SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- This Black History Month ABC7 News is celebrating the people in our community who are working to Build a Better Bay Area by making Black History right now.
Compelled by the racial unrest and health disparities put front and center in 2020, seven friends, all black and all from San Francisco, founded SF Black Wall Street.
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"SF Black Wall Street is an organization that's committed to expanding Black cultural space, Black homeownership, Black business," says co-founder Tinisch Hollins. "We're really trying to anchor Black San Francisco."
Hollins says she's seen the city changed a lot.
"I remember a time where the black population here was almost 40 percent," Hollins recalls. "And you would have black neighbors and, you know, have folks who own businesses here, and unfortunately, we've seen those numbers decline more and more and more in especially last year with the impact of COVID. And, you know, unfortunately, the violence and so many other things that impact communities and our community disproportionately, it's important that we work hard to make sure that we retain our community here, and that folks can continue to live here, work here, play here, and feel like they belong here."
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The group's first effort was creating community through a city-wide Juneteenth celebration. Then they worked to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19 and launched several small microbusinesses. Now, SF Black Wall Street is working to help bridge the gap between transplants and native San Franciscans.
"So we've been working together with San Francisco natives folks who own businesses here to craft something called a good neighbor policy," Hollins says. "That just kind of guides folks on how to respect and how to interact with our community in our culture in a way that doesn't do more harm."
Hollins says Black History is happening now, and it's time to get involved.
"I think this is a really pivotal time for black Americans on a lot of different fronts," Hollins says. "It's our time to step into those conversations and say, 'This is the vision that we have. And here's what we need to achieve that vision and work together everyone to make it happen.'"
Learn more about SF Black Wall Street here.
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SF Black Wall Street preserving Black culture
BLACK HISTORY MONTH