E.W. Pearson Project Collaborative

Local partnerships are leveraging social and historic capital to begin to create significant changes in areas that have needed investment and support for decades.

The E.W. Pearson Project Collaborative met with Buncombe County leaders on Thursday, November 3, 2022 to talk about the achievements of their neighborhood projects.

EW Pearson Project Collaborative Members
EW Pearson Project Collaborative Members (L-R). 1st row: Jene’ (Lupie) Morgan-Blake, Sophie Dixon, Renee White, Norma Baynes, Georgia Allen, DeWayne Barton. 2nd row: Garland Walker, Terry Bellamy, Laura McPherson, Helen Lineberg, Gwen Jones, Rev. Spencer Hardaway, Sharon Greene, Bobbette Mays, Alma Atkins.

These Black leaders are showing up for their communities, providing neighborhood level services including youth programs, academic assistance, community gardens, and more. Buncombe County Government is proud to support their efforts through the Isaac Coleman Grants.

Thanks so much to Ms. Sophie Dixon for her leadership in making this collaborative effort between the neighborhoods of Burton Street, East End, and the Shiloh community a multi-generational success story.

About the Collaborative

In 2017, the Shiloh Community Association joined with two other historic African American community-based organizations—East End Valley Street Neighborhood and Burton Street Community Associations—and an African American educational nonprofit, Project Lighten Up, to form the E.W. Pearson Project Collaborative.

The collaborative’s mission to is implement a regenerative grassroots accountability system, which works to build, maintain, and protect pillars of resiliency in systemically marginalized neighborhoods, while creating a culture of sustainability that is inclusive and economically just. The neighborhoods’ partnerships are leveraging social and historic capital to begin to create significant changes in areas that have needed investment and support for decades.

Neighborhood Plans

During the course of the Collaborative’s existence, these leaders have successfully worked together to design markers to preserve the African American history in each of the three historic neighborhoods.

The Burton Street Neighborhood Plan was developed by the NC Department of Transportation, in partnership with the Burton Street Community Association, to address potential impacts resulting from the I-26 Connector project and current community concerns, enhance the quality of life of the Burton Street community, and to preserve the strong sense of community among Burton Street residents.

The residents of the East End Valley Street neighborhood worked with the City of Asheville’s Transportation Department to reduce the speed limit on Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive to 25 mph to comply with the average speed for neighborhoods within the city. The effort also yielded a series of crosswalks and planted bulb-outs in the project to provide safe crossing opportunities and increased traffic calming measures.

Members of the Shiloh community are actively working with the City of Asheville and the North Carolina Department of Transportation on the Hendersonville Road Corridor Study.

Project Lighten Up is developing partnerships that further assist with introducing Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics (STEAM) to participants within the program.

Additionally, each of the organizations are actively working to address the academic achievement gap by offering school programs that are either free or at a sliding scale rate. Burton Street Community students are participating in a mural development process that includes scholarly research on the historically African American neighborhood.

The East End Valley Street Neighborhood hosts Summer Enrichment programs to help students learn the fundamentals of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Shiloh students earn funds as they work in the Community Garden. They also receive financial literacy education to improve their ability to budget, save, and make smart decisions regarding their finances.

Project Lighten Up engages Kindergarten through eighth-grade students in guided and self-directed science activities.

For more information about the E.W. Pearson Project Collaborative, please visit ewppc.org/neighborhood-plans.

 

E.W. Pearson Project Collaborative

EW Pearson Project Collaborative Members

EW Pearson Project Collaborative Members

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