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Category Archives: Intentional Communities
Posted: October 19, 2021 at 9:50 pm
BALTIMORE (WJZ) Mayor Brandon Scott along with the City Council announced Tuesday plans to reauthorize three tax credits set to expire.
The tax credits include the CHAP Tax Credit, the Newly Constructed Dwelling Tax Credit and the High-Performance Market Rate Tax Credit.
Officials said the reauthorization bills associated with the credits were introduced by the City Council Monday evening. They will now begin to move through the councils process for approval.
Mayor Scott is also set to establish a Tax Credit Review Committee that will evaluate the citys existing tax credits and ensure the incentive program sustainably and equitably grows the tax base.
I look forward to working closely with Council President Mosby, Councilman Costello, Shelonda Stokes, and the Tax Credit Review Committee to ensure our incentive structure is fit for todays Baltimore, while simultaneously benefiting our residents, homeowners, local business community, and overall strategy for growth, said Scott.
Growing Baltimore in a responsible and equitable way is paramount, and getting our tax code right plays an important role in achieving that goal and ultimately transforming our city, said City Council President Nick J. Mosby. As Baltimores leaders, we must always be intentional about developing sustainable solutions that bolster smart and equitable development. I am excited to help establish this review committee and will do all I can to support and extend tax credits that deliver results.
The reauthorization of these three tax credits would build predictability into the process and aid projects in moving forward.
The reauthorization of these credits is critically important to growing our City, creating new jobs, and ensuring opportunity across all neighborhoods, said Councilman Eric T. Costello, chairman of the Councils Ways and Means Committee. By establishing the Tax Credit Review Committee, the Mayors deliberate approach will make sure that we continue to offer credits that have demonstrated results in growing our city and that we act in a fiscally prudent manner to drive economic development in all communities.
These tax credits have fueled development across the city so its important to keep them going while we perform a comprehensive review of whats working, whats not, and where we have unmet needs, said Downtown Partnership President, Shelonda Stokes. The process matters moving forward, as we create new tools to stimulate investment, equity, and economic opportunity.
Officials said more information will be announced in the coming weeks.
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Posted: at 9:50 pm
Reflections from the Reading 360 Summit
By: Dr. Lisa Coons, Chief Academic Officer
The inaugural Reading 360 Summit resonates in my mind as one of the most powerful learning opportunities of my career. Listening to several Tennessee leaders in the sessions over the three day summit highlighted and reinforced the incredible literacy work that is occurring in across the state. I am incredibly humbled that almost 2,000 educators attended and shared the literacy focus on Tennessee that is occurring in schools and districts over the past 18 months. Social media has been filled with quotes, comments of appreciation, and the recognition that the Reading 360 work outlines the literacy accomplishments in Tennessee.
Launched in January 2020, the Reading 360 Initiative provides a comprehensive focus on literacy improvements for educators, universities, families, and communities. District-facing strategies include early reading trainings for Pre-K to grade 5 educators and focused implementation networks to support district literacy improvements. Supports to districts also include Communities of Practice, implementation grants, and video models. Families have had the opportunities to order decodables and receive weekly text messages supporting literacy. Community partnerships for literacy tutoring will occur in Tennessees urban settings as well. Finally, a Tennessee Reading Research Center is launching this fall to analyze the focused work of Tennessee and study each of these initiatives and their impact on student achievement. The Reading 360 Summit was designed to highlight these efforts and celebrate the work of districts within Reading 360.
The Reading 360 Summit was designed intentionally. The conference began by reflecting on the success of the summer early reading training and the commitment of 11,000 educators; the presenters focused on how to support educators to implement the practices, protocols, and research learned. The panel focused on the neuroscience of the training and the importance of intentional foundational skills instruction. The conference sessions then moved to set Tennessees focus on literacy opportunities for every child and discussed the importance of access points that high-quality instruction materials provide that allow all children to have grade-level literacy opportunities every day.
On the second day, the conference focused on district and school leaders. District leaders spoke to their own vision-setting, building a theory of action, and equipping leaders and teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to execute the plan of action. The district leaders described the importance of working shoulder-to-shoulder with school leaders to ensure a collaborative culture where leaders are chief learners to support growth in classrooms.
The final day defined the vital roles families and communities play in ensuring all children have strong daily literacy experiences. Community partners across Tennessee shared their focus on grassroots collaboration to connect with families and elevate the focus on literacy. The conference closed with discussions with education preparation leaders and their focus on growing our newest educators to use cognitive reading science when teaching children to read along with the importance of using high-quality materials as the foundation for instruction.
I am so thankful for the conversations, the chats, and the connections that were sparked in the Reading 360 community that were made over the three-day summit.
Our schools and our children are so lucky to have the educational leaders who have spoken, engaged, and shared their practice during the summit. It is clear that our district leaders are creating a vision for success, ensuring the why is clear in the work, and that they are working shoulder-to-shoulder with their school leaders and teachers.
Sumner Countys Chief Academic Officer, Scott Langford, explained principals need feedback just like teachers do to Norma Gerrell, Director of Schools from Paris Special Schools, who reminded us that you have to put faces with data and be transparent. Our leaders truly shared how important honest and focused leadership is to improving literacy experiences for children. Clint Satterfield from Trousdale County encouraged school leaders to own their instructional changes, not just create buy-in. Hamilton Countys Yvette Stewart noted that school principals are the drivers of the bus. These leaders also discussed the use of Tennessees Instructional Practice Guide to dive deeply into the content, student learning, and actionable feedback that fosters growth in practice.
Haywood Countys Director of Schools, Joey Hassell, discussed the focus on all learners and reminded us that just because a student is struggling to read doesnt mean that they are struggling to think and Rachael Cornett from Rutherford County asserted that high-quality instructional materials level the playing field because all students are given access to rich instruction. Jeta Donovan, the principle Early Reading Training course designer, explained to teach our youngest readers to how to read, we have to understand more than just what reading is. We have to understand the processes behind it. Instructional leaders, Carissa Comer from Putnam County and Shannon Tufts from Lenoir City Schools, shared the importance of key tools to support educators in implementing foundational skills including collaborative lesson preparation and focused clear walk through feedback and Penny Thompson from Lebanon Special Schools showed us that early literacy starts in Pre-K.
