Build it! Bronzeville… at Phillips.

This past week I was able to do some dot connecting. Build it! Bronzeville came out to speak with seniors at Wendell Phillips High school in Bronzeville and let the students try out a prototype of their new mobile app.

This gist of the game and the conversation was ” What would you like in your community?”

You would think that this conversation would be simple. Contrary to this, it was eye opening.  The opens were safety, business, or visual art building.

At first the seniors wanted things like McDonald’s or to rebuild the BaBa’s that burned down. They simply wanted to add convenience to their lives and continue.
Then there were idea such as:
1. Adding a safety building across the street from the school because to many students hang out across the street in a vacant lot abd trouble can happen there.
2. Putting up dance studio as there are no places for lessons
3. Building a hospital

There were also a few moments that created further conversation…
1. The idea of adding a chipotle to the neighborhood rather than the Babas was brought up. At first it wasn’t looked at as favorable until we began comparing the businesses. Most of the students hadn’t been to a Chipotle they just knew it was downtown and I’ve said it was probably expensive especially for just some lettuce. Then ) sheet agreeing a trip to chipotle in Hyde park may be in order) we discussed the importance of what you eat and how a restaurant without bullet proof glad would be nice for the community.
2. Then one of the students brought up the idea for a community center and the fact of a lack of activities for teenagers in their communities.

In this short period of time you could tell the conversation was increasing abs the students were beginning to think outside if the box if what could the community be and what is it missing.

In that moment I had never before wished that school could be longer or to spend another second in high school…

Of course we tabled the conversation but I cannot wait to start it again and see just what they are thinking!

I also can’t wait until the mobile app is

finished! It will be a great way to find out what the community needs abs where we spend our money outside of the community.

Wal-Mart in Bronzeville


I’ve heard people excited about the new Wal-Mart coming soon to Bronzeville on 47 Cottage (I’ve also heard about one being opened up on 39th and state). However, I fail to share their joy.  Yes, we need jobs in this community and a convenient place to shop. But, we need a livable wage and good food in our community not GMO fruit and meat and substandard treatment of those employed. Wal-Mart does not thrill me.
Does our community need another cash cow for developers? No, we need a nice mom and pop shop that cares about the community and can treat employees with the dignity and respect they deserve. If I’m working full time, I should not have to get on food stamps to sustain life, this is the case with many Wal-Mart employees. Bronzeville should just say no.