What's New


June 08, 2020

Forward Community Investments (FCI) stands with those protesting for justice, liberty, and life. Black Lives Matter. 

It is long past time to unwind the thread of racism and violence that binds the lives of Black, Brown, and Indigenous people to the sinful founding of this country. Theft and genocide claimed America. Violent abduction and enslavement built this country’s wealth. Our social contract, institutions, and systems weave a coercive tapestry for denying non-whites humanity to ensure the survival of white held privilege, power, and prosperity. 

Law enforcement and the justice system legitimate killing in defense of this union, perfected for some through the oppression of many. The color of your skin determines which United States waits for you. 

June 22, 2020

FCI's 2020 Prospectus is now available!

June 15, 2020

Us 2 Behavioral Health Care’s mission is to advance health equity by removing barriers and creating an inclusive community where people can reach their full potential. They accomplish this by providing a culturally sensitive, holistic approach to mental health counseling, psychiatry and consulting. Research shows there are profound disparities in those services for underserved and low-income populations in Wisconsin and Us 2 is there to address it.

“I have been in the field of social work and mental health for the last decade and noticed a huge disparity between individuals who are able to access mental health care and those who are not. Worse off, were groups of minorities that were able to access health care, but their treatment was disproportionately lower than their white counterparts.” States Sheng Lee Yang, Executive Director of Us 2 Behavioral Health Care who is a first-generation immigrant who arrived in the U.S. as a refugee at a young age.

June 24, 2020

Join Hope Community Capital, Forward Community Investments, Tri-City National Bank, and Notre Dame School of Milwaukee to learn how to successfully access New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) for your community facility project. The webinar will provide participants with an overview understanding of whether and how NMTC is a possible source of project financing/funding for their community facility. Executive Directors, Board Members, Chief Financial Officers and Development Directors of nonprofits engaged in the development or expansion of a community facility will benefit most from this webinar. Note: Although this particular webinar is focused on a Wisconsin project – Notre Dame School of Milwaukee - the tips and ideas are applicable to any nonprofit across the nation considering NMTC as a source of financing/funding for its community facility project.

May 26, 2020

Thank you to every organization that applied for our COVID-19 Nonprofit Emergency Capacity Building Grant. We received 169 applications which speaks to the need of support for nonprofits across the state during this pandemic.


These grants were designed to support small nonprofits that have changed their operational model or services due to COVID-19. We also wanted to get these funds out the door as quickly as possible which is why we used a lottery system in selecting the awardees you see below.


We also would like to thank Associated Bank for their partnership in the initial pool of grant funds. Moving forward, we are in contact with funders statewide to build another pool of funds to hopefully replicate this program in the near future. Once again, we would like to thank all of the organizations that applied. You are all providing invaluable services to your communities. Keep doing good!

May 22, 2020

i.c.stars | * Milwaukee was established to create economic opportunity for underserved communities by bridging disconnected young adults with the high growth tech sector. They accomplish this by working to activate a community of change agents to power social and economic freedom while providing young adults with employment opportunities and preparing them for community-based advocacy.

“We are really focusing on underrepresented demographics in Milwaukee where we've seen industry leave and have seen the devastation that that has caused.” States Sarah Dollhausen-Clark, General Manager for i.c.stars | * Milwaukee.

April 30, 2020

It has been a long and winding road for Jacquelyn, but her journey has shaped her into a caring, compassionate and empathetic person who goes by “Aunt Jackie” to more than just her family.

Jackie is the Founder and Principle Counselor at F.O.S.T.E.R. of Dane County (Families Overcoming Struggles to Encourage Restoration) a nonprofit that provides culturally relevant, strength-based, and trauma-informed care. She made the decision to create this organization based on her vast experience in day-to-day counseling and family support services where she observed and analyzed the many barriers to providing resources and services to communities and families in need.

April 27, 2020

Applications for the second round of PPP funding begin today, Monday April 27. If you were unable to access the first round of funding in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), you were not alone. Due to incredibly high demand, the first round of funds was completely exhausted in 14 days. The second round of $310B is not expected to last long. 

If you have already started the PPP application process with a bank or credit union, you should not have to restart the process but contact your lender to be safe. Do not submit a new PPP loan if you may have one pending. You may become ineligible for the program. 

April 23, 2020

B.A.B.E.S., Inc. Child Abuse Prevention Program provides family strengthening services to young parents at NO COST in Appleton and the surrounding Fox Valley. This is accomplished by providing economic, educational and emotional wellness support. 