One of our community leaders, DeMarrus Miller from the Salvation Army advocated, If a parent cannot read well, it is likely that their child will struggle as well and StandardsWork CEO, Barbara Davidson, explained we have a great opportunity here in Tennessee; there is nowhere else in the country with such a comprehensive and coherent approach to literacy instruction. In the discussion around preparing tomorrows teachers to teach reading, Dr. Carolyn Strom from New York University explained everything we do should be aligned to science and what we know about teaching reading. Our teachers need knowledge, skills, and mindsets to be successful. And University of Tennessee Knoxvilles Dr. Zoi Philippakos stated if we teach students to break the code and understand the system of reading, we give them the opportunity to access a world full of knowledge.
Recordings from all sessions will soon be available on Best for All Central. You will be able find these discussions and many other experts with empowering quotes, discussion points and strategies. As a next step, I encourage you to watch these recordings again and share these with your colleagues and extend this weeks learning into your own districts journey. Download the reflection guide and start a discussion and think about what is next for your school or district.
My dear friend, Millicent Smith from Lenior City, reminded us that we have to get uncomfortable to change and improve our practice. So, I hope you get uncomfortable, see students in the data, own your change, and use neuroscience to ensure every child in Tennessee has high quality learning experiences every day, every week, every month, year over year!
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Work of female filmmakers, primarily women of color, to be featured in Unorthodocs festival – The Columbus Dispatch
Posted: at 9:50 pm
Peter Tonguette| Special to The Columbus Dispatch
Filmmakers Melissa Gira Grant and Ingrid Raphael knew there was a story behind the wave of killings of young people, most of them Black, by police officers in Columbus.
I would be at the protests, and the families would be telling their stories, but when you would read and try to find more information, the media outlets that were covering the stories would only be giving the stories from the perspective of the police reports, said Raphael, a 28-year-old artist then living in Columbus.
Then Raphael, now living in Philadelphia, was introduced to Grant, a 43-year-old journalist based in Brooklyn, New York, who had been traveling to Columbus to write about police violence in the city.
I had started covering the story of Donna Dalton, who was shot and killed by (former police officer) Andrew Mitchell and then some months later, he was charged with murder in her death, said Grant, a staff writer at The New Republic magazine.
More: Columbus intends to pay family of Donna Castleberry $1 million in wrongful death case
That story really stuck out, because, at that time, before Mitchell was indicted, no Columbus police officer for the entire tenure of former prosecutor Ron OBrien had been charged with murder, Grant said.
More: Everyday Heroes: Adrienne Hood turns pain into purpose as a social justice leader
The two colleagues joined forces to co-direct a new 20-minute documentary being shown at Mershon Auditorium on the campus of Ohio State University at 7 p.m. Oct. 22. They Wont Call It Murder examines the topic through the perspective of surviving female family members of victims of police shootings namely, Adrienne Hood, the mother of Henry Green; Bobbi McCalla, the older sister of Dalton; Malika King and Derrea King, the mother and grandmother of Tyre King; and Jamita Malone and Maryam Malone, the mother and younger sister of Julius Tate Jr.
More: 5 juveniles have been fatally shot by police in Columbus since 2016. Here's a look at their cases
More: Opinion: "We cannot achieve social justice without environmental and climate justice."
The screening to be followed by a discussion with guests Grant, Raphael, Hood, Derrea and Malika King, and Jamita Malone is part of the Unorthodocs documentary film festival presented by the Wexner Center for the Arts (where the other screenings will take place).
(The film) really spends time with especially the women in the families of victims of police shootings mothers, grandmothers, sisters and how they build communities of support and try to figure out how to get justice, said Chris Stults, Wexner Center associate curator of film/video.
The goal is to give voice to figures whose perspectives might be omitted from official accounts of their loved ones deaths.
We knew that we had the ability, because of the relationships and the trust that we had, to tell the story in a really different way and in a way that gave these women and their families the power back, Grant said.
The film began production in December 2019 and wrapped toward the end of February 2020, but Grant and Raphael revisited the project following the death of George Floydin May 2020 while in police custody in Minneapolis.
We had yet again another unfortunate event in American history where a Black man was killed by police and we had these national uprisings, said Raphael, who decided that Columbus protests needed to be documented, too.
They Wont Call It Murder is the centerpiece of the fifth installment of Unorthodocs, which was originally intended to have a larger scope.
The pandemic curtailed those comeback plans just a bit: Instead of taking place over as many as five days, as in years past, the in-person component of this years festival is set for two days, Oct. 22 and 23.
But, as if by design, this leaner version of the festival has a focus it might not have otherwise had.
I didnt even realize this until after we finished the lineup, but at least in terms of the feature (documentaries), theyre all made by women and primarily women of color which wasnt intentional at all, but just seems like the most exciting work that we had planned to show, Stults said.
And, while last years Unorthodocs festival was entirely virtual, this years in-person screenings boast five programs that will make full use of the big screen; just one film, the documentary Prism, featuring contributions by three separate filmmakers, will be shown online this year (starting Oct. 24 and continuing through Oct. 30 on http://www.wexarts.org).
They are just overwhelming cinematic experiences that really needed to be seen on a screen, Stults said of the films selected to be screened in-person.
The festival opens at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 22 with Unorthodocs Shorts, a 75-minute program of short documentaries. Two filmmakers featured in the lineup Rasel Ahmed and Lydia Cornett will speak afterward.
After the screening of, and discussion related to, They Wont Call It Murder later that evening, the festival will resume on Oct. 23.
At 2 p.m. Oct. 23, Jessica Beshirs Faya Dayi will be screened. The documentary offers a look at the Ethiopian crop khat, which, when chewed, can lead to a feeling of euphoria.
Its the most lucrative crop in Ethiopia, Stults said. The film enters an appropriately meditative dream state. Its not one of those issue films, where you learn facts and figures like you would in a magazine article.
