About Us

“Propelling more Black Americans into the ranks of the middle class or wealthy merely for the sake of doing so is not my motivation. No, the primary value of assets is to leverage them for the good of those most in need.”
Dr. John Y. Odom, 2001

Founded in 2001

The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute serves the Black community and strengthens the entire community through a variety of social, educational and economic outreach programs.

Our Madison, Wisconsin home is the first of what will one day be a nationwide network of Black Investment Boards, centers for community change where Black business leaders work together to guide major economic initiatives. Separately, these boards will have to power to help the poor and at-risk in their own neighborhoods; together, they will offer new hope, new freedom and new financial stability to a nation of Black Americans.

Just as Charles Hamilton Houston sought a people’s equality through the workings of justice, the Institute pursues equity through the promise of economic independence. Like Professor Houston, we believe in the power of Black investment. Like Professor Houston, we will succeed.


To prepare Black and other youth for economic independence by focusing on: self-esteem, health, goal-setting, academic achievement, study skills, diploma and degree completion, work skills, business opportunities service to others and citizenship.