Josephine Key has lived in the Harambee Neighborhood for over 40 years and she’s seen the neighborhood turn from mostly homeowners to renters. According to Key, the neighbors used to actually care about one another.
The neighborhood was also diverse with Black and white neighbors living side by side, now it’s predominantly Black. One of Key’s biggest pet peeves from over the years has been trash around the neighborhood. Instead of adding to the problem, Key said she uses her voice to try to inspire her neighbors to do better.
“I try to inspire people to care,” said Key. Change starts with ourselves and that’s what Key tries to instill in her neighbors. We have to want to help ourselves for real change to happen.
As a leader in the community, Key is happy to have Bader Philanthropies to lean back on when she needs advice on how to keep helping her community. Bader has thrown community clean ups and now Key says trash isn’t an issue anymore. It’s the small steps that matter, she said.
This week marks a year of Bader’s global headquarters being in the Harmabee neighborhood, located at 3318 N. MLK Dr., and Key has been utilizing the building, the staff and the resources as much as she can.
According to Key, Bader is a uniting place for the community and it inspires others who wouldn’t otherwise stop in the neighborhood, to visit.
“You get to interact with other people,” said Key. “It’s forming a unity in a way.”
Bader President Daniel Bader said by moving into the neighborhoods, they’re able to better connect with the people they want to serve.
The work they want to do can’t be done when they’re building is based downtown, he added.
“We’re a part of the neighborhood now,” said Bader. Whatever happens in the community now affects and impacts them too. “We feel it and we see it.”
Executive Director of Safe and Sound Katie Sanders said Bader stands as a place for opportunity for different entities to come together. They even allow nonprofits to meet for free at their space, which Sanders says is helpful for small organizations, who are don’t have much funds.
Safe and Sound has been in the Harambee neighborhood for almost 20 years and Sanders said no one organization can do everything alone.
“Our work is 100% dependent on collaboration,” said Sanders. “A collaborative effort is the only way we’re going to get things done.”
Since moving into the neighborhood, the foundation has doubled how many people have walked through their doors. Within a year, around 5,000 people visited their headquarters, according to Bader.
“We’re just getting started. We’re learning from our neighbors,” said Bader.