Also on Oct. 23, showing at 4:30 p.m. is Rosine Mbakams Delphines Prayers, which draws on the filmmakers interviews with a woman who had been a sex worker in Cameroon before relocating to Belgium; and at 7 p.m., Natalia Almadas Users, which utilizes sweeping cinematography to capture the role of technology in the natural world.
Despite being shorter than usual, the festival promises a thorough look at some of the most exciting voices in documentary filmmaking.
You can see a lot of the most striking documentaries all in one sitting, Stults said.
The Wexner Center for the Arts Unorthodocs documentary film festival will feature in-person screenings Oct. 22-23 at the arts center, 1871 N. High St.
They Wont Call It Murder will be shown at no charge at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 inMershon Auditorium. A discussion with the filmmakers and those featured in the documentary will follow.
Other in-person screenings cost $9, or $7 for Wexner Center members, $5 for students.
Visit http://www.wexarts.org for more information.
Masks are required.
Posted: at 9:50 pm
A year ago, the STEAMIFY competition, spearheaded by Dr. Ashley Gess, needed to go virtual due to COVID-19. Instead of canceling, the problem-solving competition lived up to its moniker and found a way to continue its growing tradition.
Last year, when we had COVID, the STEAMIFY board really looked at it like, this is a problem, were going to do what were asking the kids to do, said Gess, assistant professor of STEAM Education in the College of Education at Augusta University.
Fortunately, however, this years competition will once again be in person on March 26, 2022, on the Summerville Campus. There will be a synchronous virtual aspect for those unable to travel to Augusta University due to COVID-19 or other reasons.
STEAMIFY is a fun problem-solving competition that gives students in grades four through eight a chance to take what they are learning in class and apply it to their daily lives.
The competition capitalizes on a STEAM educational approach, which leverages the design process to help students apply their everyday learning in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics toward solving a meaningful problem or issue that is important today.
Those participating are assigned a grand challenge in advance, and need to come up with a design to solve the challenge.
This opportunity, by not only giving them science, math, engineering and technology opportunities, but by engaging the art in an intentional, deep and meaningful way, we can really train the whole mind of the students in that liveliness that is needed as they move through school and the workforce.
This years event will also introduce additional fields of study.
We have a new cybersecurity challenge this year, which we are really excited to roll out. We also have music, which is new this year.
Besides the grand challenge, there is also a spontaneous problem solving exercise on the day of the competition.
Our goal is to really target those kids and let them know they can do it, said Gess. They can be engaging and meaningful, and what they are learning in their everyday classes is important and applicable and they can make a difference in their community.
Watching how the participants work in teams is also important, according to Gess. Competition leadership isnt looking for individuals to take on the challenges, but rather, teams and they want to see how those teammates interact.
The last in-person event in 2019 had almost 1,000 student participants taking part on campus, and this year, the goal is 2,500. And according to Gess, its not just students in school who can take part, but kids in after-school programs like Scout troops can also form a team.
I think were the only STEAM competition in the Southeast that I know of, so were really hoping to touch people well beyond the CSRA and well beyond our two states.
This years competition is inspired by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Livable Communities Initiative. Together with the AARP, the STEAMIFY team believes residents of all ages should have equal opportunities to participate in community life.
Registration for the March event has just opened and Gess said theyre already getting interest from all over the Southeast. They are looking for about 350 volunteers to ensure everything runs smoothly and efficiently.
Besides the COE and AARP, other organizations supporting the competition include the Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Art and Design department, Ingevity, Textron Specialized Vehicles, South Carolina Afterschool Alliance, Georgia Cyber Center, Augusta Regional Airport and John Deere.
Gess said they are always looking for more sponsors to keep cost at a minimum for the participants and their families. Email Gess for more information.
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Posted: at 9:50 pm
In a moving ceremony, the Illinois State campus community celebrated on October 15 the new Multicultural Center, a recently renovated space dedicated to providing support for students and strengthening the Universitys commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Center Director Dr. Christa Platt, M.S. 09, Ph.D. 17, began the event with an acknowledgment of the Indigenous Peoples whose homelands Illinois State now occupies, closed the ceremony with a ribbon cutting, and in between reflected on what the new center means to the campus.
Its a special day, and honestly, its an emotional day, Platt said. Its a special day for us, the collective, the campus community, not just for me and my colleague Kwame (Patterson), who worked for the last year and a half together to make this venture be what it is, but its for the campus community, a moment in history that is special for us.
About 100 students, faculty, staff, donors, and university and community leaders gathered at the Multicultural Center for the celebration, which was held during Homecoming Week. The event was moved inside due to the weather forecast and was livestreamed on the centers Facebook page and on a big screen in the Bone Student Center, where about another dozen people watched the hourlong event.
Watch the celebration and ribbon cutting for the new Multicultural Center on Facebook.
Students Caleb Mangruem and Daisy Rodriguez welcomed attendees with a statement read in English and Spanish: Welcome to the sacred moment for our community, a moment to reflect, a moment to remember, and a moment to honor, Mangruem said in part. Welcome to an opportunity to share in gratitude with our communities who have asked, advocated, protested, demanded, and planned for this center. We welcome you to honor the mission and the vision to the center that seeks to equip all Illinois State University students to be change agents and enact a culture of anti-racism, equity, and justice.
After the event, center staff offered attendees tours of the facility, which opened in August in the former Instructional Technology and Development Center at 301 South Main Street. The 16,200-square-foot building underwent a $4.4 million renovation and now includes spaces for events and culturally- and community-based student organizations, conference rooms, a social justice library, a media room, staff offices, a kitchen, all-gender restrooms, and a reflection room.
Illinois State administrators spoke about the crucial role students served in pushing for and developing the concept of the center.
While were excited to complete this construction project and the opening of the center, were even more proud of the commitment to the student experience throughout the entire planning process, said Dr. Levester Johnson, vice president for Student Affairs. Our students asked for the Multicultural Center, and we listened. We were intentional about listening to their feedback and making decisions that will ultimately make their experience at Illinois State even better.
Illinois State President Dr. Terri Goss Kinzy called the centers opening a momentous occasion.
