BACKGROUND: The scarcity of tissues from racial and ethnic minorities at biobanks poses a scientific constraint to research addressing health disparities in minority populations. METHODS: To address this gap, the Minority Biospecimen/Biobanking Geographic Management Program for region 3 (BMaP-3) established a working infrastructure for a "biobanking" hub in the southeastern United States and Puerto Rico. Herein we describe the steps taken to build this infrastructure, evaluate the feasibility of collecting formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue blocks and associated data from a single cancer type (breast), and create a web-based database and tissue microarrays (TMAs). RESULTS: Cancer registry data from 6 partner institutions were collected, representing 12,408 entries from 8,279 unique patients with breast cancer (years 2001-2011). Data were harmonized and merged, and deidentified information was made available online. A TMA was constructed from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples of invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) representing 427 patients with breast cancer (147 African Americans, 168 Hispanics, and 112 non-Hispanic whites) and was annotated according to biomarker status and race/ethnicity. Biomarker analysis of the TMA was consistent with the literature. CONCLUSIONS: Contributions from participating institutions have facilitated a robust research tool. TMAs of IDC have now been released for 5 projects at 5 different institutions.