- Cathy O’Connor
PlaceKeepers to support those interested in improving northeast OKC
A new program has been launched to help those interested in creating more development knowledge, business resources, private investments and jobs in northeast Oklahoma City.
PlaceKeepers is now accepting applications from aspiring developers and business owners looking to gain training and mentorship to launch real estate projects and businesses. The program is open to Black residents, business owners and stakeholders in northeast Oklahoma City.
The real estate and small business development program will kick off March 13 with training sessions, coaching, resources and connections for participants. PlaceKeepers is coordinated by Northeast Oklahoma City Renaissance Inc. with funds from the Black Justice Fund. The goal of the program is to empower Black residents and stakeholders in northeast Oklahoma City and equip them with the resources to overcome generations of intentional suppression by engaging residents as real-estate developers, business owners and job creators.
NEOKCR will partner with collaborative entities to raise funds accessible to higher-risk businesses launching small-scale development projects or small businesses that operate in northeast OKC and are in need of short-term loans to fill financial gaps.
NEOKCR will also partner with OKC developers, the Urban Land Institute OKC Chapter, The Mine Fellowship, and Blackspace Oklahoma to facilitate a workshop series and mentor pairings that train, connect, mobilize, and empower budding entrepreneurs to revitalize Northeast neighborhoods and communities.
The program is also looking for potential allies: experienced developers, successful business owners, lenders and investors who are interested in accelerating professional growth within the real estate industry through facilitating future economic opportunities. Allies can lead training sessions, provide one-on-one advice to PlaceKeeper participants and potentially become co-developers or investors in PlaceKeeper projects.
In 2014, the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City established the Northeast Renaissance Steering Committee (NERSC) of community stakeholders to advocate for ethical redevelopment, housing, education, safety, wellness, economic development, and preservation of African American arts and culture.
In 2016, the NERSC leadership established Northeast OKC Renaissance Inc. to become a catalyst for place-based, ethical community development in northeast Oklahoma City.
This is an exciting opportunity and I’m looking forward to seeing results and the impact on our city. Applications for PlaceKeeper participants and mentors can be found at www.neokcr.org/placekeepers.