For some, this center is a symbol of our dedication to equity, Kinzy said. For some, this center will be a refuge, a place to recharge, to have the energy to continue important work. But for me, the center is a promise to forge ahead for infusing equity into the infrastructure of the Universitys practices, policies, and initiatives. It is also a place where we must have constructive dialogue, including on difficult topics and between different views.
The event also featured an Interfaith Blessing, a thank-you to the alumni who have financially supported the center, a rendition of the song The Blessing by the Interdenominational Youth Choir, and readings by the student leaders of the Black Student Union, Asian Pacific American Coalition, Pride, and the Association of Latinx American Students.
As current student leaders on this campus, we commit to serving our student body by recognizing the humanity of the most marginalized students, we affirm their Blackness; their Asian identity, their Latin histories; and their gender, sexual, and romantic identities, said Ximena Sanchez-Ramirez, president of the Association of Latinx American Students. We welcome each intersecting identity of our peers and invite them into the Multicultural Center. We center the experiences of minoritized students. We envision the possibilities for them, and the possibilities of what this space can and will offer students. We envision what the center would have been for a Black man graduate student, like Jelani Day. We will continue to foster community that Jelani would have wanted to belong to.
Dr. Khalilah Shabazz (assistant vice chancellor for student diversity, equity, and inclusion at IUPUI) has served as a consultant to the Multicultural Center. During her keynote speech, she said cultural centers provide a safe haven for students who often find themselves existing along the margins on college campuses.
Look at these amazing students. These are your why. These are the faces of our future. These are your why. And for you all students, this is your place, this is your space, Shabazz said.
Learn more about the Multicultural Center.
Julie Mana-ay Perez contributed to this story.
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Posted: at 9:50 pm
Hamilton, New JerseyGrounds For Sculpture is following a path of health and wellness that is both unique and beneficial for residents of the mid New Jersey region. As part of an extended initiative to make Grounds For Sculpture more accessible and inviting to a wider array of visitors, guests, and museum members, the sculpture park is working hand-in-hand with local leaders and artists to further develop its wellness programming, and is doing so through a thoughtful process incorporating ideas from the public and from groups who may have been excluded in the past.
Grounds For Sculpture welcomes, surprises, and engages visitors in its 42-acre sculpture park, museum, and arboretum founded on the site of the former New Jersey State Fairgrounds. Opened to the public in 1992, it is one of the premier cultural destinations in New Jersey, and has embraced and enchanted over three million visitors. Traditionally, tourists travel from places like New York City, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia to see and experience the immense collection of larger-than-life outdoor sculptures and indoor beguiling art installations and exhibits. However, after a deep review of who is benefitting from the museum's offerings, the administration and the board felt they could do more to reach out and work with residents throughout New Jersey.
During a recent strategic planning process, the organization developed a long-term vision that set its aspirations "to be a leader, magnet and vibrant forum that invites a diverse public to create, learn, and discover personal meaning in their interactions with art, nature and one another." Their new strategic plan identifies impact, relevance, and capacity as their key strategic priorities.
Over the summer, part of this vision was actualized when Gary Schneider, Grounds For Sculpture's Executive Director announced his hiring committee's choice to invite Kathleen Ogilvie Greene to become the organization's first Chief Audience Officer. As an experienced executive with a demonstrated history of creating sustainable institutional impact through program creation, community engagement, and audience development, Kathleen was the perfect match for the work ahead. She will play a critical role in prioritizing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), and wellness, initiatives across Grounds For Sculpture and the broader arts community.
Kathleen describes herself as an advocate for cultural workers and living artists and is skilled in inclusive programming, intentional partnerships, and nonprofit management. She arrived at Grounds For Sculpture from The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia where Kathleen excelled as a team and systems builder, created and managed a wide range of programs in response to the collection while established fruitful and long-standing partnerships within the greater region of southeast Pennsylvania.
The function of museums is evolving, with many now playing a significant role in the well-being of their community. Grounds For Sculpture engages the premise that the arts, resonating deeply with the human experience, are saturated with the potential to promote healing and wellness, not only in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, but also within the fabric of the region. Wellness-focused programming began at Grounds For Sculpture nearly ten years ago and the museum recognizes that the two elements, art and nature, united on its premises are healing. The sculpture park is in an ideal position to become a cornerstone for wellness in the community. While Grounds For Sculpture has made strides in achieving this goal, the staff and board members alike are in agreement that there is still much work to be done.
Late this summer, during a sunny Saturday afternoon, a convening of invited stakeholders, medical professionals, leaders, artists, staff members, and volunteers, congregated under an outdoor tent to brainstorm wellness programs, each participant sharing ideas from their own perspective and areas of interest. Kathleen stated, "The hope was to end the day with ideas that considered audience, partners, and purpose. We were fortunate to have the Michael Graves Architecture & Design firm lead the process and the group created an amazing range of possibilities! The convening has the potential to expand and deepen our participation in, and creation, of wellness programs throughout the region. It also provides the opportunity to expand our audiences across ability, zip code, economic and racial classification. Broadening our audience, and ensuring our work are beneficial to them is center to this work, as we want to increase our benefit to the community. One of the many goals to deepen our relationship and accountability to the convening attendees. They made an investment in us, by sharing their expertise, and we need to ensure that gift grows. So, another beneficial outcome is this suite of stakeholders who are already looking to us asking 'what are you going to do now?' Moving forward, the goal is to shift all these wonderful possibilities into actionable next steps, ensuring our strategic plan stays central in our decision making."
The recent wellness convening at Grounds For Sculpture generated ideas which ranged in scope from developing an accessible greenhouse to be utilized by communities who have mobility and/or visual impairments as well as the broader community, to providing opportunities for visitors and local residents to enter the grounds for free and participate in Tai Chi, meditation, and/or "Wellness Walks" while enjoying soothing live music provided by local musicians.
