NeighborH.O.O.D., a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, was created to help people who have historically been denied equal access to America’s social, economic, education, and political policies overcome those obstacles via cooperatives and community-owned businesses. Research has shown that “cooperatives and community-owned enterprises are mechanisms for community economic development, because they provide jobs and business ownership for community members, re-circulate resources within their communities, promote environmental sustainability and social responsibility, and develop economic human and social capital” (Nembhard, 2013, p. 1). The performing, literary, and visual arts will be used as backdrops to spur creativity and innovation, academic performance, and community cohesion.
To decrease the dire social statistics associated with people who live in Nashville’s underserved communities by developing their talents, skills, and abilities via cooperative and community-owned enterprises, education, employment, and self-advocacy strategies.
The community (organizations, churches, and schools will send applicants to NeighborH.O.O.D.’s seven-month trade and arts school. The organization will use best practices principles (theoretically and practically) to maximize student success. Students will be required to participate in some aspect of the organization’s arts program. Upon graduation, students will become owners of a business cooperative.
The first phase (May 2021 – December 2021), a seven-month program in fashion, design, and merchandising, also comprises cooperative entrepreneurship courses that will assist students in establishing the for-profit business venture they will ultimately own.
In the second phase (January 2022 – company stability), graduates transition, as owners, to their newly established cooperative entrepreneurship business venture, whereby mentoring services will be provided by NeighborH.O.O.D. the company is financially stable.
Building Block Destinies
When I was two – you (mom and dad)
Built a neighborhood for me
With my ABC building blocks
It affected me deeply
My building blocks of ABC’s
And butterflies and bees
Built houses, stores and bridges
I owned them, I had keys
See Whole Song