This is an excerpt from Homes for All, an in-depth look at current issues around affordable housing and the vast need for sustainable housing choices. Hope Community was one of three housing organizations profiled in this hour-long documentary. Co-produced with MN Housing Partnership.
Four arts and culture videos from public broadcasting partners were selected from around the nation and posted on the PBS art blog. Chaka M’kali of Hope Community was one of them. TPT’s Minnesota Original profiled M’kali’s murals, which he uses to tell stories that speak to the community, begin public discourse and inspire hope.
Hope has become known for our Community Listening which has involved over 1,500 people in community dialogues. Community Listening emphasizes the importance of relationships and partnerships and it allows us to translate voices into action and better harness the collective power of people for change.
Hope youth leaders ventured into the community surrounding Hope in search of organizations and institutions that played vital roles in young people’s daily lives. They went to churches, schools, parks, shelter, and libraries. They talked to program coordinators, teachers and students. Through their work and commitment, SPEAC leaders brought small groups of youth together to dialogue about their dreams, challenges and fears.
In about 30 dialogues, over 300 people – youth, adults, elders, people from diverse culture traditions – discussed the meanings, pride and struggles they experience in their communities and neighborhoods.
Hope Community, DJR Architecture and Grebner Associates
March 26, 1999
The Children’s Village vision was an “agitational vision” that was needed to jolt public officials and others with power and resources out of their negative assumptions about Hope’s neighborhood and its residents. The vision for more than 16 square blocks included six-foot-high drawings showing a revitalized neighborhood with infill housing. The vision succeeded in changing perceptions about this part of the Phillips neighborhood and lead to the multi-phased Franklin Portland Gateway development project.
Participant and Community Leader
“I certainly wouldn’t be who I am had I not come here. I don’t know if I’d be as good of an organizer. Or have, at least, the tools that I got from being a part of SPEAC.”