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About

Our History

Bronzeville is one of the oldest black neighborhoods in Chicago, and it was traditionally the commercial and cultural center of the city’s African-American community. Hit during the second half of the 20th century with changes in the South Side population patterns, loss of stockyard and steel mills, discriminatory lending practices and attempts at urban renewal saw the community’s fortunes decline, and its commercial district’s dying out. The collapse of the housing market in 2008 made earlier revitalization efforts difficult.

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While we face our own set of challenges, our developments are tailored to the specific needs and unique assets of our community. We provide job opportunities to residents, quality goods and services for existing and new residents, and unique events and attractions to encourage visitors to enjoy the wealth of culture Bronzeville has to offer. As a result, these developments help to stabilize our communities, facilitate their integration with the broader region, and improve the well-being of residents.

Bronzeville History

OUR APPROACH

Our approach to revitalization is this - use the local culture and rich history to create a destination type of experience that attracts customers to engage in commercial opportunities and inspire residents to come out and interact with their growing community. In this way, signature, black culture and history can be learned and celebrated while underserved minority residents feel a sense of pride and hope in new opportunities.

We’re developing restaurants that feature black cuisine from across the globe. We operate a co-working facility to lift up the next generation of community enterprises and maintain an award-winning garden and bicycling programs that attract visitors and bring residents together.

Stay In The Know

Stay updated on all things Build Bronzeville! Be the first to know about Events, News, updates by joining our mailing list!

THE TEAM

Build Bronzeville Team

BERNARD LOYD

UJ Founder & President

Between 1990 and 2003, as a member of the management consulting firm of McKinsey & Company, Bernard helped senior corporate leaders around the world expand existing businesses, create new businesses, and improve operations. Bernard’s contributions at McKinsey include co-founding its global Agriculture and Food Chains initiative and leading world-wide client development and service in that arena. He also co-founded and led the firm-wide Black Client Service Staff initiative, which drove substantial increases in the number of Black associates and partners. In addition, he co-founded the Chicago Office’s Social Ventures sector and worked with public sector clients to address key regional issues.

Bernard’s civic efforts are focused on improving access to economic opportunity. In Chicago, he currently serves as a member of the Board of Governors of the Metropolitan Planning Council and of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s Green Ribbon Committee. He recently served as member and chairman of the Board of Trustees of Centers for New Horizons, as co-chairman of the governor-appointed Dan Ryan Taskforce, and as convener of the Friends of the Checkerboard Lounge. He also has served on the board of trustees of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A native of Chicago, Bernard was raised primarily in Germany and Liberia, West Africa. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from MIT, including a doctorate in computational fluid dynamics and a masters of science in business. He and his family reside in Chicago’s Bronzeville community.

LAUREN AMOS

Director of Small Business Development

Lauren leads our entrepreneur development efforts across all of the Build Bronzeville initiatives as well as serves as the Director of the SBDC at Build Bronzeville. In this role she provides one on one business counseling, develops and leads our business training efforts, and connects current and would-be entrepreneurs to valuable resources.

A south side native and MBA graduate of The School of Business & Industry at Florida A & M University, Lauren has over 15 years of corporate financial & strategic planning experience as well 6 years in hospitality-focused small business management and development. From Fortune 100 companies to small southside businesses, Lauren brings expertise in strategic planning, budgeting, and investment analysis, along with excellent skills in business relationship building and training.

REBECCA CHAUNCEY

Advisor at SBDC Bronzeville

Rebecca Chauncey wholeheartedly serves as an advisor at the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Build Bronzeville. She has more than 10 years of professional experience in academic, corporate, and governmental sectors. She has a Bachelor's of Science in Communication from Ohio University and a certificate for Effective Writing for Business and the Professions from the University of Chicago. While in college, she studied abroad in Mexico and became fluent in Spanish.

LEWIS LEE

As lead farmer of Green Line Farm, Lewis is responsible for all of the production planning and execution for this unique rooftop facility. He also provides leadership for many other plant and landscaping activities on 51st Street.

SHYVETTE WILLIAMS

Interior Consultant & Designer

Award-winning artist, model, civic leader and interior decorator. Provided design concepts and execution of the Bronzeville Jerk Shack and The Bronzeville Incubator spaces and day-to-day guidance on maintaining these designed spaces

Candice Archie

Community Garden Lead

Native to Chicago, Candice is an interdisciplinary creative whose principle work is rooted in health, wellness, and community service. She is the creator of several documentaries, musical compositions, and books; most notably Healing Fear and Trauma with Pranayama and Qigong. Her goal is to offer her talents for the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual benefit of others – and in turn, use these special encounters to further her continuous growth.

John Robinson Jr

Lead Maintenance Man

Mr. John Robinson learned his craft of painting from his father in 1968 and has used it to create beautiful spaces all over Chicago. John accredits the Johnson’s Equal Rights Movement to giving him the knowledge and resources to perfect his painting skills.

John has used his painting skills across all of our platforms. He has been the lead painter on The Bronzeville Incubator, Boxville, and other Urban Juncture projects.

In his spare time, he enjoys writing songs and painting portraits, he gets a thrill out of working at Urban Juncture and meeting different creative people like himself on a daily basis.

Jada-Amina H.

Forum Fellow

URBAN JUNCTURE

Our developments are tailored to the specific needs & unique assets of our communities. We provide job opportunities to residents, quality goods and services to serve existing and secure new residents, and unique events and attractions to attract visitors. As a result, we help to stabilize our communities, facilitate their integration with the broader region, and improve the well-being of residents.

Learn More

UPCOMING
EVENTS

DONATE

It takes a commitment from and collaboration between community members, the business sector, government municipalities, and charitable foundations to bring each new concept to life. Our partners in revitalization are critical to Build Bronzeville’s success. Learn how you can help.

Donate

VOLUNTEER

It takes a commitment from and collaboration between community members, the business sector, government municipalities, and charitable foundations to bring each new concept to life. Our partners in revitalization are critical to Build Bronzeville’s success. Learn how you can help.

Learn More

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