Spotlighing Eric Axelson

Spotlighting Eric Axelson Eric is the convener of the North Central Civic Association(NCCA) here in Richmond, VA. The term “convener” is truly important to Eric as he doesn’t consider himself someone that “leads” people but someone that brings people together. From Embrace’s time working with Eric we believe this to be true. His ability to rally and motivate his peers is remarkable. He is also extremely humble. One of the main reasons that he got involved in serving his community in this capacity is because of how welcoming the community was to him. He recalled how warm and in harmony the neighborhood felt when he moved in. Embrace is excited to see residents like Eric come forward to facilitate change in their community. We are even more excited to hear his neighborhood set the stage for this engagement in the first place. Whether residents consider themselves leaders or not, neighbors like Eric are what this city needs when it comes to mobilizing resident-led initiatives. We thank you Eric! We hope that you continue to serve and we enjoy supporting you in whatever way we can!...

Embrace Richmond Awarded Culture Works Grant!

  Embrace Richmond received one of  Culture Works annual grants which will allow us to launch our new project “Unsung Heroes”. Embedded in our Young Leaders program, youth will get a chance to learn about the heroic pasts  of Brookland Park’s longtime residents. We consider these residents to be “unsung heroes.” In the Young Leaders program, youth engage in community listening before they join an action team or begin their own community initiative in order to learn what fellow residents care about. Unsung Heroes provides a creative way for youth to do this. Through creative mediums like verbal and written storytelling, video production and theatrical performances, youth will be able to both learn and share the decorated histories of Brookland Park residents-and have fun along the...
Keeping Up with Isaiah

Keeping Up with Isaiah

  Isaiah, a Young Leader, is a hilarious yet quiet young man who lives in Brookland Park. He is excited to join the Young Leaders program. The Young Leaders program begins with a readiness phase that trains all youth in asset-based community development. Isaiah has completed this training. Each Young Leader also receives one on one mentoring. Through this mentoring, Young Leaders are able to share their personal and professional goals. In Isaiah’s case, he shared dreams of becoming a chef, learning about business and becoming more social. Another component of the Young Leaders program is the opportunity for youth to gain hands on experience in community storytelling and organizing. Isaiah is interested in collecting the stories of neighborhood teens with the goal of getting them more active. His next step will be to complete training in community listening where he will begin interviewing long time residents and teens. Isaiah believes that both trainings will not only launch him on the path to getting teens more active but will introduce him to more neighbors-thus making him more social. This is one example of how the Young Leaders program helps teens meet personal, professional and community goals. Please stay tuned and we will keep you posted on Isaiah’s journey as a Young...

Jammin’ on the Boulevard!

Jammin’ on the Boulevard was “jamming!” This event was a result of the Music Action team’s goal of bringing the community together around musical talents. The event took place in the parking lot beside Nomad’s Deli.  Brookland Park neighbors danced, clapped, listened and shared neighborhood stories. Several singers performed popular songs, gospels and oldies. Our, DJ Norman Washington, made the event inviting and kept the high energy going! The group of neighbors were full of diverse talent but the diversity in age, creed, culture and race was remarkable. The group joined hands at the end to sing ‘Lean on Me’ as we left to walk back to our homes. This event helped Brookland Park appreciate the beauty of their neighborhood.     This slideshow requires...

Brookland Park Collective Meeting

Have you ever met neighbors that are willing to meet frequently, engage in monthly activities and prepare close to gourmet style, home made dinners for their evening meetings? We have. We’ve witnessed  sincere community work evidenced in the way the Brookland Park Collective members participate, laugh and discuss with each other. The atmosphere formed from block clubs and action teams feels light and nurturing. In late May, this group gathered together once again at All Souls Presbyterian Church to touch base about the exciting happenings in Brookland Park. Leroy, our strategic implementation manager, worked to facilitate conversation about next steps for each action team. The music action team(stay tuned!) was able to nail down times that they would practice. Resident led events were recapped and new neighbors shared their testimony of feeling included. One couple shared that they planned to take an evening stroll but did not end up completing it because they stopped to say hello to a neighbor and ended up chatting for hours. These are just some of the outcomes that community bonding can bring. The Brookland Park Collective meets every other month from 6:00-8:00 pm. If you live in the Brookland Park area and are interested in joining the collective or want to engage with a block club on your street contact Leroy Jefferson at leroy@embracerichmond.org.  ...