Didn’t the Urban League fulfill the vision?
No. The Urban League Village/Northwest African American Museum currently occupying our space at Colman school is a scaled mini-me version of a cultural institution. The facility includes:
- 36 Apartments (affordable housing today, condominiums tomorrow?)
- Mini-Museum Gallery
- No space dedicated to youth or community programming
In light of the problems in our community including, educational underachievement, economic underdevelopment and gentrification youth crime and violence, any institution of this magnitude in size and resources must be positioned to effect the maximum positive progress and community growth.
Why shouldn’t apartments be primary concern at Colman School?
Because this institution was founded to address the socio-cultural deficiencies in the African American community first and foremost. We need to bring our youth of the streets into a positive cultural environment where they can learn and create.
Why is the Urban League unqualified to lead this project?
Because the Urban League is not a cultural organization for one. Secondly the Urban League has a track record of sabotaging and undermining Black progress and self determination dating back to their collaboration with J. Edgar Hoover to undermine Marcus Garvey’s movement for black self help.
Isn’t this what the community desires?
No. the community desires our youth to be productive in school and stop killing each other and going to jail. The community wants an institution that motivates and facilitates our youth continuing where the civil rights movement left off
Why are 36 Apartments taking up more than half of the building?
Because that is what the downtown White corporate powers that be want to help further the gentrification of Seattle’s historically Black Central Area. The current contracts allow for the apartments to be turned into condominiums at any time. Affordable housing is a major issue and should be pursued at other sites.
WHATS MISSING FROM THE URBAN LEAGUE VILLAGE/NAAM PROJECT?
Corporate sponsored corrupt, unethical and illegal takeover of the project from community based African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center organization.
True community participation
Secret meetings were held with pre-selected “community members” to give minimal input as much of the project was planned downtown white corporate sponsors. Chances are you were not invited. When and where were the open community meetings for this “community project”?
Youth were not engaged in developing this project nor do they have any dedicates space or time in NAAM. True youth participation includes, participation in all aspects of development including the board of directors, planning, construction, job shadowing. How is the museum as a solution to problem plaguing our youth? How many youth have been paid to participate in project planning, programming or construction?
No long term significant participation of Black businesses nor impact on the African American economy. No significant revenue generating activities that would bring about self sufficiency leaving the institution perpetually dependant on White philanthropy which will compromise the autonomy of the organization.