Focusing on community engagement and the expansion of wellness initiatives was on the docket for Grounds For Sculpture well before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the experience of enduring and then surviving a lockdown further solidified the need to initiate activities, events and programming that pushed the envelope on what is typically offered by similar cultural destinations. According to the United Nations' Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), "Museums preserve heritage for future generations, promote lifelong learning, provide equal access to culture and spread the values on which humanity is based." Their purpose in terms of inclusion is also critical to help bridge communities and cultures, and museums play a significant role in both the creative and tourism industries. The entire cultural sector was severely affected by the pandemic, and is still experiencing losses, with museums hit particularly hard." On UNESCO's website, it is reported that "90 percent of museums had been closed for an average of 155 days, and since the beginning of 2021, many have had to shut their doors again, due to surging infection rates. This has resulted in a 70 percent drop in attendance on average, and a 40 to 60 percent decline in revenue compared to 2019."
Rising from the COVID pandemic lockdown ashes, Grounds For Sculpture survived being closed for several months and is continuing the process of looking into diversified revenue models as the typical membership and visitor ticket sales paradigm was severely challenged in 2020. In a recent survey of 1,004 museums, "15 percent of museum directors said that there was a 'significant risk' of closing permanently in the next six months or that they were unsure whether they would survive through that period." Fortunately, Grounds For Sculpture's outdoor oasis has visitors, volunteers and staff bouncing backslowly and steadily with increasing attendance. Their goal of intentionally activating the outdoor space to support mental and physical well-being will help the guests to stay connected with each other and with the healing energy of art within nature.
Lucky for all of us living in the mid New Jersey area, residing within easy driving distance of Grounds For Sculpture, we can continue to cherish our hometown cultural jewel and support future programming. To sign up for and receive the organization's newsletter and get up-to-date announcements on events, exhibits, wellness programs, and educational offerings, go to: Grounds For Sculpture Newsletter Link Sign Up. To see a calendar of events, including wellness activities, go to: Grounds For Sculpture Calendar.
CSRWire – Fifth Third Neighborhood Investment Program to Support Transformation of the Near East Side of Columbus – CSRwire.com
Posted: at 9:50 pm
Published 8 hours ago
Submitted by Fifth Third Bancorp
COLUMBUS, October 19, 2021/CSRwire/- Fifth Third and Enterprise Community Partners today announced the establishment of a neighborhood program to support and continue revitalization efforts on the Near East Side of Columbus. The Neighborhood Investment Program will focus over three years on the PACT geography and cross-sector collaborations. PACT, which stands for Partners Achieving Community Transformation, is a partnership initiated in 2010 by the City of Columbus, The Ohio State University, the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) and Near East Side stakeholders. The Near East Side PACT Neighborhood, which is bounded by Woodland Ave to the east; Broad St to the South; I-71 to the west; and I-670 to the north, was one of the locations selected.
Fifth Third is eager to continue our existing collaboration with one of the citys most historic neighborhoods, the Near East Side, and to invest in a unique way by taking a thoughtfully structured approach to solve real-world systemic issues, said Regional Fifth Third Bank president, Francie Henry. We have partnered with this neighborhood since 2015 and during the past six years, have made investments in several efforts including the United Way of Central Ohio Neighborhood Leadership Academy, Columbus Urban League, Minority Business Assistance Center, and PACT Exterior Home Repair Program. Now, we are excited to continue our efforts in an even bigger and magnified way. PACTs mission is Honoring our Heritage and Building our Future and we are pleased to continue long-term support.
Fifth Third is collaborating on the initiative with Enterprise Community Partners, a national nonprofit that exists to make a good home possible for the millions of families without one. Together, they managed a criteria-based, invitation-only application process to select nine majority Black neighborhoods that have seen a sustained period of disinvestment. The Near East Side PACT Neighborhood was one of the locations selected. Enterprise will provide technical assistance to support each neighborhood in developing and implementing a plan tailored to the unique challenges it faces. Enterprise will then assist with assessing the plans effectiveness at improving the economic well-being of residents and small locally owned businesses. Successful outcomes will include investments in small businesses, homeownership and workforce development to create successful outcomes such as increased employment, economic stability and growth.
The Fifth Third Neighborhood Investment Program shows what is possible when we make intentional investments that center on Black life and legacy," said Priscilla Almodovar, president and chief executive officer of Enterprise Community Partners. "Enterprise is so excited to join Fifth Third and this group of committed neighborhood partners on an initiative that powerfully aligns with our goals as an organization: increase the housing supply, advance racial equity and build resilience and upward mobility."
This investment represents our commitment to holistic community development, said Fifth Third Central Ohio Community & Economic Development Manager, Sheldon K. Johnson. Through the Neighborhood Investment Program we are focused on contributing to sustainable solutions that address racial disparities in health and wealth. By collaborating with PACT and Enterprise and other community stakeholders we can build upon the foundation of work thats already been done and have some transformative impact in this historic community.
Fifth Third intends to commit up to $20 million in lending, investments and philanthropic support, including grants from the Fifth Third Foundation to the Near East Side PACT Neighborhood. A combination of capital, products and services will be invested into small businesses, mortgages, philanthropic efforts, and neighborhood revitalization loans and investments.
The Near East Side PACT Neighborhood was invited to apply for the program based on its ability to meet specific criteria, including collaborating with the neighborhoods Black residents, existing civic infrastructure in the neighborhood and its capability to manage equitable investment and wealth-building opportunities. The programs funds will cultivate investments and resources from additional stakeholders to support the economic mobility of low- to moderate-income residents in the identified neighborhoods.
Elizabeth Seely, founding board member and current chair of the PACT Board of Directors, said PACT will use the funds to further advance initiatives from PACTs Blueprint for Community Investment including safe and affordable housing, health, education, and employment opportunities. Potential investments in the program include funding the development of new black-owned businesses, supporting public art creation, providing down payment support for residents middle-income and ladder-up housing opportunities to build generational wealth, expanding access to health services, and creating financial education, literacy, and savings programs for the areas young peoples future dreams. Infusing good development practices and principles interwoven with community engagement, culture, and legacy has been our vision and our dream. The expertise and investment of Fifth Third combined with the knowledge base of Enterprise make this an exceptionally critical moment for our community. And were ready- were just poised to leverage it, said Seely.
