Walker made her fortune by selling
In an interview with Essence in December, Dennis said he wanted to turn Walker’s property into a “learning institute, or think tank, to foster entrepreneurship for present and future generations.”
“It is a place where—against all odds—dreams were formed, visions were realized and entrepreneurs were born, and we look forward to returning its use to support that mission,” Dennis said of Walker’s estate, which changed ownership several times after her death and was declared a National Historical Landmark in 1976.
Dennis, the current owner of the property, has worked with the Walker family before. In 2013, he relaunched the Madam C.J. Walker Brand. Her great-great-granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles, said she’s looking forward to this partnership with Dennis, according to Black Enterprise.
“No one at the time believed that a black woman could afford such a place. So, I can think of no better way to celebrate Villa Lewaro’s 100th anniversary than the vision of the New Voices Foundation and the Dennis family for this historic treasure as a place to inspire today’s entrepreneurs, tomorrow’s leaders, and our entire community,” she told Essence in a statement.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.