The first 30 days of being part of the QC Family Tree has far exceeded my personal expectations. I knew I’d be working along side three great people – Greg, Helms, and Kendrick. In my own amazement, there is so much more to it than just the staff at QC Family Tree.
I am surrounded by neighbors who I have so much in common with. There are so many common themes to our stories and lived experiences. We all faced the threat of displacement and just as we love our community, we see the ties that bind have been slowly unraveling since gentrification on steroids set in. We are completely aware of how fragile our community was prior to gentrification. It made us vulnerable to what we are experiencing now. The loss of neighbors, friends, and all that we know and love about our community. This has called us to act.
The QC Family Tree neighbors got together for a serious conversation. This conversation was about building our capacity as a small group and to bring about the changes we want to see for the place we call home. We asked ourselves: How we can use our resilience to become more competent in taking care of our communal needs? What does it look like to be a self-determining group? How do we magnify love for our neighbors collectively?
We agreed to make this gathering a regular thing as we move to do life together. We plan to expand our collective energy to the pockets of our community where our people need us. We will ask them to help us expand on our circle of care for one another.
We decided on a name for our collection of wisdom and we decided on “The Melanated Unknowns”. Melanated because of our various shades of skin tones and unknown because to some we don’t exist but we know we’re here to stay! We can be referred to as simply the “unknowns”.
In 2005, QC Family Tree started a firm foundation of deep-rooted understanding, commitment, and love in and for the people on the west side. This new neighbor inspired action will be a collective reflection of the love and commitment that was started so long ago.
I am remain optimistic about our collective future.