LATIBAH West End Talks is revamping the community meeting concept in the Historic West End with a four-part panel series that blends information sharing with partying for a purpose. T’Afo Feimster, Founder & Director of LATIBAH Collard Green Museum, felt the need to bring a new approach to sharing information among Historic West End residents and other community stakeholders. “While working in the community I keep hearing the same concerns from residents,” said Feimster. Those concerns were: (1) wanting to know more about the culture of the community, (2) wanting to know about the history of the community, and (3) wanting information about the changes going on in the community.
The solution Feimster came up with mixed a party atmosphere with a structured panel-style community forum. “It is just another opportunity to create a space and place to learn about community development while having fun doing it,’” explained Feimster. He and the LATIBAH Collard Green Museum team worked to convert the more general black history LATIBAH Talks presentations into a more neighborhood-centric format. He shared why he decided to change the format. “Working in West End for the last several years, I decided to revise LATIBAH Talks so it will highlight West End history and culture.”
The LATIBAH West End Talks format was designed in a way to attract those individuals who do not attend the neighborhood association meetings but are still seeking information about their changing neighborhood. Feimster explained, “As you know urban development is there [in the West End]. With those changes comes a lot. Having been involved with a lot of community meetings, I decided that instead of doing a general LATIBAH Talks we focus on the needs of that community.”
In focusing on the needs of the community the Talks have been divided into three focus areas:
- Education: A retrospect of community history and culture.
- Information: Current and future community development information and the status of the community’s health and healing.
- Socialization: An environment of a social engagement with the enjoyment of refreshment and live entertainment.
At the upcoming LATIBAH West End Talks on Thursday, October 11, the education portion will go from general black history to community specific black history. Information about the Black Wall Street business communities created throughout the nation after 1865 will be highlighted and then transitions into history about the Historic West End. The information portion will then provide a snapshot of the urban development and transit development happening in the neighborhood. It will also look at the factors that are impacting the health of the West End community and ways to address those factors to heal the community.The event’s final transition brings on the party atmosphere as live entertainment takes center-stage.
Feimster’s goal with this format is to create a positive forum atmosphere. “I’ve been in meetings where it seems like everything going on in the community is negative. But, that is not the case,” he recounted. The LATIBAH West End Talks will address the challenges and the positive things going on in the community. You can experience this different take on the community meeting at the next LATIBAH West End Talks on Thursday, October 11 from 6:30pm – 10:00pm at the Mosaic Village Skyline Terrace, (1601 West Trade Street).