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The Sherman Phoenix Mission

To revitalize and uplift Milwaukee’s community of color through cultural celebration, entrepreneurship support,  and wellness resources.

Our Vision

To have a thriving community with increased socio-economic opportunities and wellness for people of color.


In 2016, civil unrest broke out in the Sherman Park neighborhood of Milwaukee after a fatal police shooting rocked the community. In the following weeks, community conversations identified the need for safe, welcoming neighborhood spaces and from those conversations, the idea for the Sherman Phoenix rose out of the ashes.


Today, the Sherman Phoenix is a state-of-the-art space for small businesses of color. It is a popular place to eat, shop, practice self-care, or attend a cultural or entrepreneurial-focused event. We serve over 100 people daily and have been home to nearly 50 businesses since our opening.

The Sherman Phoenix has proven to be a powerful economic hub that lifts Black-owned businesses, embraces talent and innovation, and embodies an inclusive spirit. In the marketplace, we are home to over 25 businesses, of which people of color own 96%, and 63% are women-led. In addition to these businesses, Sherman Phoenix supports over 50 local entrepreneurs by offering a monthly pop-up marketplace to showcase their services, merchandise and culinary items. In total, our small businesses employ over 75 residents.

Once rising from the ashes, the Sherman Phoenix is still rising and is now the heartbeat of Sherman Park and Greater Milwaukee’s neighboring communities, providing much-needed resources and opportunities. We are committed to collaborating with community-based organizations working to build inclusive and just economies for communities of color. At Sherman Phoenix, we are an ecosystem that works together to build communities of dynamic groups and individuals in Milwaukee.


We are also a beacon beyond Milwaukee, serving as a model and inspiration for other cities seeking racially equitable economic impact. The Sherman Phoenix proves that translating conversation into action opens powerful possibilities. We demonstrate that it is possible to repair the harms of our past and lift up the possibilities of our future when we commit to working together and being the change.

Our response to such wide spread community devastation was to respond to our neighbors by advancing a hope filled enterprise now know as the Sherman Phoenix.

The Sherman Phoenix Foundation now host to 27 tenants and a pure reflection of possibility.
“Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson has highlighted how the Sherman Phoenix is being exported. He expects more people to call for advice on how to replicate it.”
– Milwaukee Business Journal, 12/5/2021

Together, with our partners, we advance three strategies…

Entrepreneurship and Small Business Success

Entrepreneurship and small businesses are the backbone of our Milwaukee neighborhoods and communities. We ensure growth and sustainability of our businesses by connecting them with resources such as mentorship, skills training, technical support, and wellness. We help them scale their businesses, generate jobs, and support the local economy. 


Economic Equity and Empowerment

We know that economic equity and empowerment are critical for individual and family wellness, so we support our surrounding neighborhoods and communities with workforce development and financial literacy. This programming features activities for every member of the family. 


Cultural and Economic Vibrancy

By connecting with others, inspiring and magical things can happen. We create opportunities for people across diverse backgrounds to gather, learn and celebrate. Our organization has had a strong line up of community events, and we continue to create these much-needed opportunities for individuals.

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