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,...
Neighborhood Spotlight Series #1: Anita in Northside

Neighborhood Spotlight Series #1: Anita in Northside

When I began interning at Embrace Richmond in September, asset based community development was a new and terrifying concept for me. I was brand new to the world of social work and community development and had never used, let alone heard, this language before. It took almost an entire semester and several hours of research and training to understand what it means to do asset-based community development. The problem was, I understood ABCD intellectually, but I was having a difficult time envisioning what this model would look like “in the real world.” I was overwhelmed with the magnitude of this work, and how one small organization could make the impact that Wendy envisioned. This semester, I get to experience firsthand how a block-by-block approach to ABCD works in one Northside neighborhood. Tuesday night, I sat in the living room of one of our resident leaders and watched her passion and desire to see her dreams for her neighborhood come through as she spoke to more potential resident leaders. Her name was Anita and she spoke from the depths of her heart as she explained the work she has accomplished over this past year to create numerous successful events that brought her neighborhood together. She spoke honestly about the struggles and the hurts that she faced as neighbors wrestled with her vision and even hosted gatherings to criticize her efforts. She started her work as a block connector by simply asking her neighbors what they thought would help make her block better. In the beginning, things were slow. At the first game night, one neighbor showed up, but Anita was determined...
Meet The Interns

Meet The Interns

Embrace Richmond has heard and seen so many inspiring stories throughout Richmond and over the years. If we’re lucky enough, sometimes we become part of those stories. In an effort to share the stories of people who go above and beyond to lift up their communities and themselves, we have created a team of storytellers. This team of five interns will be on the ground in Richmond neighborhoods and communities over the next few months finding the best and most creative ways to get these stories heard. They are an enthusiastic group and are eager to learn all they can about the members of the Richmond community, but before they can do that, they want to tell you a little about themselves. Kelli McNeal is a born and raised Ohio-an who moved to Richmond in the summer of 2013. She is working on completing a dual degree in Masters of Divinity at Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond and a Masters in Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has Bachelors degrees in Accounting and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies from Ohio State University.  She married August 1st in Sidney, Ohio and is currently enjoying life as a newlywed.  She is an avid Ohio State University fan and loves taking a break from studying to watch the Buckeyes play any sport. She has been with Embrace Richmond since September and is currently working in North Side to help expand the block-by-block approach that has already had great success.  She is excited to work with amazing resident leaders and to experience the passion for their communities.   Owen Bagley  comes to us from Atlanta,...
2015: Our Most Impactful Year

2015: Our Most Impactful Year

As we reflect on this past year, the word that comes to mind is impactful. At the beginning of 2015, we were engaged in asset-based community development efforts in two neighborhoods. At the end of 2015, we are blessed to be supporting efforts in seven neighborhoods with two more community engagement efforts under development. This rapid expansion in asset-based community development efforts across Metro Richmond is the direct result of the hard work of our community partners who successfully completed both our Mission Shift training programs and the summer Dream Catcher projects. We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to train over 200 church and community leaders in ABCD in 2015. The video below contains the highlights of this past year: The most exciting achievement this year was the expansion of the Dream Catcher project which engaged over 20 neighborhood youth in the community building efforts in their neighborhoods. As a result of their hard work, seven new action teams were formed. These teams are addressing issues of safety, community connectedness, economic revitalization, school strengthening and youth activities. Below is a short video about this project: Additionally, Embrace Richmond turned 10 years old this year and celebrated our 10 year journey with nearly 100 of our closest friends and supporters. We have captured the highlights of this 10 year journey in this video. The amazing year we had would not have been possible without our community partners, our donors, our wonderful staff, the hardworking neighborhood leaders, our board of directors and the countless volunteers who have served so faithfully. Please help us make 2016 even more impactful by...
Events Coming to Northside for Artists, Entrepreneurs, and Interested Neighbors

Events Coming to Northside for Artists, Entrepreneurs, and Interested Neighbors

From budding young artists to learning about starting your own business to helping strengthen local schools, Embrace Richmond is bringing several opportunities to the Northside community in October. Thursday, Oct. 1st: School Strengthening Project 6:30 p.m., Ginter Park UMC, 1010 W. Laburnum Ave. Led by Essie Reinke, this gathering will focus on the hopes and dreams that students have for their schools and how they can help strengthen Richmond Public Schools. Thursday, Oct. 8: Young Artist Co-op 6:30 p.m., Ginter Park UMC, 1010 W. Laburnum Ave. Led by Dominique Vick, whose goal is to have young artists come together to not only sell their work, but to express themselves artistically. Wednesday, Oct. 21: Micro-Enterprise Development 6:30 p.m., 212 West Brookland Park Blvd. Led by Will McGuire, this is an opportunity to learn more about turning your passion into your own business. Explore with others to have fun, create and innovate together. Contact Will at weagle@gmail.com for more information. Thursday, Oct. 22: CommUnity Unity meeting 6:30 p.m., All Souls Presbyterian Church Led by Anita Johnson, this team will explore how to strengthen the North Central neighborhood through a block club approach. Thursday, Oct. 29: CommUnity Prayer meeting 6:30 p.m., Location TBD Led by Mrs. Lavern Winfree and Angela Jefferson, this team will explore how residents can intentionally pray together for the strengthening of their community. To become a part of these efforts or for more information, contact Wendy McCaig at...