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Rick Banks

Economic Development Specialist

Why do you want to be on the Outpost Natural Foods Board of Directors?

I ran for the Board of Directors three years ago to ensure that workers and community have a voice on the Board. During my time I've advocated for causes and values that these communities care about while continuing to ensure that Outpost remains financially sound. I've been privileged to serve on the Outpost Board of Directors during some turbulent time and I look forward to continuing to work with the Board and administration to push Outpost into a bright future.

What professional skills do you bring to a Board position of a $50 million business?

I have a strong background in community organizing, policy development and non-profit management of organizations as large as $50 million (Outpost) and $22 million (UW-Milwaukee Student Government). I've also been through and facilitated several different trainings on diversity, inclusion and equity building.

Please describe how you would contribute to the diversity, equity, and inclusivity of the board.

I identify as Black and LGBT+. Being from these backgrounds give me a unique perspective to bring to the Board in terms of representing the views and challenges of marginalized communities. I've also participated in or facilitated many trainings on diversity, equity and inclusion stemming from my work in college as an Inclusive Excellence Ambassador and as a community organizer serving diverse neighborhoods.

Describe your prior involvement with community organizations and/or cooperatives.

I am a member of the Riverwest Co-op and Cafe and I was the chair of the New Economy (previously Riverwest and Harambee) Credit Union Organizing Committee. I've served on several boards in my time including the Milwaukee Community Land Trust, Milwaukee Water Commons and Northcott Neighborhood House. I'm also the organizer of my neighborhood association, the Harambee Community Association, am the Executive Director of MKE Black Inc. and volunteer occasionally with my church, Solomon Community Temple.

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