The Brookland Park Demo Project
We are grateful to The Community Foundation for supporting our Inside Out Community Strengthening Model.
As an Asset-Based Community Development Organization,
we train, coach and financially support youth and adult leaders working to bring about positive changes in their neighborhoods. We want to highlight the neighbor powered development taking place in the Historic Brookland Park area. This community is made up of five neighborhoods (North Central, Battery Park, Providence Park, Northern Barton Heights and Ginter Park Terrace) that border the commercial area that runs from Edgewood Avenue to Richmond Henrico Turnpike along Brookland Park Boulevard and the commercial cross street of North Avenue from Dove Street to Ladies Mile.
Through prior listening projects, residents identified crime, a lack of social trust, youth unemployment and blight along the commercial corridor as the key issues facing their community. In 2017, we were able to accomplish the following:
Meet our Resident-Led Partner Organizations:
Ignite Richmond is an innovation-driven youth development and engagement organization that uses creativity to engage youth with the goal of building long-lasting, mentoring relationships. Ignite provides artistic, entrepreneurial, and leadership opportunities to Richmond area youth, so that they can identify their gifts and use them to lead change efforts within their communities, while also preparing to be college and career ready. Ignite runs Embrace Richmond’s Young Leaders programs in Brookland Park.
Brookland Park Young Leaders Project: Helps older youth advance toward college and a career by providing paid internship opportunities in their own neighborhood. This program is coordinated by resident leader: Kevin Starlings.
The Historic Brookland Park Collective’s (HBPC) mission is to coach, train, connect and support urban creatives and social entrepreneurs of all ages who live, work or worship in the Historic Brookland Park area and who desire to strengthen their community by sharing their gifts and unleashing the gifts of their neighbors. HBPC unites civically engaged citizens across neighborhood association lines to address issues of concern to the broader Brookland Park community. The Collective draws leaders from 6 neighborhoods including Battery Park, North Central, Ginter Park Terrace, North Barton Heights, South Barton Heights, and Providence Park and is coordinated by resident leader, Leroy Jefferson.
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Comprehensive list of initiatives and programs:
Brookland Park Young Leaders Project: Helps older youth advance toward college and a career by providing paid internship opportunities in their own neighborhood. This program is now coordinated by resident leader: Kevin Starlings and Ignite Richmond.
- Youth Development Steering Team: Launched in 2017 Action team leaders and partner organizations work together to expand opportunities for youth.
- Young Leaders Club: Launched in 2017 Provides youth with paid internship opportunities, adult mentorship, and peer to peer support as they assume pivotal roles in strengthening their own neighborhood(s).
- Community Listening Projects: Youth are paid to map the gifts, talents and abilities of their neighbors.
- Community Engagement Apprenticeships: Youth serve on an action team, learn how to organize projects, facilitate meetings and gain communication skills.
- Community Action Team Leader Opportunities: Youth who demonstrate a gift for leadership are granted an opportunity to design and launch a new action team.
- Youth Employment Efforts: Promotes activities that prepare youth for college and career.’
- Joe’s Bike Shop: Launched in 2017 Teaches youth and young adults bike repair skills and provides youth with economic. Resident leader, Rob Gassie, started this social enterprise and Embrace is providing space and a micro grant to support start up cost.
- Brookland Park Business Grants: Embrace Richmond provides training grants to new small businesses on Brookland Park that commit to hiring local youth. This year we supported Boogaloo’s Bar and Grill and are thankful for their commitment to hire local.
- Special Events Team: Forming Now Increases awareness of local creativity and commerce as well as highlight the wonderful merchants striving to revitalize the historic commercial corridor in partnership with the Brookland Park Merchants Association.
Brookland Park Unsung Heroes Project Shaping the future of the Historic Brookland Park community by illuminating local unsung heroes. Teams of local youth and adults will bring the stories of local senior adults to life through the arts. This oral history effort is funded in part by a grant from Culture Works. Our desire is for the Unsung Heroes project to become on-going, fostering the creative gifts of youth and adults across the Brookland Park area for years to come.
- Creative and Performing Arts Teams: Launched in 2017 Resident leader, Dyvonne King, is coordinating this team.
- A Storytelling Project: Launched in 2017 Youth partner with senior adults, sharing stories and uncovering the history of their community.
- A Writing Team: Launched in 2017 Residents research the stories of unsung heroes who shaped their community and discover how these stories of the past and present can shape the future of their neighborhood.
- A Music Team: Launched in 2017 This team hosted its first event in June called “Jammin on the Boulevard.” In January this team will write a song and record a music video that captures the history of the Brookland Park community.
- A Radio Broadcast Team: Coming in 2018 This team will work with a professional radio broadcaster to professionally record 6 stories that emerge from the efforts of our storytelling and writing teams.
- A Drama Team: Coming in 2018 Youth and adult residents shape the stories mentioned above into a stage production. The performance will be hosted at Pine Camp next June. We hope you will all attend!
Historic Brookland Park Collective: Unites civically engaged citizens across neighborhood association lines to address issues of concern to the broader Brookland Park community. The Collective draws leaders from 6 neighborhoods including Battery Park, North Central, Ginter Park Terrace, North Barton Heights, South Barton Heights, and Providence Park and is coordinated by resident leader, Leroy Jefferson.
- Historic Brookland Park Collective Steering Team: Formed in 2017 Action team leaders and key partners who promote resident led projects that reduce crime, increase community cohesion, support economic revitalization and promote overall health and well-being.
- Block Connector Team: Formed in 2017 Reduces crime, breakdowns isolation, strengthens community cohesion and increases social trust through block clubs. These block clubs bring neighbors together through porch parties, service projects and good old-fashioned neighboring. Each block club is led by a team of resident leaders.
- 3100 Griffin Block Club: Launched in 2014
- 2800 Hawthorne Block Club: Launched in 2017
- 3300 Fendall Block Club: Launched in 2017
- 3300 Garland Block Club: Forming Now
- 2700 Edgewood Block Club: Forming Now
- 3000 Griffin Block Club: Coming in 2018
- 3000 Fendall Block Club: Coming in 2018
- Gardening and Beautification Teams:
- Clean Sweep: Launched in 2016 Coordinates a monthly trash pick-up in the community. This project was started by resident leader, Sara Williamson.
- Community Garden: Launched in 2017 Started a community garden in partnership with Community High School. This project was started by resident leader, Amber Ellis.
- Health and Well-Being Teams:
- Better Together Food Coop: Launched in 2012 Provides high quality meats and produce at an affordable price. This project was started by resident leader, Kenny Burnett.
- Senior Team: Launched in 2017 Supports senior adults through monthly gatherings, information sharing and peer to peer support. This project was started by Young Leader Beverly Key and is led by resident leader Florence Jackson.
- Economic Revitalization Efforts: Embrace has been supporting the efforts of the Brookland Park Area Association, a group of local merchants, since 2012. This entails serving on the board, providing micro grants to merchants, promoting local businesses through porch parties and area collective meetings, sponsoring the Annual Brookland Park Festival and hosting action team meetings at local businesses.