 can be paid through the end of calendar year 2021 (up to a 3-year pledge). Donations will support the museum’s educational programming and operations. The new museum, which is reopening soon, is a program of the Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation (DJCLF). Abele’s challenge grant is a catalyst to help raise the remaining $400,000 of DJCLF’s $1.5 million fundraising goal for 2018.

Like the original museum (which operated from 1988 to 2008), the new ABHM will include exhibits on African people before captivity, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, auction blocks, the civil rights movement (both past and present), as well as local and national civil rights leaders. One of the primary goals of the museum is to share the under-told stories that are an integral part of U.S. history.

“I’m grateful to have the opportunity to support this amazing and important museum,” said Abele.  “I truly believe that clarity and openness about this chapter of our nation’s history is more

important now than it ever has been.  Milwaukee will be a stronger community for both knowing that history and, in particular, celebrating Dr. Cameron’s courage and profound commitment – along with many other advocates and activists from diverse backgrounds – to repairing and healing our racial divisions. It is my hope that this challenge grant inspires others, not only to help support this museum, but to re-dedicate themselves to the more just, equitable, and compassionate community that we all know Milwaukee can and must be.”

ABHM was founded in 1988 by Dr. James Cameron.  He survived a brutal 1930 lynching in Marion, IN when he was just 16 years old.  Dr. Cameron went on to devote his life to civil rights and promoting a just and peaceful society.  He founded ABHM to teach others about the forgotten history and harmful legacy of slavery, as well as promote racial repair, reconciliation, and healing. Until 2008, ABHM was a beloved cultural institution that welcomed thousands of visitors from around the world, with an emphasis on young people from local schools and universities.  The original museum closed two years after Dr. Cameron’s passing in 2006. The new museum is built upon the same footprint as its predecessor on the corner of Vel R. Phillips Ave. (formerly 4th St.) and North Ave.

To have your financial gift matched by Abele’s challenge grant, please submit all donations or pledge commitments by February 25, 2019.  You can donate on-line at ABHM 2018 Campaign or mail your pledge commitment or check payable to the Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation at 11933 W. Burleigh St., Suite 100, Wauwatosa, WI 53222. Download a pledge/donation form here. For other ways to give, including underwriting opportunities, please contact us at 414-374-5353 or email


The nonprofit Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation (DJCLF) was founded in 2012 by friends and supporters of Dr. James Cameron to continue his legacy. Its mission is to build public awareness of the harmful legacies of slavery in America and promote racial repair, reconciliation, and healing. We envision a society that remembers its past in order to shape a better future – a nation undivided by race where every person matters equally. The new physical museum will complement DJCLF’s virtual museum (, which was created in 2012 to share Dr. Cameron’s story and museum exhibits to a broader national and international audience. Over 5 million visitors from over 200 countries visit ABHM’s Virtual Museum annually. For more information and to donate, visit

Contact: Nancy Ketchman

Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation

Cell: 414-305-6923

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