Conversations on Race and Community: Neighborhood Spotlight Series Post #3

Conversations on Race and Community: Neighborhood Spotlight Series Post #3

This semester we are blessed to have a team of amazing interns.  We have assigned each to neighborhood action teams across the city and have asked them to document what they are learning about each team.  This week, our insights come from Emily Krudys, a student at Union Presbyterian Seminary.   I have lived in Richmond for almost twenty years, but barely know my neighbors outside of my near West End community.  Now as a seminary student at Union Presbyterian Seminary on Brook Road, and as an intern with Embrace Richmond this is changing, and I am changing.  It is about time.   I am meeting new neighbors in the Northside community of Barton Heights and surrounding areas along Brookland Park Boulevard.  This community, along with the folks at All Souls Presbyterian Church , are seeking to create a “beloved community” and examine “who is my neighbor” and what it means to seek to “love your neighbor.”   They are hosting open, frank, and caring conversations about Race and Community  on the first Thursday of every month.  The topic of the first meeting was simply “What kind of community do you want?”  In that conversation, I learned that my Northside neighbors are from a proud and strong heritage, a neighborhood where some families have lived for generations.   This is a community that, in 1952, with courage, foresight, and intention, formed the first integrated Presbyterian church at All Souls.  Now, coming together again as neighbors, we seek a community that is safe and connected.  A neighborhood that is open and “neighborly,” but where neighbors, old and new, respect the history,...
A Peek at Our Present : The Dreamcatcher Outcomes

A Peek at Our Present : The Dreamcatcher Outcomes

Here are the shared dreams that came out of our summer Dream Catcher projects:  North Central Neighborhood: 1. Healthier educational opportunities for junior high and high school students in the Northside area, starting with a listening project to discover what our students would do to improve their educational opportunities. 2. Micro-enterprise development to help fuel the revitalization of Brookland Park Blvd, starting with a young artist co-op that helps our youth turn their talents into a small micro-business that could potentially draw more residents to Brookland Park. 3. A continued desire for greater community unity including honest conversations about race in our rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, as well as an intentional block-by-block community building effort to help neighbors develop deeper connections with one another.   Broadwater Townhomes: 1. More family friendly activities that help neighbors build relationships, such as cookouts, a community garden, prayer team, parent support group, and play groups. 2. Improved recreational and fitness opportunities, such as a basketball court, better access to the weight room, a boxing club, teen-only swim times, an improved playground, and a lifeguard at the pool. 3. More opportunities for youth to excel, such as a robotics workshop and study groups.   Lincoln Mews / North Oak Apartments:       1. Improved relationships between residents through better conflict resolution and increased respect for one another and the neighborhood in general; starting with a row-by-row connecting strategy to help residents build stronger relationships with one another. 2. More community-wide events, such as cookouts, community conversations, and parent support groups. 3. More opportunities for the youth to engage in positive activities, such as an arts...