Who We Are

MKE Black is governed by a Board of Directors that includes the following individuals:

Rick Banks

Board Chair

Rick Banks is a Milwaukee native who’s worked as an activist and an organizer in Milwaukee since 2010. He works professionally as the Director of African American-American Affairs for Milwaukee County. He defines his personal mission as the political and economic development of Black people in Milwaukee.

Ayrton Bryan


Ayrton is a recent transplant to Milwaukee, but has already grown to love and value the many faces of the city. He currently works as a Sustainability Project Manager with Rockwell Automation to drive change in our global community- People. Planet. Profit. A practitioner of Servant Leadership and Mindfulness, he is eager to serve the Black Community and to bring awareness and support for Black Excellence. He also serves on the Board of The Milwaukee Parks Foundation and the Forward 48 Alumni Advisory Council.

Paul Wellington

Member (Cofounder)

Paul Wellington holds a Master’s in Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, though he works as a public library supervisor. He is the author of Black Built: History and Architecture in the Black Community, a publication discussing the work of Black architects in the United States. Paul also is to co-founder of Bronze Box, a gift box business featuring products from Black owned businesses.

Solana Patterson Ramos


Solana Patterson-Ramos is a political activist born and raised in Milwaukee. She has more than 10 years of experience in community outreach focusing on youth, LGBTQ, and civic engagement in the Black Community.

Alesia Miller


Alesia Miller is a mother, vocalist and educator.  She is now the Founder and CEO of Milwaukee’s first Black woman owned kombucha tea brewing company, Soul Brew Kombucha.

Dr. Cassandra Bowers


Dr. Cass Bowers is a respected movement communications leader in Wisconsin. She has been leading All in Wisconsin’s communications and narrative work since early 2021 and has recently founded and implemented AIW’s BIPOC Communicators fellowship and hub. She also serves as the board president of the African American Roundtable and is on the advisory board for the Milwaukee Freedom Fund. Dr. Bowers has a Ph.D. in Business. Her research focused on Black women leaders in nonprofit organizations.

Nadiyah Johnson


Nadiyah’s passion for diversity in STEM led her to launch her company Jet Constellations, a local software company. Its social impact arm functions to promote racial diversity in the tech industry through STEM education and entrepreneurship programming as well as building a nurturing ecosystem of diverse techies and entrepreneurs. She is currently realizing the vision that Milwaukee is the “ Milky Way Tech Hub” – a tech hub representative of Milwaukee’s diverse population. Nadiyah is a recent Milwaukee Business Journal 40 under 40 honoree. She also serves as a professor at Marquette University.