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We're growing at a pace many thought we'd never see.  With that growth comes the unique opportunity to be able to get some things right.  It might not be "right from the start" but it might be best framed as getting it right from "the new beginning" and the efforts of Marria McIntosh and her organization Thredz are aiming to help shape for our next 100 years here in Muskegon. 

 

Muskegon has had it's "era's". We have all heard the stories over and over.  We've seen our neighborhoods have reflecting changes with the eras as well.  With the evolution of our community, some neighborhoods have been hit much harder than others when it comes to economic growth and development and over time that brings blight, depression and struggles that are not easily solved and the long term effects become more than any "one thing" can fix.  We've seen it play out in Muskegon.  We've seen it play out in the Midwest and we've seen it play out across the planet.  The multi-factor problem of poverty and lack of hope remains one of societies biggest social ills today.  So, what are the best practices that have happened in other areas that have successfully made a turn and worked to help sustain people who have survived the worst of times as the community grew around them?  

We're talking about gentrification.  That's a very difficult word to use.  From the Oxford Dictionary - Gentrification - "the process whereby the character of a poor urban area is changed by wealthier people moving in, improving housing, and attracting new businesses, typically displacing current inhabitants in the process."  There are those in Muskegon who see what's happening here and they are afraid.  The costs associated with rent, home ownership, taxes and more are all going up.  The income level of Muskegon residents is staying about average to lower than most anywhere else and while very welcome and very needed massive projects are happening, there are those striving to find the ways others have seen city's turn around and make those changes equitable for every part of the community.  Those are the experts that are coming to the Frauenthal Center on March 9th.

Marria McIntosh is the Persident and CEO of Thredz Inc.  She's been working with the Livability Lab in Muskegon to find ways and resources to assure that as we all grow, and look to a better future, those who've been in that cycle of poverty and struggle are given the best opportunities to learn from experts who understand successful outcomes from blighted situations.  The Mayor of Birmingham Alabama will be speaking.  Speakers from MIT, Boston and Portland.  Major players in solutions to turning hopelessness into a new future.  The panel discussion will take place beginning at 1 and when concluded, there will be an open house type event that will offer those interested in learning more valuable resources.  There's a theme too!  What’s a 90’s party without some fun? Dress up in your favorite 90’s attire, visit our Housing Resource Tables and get ready to Enjoy FREE FOOD , GIVEAWAYS...and dance the afternoon away to the Beats of the era. We’ll have a DJ spinning the best tunes, so dust off your Snap Backs, Neon Windbreakers, Pelle Pelles and Scrunchies!

CLICK HERE to send an advance notice you are coming so they can help plan for the food and drink.  If you are a last minute person, that's fine too.  This event is open to all and it's FREE to get in so please make plans to attend.  Our strength and our future lies within the strength and security of all of us.  We are building a new future.  It's happening right before our eyes and this is a once in a generation chance to get it right for the next 100 generations.

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