La Crosse area couple donates $50,000 to establish Black Empowerment Fund

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – A new fund at the La Crosse Community Foundation is being created to help improve racial justice.

Community members and couple Sam and Jean Skemp started the first-ever Black Empowerment Fund with a $50,000 donation.

It is aimed to support projects and organizations that will help build black equity, including scholarships and non-profits.

The Skemps say their biracial granddaughter inspired them to think of this idea.

“She made it quite clear that she had become very aware that she was biracial, and that she had that to deal with the rest of her life,” Jean Skemp said. “And that was not easy sometimes.”

Shaundel Spivey, president of Black Leaders Acquiring Collective Knowledge, says the fund “was a joy to wake up to” and marks a step forward.