No plan, no matter how inspired or supported by the masses, can survive a lack of hope.
The ambition we embarked upon to erect a first-of-its-kind development in the Dixwell neighborhood, is an example of the need for such hope.
When I consider examples of hope throughout our city, I think of my visit to a food distribution center last year to make a donation of goods. The women, who labored with care and courage, were volunteers who believed in the mission of that work: to ensure the hungry had nourishment that could last a couple days, even if only a couple days.
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A project that will revitalize New Haven’s Dixwell neighborhood is moving forward. ConnCORP has released the plans for what will replace Dixwell Plaza and it includes housing, a grocery store, a food hall, apartments and a theater.
“We wanted to bring economic infrastructure to that historic black community,” said Erik Clemons, executive chairman of ConnCORP. It’s a spin off from his organization ConnCAT, which offers community, youth and adult programs in arts and technology.
Fred McKinney recalls a day in 1973 when he and his brother were stopped by police and charged with possession of a marijuana joint. After spending a weekend in a precinct, he considers himself lucky for having a lawyer, going to trial, and getting a second chance.
“But if we hadn't had that chance, who knows where my life would have gone?” said McKinney. “A lot of people didn't get a chance after they were arrested for cannabis. I look at literally the millions of Americans who have been negatively impacted by cannabis since 1973.”
Imagine jazz festivals at a new 350-seat theater on Dixwell Avenue. And a mural celebrating the neighborhood’s rich history of Black art. And a landscaped public plaza replete with sculptures and furniture and dance, poetry, and hip hop.
A local redevelopment team heard those hopes, dreams, and visions during a community meeting focused on the cultural potential of a transformed Dixwell Plaza.
ConnCORP is a for-profit subsidiary of the Science Park-based job training nonprofit Connecticut Center for Arts and Technology.
The Connecticut Community Outreach Revitalization Program (ConnCORP) and The WorkPlace, announced today the creation of the Alliance for Cannabis Equity (ACE) between the two organizations. ACE is being created in recognition of the need for an authoritative and trusted resource for those interested in assuring that the social equity provisions related to adult-use cannabis are fully realized.
The Alliance will focus on social equity and the economic opportunities for Black and Brown entrepreneurs and minority workers in the field of cannabis across the state of Connecticut.
Dixwell Plaza’s redevelopers are bringing their neighborhood revitalization efforts to Newhallville — in the form of a new duplex where a blighted, vacant single-family home currently stands.
The developers won permission to do that at the most recent meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA), which took place online via Zoom.
ConnCORP, the complex’s new owner, threw a block party Saturday afternoon behind Stetson Library in the plaza’s parking lot as a way to thank the community for support as the organization proceeds with plans to build a new $200 million mixed-use complex on the site.
One hundred residents, city officials, and outreach members celebrated the planned transformation of Dixwell Plaza into “ConnCAT Place.”
Many small business owners are hurting as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but statistics suggest Black-owned businesses have felt the deepest pain.
In the Elm City, New Haven community development organization ConnCORP (Connecticut Community Outreach Revitalization Program) is looking to help struggling Black-owned businesses survive and grow in the coming months with a new grant program.
The ConnCORP Board of Directors today announced Aya Beckles Swanson as the Executive Director to head its new business incubator, The ConnCORP Lab.
Swanson’s appointment became effective June 14, 2021. ConnCORP recently purchased the Hamden Business Incubator, located at 496 Newhall St., to seed and support minority and Black-owned businesses.
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