Linda Wallen has always been an artist. A longtime Pittsburgh resident, she spent her early career painting portraits of “the rich and famous,” and then “retired into” teaching French and Spanish (through art) to elementary school students. But it was in the 1990s that her interest in public art really took off, after a trip to Barcelona.
Right after Labor Day, ioby welcomed aboard the newest member of our staff: Chris Jones, Memphis Action Strategist! Chris will be working with Ellen Roberds to help residents of Memphis make the changes they want to see in their city, block by block.
In my position at ioby, I’m fortunate to see firsthand some of the work being done around the country to make our neighborhoods stronger, more equitable, and more kind. Seeing it often makes me feel optimistic about Americans’ ability to lead our own communities in the change we want to see. But sometimes we’re served a jarring reminder of just how deeply rooted the problems are that we face as Americans. And sometimes the ugliness can seem too much to bear.
What do you do when your city repossess over 1,000 streetlights in your underserved neighborhood, literally putting the lights out on you? Build your own. Only better, and greener. Bring in, that is, community-owned solar power.
ioby works every day with all types of community groups and leaders. These range from loosely-affiliated groups of neighbors working together for the first time on a specific and discrete project, to established 501c3 nonprofit organizations with paid program staff and multiple sources of operating revenue. (Here’s how crowdfunding can help established nonprofits.)
ioby is always looking for the next city where we can support more projects and St. Louis is at the top of this year’s list. St. Louisans have a lot of pride about their grassroots work being done to propel their city into an equitable future.
Reverend Leah Lewis, J.D., grew up in one of the first African American families on her block in pre-white-flight Cleveland Heights, Ohio — but lived her first decade blissfully unaware of the racism that had shaped and was shaping her country. Her family welcomed in friends from all over the world, and her neighbors, a lovely elderly couple of European decent, adored her.
Pedestrian safety and walkability are pressing issues in Boyle Heights, which is surrounded by six freeways and serves as a gateway into downtown Los Angeles. In the Boyle Heights’ Pico Aliso Neighborhood, the community group Proyecto Pastoral’s Comunidad en Movimiento (CEM) aims to improve walkability and street safety, especially for children, youth, seniors, and those who rely on public transit.
Lots of people have pretty fixed ideas about the video gaming world. Violent games, sexist games. Isolated young men who aren’t engaged with real life. You know the story.
We suspect a very small number of people are reading this right now. If you are, you probably live in a city where ioby has an on-the-ground staff person or you are likely one of ioby’s peer organizations who have over the years asked if we would release all our “Phase 0” reports publicly. So, we went back to all the people who we interviewed to produce these reports, and asked their permission to include their quotes in these now publicly available documents.