In honor of National Black Business month, St. Norbert College’s Mulva Family Library is hosting The Market, which will feature Black owned-businesses and entrepreneurs from northeast Wisconsin.
The event is Saturday, August 26, from 10:00 am-3:00 pm, on Third St. in De Pere in front of the Mulva Library on campus. It is also free and open to the public.
Jasmine Gordon serves as a Community Engagement Coordinator and as an alumna of St. Norbert College, she understands the importance of this event. She talked with Blueprint365 about her time at St. Norbert as a Black student and how it influenced the creation of this event.
“The idea for the market really came through with myself as a Black woman and my colleague who is also a Black woman living in the Green Bay area,” Gordon said. “We were always just really excited and passionate about really highlighting the amazing Black folks that are in our communities, Black entrepreneurs, Black business owners. Really giving them the opportunity to really be celebrated. We have kind of been thinking about this marinating on this project for at least two years. It’s kind of a long time coming.”
As an alum of the college, Gordon said it was difficult for her as a Black student to build connections with other Black people in the Green Bay and De Pere communities. She understands the importance of this event and hopes students and businesses use it as an opportunity to network.
She is also excited to be able to highlight Black-owned businesses in the area especially during National Black Business Month. Gordon added that there are 45 confirmed vendors, including Staz Barber & Beauty, God’s Purpose, We All Rise African American Resource Center, and 4th N Long. She talked about how this event is specifically intended for the college’s Black student population. Their experiences at predominantly white institutions make events like these necessary.
“A lot of our Black students may feel disconnected, they feel like they aren’t able to connect or network with Black folks, especially in a community that’s even smaller than Green Bay, De Pere, which is where St. Norbert College is,” she added. “There really is a lack of diversity and a lack of mentorship between our Black students, and our Black folks in the community because of so many different barriers, or even lack of opportunity there.”
Gordon said she’s excited for this event and what she hopes community members gain from the experience.
“We’re going to have music, Black-owned food trucks, yard games, and double dutch cards,” Gordon added. “It’s going to be a Black party for real. I’m so excited to bring that to this community, that’s super important to me. Really, to just expose the De Pere, Green Bay community to Black culture and to Black joy. I’m hoping that a lot of our Black vendors sell out of their products, because they are just so amazing and creative. I’m just excited for the energy, the atmosphere, and just seeing folks enjoy themselves.”
The Market is made possible by a $3,000 award from the New North microgrant fund, which was designed to support ethnic and diverse businesses in their startup or growth phase. For more information about the event visit the Mulva Library website.