Africatown invites you to Plan and Build the Future of Black Communities in Puget Sound.
Riding the wave of one of the most successful Umoja Fest in recent years, Africatown is seeking to ride the momentum of last weekend’s celebrations into a community call to action this weekend around designing African American communities of the future in the Puget Sound by presenting the Black to the Future Weekend occurring Friday and Saturday with the focus being on aspects of community design and seeking to engage all ages of the community in the design process.
Friday – Gould Hall – University of Washington 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Africatown’s approach to long term design of spaces for Black people in the Puget Sound area moves along several timelines, some short term and some long term. On the long-term side is the Minecraft Hackathons that Africatown has been producing over the past few years. For those that don’t know, Minecraft is one of the most popular video games in the world among those in elementary and middle school age. The purpose of the game is to creatively build structures using blocks. The reason why Minecraft is important to Africatown is that this game is often African American youth’s first encounter with design technology and concepts and engaging with these concepts at a young age peaks interest around design and can serve as a gateway into future career fields like architecture and civil engineering, both are careers where African American’s are underrepresented and research shows that those in our community who have pursued those career paths were exposed to design concepts at an early age.
The Hackathon will allow the participants to compete in designing the most creative structures possible and then they will be able to present their work the next day at Washington Hall in the Central District.
Saturday – Washington Hall 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM / Community Dinner 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
On Saturday, Africatown is making a call to those in the community across Puget Sound that have a passion for the inclusion of Black people in the future of the Pacific Northwest to come to Washington Hall in the Central District at 11:00 AM for an event that is poised to highlight the current successes by Africatown and the Liberty Bank Building as well as some learning both positive and negative that can be used by those in other Puget Sound communities that want to develop Black spaces in their cities and towns. Among those presenting will be K. Wyking Garrett, President and CEO, Africatown Community Land Trust as well as world renowned architect Renee Kemp-Rotan who has had a career of designing Afrocentric spaces across America and the world.
In addition to presentations by Garrett and Kemp-Rotan, there will also be a networking and resource session where those from outlying communities can build bridges and share ideas and resources as to how to move forward with the long term planning of their communities.
According to Garrett, now is the time to look well into the future and start planning what the Black existence in the region will look like.
“We have to plan and build the spaces where we can experience that amazing energy throughout the year, not just one weekend,” said Garrett, who continued, “We need more Liberty Bank Buildings, we need to help our property owners keep and develop their property and we need to share our successes with our Black communities in places like Skyway, Renton, Kent, Federal Way and Tacoma. That’s what this event is about, collectively planning and building our future.” He added.
Following the networking and resource session there will be community dinner where those in attendance can fellowship.