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The transformation of Brown Street Academy's asphalt schoolyard into a green space is one nominee for a MANDI award.

Finals for Neighborhood Development Innovation Awards named

Finalists were announced last night for the 14th annual Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation.

A 28-person volunteer selection committee chose 16 finalists and revealed them to a packed house at O'Brien's Irish Pub on Vliet Street. The awards honor individuals, organizations and corporations whose work strengthens neighborhoods in Milwaukee's central city.

The winners will be announced at a gala event on Thursday, March 14 at 5 p.m. at The Pfister Hotel.

The nominees in each category are as follows:

Brewers Community Foundation Public Space Award, which honors the use of public space that contributes to the overall well-being of the community.

  • Brown Street Academy – asphalt schoolyard transformed into a lush green space.
  • Washington Park – historic park restored as a city treasure.
  • Burnham and 29th Park – blighted lot blossoms with community power.

BMO Harris Cornerstone Award honors the long-standing commitment of an individual or organization to a neighbhorhood and demonstrated effectiveness over time.

  • ACTS Housing – helping families own homes in Milwaukee's inner city.
  • Progressive Community Health Services – providing access to high-quality health services.
  • La Causa – 40 years serving Milwaukee's South Side.

Northern Trust Navigator Award honors an individual demonstrating leadership and collaboration for change.

  • Charlotte John-Gomez – deep commitment to the Layton Boulevard West Neighborhoods.
  • James Godsil – renaissance man, from roofing to urban agriculture.
  • Welford Sanders – building up Milwaukee, on MLK Drive and beyond.

PNC Bank Trail Blazer honors an innovative approach to a problem that is producing demonstrative results.

  • Select Milwaukee's Financial Literacy Through Home-Ownership Program - breaking the cycle of poverty through education and home ownership.
  • Milwaukee Rising – tackling foreclosure from door steps to the steps of world banks.
  • Our Next Generation Outbound Learning Program – tapping talent for high-quality out-of-school education.

State Farm Building Blocks Award honors a real estate project that contributes significantly to the enhancement of the community.

  • Clock Shadow Building – a bustling hub for health non-profits and local businesses.
  • Mitchell Street Market Lofts – spacious rent-to-own with a farmers market.
  • National Avenue Lofts – affordable, contemporary option in the heart of Walker's Point.
  • Urban Ecology Center, Menomonee Valley – nature-inspired design shelters education and stewardship center.


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