Reimagining Our Shared Place
A series of journeys to one another's 'places' to learn from one another and reimagine our shared place that embodies the whole of us.
Learning how to access water well from the local water well in South Sudan, and other key elements of life in this former homeland of many people on the move.
Ghanian locals hosting a resettled refugee from Somalia, a resettled refugee from Burundi and a generational African American in their homeland to learn from one another.
What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)
A. People on the move from various global regions to shared neighborhood...
B. ... Where we practice grassroots neighborhood presence and hospitality...
C. ... Which develops trusting relationships in community and allows us to...
D. ... Together identify community stakeholders who can seek to address the problem...
E. ... Forming a learning cohort which undertakes...
F. (1) Co-learning in our shared neighborhood
G. (2) Co-habiting one another's experiences in their home regions
H. (3) Co-creating our reimagined neighborhood, together with the broader community (from B)
I. Together build a flourishing neighborhood with a shared future of stability and promise, informed by all of our collective cultures and stories
Geography of focus (500 characters)
The geography of focus for this particular idea is based around the inhabitants of the micro-neighborhood of Syracuse, NY's Northside, and the home regions of the people who now call it home. Those home regions include the Middle East and Central Asia, South and Southeast Asia, the Horn of Africa/East Africa, Central Africa and West Africa.
Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)
In this idea, we seek to have all of the people on the move, their new neighbors, and the people in the regions from which they moved learn from one another, re-imagining what each of these distinct neighborhoods could look like to bring about a place informed by all of our collective cultures and stories. The bridges will be multi-fold -- in neighborhood with broader community, between the diverse cohort, with the various global regions we travel to and those who adopt this model in the future.
What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)
One of the greatest poisons of the narrative of assimilation is the way that it undermines the dignity of the human person whose culture and identity do not naturally embody it. This idea solves for the human need of being seen and known in that would brings them joy and hope by inviting others to be immersed in and learn from their worlds, as their new neighborhood innately requires of them. Together, we experience the beautiful gift of diversity brought by each and every member of our shared neighborhood, people on the move and generational inhabitants alike.
With this learning, we then embark on one of the most beautiful endeavors to fulfill the human needs of joy, hope and dignity - we co-create together. We imagine what it might look like for us to build a flourishing neighborhood where we each see ourselves reflected in it, a place we all can call home.
What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)
While a tremendous portion of this idea is front-loaded with learning and listening, we believe this sets the stage for transformational work in our shared neighborhood, the nature of which must be informed by the learning itself. However, we know that that which is co-created will address weak and or failing business corridors, severe lacking of in-neighborhood employment, transportation access, sense of love and belonging by all inhabitants, stabilized housing for families and more. Each of these areas must be addressed strategically and collectively as a part of a larger whole, informed by the co-learning of community members. We believe without a doubt that such an intentional effort will emerge a beautiful and flourishing neighborhood for those who reside here, and one in which they have ownership so they are not yet again displaced.
What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)
I have spent the past decade of my life sharing meals with and being neighbor to approximately 15,000 people on the move (resettled refugees) and our fellow neighbors who are generational residents. I have witnessed firsthand how the beautiful diversity we have in our homes and streets is limited from impacting our business corridors and other public life. I hear the longing of our diverse community for this to change, for our shared space to feel more like 'home' in all the variety of ways that we mean that. So I dream all the more every day that we might lean in to obtaining that.
Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)
The primary community this idea is seeking to address is the Northside neighborhood of Syracuse, NY, where one of the largest concentrations of resettled refugees reside in the U.S. It is home to approximately 15,000 resettled refugees who have come from all around the globe as a people on the move over the last 20+ years. It does not have a predominate group that call it home, so the diversity is vast and truly global.
The neighborhood residents who have lived here generationally are predominately the descendants of European immigrants from Italy, Germany and Ireland several generations ago, as well as African Americans whose ancestors were forcibly migrated to the U.S. in slavery. The dynamic between those who have lived here generationally and those who are newly arriving is tense and disconnected in most cases.
The communities we would go to co-habit share similar struggles of the generational inhabitants being infused with newcomers.
How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)
Our idea leverages the existing community strengths and assets on several levels. We would be embarking into this with trusting relationships in community with a decade-long presence of an organization facilitating this idea, an established New Americans Forum which is actively involved in community advocacy and engagement of power brokers, a city that has identified our neighborhood as an opportunity zone of development and many connections of our new residents to their home regions that are poised to partner with us.
What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)
Our current group already includes a diversity of community stakeholders from various ethnic communities, and we will expand that by working alongside of the following partners, with most of whom we have already laid the groundwork:
-- New Americans Forum (ethnic community leaders)
-- Cuse Culture and other Black American advocacy and development work
-- City of Syracuse local government, including economic development department
-- UNHCR and other global stakeholders in urban refugee situations and organized camps/centers
-- Organizations run by now Syracuse residents back in their homelands or home regions (i.e. a special needs center in Malawi, a girls scholarship program for Somalis, etc)
What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing
Arriving and settling at a destination community
Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing
Systems design: Solutions that target changing larger system
Idea Proposal Stage
Pilot: We have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users. The feasibility of an innovation is tested in a small-scale and real world application (i.e. 3-15% of the target population)
Group or Organization Name
Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)
Hopeprint was born out of a group of individuals who sought to create spaces of hospitality and belonging for newly arriving people on the move in 2010. Our mission is the unify diverse communities rich in culture and connectedness to prosper in place.
In our founding location of Syracuse, NY, we currently have three homes, a community garden and an office space which continue to house this effort. This includes family empowerment programs, collective community advocacy and collaborative neighborhood development. We also have an established location in Kansas City, Kansas, and development locations is Ghana, West Africa and St Louis, Missouri.
Myself personally (Nicole Watts) founded this organization, and have resided in the neighborhood of focus for the past nine years, learning a tremendous amount as neighborhood and friend. I feel intimately familiar with the opportunities and barriers we encounter as a community, and I am filled with passion and determination to pursue it.
Type of submitter
We are a registered Non-Profit Organization
Organization Headquarters: Country
United States of America
Organization Headquarters: City / State
Syracuse, New York