“We believe that if we provide parenting skills, educational opportunities and emotional support we can help provide structure for their home and family that will help them reduce stressors that could lead to child abuse.” Says Pastor Mahnie Williams, Director of B.A.B.E.S. 

March 26, 2020

As the news changes on a seemingly minute by minute basis regarding the global pandemic of COVID-19. We have compiled resources for your nonprofit or small business during these unimaginably uncertain times. 

April 10, 2020

Forward Community Investments is excited to welcome Evan Reed as our new Regional Director of Southeast Wisconsin beginning April 16, 2020.  In this role Evan will continue to build on our strong foundation and assist organizations and initiatives in Milwaukee and surrounding counties that are working to reduce social, racial and economic disparities. Mr. Reed brings a wealth of experience in community banking, CDFI, and nonprofit industries, having previously worked for Legacy Redevelopment Corp and the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. 

“I am excited to join a thriving CDFI in Forward Community Investments. Their established foundation in authentically servicing Wisconsin communities with an equitable lens will be a strong continuation in my career to generate impact through economic development” states Evan. 

April 03, 2020

During these unimaginable times of “Safer at Home” orders and physical distancing, Forward Community Investments (FCI) is reminded of why we do the work we do. FCI is an investor, connector, and advisor for organizations and initiatives that reduce social, racial, and economic disparities in Wisconsin Communities. We envision an equitable and inclusive Wisconsin built on cooperative social action.

FCI understands that our work depends upon a diverse board and staff team, contributing their skills, expertise, and perspectives. We are pleased to announce Michele Mackey has joined FCI as a loaned executive acting as Interim CEO through an innovative resource sharing arrangement with Kids Forward. 

March 19, 2020

The Money Coach Program is apart of SecureFutures which has a mission to provide financial literacy programs and resources that empower students to make sound financial decisions with a vision to build strong communities where teens and their families make informed financial decisions and take control of their financial future. 

The challenge that SecureFutures seeks to address is teens, especially those from underserved communities, need more than basic financial education in order to develop the habits that will allow them to achieve long term financial security and capability. And the solution is Money Coach. A unique semester-long financial mentoring program that engages small groups of high school juniors and seniors in the Milwaukee area who are matched with teams of volunteer coaches who guide them through in-depth financial literacy curriculum and provide on-on-one support as they put concepts into practice. 

February 18, 2020

Stoughton, a city located in southeast Dane County, has a population of about 13,000 that is comprised mostly of individuals with white European ancestry, but that demographic is changing. It can be seen especially in their schools where almost 17% of the students are of other races than white. However, the diversity of district staff does not reflect the increased diversity of the student population. That is one thing that Mosaicos Cultural Enrichment would like to see change.

Mosaicos’ vision is to make the City of Stoughton a welcoming and inclusive community for people from all backgrounds, where everyone feels respected and valued and all students thrive. They do this by promoting understanding, appreciation, and inclusion through facilitated conversations about diversity throughout the community and fosters academic achievement among underrepresented students by providing them with support and mentoring.

January 23, 2020

The Eisenhower Center is a vocational training program on the northwest side of Milwaukee that provides training and jobs for adults with disabilities that live in some of the most economically and racially distressed communities across Milwaukee County. Traditionally the Eisenhower Center has partnered with local businesses to provide packaging assembly and other fulfillment services to provide program participants valuable skills, work experience that can be used in the community, dignity, and hope.

However, with the changing economy, the center saw some of their partners go out of business or restructure. This spurred them to create a business in house that could support the center’s participants. With this creativity, Ike Bites was born!  

December 17, 2019

The Men of Vision mentoring program works with African American youth in and around the Fond du Lac area to provide educational, academic, social and emotional support that promotes positive behaviors that will enhance their respect for others and themselves. 

One of the driving forces behind the Men of Vision program can be conveyed through a quote from Fredrick Douglass. “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

Men of Vision understands the importance of engaging these individuals while they are young so they can share the tools that are needed to become the leaders of tomorrow. These tools can then be utilized throughout their lives as they mature, move onto college and become husbands and fathers for their families.  

