A committee known as “Building Black Bed-Stuy” in the popular Bedford-Stuyvesant (Bed-Stuy) neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, is taking a stand against gentrification. Comprised of Black women, the group’s mission is to safeguard, maintain, and elevate the neighborhood’s rich historical heritage.
Founded by Dana Arbib, Nana Yaa Asare-Boadu, Kai Avent-deLeon, and Rajni Jacques, this collective embodies a sense of communal responsibility put into tangible action. The group is dedicated to empowering the few remaining Black-owned businesses in the heavily gentrified Bed-Stuy area.
“The main objective was to find a way to foster our own support and not have to rely on anyone or anything outside of our people to liberate us,” says Avent deLeon.
Meeting bi-monthly, the committee focuses on raising money for nominated entrepreneurs who need support to keep their doors open.
“We want it to help be a driver of Black financial growth and prosperity in our local community and beyond,” says Jacques.
Among the values the group looks for in choosing which businesses to support are service, innovation, and a desire to pour back into the neighborhood, which has lost 35 percent of it Black residents to an influx of new developments, culture vultures, and skyrocketing living costs.
“The market is an opportunity for small businesses to have a space to come and share their products,” said group member Shani Coleman. “And not just with the community, but with each other.” The last marketplace of the year will take place on October 1.
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Source: Black Enterprise