Shekinah Mitchell is the Neighborhood Partnerships Manager for Virginia Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and an ally of RVA Thrives
Shekinah at a Glance
Years in Neighborhood
RVA Thrives Position
Ally / Partner
When I think about challenges and opportunities facing the Jefferson Davis Corridor, and I can't help but reflect on the history of Blackwell. I think about Hope VI, I think about the destruction of the public housing community that was here. I also think about all of the promises for renewal, for rebuilding. Although there definitely some places that have been peppered with the fulfillment of those promises like new homes that are over here, there's also acres of the broken promises, and where those things haven't been fulfilled, that feels like a challenge.
It‘s exciting to see the people in Southside saying, “You can‘t forget us anymore. We're here. We‘re valuable. We have things to offer.”
I think Southside in some ways has felt forgotten with so much attention and focus on other areas. However, it's exciting to see the people in Southside saying, "You can't forget us anymore. We're here. We're valuable. We have things to offer." I think that's part of the greatest opportunity here, to listen to what people want, and to say, "There's a lot of potential. There's a lot of opportunity. There are actually things happening now that are wonderful. How can we come alongside the residents that are here, the non-profit organizations doing great work, and help make Southside a thriving community.