The Neighborhood Investment Program is part of Fifth Thirds $2.8 billion commitment that will provide $2.2 billion in lending, $500 million in investments, $60 million in financial accessibility and $40 million in philanthropy from the Fifth Third Foundation as part of Fifth Thirds Accelerating Racial Equality, Equity and Inclusion initiative. The commitment is focused on four strategic pillars that directly impact customers and communities with targeted outcomes enabling the Bank to track progress and measure success in the areas of strategic investments, access to capital, financial inclusion and education, and social justice and advocacy. This program also aligns with Enterprises new strategic plan and three central goals: to increase housing supply, advance racial equity and build resilience and upward mobility.
The additional recipient neighborhoods and lead organizations that will be driving the communitys efforts as part of the neighborhood program are:
To learn more about the Neighborhood Investment Program, please visit 53NeighborhoodInvest.org.
About Enterprise Community Partners
Enterprise is a national nonprofit that exists to make a good home possible for the millions of families without one. We support community development organizations on the ground, aggregate and invest capital for impact, advance housing policy at every level of government, and build and manage communities ourselves. Since 1982, we have invested $44 billion and created 781,000 homes across all 50 states all to make home and community places of pride, power and belonging. Join us at EnterpriseCommunity.org.
About Fifth Third
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, National Association, a federally chartered institution. As of June 30, 2021, the Company had $205 billion in assets and operates 1,096 full-service Banking Centers, and 2,369 Fifth Third branded ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 53,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of June 30, 2021, had $483 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $61 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at http://www.53.com. Fifth Thirds common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol FITB.
About the Fifth Third FoundationEstablished in 1948, the Fifth Third Foundation was one of the first charitable foundations created by a financial institution. The Fifth Third Foundation supports worthy causes in the areas of health and human services, education, community development and the arts in the states where Fifth Third Bank operates.
Elizabeth BoyukRegional Marketing Manager (Media Relations)Elizabeth.Boyuk@53.com | 614-586-6223
Jordan Miller (Media Relations, Enterprise Community Partners)JMiller@GroupGordon.com | 212-784-5703
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Posted: October 15, 2021 at 9:04 pm
Community of people living together, sharing common interests
A commune[a] is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property, possessions, and resources in common. In some communes, the people also share common work, income, or assets.
In addition to the communal economy, consensus decision-making, non-hierarchical structures and ecological living have become important core principles for many communes. There are many contemporary intentional communities all over the world, a list of which can be found at the Foundation for Intentional Community (FIC).
Benjamin Zablocki categorized communities this way:
Many communal ventures encompass more than one of these categorizations. Some communes, such as the ashrams of the Vedanta Society or the Theosophical commune Lomaland, formed around spiritual leaders, while others formed around political ideologies. For others, the "glue" is simply the desire for a more shared, sociable lifestyle.
The central characteristics of communes, or core principles that define communes, have been expressed in various forms over the years. The term "communitarian" was invented by the Suffolk-born radical John Goodwyn Barmby, subsequently a Unitarian minister.
At the start of the 1970s, The New Communes author Ron E. Roberts classified communes as a subclass of a larger category of Utopias. He listed three main characteristics: first, egalitarianism that communes specifically rejected hierarchy or graduations of social status as being necessary to social order. Second, human scale that members of some communes saw the scale of society as it was then organized as being too industrialized (or factory sized) and therefore unsympathetic to human dimensions. And third, that communes were consciously anti-bureaucratic.
Twenty five years later, Dr. Bill Metcalf, in his edited book Shared Visions, Shared Lives defined communes as having the following core principles: the importance of the group as opposed to the nuclear family unit, a "common purse", a collective household, group decision making in general and intimate affairs. Sharing everyday life and facilities, a commune is an idealized form of family, being a new sort of "primary group" (generally with fewer than 20 people although there are examples of much larger communes). Commune members have emotional bonds to the whole group rather than to any sub-group, and the commune is experienced with emotions which go beyond just social collectivity.
With the simple definition of a commune as an intentional community with 100% income sharing, the online directory of the Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC) lists 222 communes worldwide (28 January 2019). Some of these are religious institutions such as abbeys and monasteries. Others are based in anthroposophic philosophy, including Camphill villages that provide support for the education, employment, and daily lives of adults and children with developmental disabilities, mental health problems or other special needs. Many communes are part of the New Age movement.
Many cultures naturally practice communal or tribal living, and would not designate their way of life as a planned 'commune' per se, though their living situation may have many characteristics of a commune.
In Germany, a large number of the intentional communities define themselves as communes and there is a network of political communes called "Kommuja" with about 30 member groups (May 2009). Germany has a long tradition of intentional communities going back to the groups inspired by the principles of Lebensreform in the 19th century. Later, about 100 intentional communities were started in the Weimar Republic after World War I; many had a communal economy. In the 1960s, there was a resurgence of communities calling themselves communes, starting with the Kommune 1 in Berlin, followed by Kommune 2 (also Berlin) and Kommune 3 in Wolfsburg.
In the German commune book, Das KommuneBuch, communes are defined by Elisabeth Vo as communities which:
Kibbutzim in Israel, (sing., kibbutz) are examples of officially organized communes, the first of which were based on agriculture. Today, there are dozens of urban communes growing in the cities of Israel, often called urban kibbutzim. The urban kibbutzim are smaller and more anarchist. Most of the urban communes in Israel emphasize social change, education, and local involvement in the cities where they live. Some of the urban communes have members who are graduates of zionist-socialist youth movements, like HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed, HaMahanot HaOlim and Hashomer Hatsair.
In 1831 John Vandeleur (a landlord) established a commune on his Ralahine Estate at Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co. Clare. Vandeleur asked Edward Thomas Craig, an English socialist, to formulate rules and regulations for the commune. It was set up with a population of 22 adult single men, 7 married women and their 7 husbands, 5 single women, 4 orphan boys and 5 children under the age of 9 years. No money was employed, only credit notes which could be used in the commune shop. All occupants were committed to a life with no alcohol, tobacco, snuff or gambling. All were required to work for 12 hours a day during the summer and from dawn to dusk in winter. The social experiment prospered for a time and 29 new members joined. However, in 1833 the experiment collapsed due to the gambling debts of John Vandeleur. The members of the commune met for the last time on 23 November 1833 and placed on record a declaration of "the contentment, peace and happiness they had experienced for two years under the arrangements introduced by Mr. Vandeleur and Mr. Craig and which through no fault of the Association was now at an end".
