New Structures for a New Era
Since the last cluster of publicized killings of black people about 5 years ago, there has been coordination between Black Lives Matter representatives and local black entrepreneurs to build a structure intended to make a difference for Black people in our region. Since then, many dollars have been used to build a hub, sort of a black version of a Chinatown or Little Italy. This hub is meant to give our region, the Northeast, an opportunity to see a fuller picture of black people as they share their rich cultural heritage and unique creativity that is the result of surviving centuries of oppression. The hub is affectionately being called “The Black Block” and the hope is that it will be a model for more hubs across the country.
Operation Turn Around (OTA) is a 501(c)(3) grassroots nonprofit whose mission is to provide creative solutions to issues affecting underserved and disenfranchised communities. OTA teams with organizations, such as Core Collaboratives, a black-owned company committed to developing place-based expressions of local diversity in the business and community life of city centers. Together, we look to design and house co-operative structures with shared ownership that allow black people and others in the community to participate in their management. Local individuals and families should also benefit from profits from the structures they typically patron in their communities. Our subsequent goal is to help pilot co-operative grocery, insurance, banking and community policing structures over the next 18 months.
We want individuals to consider helping build something that protects and strengthens the black community rather than patches wounds readily inflicted. We are encouraged that incidents of late in our country have inspired many to take action to dismantle structures that have proven harmful to black people. Supporting the continued development of a black economic and cultural hub is an opportunity to build a structure that strengthens black communities and helps others who experience it to reconsider and construct new ideas and beliefs about who black people are. Please consider investing in the work of Operation Turn Around (OTA) by donating to our Building the Block campaign.