Rebuild the Block, a Black-Owned and Woman-Owned non-profit organization is helping businesses Succeed. As many businesses are closing and suffering during the pandemic, this non-profit organization founded by two black women are working to redistribute wealth and resources to these businesses and black communities. Rebuild Alexis Akarolo, and Zelnnetta Clark founded Rebuild the Block in June amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd. Its mission is to rebuild the block through the organic growth of resources by redistributing wealth and knowledge to the black community.
Akarolo states, “Rebuild The Block started as a Gofundme for black-owned businesses as a community relief fund. I wasn’t seeing enough conversation around how people would help small businesses that were devastated by the pandemic. Within the first five minutes of creating the fund, I called Zelnnetta and asked her to join me to help the community.” The amount of support received pushed them to become an official non-profit and go beyond just a relief fund. They have been able to help over fifteen businesses.
“With today’s political climate and the pandemic affecting us all in multiple ways and with so much negativity, I thought this would be a positive way to uplift hard-working business owner’s spirits. I spent the majority of my career involved in many community service projects. We’re passionate about being able to show everyone in our community that anyone can be involved with something bigger than themselves,” says Clark.
One of the businesses that Rebuild The Block has helped is a local non-profit in Chicago, the Plano Child Development Center. PCDC is a Black-Owned business that provides vision care and not-for-profit services to children, adults, and families. Owner Stephanie Brown applied to Rebuild The Block’s June 2020 cycle after the pandemic barred them from producing an income. “We owe it to our Ancestors to continue to fight the good fight,” says Akarolo.
If you are interested in helping Rebuild the Block, you can share, donate, and send them any resources such as organizations that are helping the community. “We are also seeking partnerships with other organizations to help the community better”. Rebuild The Block is also looking to expand their team, “We have volunteer opportunities for communications interns, IT interns, project manager, and finance interns. Anyone interested can visit our website to apply for any of those volunteer positions.”
Rebuild The Block currently has a raffle going on for anyone interested in starting their own business and a new donation for companies that started within the past year affected by COVID. All information and to learn more about Rebuild the Block can be found on their Instagram @rebuildtheblockcorp and their website www.rebuildtheblock.org.
Christa Carter-Williams is a party and family writer and creator of thewilliamsparty.com. FInd her on Instagram @thewilliamsparty.