Hood Huggers International implements the Pearson Plan, offering sustainable strategies for building support pillars for resilient historically African-American neighborhoods, providing a framework for community capacity building while increasing the effectiveness of existing service programs. These strategies incorporate the arts, social enterprise, and the environment, building a culture of stability that inclusive and economically just.
Looking at the State of Black Asheville*, the Pearson Plan serves as a road map for repairing communities and addressing disparities, designed to meet the goals outlined in established community plans. Implementation of the plan will begin in the Burton Street, Shiloh, and East End/Valley Street neighborhoods, based on the strength of their plans. As these neighborhoods experience success, they will share their knowledge with other neighborhoods, particularly public housing communities.
Leaders of Burton Street, Shiloh and East End/Valley Street neighborhoods developed these four common goals:
1) Communication with City and County
2) Development and affordable housing
3) Greenspaces and culture
4) Economic development and business
With the Pearson Plan, nonprofits, volunteers, and government agencies operate in response to neighborhood leaders, working to support their vision.
The components of the Pearson Plan are: Youth Leadership Development, Social Enterprise, and Grassroots Community Leadership Collaborative.
Read about our current projects here: HHIOverviewSummer-2016
The Pearson Plan is named after African-American leader Edward W. Pearson, Sr., “who was one of the most energetic and creative forces for positive change that Asheville has ever known. From Pearson’s arrival in Asheville in 1906, until his death in 1946, he worked tirelessly to improve the fortunes and the quality of life of his family and his community. Facing many barriers to advancement in a strictly segregated society, he saw not obstacles, but opportunities” (North Carolina Room at Pack Memorial Library).
More detail about the Pearson Plan is available on request.
* The State of Black Asheville is a public policy course at UNC Asheville which Dr. Dwight Mullen has been teaching since 2006. Students pick a topic of interest and study the influence race has on local public policy. Afterward, they share their findings with the public. They host community forums and maintain the website stateofblackasheville.org. Dr. Mullen is currently on sabbatical, working to replicate the State of Black Asheville model statewide.