Better Block, which takes place May 15 through 17, will transform a block of North Hill with temporary bicycle lanes, popup businesses, landscaping and entertainment. The event will capture the essence of North Hill, especially pivotal neighborhood organizations like Urban Vision, which offers afterschool services, mentoring and fellowship for hundreds of young people.
Rodney Matthews, Urban Vision’s president and executive director, answers a few questions about Better Block:
How did you get involved? I came to meetings that shared information about Better Block.
Why did you get involved? My heart and Urban Vision seeks to see our North Hill community build a vibrant, unified community, transformed through the love and hope of Jesus Christ. This means we want all people groups to be a part of the transformation in North Hill. This project can be a catalyst to create jobs and ownership in and for North Hill residents, which we need. That is why we created Neighbors Apparel.
Why should people attend? To see what can happen when people begin to come together for their neighborhood, and create a better place.
What does this program mean to you? It means opportunity. For Neighbors Apparel to get more community exposure, and for visions for a better future. An opportunity to bring a community together.
What does it mean to North Hill? I hope a beginning to bringing our new neighbors from around the world into our community, while not forgetting those who have been here for years and want to be a part as well in transforming our community.
What will it mean for other neighborhoods? In many ways I believe other neighborhoods will be able to learn from the process of what has been done in North Hill and implement in their streets. They will have the benefit of seeing it firsthand and putting it into the context of their neighborhood, as North Hill is, I believe, significantly different with the many cultures who need to be at the table to get all people groups heard and participating. They will have people locally who can share their experiences and how they can improve and what they wouldn’t change.