After watching the news surrounding the Black Lives Matter moves, Miles Clark wanted to help people of color in his community. His small effort in the beginning has turned into a community-wide initiative to help build generational wealth in Southeast Fort Wayne.
Miles wanted to take it one step further. Luckily for him, his neighbor Kristin Grant owns Hyper Local Impact, who are coordinators of the Family and Friends Fund for Southeast Fort Wayne, a program to help people of color on the southeast side build up their community.
Why is investing in underrepresented communities so important? Because for generations, prejudiced tactics like redlining have explicitly prevented parts of cities where People of Color live from having the same economic opportunities as white-dominated parts of town. At the same time, generational wealth tends to stay within white circles of influence, as people with resources invest in, or “make a bet on,” people they know and trust.
To prove her point, Kristin posted a few maps on Facebook. As seen in data from Statistical Atlas, income distribution in Fort Wayne is largely unbalanced, with the lowest household incomes disproportionately clustered in the Southeast quadrant. At the same time, white race distribution in the city is by far the lowest in Southeast Fort Wayne.
Ultimately, having a Family & Friends fund for Southeast gives residents there the same privileges many white entrepreneurs enjoy: The ability to take a risk and start something without jumping through the hoops of traditional grants, which tend to favor white, college-educated applicants, Giant notes.
“We want decisions about the Southeast community to be made by the Southeast community,” Giant says. “That is priority number one with how these funds will be used.”
"Miles Clark approached me when he heard we were starting this fund and he said I want to host a bake sale to raise money for it and then we started talking and he’s now inspired kids all over Fort Wayne, and every zip code in Fort Wayne, to host bake sales to raise money for their neighbors in southeast Fort Wayne to build their own dreams," Grant said.
Now, through Miles' effort and Grant’s help, Kids in every zip code in Fort Wayne will be hosting a bake sale, with the proceeds being "a direct investment into the dreams, ideas, plans of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) people of Southeast Fort Wayne through the Friends & Family Fund."
The bake sales went on in different neighborhoods throughout the month of July. You can have your own bake sale still!
As of the end of Monday's bake sale, $155,000 has been raised for the fund, of which $12,000 of that came from the kids' bake sales, with matching donations.
- sources: inputfortwayne.com, wfft, and fox55 news