August is for Neighbors

August has been a busy month for Root + Branch. We sponsored and helped organize two neighborhood block parties for the South Side of Columbus, Ohio, and boy are we bounce house-ed out!

Root + Branch gets involved with projects like this because creating spaces for community members to gather, meet each other and celebrate the neighborhood are vital to creating connected, thriving neighborhoods. Enjoy these pictures of all the fun we had. And come join us next time!

 

 

One party was put on in partnership with Restoration Hope, South Side Thrive Collaborative and the United Way. The second event was hosted in partnership with the Schumacher Place Civic Association, with help from the United Way. All the thanks to every volunteer, participant, vendor, non profit and attendee for helping put on these fantastic events!

I’m with the Banned

I am a big fan of Spotify especially here in the Root + Branch office. Sometimes a good jam session is completely necessary to keep your day moving. Spotify recently released a timely project entitled: I’m with the Banned. And I’m encouraging everyone to give it a listen!

Spotify launched the playlist and original series, as a music initiative to empower artists and fans from different cultures to collaborate. By coupling the music of banned nations with American voices, Spotify is “amplifying the voices of people and communities that have been silenced.”

The series focuses on issues that range from immigration to LGBTQ equality through artist collaborations, performance and original content.

 

As Spotify explains, “The artists featured in “I’m with the banned” break stereotypes, bend genres and approach their art with open ears. Artists include:

  • Kasra V – DJ and record producer hailing from Iran and specializing in techno/deep house, he hosts a bi-weekly radio show on NTS Radio and is a curator of the Dance playlist for 22Tracks
  • Moh Flow – Singer/songwriter from Syria who co-produces with his brother, AY. While residing in Dubai and traveling the world, the 25-year-old has had the chance to harness his music making skills to release music consistently over the Internet.
  • Waayaha Cusub – A Somali musical collective that organized the first international music festival in Somalia’s capital since the start of the civil war in the early 90s.
  • Methal – Yemeni singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who learned to play by watching American YouTube videos.
  • Sufyvn – Acclaimed producer/beatmaker whose electronic tracks blend American hip-hop and traditional Sudanese music.
  • Ahmed Fakroun – Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Libya and pioneer of modern Arabic Music, influenced by Europop and French art rock.”

 

Happy Listening!!!

 

-L

Guide to not being Complicit with Gentrification

I know this article says its a guide for “artists” but actually many of the tips are valuable for anyone who is at risk of being a “gentrifier.” Not sure if that applies to you there’s a quick way to think about it: Did you grow up in the neighborhood you’re living in?  If not, now ask yourself: are the people that did grow up here being displaced because of affordability or housing stock? If yes, you are likely living in a gentrifying (or gentrified) neighborhood.

But that doesn’t mean you have to be a part of the problem. In fact, there are ways you can be part of the solution, immediately.

Read on. It’s worth it.

Let me summarize it for you though:

  1. put your privilege to work for others.
  2. Respect the history of your surroundings.
  3. do not assume your perspective or experience is universal or most important.

 

Tell us how you mitigate gentrification in your neighborhood.

Segregation Had to Be Invented

The Atlantic published an article about the history of segregation in our cities titled Segregation Had to be Invented.

It is especially interesting to us for two reasons:

  1. Powerful people have retained their power by conning  white folks into being hateful towards people of color since the dawn of America.
  2. Sometimes it’s nice to remember that segregation was man made- because that means it can also be man-unmade. (right?)

 

WMATA Proposed Cuts Worry Residents

WMATA and it’s DC Metro have it tough. They are short  money, but need to continue operating expensive mass transit facilities. We get it. We have worked with non profits and government agencies all over. Shoe string budgets are not fun.

But we caution against moving forward with a plan like the one described in this Washington Post article by Martine Powers, The 20 stations Metro could close during off- peak hours to save money are mostly in communities of color

Of course, we have an idea to help with that budget shortfall. 

Give us a call, WMATA. 

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