In imperial Russia, the vast majority of Russian peasants held their land in communal ownership within a mir community, which acted as a village government and a cooperative. The very widespread and influential pre-Soviet Russian tradition of Monastic communities of both sexes could also be considered a form of communal living. After the end of communism in Russia, monastic communities have again become more common, populous and, to a lesser degree, more influential in Russian society. Various patterns of Russian behavior toloka (), pomochi (), artel () are also based on communal ("") traditions.
A 19th century advocate and practitioner of communal living was the utopian socialist John Goodwyn Barmby, who founded a Communist Church before becoming a Unitarian minister.
The Simon Community in London is an example of social cooperation, made to ease homelessness within London. It provides food and religion and is staffed by homeless people and volunteers. Mildly nomadic, they run street "cafs" which distribute food to their known members and to the general public.
The Bruderhof has three locations in the UK. In Glandwr, near Crymych, Pembrokeshire, a co-op called Lammas Ecovillage focuses on planning and sustainable development. Granted planning permission by the Welsh Government in 2009, it has since created 9 holdings and is a central communal hub for its community. In Scotland, the Findhorn Foundation founded by Peter and Eileen Caddy and Dorothy Maclean in 1962 is prominent for its educational centre and experimental architectural community project based at The Park, in Moray, Scotland, near the village of Findhorn.
The Findhorn Ecovillage community at The Park, Findhorn, a village in Moray, Scotland, and at Cluny Hill in Forres, now houses more than 400 people.
Historic agricultural examples include the Diggers settlement on St George's Hill, Surrey during the English Civil War and the Clousden Hill Free Communist and Co-operative Colony near Newcastle upon Tyne during the 1890s.
There is a long history of communes in America (see this short discussion of Utopian communities) which led to the rise in the communes of the hippie movementthe "back-to-the-land" ventures of the 1960s and 1970s. One commune that played a large role in the hippie movement was Kaliflower, a utopian living cooperative that existed in San Francisco between 1967 and 1973 built on values of free love and anti-capitalism.
Andrew Jacobs of The New York Times wrote that "after decades of contraction, the American commune movement has been expanding since the mid-1990s, spurred by the growth of settlements that seek to marry the utopian-minded commune of the 1960s with the American predilection for privacy and capital appreciation." (See Intentional community). The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC) is the best source for listings of and more information about communes in the United States.
While many American communes are short lived, some have been in operation for over 50 years. The Bruderhof was established in the US in 1954, Twin Oaks in 1967 and Koinonia Farm in 1942. Twin Oaks is a rare example of a non-religious commune surviving for longer than 30 years.
As of 2010[update], the Venezuelan state has initiated the construction of almost 200 "socialist communes" which are billed as autonomous and independent from the government. The communes purportedly have their own "productive gardens" that grow their own vegetables as a method of self-supply. The communes also make independent decisions in regards to administration and the use of funding. The idea has been denounced[by whom?] as an attempt to undermine elected local governments, since the central government could shift its funding away from these in favor of communes, which are overseen by the federal Ministry of Communes and Social Protection.
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Pleasant Hill Cohousing founder sees communal living as sustainable way of the future – – Concord Clayton Pioneer
Posted: at 9:04 pm
Cohousing residents use color coded cards to raise issues affecting the community where matters are settled by consent. (Pamela Michael photo)
PLEASANT HILL, CA (Oct. 14, 2021) The scale is human and the vibe bucolic at the tiny village with mango-colored townhouses that make up the hidden oasis called Pleasant Hill Cohousing (PHCH).
With cars banished to the periphery, the homes sit on welcoming, winding paths lined with lush greenery that manages to be orderly and wild at the same time.
PHCH is home to 32 households and 60+ people who have made a commitment to live in a community that fosters harmony with each other, the larger community and nature.
Tucked away on a 2.2-acre triangle of land just off Monument Boulevard, wedged between the Contra Costa Canal and the Iron Horse Trail, PHCH is part of a growing movement of intentional communities. The neighborhoods combine the privacy of individual homes generally townhouses or condominiums with shared amenities like laundry facilities, gardens, craft rooms, exercise equipment, workshops, libraries, gathering spaces and sometimes even cars.
Cohousing groups are small, participatory democracies based on shared ideals of communication and cooperation. Governance is by consensus, not an easy process in any size group, no matter how committed.
Our self-governance has evolved and improved over time, observed PHCH resident Kenji Yamada, who noted that cohousing is not for everyone, perhaps not even for most people.
To reach consensus on issues during monthly meetings, the group adopted an innovative system that utilizes a series of colored cards that signal their positions. Various colors indicate More Info Needed, Point of Order, Not Decided Yet, etc. Green=Agree, Red=Block. The goal is to see a sea of green, of course.
Yamada, a former Peace Corps volunteer, now a software tester and community activist, is typical of PHCH residents, if not most communitarians, as they are sometimes called, in his motivation for choosing cohousing. He and his wife sought to live in a place that offered more real connections to neighbors than typical suburban living.
They were seeking an old-fashioned sense of neighborhood that affords opportunities to connect with each other and interact in meaningful ways, an antidote to the isolation of much modern life.
New resident Timothy Silk, a tech consultant, echoes Yamadas desire for closer contact with his neighbors. When he and his wife, empty nesters, were exploring local cohousing options, he was impressed by how much the PHCH residents seemed to care for each other. New members, for example, are treated to a welcoming ceremony.
Pre-COVID, there were many celebrations and gatherings in addition to the twice-a-week communal meals in the Common House, which contains, in addition to a kitchen, a dining room (Great Room), sitting room, laundry, kids room, teen room, crafts room and two guest bedrooms with bath a welcome feature.
The same desire for more real connections to her neighbors prompted PHCH co-founder (and project guiding force) Barbara Lynch and her late husband to gather like-minded folks in 1995 to seek a parcel of land suitable for building what would become the first cohousing development in Contra Costa County.
