Indy LISC profiles Ken Morgan, African-American community developer

As part of Indianapolis LISC's "Neighborhood Visionaries" series, community development practitioner and minister Ken Morgan talks about his work on Indiana Avenue, and in particular a multipurpose building project called 500 Place.

Neighborhood Visionary: Ken Morgan | Visionary Project: 500 Place

26 Dec 2012


Neighborhood Visionaries

Ken Morgan has deep roots in Indianapolis. And an area of Indianapolis that's particularly important to Ken is Indiana Avenue—the city's most historically significant African-American district. It's where he spent part of his childhood, where he was a student, minister, and lawyer, and where he first became involved in the world of community development.

In the 1980s, most of the historic buildings that populated Indiana Avenue in its heyday of the '30s and '40s were gone. But one of the few remaining ones, the iconic Madame Walker Theatre, is where Ken got his first taste of community development.

"The Madame Walker Urban Life Center is where I first got bitten by the community development bug," Ken said. "I got excited about opportunities to improve the neighborhood through restoring an important part of its historic fabric and using the Walker Building as a catalyst to stimulate future neighborhood revitalization."

While Ken cherished his time working for the Madame Walker Urban Life Center, he decided to take his interests in neighborhood development a step further by helping launch another community development corporation: Business Opportunity Systems (BOS). It was at BOS that Ken began work on 500 Place: a multipurpose building on Indiana Avenue designed to increase the participation of African-American businesses and neighborhood organizations in the process of reinvigorating the Indiana Avenue area. Continued[+]...

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Article Type: Blog Post