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Madam Walker Legacy Center finds sustainability in endowment

Walker Legacy Center finds sustainability in endowment

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A nearly 100-year-old fixture of Indiana Avenue just received an important boost. The Madam Walker Legacy Center is officially debt-free, making way for it’s much needed endowment.

The Madam Walker Legacy Center is a cultural and historical landmark. Representatives say you can’t have Indiana Avenue without it, but making sure this place remains intact is vital to the re-vitalization of the Avenue.

The crown jewel of Indiana Avenue is a few years shy of 100, and ahead of reaching that milestone, the Madam Walker Legacy Center has reached another, wrapping up the last piece of it’s 2018 strategic plan: Endowment.

“Definitely had its ups and downs over the years, To finally be on a positive path forward is amazing,” said Kristian Stricklen, president of the Madam Walker Legacy Center Board.

The center is 100% debt-free. Selling two parcels of land sealed the deal.

“So huge, especially for a small African-American nonprofit to be able to be as financially sustainable as they can be,” said Stricklen.

At 501 Indiana Avenue, there’ll be a certified minority-owned real estate development company focused on mixed-use development projects. At 719 Indiana Avenue, The Indiana University foundation will use existing buildings to support continues partnership with the legacy center.

The funds from that sale will support an endowment, which will help sustain the property and programs for years to come.

“It was really important to us, not just to sell the property, but to find the right partners to sell the properties too, and we feel like we did that for both parcels to make sure that the new owners were going to be as committed to this area as we are,” said Stricklen.

Stricklen said Madam walker was more than an entrepreneur. She was a philanthropist, activist, and community advocate, and the center’s work is all about uplifting the legacy she established long ago.

“Well, this is an amazing start. It will not sustain us for forever, so we’ll definitely continue to ask for donations, but that also means donations of your time,” said Stricklen.

On Oct. 20, The Madam Walker Legacy Center will unveil the Madam Walker Memorial Way Marker.