We were living the dream, a big house with a pool in Walnut Creek, says the former Los Medanos College computer sciences teacher. But when I read an article about a cohousing project on Bainbridge Island in Washington, I knew immediately that I wanted to live in a more conscious, cooperative way I wanted to live in cohousing.
In 2001, she got her wish, moving into the newly completed PHCH complex.
By happy coincidence, the Bay Area was home to architects Charles Durrett and his then-wife Kathryn McCamant, who introduced the idea of cohousing (and coined the term) to the United States in the late 80s.
They had previously lived in Denmark, where the concept was pioneered in the 1970s before spreading throughout Europe and, thanks to Charles and Kathryn, to this country.
The architects and their Cohousing Company, based in Berkeley for many years and now in Nevada City, remain devoted to the cohousing concept. They wrote books and articles, held introductory meetings and helped many groups navigate the often-difficult process of creating their own communities.
Working closely with Lynch and the Pleasant Hill group, they designed a community that is multigenerational, diverse, non-hierarchical and environmentally conscious with passive heating and cooling features, efficient water use, natural, non-toxic materials and many more amenities.
Cohousing helps stem the tide of consumerism, Durrett told the Pioneer. Instead of 32 lawnmowers, you only need one, for example.
Durrett sees his job as helping to create a viable society and sees the biggest obstacle to cohousing development as a culture stuck in outdated ideas about living arrangements.
After designing the first newly constructed cohousing community in the country, Muir Commons in Davis, in 1991, and PHCH in 2001, Durrett remains undeterred. He has completed more than 50 of the more than 150 cohousing communities in the country.
Cooperation is the key to human survival. It is the basis of how we live together in families, in communities, of how we govern ourselves and of the global economy.
Cohousing offers a compelling model for getting along and in these difficult times for addressing our increasing isolation.
Kurt Vonnegut once wrote, The most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.
The Pleasant Hill Cohousing folks have taken the dare.
Pamela Michael is a writer and communications specialist who has lived in Curry Canyon for twenty years.
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Shop Latinx, the First Curated and Leading Marketplace for the Latinx Community, Announces Close of Initial $1 Million Pre-Seed VC Funding – Business…
Posted: at 9:04 pm
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Shop Latinx, the first curated and leading marketplace for Latinx brands and consumers, raised $1 Million dollars in funding from investment partners Precursor Ventures, Backstage Capital, Debut Capital, 2PM, Humble Ventures, Hispanics in Philanthropy, Silicon Hills Capital, Techstars, among several other consumer angel investors.
Shop Latinx has experienced exponential growth since its founding by entrepreneur Brittany Chavez in 2016, from a fan favorite Instagram account championing Latinx brands, designers and their stories to a full e-commerce marketplace boasting a community with over 100,000 highly engaged fans. Shop Latinx now features over 600 intentionally curated one-of-a-kind products from over 30 brands from brilliant creators and entrepreneurs with rich stories.
With the new funding, Shop Latinx will continue to define the Latinx virtual shopping experience and looks to expand through both online and offline experiential commerce and events. Tapping into music, fashion and culture, Shop Latinx will offer consumers a celebratory community driven experience. Additionally, the brand plans on debuting an intentionally curated selection of new brands, designers, exclusive products, large retail partnerships and more.
Shop Latinx has always been about championing Latinx brands and communities, we pride ourselves on discovering and curating standout products from leading emerging brands that excites our discerning Gen Z and Millennial consumer. Since inception we have been leading the way in our cultural expertise, curation, trend forecasting, storytelling and supporting emerging and underrepresented brands, said Brittany Chavez, founder of Shop Latinx. We are excited to have the support of investment partners in our mission to create an intentional shopping space that was created by Latinx for Latinx.
"We are excited to back Shop Latinx as this doubles down on our mission to provide capital that encourages growth of diverse founders and brands," said Arlan Hamilton, Founder & Managing Partner, Backstage Capital. "Brittany Chavez impressed us at the outset of our meetings. She's rethought commerce in this market and we know it will have a lasting impact."
With partnerships with iconic companies such as Warner, Nike, and Footlocker looking to further engage with the Latinx community, Shop Latinx is poised for extreme growth. The newly venture backed startup now has four full time employees working across product development and marketing and has seen a 226% sales increase from Q2 to Q3, with 278% in this last month alone.
The strongest, most enduring companies are built by founders who have an authentic connection to the audiences they serve. Brittany and her team at Shop Latinx have spent years building relationships both with Gen Z Latinx creators and brands and with the fans and customers who love and support those brands, said Charles Hudson, Precursor Ventures. This funding will enable the Shop Latinx team to scale their vision for connecting the best Latinx-led brands with a growing audience of consumers.
"In our first meeting with Shop Latinx, two things were clear: a genuine love for the Latinx community is the root of SLX and Brittany's dedication to providing a unique and curated experience for her consumers, said Pilar Johnson, Debut Capital. We are proud and excited to be supporting Shop Latinx and its growth trajectory. For too long, the Latinx consumer has been an afterthought to many brands. We believe Shop Latinx will authentically celebrate and prioritize the community and provide an ideal space for entrepreneurs to create products for them."
The platform is now a fashion and beauty frontrunner with a myriad of unique and on trend offerings from key Latinx-owned brands such as Nopalera (the emerging Mexican-owned botanicals for bath & body), Shocks of Love, (a fragrance house at the intersection of wellness, art, & beauty), MCLC, (footwear that empowers the sole), Novel Swim, (a bathing suit line for women who want to have fun in and out of the water), among others. Additionally, the brand's first ever Limited Edition Merch collection in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month is now available on Shop Latinxs site.
About Shop Latinx:
Created by entrepreneur Brittany Chavez in 2016, Shop Latinx (SLX) is a lively community of brilliant creators and entrepreneurs with rich stories and deeply intentional practices. SLX prides itself on highlighting the multiplicity of the Latinx community through an intentionally curated, distinctive selection of cutting edge pieces and products that ignite and celebrate the Latinx culture. Each brand on the site was born from a labor of love, and is valued by the partnerships created with these makers above everything else. Shop Latinxs hope is for the Latinx community to feel seen and celebrated with an intentional shopping space that was created by Latinx for Latinx.
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