What's New


March 26, 2020

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

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.  

December 03, 2019

Dear Friends,


Salli Martyniak has announced her departure from Forward Community Investments (FCI) at the end of this year. “It is time to celebrate our achievements as an organization and make way for the next generation of dynamic leadership,” said Martyniak.


Martyniak became executive director in 2003 and brought the valuable blend of social consciousness and financial savvy to what was The Dane Fund. Under her leadership, the organization grew from a local loan fund to a statewide community development financial institution (CDFI) that focused on advancing equity among communities of color and social justice for all. Since its inception, FCI has disbursed more than $150 million to benefit low-income people, disadvantaged communities, and mission-motivated organizations throughout Wisconsin.

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.

May 29, 2019

Under the leadership of Maydm’s founder, Winnie Karanja, Maydm equips young girls and students of color in grades 6 to 12 with the technical skills and experiences to become STEM innovators and technology leaders. Through passionate instructors, creative minds, exciting workshops and semester-long programs, Maydm teaches students programming and computer science fundamentals, while instilling in them the confidence to dream BIG!

Every Maydm student is matched with an industry professional who serves as a year-long mentor, exposing them to careers in the technology industry and helping them understand how their passions can intersect with STEM. 

April 24, 2019

Sisterhood is a “sisterhood” of adolescent Hmong girls from grades 7 to 12 in the Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids area that was formed in 2017 when a group of friends were looking for a safe, supportive and culturally-competent space to talk about issues ranging from dating to healthy relationships to teen violence. 

Their focus expanded when a neighboring community was the scene of a racially-charged shooting incident. The shooting sparked Sisterhood into action as they quickly saw how the violence within their own lives was related to the violence in the broader community. 

April 01, 2019

Hedi Rudd is a longtime Madisonian who is an accomplished community leader and storyteller. Since the 1990s, she has been at the forefront of numerous landmark community organizing and racial justice initiatives.  Often working quietly behind the scenes, she has fused art and activism as a means of giving voice to those who might otherwise be voiceless. A skilled photographer and journalist, she has captured the many colorful threads of the tapestry of the greater Madison community, providing photo and prose pictures of our community that are grounded in our connections with one another, in ways that inspire and inform.

March 28, 2019

Layton Boulevard West Neighbors (LBWN) applied on behalf of Neighbors in Action (NIA), a program managed and supported by LBWN. NIA builds people power in Silver City, Burnham Park and Layton Park neighborhoods via a seven-week leadership program designed to meet the unique personality of each neighborhood’s residents.

A different expert is invited each week to speak to program participants about a variety of topics including the importance of valuing diversity, civic participation, project planning and development, crime and violence prevention through a public health lens, understanding local government and effective communications skills.

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Forward Community Investments   2045 Atwood Avenue, Suite 101A   Madison, WI 53704   866.687.1468 | Privacy Policy

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