INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Northeast side community members are spending the week leading up to Juneteenth focusing on building partnerships.
It’s called Community Spirit Week. At one time, community leaders say, the the northeast side was a thriving community and the plan is to get it back there. But economic development is required to make that happen.
The construction of a new grocery store and manufacturing facility at the corner of East 38th Street and North Sheridan Avenue is just one example. City-County Councilor Keith Graves covers this district and said he’s excited like everyone else.
“I think I share in the same excitement as all of my neighbors share. We are excited as anyone else when new things happen in a community. It’s a sign of growth,” he said.
The project is a partnership with Goodwill and Cook Medical. The hiring process started before construction has even finished with a focus on hiring from within the community.
“Our community has seen so much disinvestment for so long that today we are seeing a different trend. And that’s investment,” Graves said.
Ashley Gurvits, the executive director of the Alliance for Northeast Unification, is helping lead Community Spirit Week plans ahead of the Juneteenth holiday. It includes events like “Money Monday,” “Take Care Tuesday,” “Workforce Wednesday” and even racial equity and inclusion panels leading up to the weekend celebrations.
“I think one important bit for us having a Community Spirit Week is to show examples that it’s not just one day, but we can do so over a week. And if we can do it during the week, this leads to an every day aspect of celebrating liberation across the board.”
She also lives in the community and says seeing two major construction activities in one year shows positive signs for this community’s future.
“I can tell you, of the projects taking place in our community, whether it’s through economic development, through housing, through partnerships, it has all been anchored around our resident voice,” Gurvits said.