November 21, 2019

Health Watch Wisconsin is creating a four-part video series, Buena Salud, dedicated to Spanish- speaking immigrant communities to inform them of their rights regarding health care coverage in Wisconsin. The series, which will be presented in Spanish, is a result of research conducted by Health Watch Wisconsin; the findings concluded that Spanish-speaking immigrant communities are selecting not to enroll in healthcare programs because they are worried that receiving coverage could negatively impact their immigration status. 

October 24, 2019

In response to business owners of color in the Fox Valley feeling isolated and having difficulty finding community support and resources, Fit Oshkosh created a space intended to harbor a safe space of empowerment where people of color can conduct and expand their businesses and emphasize social and community connections.

October 11, 2019

In partnership with UEDA Forward Community Investments and the Wisconsin Partnership for Housing Development, we welcomed Kirsten Delegard and her colleague Kevin Ehrman-Solberg of the Minneapolis-based research group, Mapping Prejudice for a discussion on Friday, October 11th in Milwaukee.

The session provided attendees with an understanding of racial covenants, how they were executed, and how they shifted the racial landscape of cities like Milwaukee. During this session, Sherrill Knezel provided us with this beautiful version of her sketch notes from the session. 

Click Here to see a larger version of Sherrill's sketch.

Thanks Sherrill!

September 18, 2019

Souled Out Ministries Inc., based in Appleton, is an organization that works with at-risk youth through partnerships with parents and educators. Their vision is that ALL youth and young adults in Appleton have equitable access to educational opportunities, graduate from high school and can achieve their full potential. 

Part of achieving this vision includes their Student Assistance Program. This program assists students, families and school staff in the identification, and removal of barriers that stand in the way of student development and learning. 

October 02, 2019

Please join us for lunch and the opportunity to learn more about the story behind The Carmen Porco Story: Journey Toward Justice with the author, Dr. Charles Taylor and Rev. Carmen Porco. This insightful biography provides a compelling and beautifully written account of Rev. Porco's life journey from the barroom where he grew up, to his highly successful low-income housing ministry in Madison and Milwaukee.

Rev. Porco has transformed how low income public housing should be managed in this country. He believes that public housing complexes must do more for people in need than just offer shelter. These properties that are benefiting from government subsidies should provide a comprehensive array of social and educational services onsite so that poor people have the resources necessary to improve their lives, he says.


August 21, 2019

Padres E Hijos En Accion envisions a world in which all Latino children with disabilities can enhance their quality of life and expand their participation in the community. Padres achieves their goals by engaging children and families in activities not previously available to them, including cooking, gardening, biking, and rock climbing. These activities are important to children with disabilities because they are instrumental in developing communication skills, building independence, and improving fine motor skills.

“The gardening program provides benefits that are not available in a classroom setting. We have found that gardening enhances creativity, improves self-confidence and reduces stress, anxiety and frustration in these children,” notes Hector Portillo, lead organizer for Padres 

August 15, 2019

Racism and access to capital have long been barriers to development in Milwaukee’s central city. Join us for a conversation with four dynamic real estate developers whose innovative projects are bucking that trend and creating wealth and opportunity in under-served neighborhoods. Learn how they challenged the myth that philanthropy and profit can’t go hand in hand, and made community good a priority AND profitable. We'll also begin to explore what lessons can be learned to advance a more equitable economic development landscape here in the in the Madison region.

July 25, 2019

The vision of We All Rise: African American Resource Center in Green Bay is to create a vibrant African American community and promote healing by targeting the root causes of systemic oppression. To do this, We All Rise uses a holistic approach to inspire a village mentality, creating safe spaces and connections in Green Bay’s African American community.

For We All Rise, “healing” means many things: it translates into victim and mental health services, housing, education, employment and transportation services and legal assistance.

July 01, 2019

As the Wausau area population has become more diverse, residents have had more opportunities to learn about cultures, lifestyles and views different than their own. At the same time, the community has been exposed to real ethnic cultural and gender divisions with deep roots that are rarely acknowledged, much less understood. 

One Wausau brings together community members from all walks of life to talk openly, listen earnestly and act in unity to make the greater Wausau area safe, welcoming and an attractive place for all and not just some. From September 2017- October of 2018, more than 600 community members participated in listening sessions, story circles and deliberate dialogues that were designed to help people learn about living in an increasingly diverse community and making Wausau a welcoming place for people of different ethnic, cultural, religious, gender, socioeconomic and other backgrounds. This project aims to help people talk openly and, where possible, to find common ground for action around addressing these complex issues in a constructive way.

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