Viewing entries tagged
africatown

Keeping the Unity in Community

Keeping the Unity in Community

Despite the many obstacles in place against it, community has remained an important part of Black culture. Seattle’s Black community transformed the 12 acres of land once belonging to William Grose, as a result of exclusionary and discriminatory policies, into a haven of cultural pride known as the Central District. However, much like many other cities around the US, these inhabitants eventually found themselves faced with displacement. With so many people being priced out of the neighborhood, the community and its rich history of triumph and innovation began to fade.

From this arose Africatown Central District Preservation & Development Coalition. Their work has been purposed to interrupt the erasure of Blackness from the CD by highlighting the history and monuments that hide in plain sight on its streets. For the many Black people who have moved to the city and are looking for community, it serves as a compass by which they can find home. Its comprehensive website bridges the gap between events and attendees, Black businesses and consumers, community and people. Most importantly, the coalition is championing to reinstate ownership of land and other assets back into the Black community. They have plans to acquire the Liberty Bank property on 23rd & Union following its development.

With the guided tours, acquisitions, and comprehensive online platform, Africatown Central District Preservation & Development Coalition is keeping the soul of Seattle in the Central District for the generations to come.

To find out more about the work being done and resources available, visit their website.

Hack Nation Creating Viral Change

Hack Nation Creating Viral Change

“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community...” –Cesar Chavez


A flame was sparked in 2014 at the Hack the Central District Cultural Innovation Conference (“Hack the CD”). Great minds convened to tackle issues affecting their community and, as a result, many noteworthy solutions were introduced. Of those ideas that surfaced, Hack Nation organically sprang forth from the desire to share the example set by Hack the CD with neighborhoods across the globe.

Hack Nation holds the vision of being a facilitator of change at the neighborhood level, a target base that separates it from most other organizations and efforts. As an entity that enacts human-centered design and approach, Hack Nation empowers resource-constrained communities to use their intellectual, ingenuitive, and skill-based wealth to change their realities.

Leveraging community assets is an identifiable theme in many of its programs. For example, the Africatown Seattle Entrepreneurs Meetup Group seeks to share knowledge and provide a productive environment for like-minded people to incubate ideas. Black Dot, a membership community for black entrepreneurs, is an example of an idea that came out of last year's Hack the CD event and has continued to thrive. Hack Nation has partnered with Black Dot to pilot Accelerate Africatown, a series of workshops and bootcamps throughout the year that help propel seed stage and existing businesses. The Seattle Black Music Summit is a yearly gathering of music-related artists that increases awareness of opportunities and strengthens the networks between creatives and potential collaborators. Hack Nation also now houses the Hack the CD conference under its umbrella of awesomeness.

Its programming is just a small glimpse into the potential Hack Nation has of bringing inclusive innovation to non-dominant populated neighborhoods. They are shifting the individual mindset to a collective prosperity for the community. Get ready for a Hack Nation event near you!

Visit their website or find out how you can support here.

Setback at Africatown Innovation Center

Setback at Africatown Innovation Center

On March 26, 2016, emails and social media posts began to circulate regarding an attack on Africatown's edifice located along Martin Luther King Way S. and S. Alaska.

Post from Africatown Innovation Center's Facebook page.

 

The center, which provides programming and support for youth and families of African descent, was the target of burglary and vandalization. Computer chords were cut, anti-Black speech and threats were tagged on the walls and whiteboards, and electronic equipment was stolen.  Due to the damage of essential equipment and security concerns, the center was forced to suspend all after-school and summer programming until the space has been restored and new safety measures are employed.

Over 100 members of the community come together to support reconstructive efforts.

A community meeting was held on the 28th to plan the next steps for rebuilding. Despite this truly saddening setback, the team members at Africatown Innovation Center remain undeterred in their effort to continue working toward the betterment of the community.

If you are interested in contributing your services or donating in-kind or monetary gifts, click the links below.


For more information on Africatown Innovation Center, visit their website or follow their Facebook page.