YWCA Seeking a new Volunteer Coordinator

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Please click to read more about the Volunteer Coordinator position, and download an application.

The Volunteer Coordinator reports to and works closely with the Director of Advancement to connect community groups and individuals to meaningful volunteer opportunities at the YWCA and to strengthen relationships and opportunities to increase understanding across differences of race, class, religion, sexual orientation and political affiliation.  They will manage the Stand Against Racism campaign and work collaboratively with other organizations on anti-racism events. The position is full-time, year-round, benefits eligible, and exempt.

Goombay Vendor Search Announcement

Goombay-2014Goombay is happening this year! The YMI Cultural Center, Inc. is hosting this event on September 12th-14th on the Roger McGuire Green. We are really excited for this year’s event. We will have more room to dance and have fun and more space for great vendors with tasty ethnic food, arts and crafts, handbags, clothes and more. We are seeking vendor for this year’s event. We have created a payment plan to make it easier on the wallet.

We encourage businesses, organizations and non profits to apply. Simply send your request to goombay2014@gmail.com to request an application. We want this event to be jam packed with goodness so get your application to get the ball rolling. We also have a few at the YMI for you to pick up. The deadline for applications is Friday July 4th.

State of Black Asheville 2014 Community Presentation

State of Black AshevilleUNC Asheville students from the State of Black Asheville course will present their research on the status of Black Asheville in several public policy areas such as : education, health care, housing & economic development, criminal justice, and culture.

Event is FREE & OPEN to the public 
Lunch will be provided

For any questions please email : stateofblackasheville@gmail.com

Using Oral History for Sharing & Preserving your Institution’s Message and History

Spring 2014 – The Gathering Place Project Presents:
How to use Oral History for Sharing & Preserving your Institution’s Message and History

Monday, April 29, 2014
The Oteen Center
176 Riceville Road Asheville, NC 28805
9:00 AM – 12:30 PM Registration Required

Join Michelle Lanier, Director of the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission with the Gathering Place Project as she discusses how to use oral histories for sharing and preserving your institution’s message and history. The Gathering Place Project will offer 6 statewide workshops this year that focus on the three main challenges that face our African American Museums and heritage practitioners: preservation, sharing, research.

Participants will hear success stories, best practices, and learn about available resources.

Please find your registration form here.
Click to learn more about the Gathering Place Project  

Burton Street Neighborhood needs to be heard!

Please read this story by David Forbes in Mountain Express about the impact of the I-26 Connector on the Burton Street Community.

How many times does the Burton Street community have to bear this burden? When you look at the overview map of changes to I-26, “The Big Picture”, try zooming in on the homes slated for demolition, the neighborhood to be divided again. (You can zoom in on the photo above by clicking on it and then pressing ⌘= on a Mac or CTRL+ on a Windows computer) Asheville has had a long history of hurting African American neighborhoods in the name of “progress”. Please stand with this community!

Minority Enterprise Development of WNC

Very often when I am out around town passing out business cards to share the site with people I meet, I am asked about business resources. I’m very encouraged by the positive responses I get from the community, but also feel that there is a lot of unmet need or perhaps a feeling from many people that they want help with starting a business but don’t know where to begin.

I know that as an entrepreneur there is something to be said for knowing how to use Google, get out to the library, and know how to find information when you need it. I’m sure there are people think that those who are unable simply help themselves aren’t cut out for running their own businesses. At the same time, there are plenty of people who may not be on the cutting edge as far as their grasp of new technology, but who have a wealth of experience and value to contribute in other ways – they just need a little help getting there.

With that in mind, I’m sharing this link to the list of small business and entrepreneur resources produced by Minority Enterprise’s MED Week Committee. This is just one of many resources produced by several groups available to to assist Asheville’s community of entrepreneurs and small business owners.

6th Annual WNC Business Assistance Directory

Our business directory now includes 103 black-owned businesses (in addition to 30 Churches & Congregations and 23 Community Groups  that serve the black community). Some of these are well-established, successful businesses, while others are fledgling businesses, perhaps financed by someone working another full time job while they struggle to get things started. It is my hope that at some point, these businesses might get together, use  power in numbers to purchase ad space, hire training consultants, whatever might serve to improve the success rate and profitability of these businesses that bring so much more back to the African American community when they excel.

The Black Thief Stereotype, Shopping While Black, and Consumer Racial Profiling in the 21st Century.

UNC Asheville and the Center for Diversity Education present:

The Black Thief Stereotype, Shopping While Black, and Consumer Racial Profiling in the 21st Century. 

Thursday, March 27,  5:30 p.m., Sherrill Athletic Center, Mountain Suites

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Shaun Gabbidon,   (1967 b, Jamaican descent, born in England, raised in U.S.A)  Criminologist and Academic.

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Dr. Gabbidon has served as a fellow at Harvard University’s W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research, and has taught at the Center for Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. The author of more than 100 scholarly publications including more than 60 peer-reviewed articles and 11 books, his most recent books include Race and Crime (3rd edition; 2012, SAGE) and the co-authored book, A Theory of African American Offending (2011; Routledge). Professor Gabbidon currently serves as the Founding Editor of the SAGE journal, Race and Justice: An International Journal. The recipient of numerous awards, Dr. Gabbidon was most recently awarded the 2009 W.E.B. Du Bois Award from the Western Society of Criminology and the 2011 Outstanding Mentor Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

South Asheville Colored Cemetery, 1840 – 1943


Among the items in Special Collections at D. Hiden Ramsey Library at the Unviersity of North Carolina at Asheville is an oral history collection about the South Asheville Colored Cemetery.

Interviews with elderly African American natives of Asheville, NC, give a vivid record of rites of death and burial for black residents of Asheville before 1940.

Collection includes: Interviews with nine African American residents of Asheville, NC with knowledge of persons buried in the South Asheville Colored Cemetery ; A partial listing from the Buncombe County Death Registry of persons buried in South Asheville Colored Cemetery ; A list of artifacts related to burials in the cemetery and sources for further information about the cemetery ; An article: “The South Asheville Colored Cemetery 1840-1943,” by Wilburn Hayden, Jr.

Please visit their site and learn about this historic site in our community. When paper records are damaged or nonexistent, sometimes a headstone might bear the only written proof of an ancestor’s existence. In any case, cemeteries are sacred places, and without regular care and maintenance, they are soon overtaken by the growth of vegetation. I am grateful to know that this cemetery is going to be receiving some much needed attention and research expertise to help map it, clean it up, repair broken stones. Although many names are lost to history, an effort is being made to record more of the names of those buried there, both in marked and unmarked graves, and to re-connect those ancestors to their families in our community today.