Black Contractors United
Prior to BCU, there were other organizations and groups of people, who came together to discuss the conditions of their businesses.
In particular, a group of black tradesmen met in a barber shop here on the Westside of Chicago to talk about the ups and downs in the construction industry as it related to the blacks and racism, which birthed the Westside Builders Association, which later evolved into the United Builders Association with Paul King as Executive Director. We also had the National Association of Minority Contractors, the Brotherhood Club, Chicago Urban League, and a Tradesmen Club. (Donna Dixon, Sandra Dixon, JoAnn Schiller, Bill Perry, Taylor Cotton, Bob Anderson, Bob Fletcher, James Pleasant, Frank Brooks, Percy Hines….just a lot of individuals and organizations fighting and paving the way.
BCU, founded in 1974 by several emerging contractors, is actually a spin-off of those and other organizations that understood our very existence, as a people and community, is at stake. We are actually proud our first chairman was a woman, Ms. Magdalene Dixon. Our founding president, Mr. Lawrence Woods, founding secretary, Glenn Hairston, and founding executive director, AI Dunlap, knew the importance of inclusivity of women in our association and the construction industry before it became popular to recognize women-owned businesses. Their concern was doing whatever did the most good for black people and our community, by bringing the black man and woman together.
This new Executive Board of Black Contractors United are preserving a historical footprint left by the original founders and board members of BCU in 1974, as well as those before them.
BCU is reestablishing the commitment to our members according to the organizational purposes in which we were formed. We are a voluntary association of black, descendants of slavery, contractors and suppliers who conduct business in the greater Chicago Metropolitan Area, its surrounding suburbs and counties.
Kareem Broughton, President
Eddie Forte, Chairman
Lionel Pittman, Vice-President, and Secretary
Mark Carter, Executive Director
Tamiko Holt, Treasurer
Shynetta Dockery, Executive Administrator
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We Aim to Build a Better World
Our purpose is to obtain for our members an equitable share of construction work and service contracts in both, private and public sectors. Black contractors, suppliers, and service providers should be participating in the marketplace at a level consistent with their skills and capabilities, with opportunities for growth through mentor-protégé partnerships, programs, and apprenticeships.
BCU has reinstated our relationship, as a liaison, between black companies, government entities, owners, developers, and general contractors to ensure capacity building for black contractors, as well as the black community as a whole. We are here to ensure the success of potential new companies and existing firms through our professional, technical, and managerial assistance available to our members.