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The Dominican Center (DC), a nonprofit dedicated to working with residents in Milwaukee’s Amani neighborhood and to build a better future for the community, will host a virtual fundraising event in celebration of its 25th anniversary on June 3, 2021. The event will pay tribute to DC’s lasting legacy in the community and honor its outgoing executive director Sr. Patricia Rogers, OP.
The celebration will also provide the community a chance to come together following a challenging year and engage neighborhood residents to continue the work that Rogers and the rest of the team have spearheaded over the years. Rogers, who has led the organization since 2011, will retire after 40 years of service to the Dominican congregation, including 10 years with DC. Under her leadership, DC has responded to the changing needs of the community, supporting neighborhood cleanups, mobile food pantries and the resident-led Moody Park revitalization, among many other projects.
“The Dominican Center is located in the heart of the Amani community and therefore took on the challenge to help sustain the heartbeat of the community. The wisdom of the residents gave life and support to a combined ministry, attending the community heart,” Rogers said. “Through honesty and hard work, we learned to trust the other and a lifetime bond was developed. Parting does not always mean goodbye. I am sure we will find ways to stay connected because we share a heart.”
Founded in 1995 as an urban ministry program to learn more about the women in the community, today the Dominican Center serves as a convening organization, connecting nearly 40 nonprofits to the community to serve all Amani residents. DC offers a broad range of programs such as GED and HSED preparation classes and offers support to Amani residents and the neighborhood organization Amani United. Over the last year, DC has been instrumental in building resilience in the community and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing current information. Working directly with residents, DC made more than 1,500 personal connections with residents by phone and safe in-person porch visits, providing face masks and hand sanitizer as well as resources to residents facing evictions and foreclosures. In recent months, DC partnered with the Health Department and neighborhood partners to bring vaccine clinics to the Amani neighborhood.
As the neighborhood continues to recover from the last year, DC will come under new leadership as Denisha Tate-McAlister, who has been with the Dominican Center for more than two years, will take over as interim executive director. She will lead the next generation of community leaders to continue the work of the organization in the neighborhood.
“It is with great pleasure that I accept the assignment of Interim Executive Director of Dominican Center in the Amani Neighborhood. I have been engaged with Dominican Center and the community revitalization plan since 2018,” Tate-McAlister said. “To see the leadership of residents, the collaboration of partners, and the heart of Sister Patricia and team has been beyond inspiring. I have witnessed, firsthand, the power of resident-led progress, while working in partnership with Sister Patricia and I plan to continue to support the success.”
The event will also provide an opportunity for residents to learn about Tate-McAlister’s vision for the organization’s next chapter. Additionally, an online silent auction will open on May 28. While the event is free for the wider community, VIP packages are available for $125. To register for both, visit www.DominicanCenter.Givesmart.com.
About the Dominican Center
The Dominican Center in the Amani neighborhood works with Amani residents and partners to build a better future. Founded in 1995, the Dominican Center began as an urban ministry program to learn more about the women in the neighborhood and has since evolved to serve all Amani residents and respond to the changing needs of the community. Today, DC serves as the community anchor for the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, Building Neighborhood Capacity Program and is the lead community partner for the US Department of Justice’s Innovations of Community Based Crime Reduction grant for Amani.